Yotam Ottolenghi {the israeli british chef i live by and best restaurant of london}

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If you’ve never heard the name, shame on you, as this man is a sheer genius. And still, if you haven’t heard the name you’re about to get the low down. As it’s Thursday, I thought I would do a little throw back and talk about the London institution for healthy, good and delicious eating that I hold very close to my heart. If you must go anywhere when you are in London, you must pay a visit to an Ottolenghi restaurant.

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Who is Yotam? Born and raised in Jerusalem, the man has a very very interesting history and life that came before his fooding success. That being said, his fooding endeavour did not start directly with this vision, but early in his career he began working in the industry as a pastry chef for several very known and reputed resaturants. But it all really began in 2002 when he opened Ottolenghi in Notting Hill.

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His dishes quickly sought praise, with a foundation on vegetables, crazy and inventive flavour combinations, and the essential Middle Eastern spices including za’atar, rose water and pomegranate molasses that must are completely unaccustomed to. The business has grown enormously since, and he now has a variety locations including a finer dining restaurant called Nopi. Each restaurant has a calm and “at home” ambiance. It’s always like I never left when I return to Ottolenghi. The only thing missing is, is that he has not opened in Paris (please come to Paris Mr. Otttolenghi). But at least he has published several cookbooks, so we can make our own attempts at home. Honestly, I cannot say enough positive things about this incredible chef. The only thing I can really say is that the next time you’re in London, you absolutely MUST visit Ottolenghi. As you can see from the photos, you will leave happy. Check their site for more info.

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34.4 Skin Care Naturally {aware and conscious beauty products that are all natural, made by hand and supporting the natural beekeeping trust}

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Last weekend while strolling through Broadway Market in London, I stumbled upon a true gem. Even though Elka was shutting down for the day, she quickly attended to the presence of a new customer at her stand. Intrigued by the various beauty products, like none I had seen before, I asked Elka, brand owner and founder, for a more information. Little did I know, there was quite a lot to know about this skin care brand.

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34.4 is a all natural skin care brand for women and men. All products are created by hand and are 100% all natural. Every sale supports the Natural Beekeeping Trust (an enterprise “hoping to inspire people to live in peace with the bees, be good hosts to them, guard them and grow for them, in all ways imaginable”) and is a registered Social Enterprise. Elka and her team see business as having an impact on both the individuals who work within it as well as the wider community. Another awesome anecdote – their products are tested on friends, not animals. And why the name? Well, it’s the optimum temperature for a brood to thrive in the heart of the beehive and the percentage (3.44%) that is donated to the Trust.

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So what product did I select?  Face No. 2 – an easily absorbed, light moisturiser, made with beeswax and honey blended with apricot kernel oil and coconut oil that is hydrating and even makes your skin radiate (if I do say so myself). The product can also be used as a makeup base, and it works excellently. Even cooler – 34.4º has a Cradle to Cradle® policy, meaning for every six empty black containers returned to them, you’ll be sent one free product of your choice. I can’t wait to try more of their products, as I truly believe in everything this wonderful brand stands for. Please check out their website for more information and stay tuned for some collaborative work together.

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The Hoxton + their fit fest {my hotel of choice that happens to be wellness friendly}

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Me and The Hoxton Hotel Group have been friends for some time now. My love affair with this hotel began a couple of years ago when the chain was much smaller. I stayed at their Shoreditch London location and I can assure you it was pretty much love at first sight. The chill vibe and the fun atmosphere sincerely resonated with me (and still does). They have now expanded to Amsterdam, they have another location in London at Holborn (where I stayed this past weekend) and even location in central Paris. They will soon be opening in Williamsburg, Brooklyn too. While I have yet to visit their Amsterdam location, I can assure you this sweet ambiance is present at all Hoxton locations, and I highly suggest you plan your next trip around one of their special locations.

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This weekend I happened to be in London for a very special event – their Fresh & Fit Fest. For the fourth consecutive year, the Hoxton organized a day congregating the biggest names in fitness, along with the best classes and trainers, the hippest activewear brands and the yummiest healthy foods for an event devoted to well-being. While I missed the boat on many of the fantastic and inspiring talks and fab yoga classes, I spent most of my day at their Health Food Market. Among my favorites were smoothies from Pit & Nut, a Pukka tea stand and a Rude Health tasting.

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It is so exciting to see such special health conscious events happening with such accessibility. Even cooler – The Hoxton offers monthly health events at all of their hotels. HUGE plus, as a guest, you receive a healthy breakfast bag every single morning with fresh yogurt, delicious granola, freshly squeezed orange juice and a banana. Just a quick aside that for me is a deal breaker. Make sure to follow their Instagram @thehoxtonhotel for all the details and subscribe to their newsletter in the bottom of their site’s homepage.

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Photo credit – The Hoxton

Where to practice yoga in London {triyoga has the hookup for pilates and spa treatments too and locations all over the city}

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I must admit it was not been an easy task to find good yoga in London (sorry, just being honest). After countless visits, I nearly gave up – but then I found Triyoga. This multi-functional studio is calm and offers many different styles of yoga as well as pilates and treatments. They have several locations all around the city. Even from my short weekend experience, I can assure you that each and every one of their studios is a truly peaceful environment made for well-being.

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While at Triyoga, I did three different classes at three different locations. Upon arrival on Friday night, I went to a Hot Yoga class at their Soho location. The location was in Kingsly Court, a happening indoor food market with fun lights and atmosphere. The class was not vinyasa, nor bikram but an more “hatha” based practice in a (very) heated room. The class was an open level class, but I appreciated the advanced options also available and instructed by teacher Giorgos Aleandris. On Saturday morning I ventured to Chelsea for a Vinyasa Level 2-3 with well known yogi Adam Hustler. The class was exactly as described and focused on correct alignment in more difficult postures. I left with my heart feeling open and a more fluid flow. For the grand finale – on my last day in London, I took a Warm Vinyasa class with Imi Wiseman at their Camden location. First – big nods to this Triyoga studio. It is like a mini yoga village and smells (literally and physically) zen. This included the class was next level (in every way) . The emphasis on breath combined with the flow sequence was absolutely fantastic and Charli’s energy was spot on. Please do not miss this Triyoga location, nor this class next time you’re in town (or if you happen to be a London Towner yourself).

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All in all I must say this has been far and away my best yoga experience in London. I recommend their studio whole heartedly. And hey – if you’re not a yogi, I do truly believe their treatments and pilates classes must be wonderful (seeing their success in the yoga world). Not to mention, they always have a juice bar and healthy snacks available for purchase at all of their studios. For more information check out their website.

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Deliciously Ella is really just that delicious {the kinda food that is healthy, good for you and super yummy}

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So I touched down in London town yesterday afternoon and I must say it has been a lovely little getaway thus far. Time for repo with my mother has been more than much needed and enjoying it at my favorite places has made it key. That being said, today I got to eat at my favorite healthy institution here in this darling city: Deliciously Ella.

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We arrived at midday hungry and ready to eat. Not only was the staff incredibly friendly and the ambiance immersed by solely good vibes, but the food was just to die for. I did a mixed plate – quinoa perfectly seasoned, smooth and creamy hummus, a incredibly flavorful falafel with curried cauliflower (@jjchase for foodporn). All I can say is wow. This combination was not only a dream, but likewise organic, vegan and gluten free(?) Ella takes all of her recipes seriously, and it shows. Everything is 100% plant based and catered to anyone’s faves (in the healthiest possible way). My mum enjoyed chili with red cabbage and corn bread. Oh la la! Did she leave a happy camper. Not to mention Deliciously Ella spent most of the day with us. I later enjoyed a Fiery Organic Ginger Shot alongside a ROOTS Juice (composed of carrots, apples, beets, lemon and ginger), yum. Mum had a peanut cookie, I DID try and wondered why I didn’t take one too.

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Ella herself has an incredibly story and it makes me feel truly blessed and grateful to enjoy her food and products. Don’t forget that her London restaurants are not her only gig. Ella has a bunch of other incredible products that have the same nutritional value system available in countless markets (for everyday enjoyment). She even has cookbooks. Click below for more info. (P.s. Ella, can you open in Paris soon?)