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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Photo credit – The Hoxton