Our team are just back from a whistle-stop trip to London where we explored some of the hottest restaurants and food stores in the city – to learn more about the latest trends.
London is heaving with great spots from traditional restaurants to upmarket trendy destinations and we keep a close eye on what’s happening there. There’s plenty of indulgent foods on offer throughout the city but health food is most definitely on-trend.
“Food to go” is another growing area and there’s a huge variety of products from speciality stores to suit all dietary requirements but be warned – they’ll set you back a little more.
Our chefs couldn’t wait to get back to our innovation centre to experiment with some new ideas!
Here’s a few interesting places we visited……
77/78 Marylebone High St, Marylebone, London W1U 5JX, UK
Natural Kitchen’s flagship store is on Marylebone High Street and was opened in 2009. They now has seven stores across the city and are very popular with Londoners, city workers, locals and tourists. Natural Kitchen sells an excellent standard of fresh produce, sourced as locally as possible in their airy, rustic premises.
The store offers healthy, freshly prepared food and drink, with an extensive salad deli, coffee & juice bar as well as A la Carte dining and Mojitos (the not-so-healthy option!).
The instore butcher counter has some amazing food on offer – brought in three times a week from a Kentish farm.
We really loved how all the ingredients were so fresh – crucially important in any good food business.
6-8 Blandford Street, Marylebone W1U 4AU
Daylesford is all about organic, seasonal, and delicious food. The majority of products sold in both the shop and cafe are 100% organic and sourced from the Daylesford farm in Gloucestershire, and they also sell a variety of products from branded food suppliers. The shelves are packed with health food products that are a real hit with the customers.
There were wonderful displays of vibrant, in-season organic vegetables. Much of their own brand produce included cheddar, soups, sauces, bone broths, meat, quail eggs. There were some unusual varieties of grains, French and Italian cheeses and pasta complimented by tasty sauces.
A lot of customers were ordering healthy soups – this is a big trend we’re also seeing at Simply.
5 Upper St Martin’s Lane, WC2H 9EA
Starbucks Reserve has been creating quite a stir so we thought we’d head along to St Martin’s Lane and see what all the fuss is about. Reserve is a new concept store and there are currently two in London – the second is in Stansted airport.
Starbucks Reserve is quite different from a standard store in terms of layout and they have an evening menu and serve beer and wine after 4 PM.
Unique espresso blends and a more upmarket, luxurious layout are being rolled out with this new exciting concept. This approach highlights Starbucks as a specialist in the coffee arena, with take home beans available to buy. Among the reserve espressos, for example, is the Peru Bagua Grande, which offers “medium acidity and body, floral aroma, along with notes of candied lemon and chocolate”, costing in the region of £6.00 a cup. Yikes!
When we visited, the store was really busy so people are obviously willing to pay that bit extra for a quality product from a supplier they know and trust.
400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
Selfridges is a chain of world famous department stores with their flagship site on Oxford Street. They have a rich history and first opened their doors way back in 1909.
Selfridge’s core theme is about the spirit of innovation and creativity which is often reflected in their stunning shop windows, a primary feature of the Oxford St store.
Selfridges say they are “a shopping experience that promises to surprise, amaze and amuse its customers by delivering extraordinary customer experiences”.
The Hemsley + Hemsley café is an interesting and very popular spot and it fits into the health and wellness trend. Specialist counters included a beautifully laid out cheese selection and fresh spaghetti from the deli counter. They offer a large variety of vitamin rich raw foods and a wonderful selection of spices. Plenty of gorgeous desserts on the menu too so we felt obliged to treat ourselves!
Innovation Leading the Way
One key trend that seems to be across the board is innovation and creating new and exciting food ideas. Everyone is talking about food these days and dietary awareness has never been higher. Modern foodies love trying new things and experimenting with new flavours.
If you’re looking to produce something new and innovative, get in touch with us and we can work together to create something magical.