Top nutritionist, Hannah Braye reveals five ways to practice mindfulness through your gut
Many don’t realise that stress could be playing a major role in their digestive issues. In fact, for many IBS sufferers stress is a key trigger of symptoms. This is because when a person becomes stressed enough to trigger the ‘fight-or-flight’ response, digestion slows down or even stops so that the body can divert all its energy to facing a perceived threat, leading to abdominal pain and other digestive symptoms.
‘Gut-fullness’ is an extension of the practice of mindfulness and involves using techniques to help reduce stress levels in order to improve digestion. Below are 5 top tips on how you can start de-stressing your gut and improve symptoms today.
Five Top Tips For A Healthy Gut
Prepare your food
Digestion starts in the brain as we prepare our food. This is known as the cephalic stage of digestion and helps to stimulate bile, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, all of which are needed for the breakdown of food and absorption of nutrients. The modern reliance on convenience and pre-prepared foods often means that that this important stage of digestion is bypassed. Cooking from scratch and taking a few moments to really concentrate on the smell and texture of food may help get digestive juices flowing.
Check Your Heart Rate Variability
To best digest food we need to be in parasympathetic nervous mode (known as ‘rest and digest’). One quick and easy way to check this is by measuring your heart rate variability (HRV). As our heart doesn’t beat at a constant frequency, HRV (ie. the variability that occurs between heart beats), provides a way of objectively monitoring physiological stress. A low HRV indicates higher stress levels, meaning the body is less likely to be ready to receive food. There are phone apps available which can accurately monitor HRV by simply placing your thumb over the camera on your phone.
One method to help switch from fight or flight mode to rest and digest is to practice breathing exercises shortly before eating. Studies indicate that diaphragmatic breathing may reduce cortisol levels and trigger the body’s relaxation responses. Before eating try sitting for a few moments with your eyes closed. Inhale and exhale through the nose with the mouth closed, extending your breathe to its comfortable maximum (ie. inhaling as deeply as you can, and exhaling as fully as you can). As you breathe in the rib cage will move out and up, as you exhale the ribs will move in and down. Repeat 20 times and then take a few moments to let the breathe return to normal before eating.
Visualisation techniques are used by some as a way to focus the mind and program the brain. It entails sitting comfortably and quietly for a few moments with your eyes closed, whilst concentrating on a mental image. This may help down regulate the stress response and help prepare the body to eat. Some mindfulness experts recommend picturing your digestive tract as a long, calm river that flows gently, passing through the throat, stomach and intestines, cleansing, healing and helping your body to feel full of energy and life.
Look after your gut bacteria
More and more research is highlighting that the link between stress and digestive disorders is bidirectional. Therefore not only does stress impact digestion, but the health of the gut (and in particular its composition of bacteria) plays an influential role in what is going on in the brain. This is known as the ‘microbiota-gut-brain-axis’. Studies indicate that using a good quality multi-strain live bacteria supplement may help to modulate the stress response, which is likely to have knock on benefits for digestion. In fact, in the largest ever clinical trial conducted on live bacteria supplements in IBS patients recently shown that the 14 strains of bacteria in Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain Formula (£9.25 from bio-kult.com) not only dramatically improved abdominal pain in IBS patients but also reduced anxiety too.
In time for National Women’s Day, Absolutely celebrates women in design
WOMEN IN DESIGN
Amélie du Passage founded design brand Petite Friture in 2009 with the aim of asserting a distinct style and bringing with her an emerging French and European design scene. After its first five years, Petite Friture succeeded in disseminating its style and putting its name to products through more than forty collaborations, including the well-known Vertigo light, designed by Constance Guisset, which became a remarkable success. Recent collaborations include the Jetlag wallpaper by French illustrator, Lisa Laubreaux, the Dojo collection by AC/AL Studio and Max Enrich’s Thin coffee table; all of which were launched at 2018’s Maison&Objet.
Fran Hickman founded her design studio in January 2014. Working with architectural partners and contractors across a wide variety of residential and commercial interiors, as well as on custom products and furniture, Fran’s work is recognised for its bespoke, highly tailored approach. She draws on an extensive art and design vocabulary to create environments that are both elegant and engaging. Before establishing her own studio, Fran worked on interiors across the Soho House Group as well as for Waldo Works, where clients included Selfridges Personal Shopping, Smythson on Bond Street and Temperley. She has worked on residential projects all over Europe and in the United States.
Jessica Mason launched Piglet in January 2017 having worked for six years in PR and marketing in London and Dubai. During that time she represented a whole host of brands – from Aesop and Ray-Ban to Christian Louboutin – which helped to shape her idea of the kind of company she’s building. Jessica believes this is a really exciting time for e-commerce with more and more ways emerging to connect directly with customers in a meaningful and personal way. Piglet offers modern rustic bedding made from 100% French Flax linen available in a variety of on-trend colours including Sage, Blush, Dove Grey, and White. Jessica believes that a beautiful home doesn’t need to be high maintenance but that with high quality, natural basics even an unmade bed can be beautiful.
Ursula L’Hoste founded German design brand pulpo, in 2008, with her husband, Patrick L’Hoste. Prior to establishing pulpo, Ursula worked in marketing for various companies in Germany, London, and Basel. Ursula has a keen interest in contemporary art and together with Patrick, collects contemporary paintings, sculptures, and photographs from Frances Bacon and Cindy Sherman, to lesser known, younger and undiscovered artists. This mutual love for contemporary art inspired the celebration of colour, material, and texture which is at the heart of pulpo. Today, Ursula is in charge of all client management at pulpo.
Founded by the Essex girl Carolyn Clewer, and Parisienne Tiphaine de Lussy, Paris Essex is the result of years of collaboration between the two knitwear and textiles specialists, which began 26 years ago at the Royal College of Art. Paris Essex’s Crazy Blankets represent a creative dialogue between Clewer and de Lussy; the two take it in turns to play with crochet and knit, using mohair, wool and super-synthetics. Each blanket takes on its own personality as it grows organically and fluidly, with a process more akin to collage or patchwork than meticulously planned design. With names such as Heebie Jeebie, Zig Zag Bunny and Miss Harlow, each blanket tells its own story, mixing in patterns, shapes
Defne Koz is co-founder and partner of Koz Susani Design, an award winning, innovative studio based in Chicago where she designs iconic, emotionally engaging and award winning products and experiences. Her idea of design is influenced by her training in Ettore Sottsass’ studio, as well as her Turkish and Italian culture and her curiosity for different product types. To coincide with the recent Milan Design Week, Defne Koz collaborated with Istanbul-based design brand Nude to create the stunning Foresta coloured glass candle holder and the Layers coloured glass vase; both instant successes.
Whether it is textile wardrobes, marbled mirrors or plates with real flowers, German designer Meike Harde’s pieces of furniture, lighting, and accessories combine constructive as well as intuitive elements, always with a subtle poetic character. “An ornament should also serve a purpose”, says the award-winning designer from Cologne, who deliberately questions and reinterprets common production techniques. Meike’s works have been featured in numerous exhibitions, including the Holon Design Museum in Tel Aviv, and are distributed through a number of internationally renowned design manufacturers. Meike Harde met pulpo at the beginning of her career, while she was exhibiting in various galleries. Patrick and Ursula from pulpo fell in love with her experimental and methodical approach with colours and materials. Today, pulpo have worked with Meike Harde to produce three different designs, including Miro, Miro on the wall and most recently, the Potpourri glassware collection – all demonstrating her deep and sensitive understanding of shapes, shades, and surfaces.
New theatre, a mission to Mars and a wealth of vegan desserts to be enjoyed, here’s what not to miss this weekend in London…
Words Helen Brown
Here’s what not to miss this weekend in London
THE VEGAN TREAT SHOP BY BAILEYS
The Vegan Treat Stop by Baileys Almande is popping up in Soho Square for one day only, inviting dairy-free dessert devotees to indulge in a classic pud with a vegan twist. The Vegan Treat Stop appears hot on the heels of research, commissioned to mark the launch of Baileys Almande, which revealed that iconic desserts such as Cheesecake, Eton mess and banoffee pie are what the nation’s vegans miss the most when ditching the dairy. On 23rd March from 1pm until stocks last, visitors will be able to choose from a selection of five vegan-friendly and dairy-free versions of favourites such as eclairs and tiramisu. Free of charge, the sweet treats can then be enjoyed with a perfectly paired Baileys Almande, or taken away to be devoured elsewhere.
The Vegan Treat Stop by Baileys Almande, 13 Soho Square, W1D baileys.com
MACBETH AT THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
Shakespeare’s story of ruthless ambition is brought to life as Verdi’s Macbeth graces the stage of the Royal Opera House. Expect a bristling, theatrical score, rich costuming and magnificent cast; truly unmissable.
John Steinbeck’s powerful play about friendship and holding on to your dreams in brought to south west London from the producers of Avenue Q, The Crucible and Flashdance. Still relevant to modern times, the tale follows George and Lenny, two migrant workers who dream of owning their own ranch.
Prepare yourself for an out-of-this-world immersive cinematic experience like no other as Backyard Cinema launch their Mission to Mars. This latest theme from the movie mavericks will take visitors on a voyage of space-related discovery with Sci-Fi favourites including Interstellar, Men in Black, Star Trek and Gravity.
Looking for a new watering hole in London? Have your finger on the pulse with the best new bar openings in the capital
TRENDY BAR OPENINGS IN LONDON
Following a multi-million pound restoration project, the new club will open two doors down from its original site, in a 18th Century Georgian Townhouse at 46 Berkeley Square. For the first time Annabel’s will offer an all day and all-night experience. The club will include four restaurants, seven bars, two private dining rooms and a cigar salon, spread across four spacious floors which each representing a different garden. Rest assured the nightclub will pay homage to the decadent essence and abundant energy of the original Annabel’s.
Join the Putney Revolution! Situated on the corner of the Upper Richmond Road and Putney High Street, Revolution Cocktails and Kitchen has raised the bar to bring you the finest cocktails, delicious food and unforgettable fun. Housed in a former grand Victorian hotel, Revolution is spread across two levels with a main bar on the ground floor, serving its signature cocktails and extensive range of vodkas. Venture upstairs to find a fabulous roof terrace that provides the perfect al fresco hotspot for moonlit cocktails.
The bar at Serge et le Phoque provides an intimate and sophisticated drinking den. With a wine list curated by ex-Clove Club sommelier Bert Blaize that focuses on wines and champagnes from smaller producers who specialise in natural methodology. The Serge Bar serves a short list of apertifs and digestifs as well as 20 different wines served by the glass.
The Donovan Bar has long been known as one of the most intimate and sophisticated drinking dens in the city, playing host to gatherings of the most glamorous faces of Mayfair’s elite fashion and art scene. This iconic Mayfair institution has now officially reopened following a complete re-design by Olga Polizzi and Inge Moore. Experience the new exclusive drinks menu – with maestro Salvatore Calabrese creating 16 cocktails split into high, low contrast and exposure.
Swingers’ new West End venue takes crazy golf back to its seaside roots in a venue that reimagines the faded glamour of the 1920s English Riviera. Between rounds you can kick back and sit down thanks to the fact that each course comes with its own themed bar: there’s The Grand Hotel Bar which is essentially a freestanding building-within-a-building where you’ll find an island bar overflowing with leafy palms and the retro Bandstand Bar complete with a gorgeous canopy and festoon lighting.
Marcus Wareing has re-established one of London’s iconic bars to create an intimate and glamorous drinking spot. The well thought out drinks list with help from bar manager Dav Eames sees each cocktail inspired by unique flavour combinations. We’ll be trying the rhubarb gimlet and the pineapple and sage caipirinha. Come here to experience world-class cocktails within one of London’s most iconic 19th century surroundings.
Mixologist and bar owner, Tony Conigliaro, and chef Rob Roy Cameron have announced that they have secured a location for a joint venture called Gazelle which is set to open in Mayfair this May. Situated on Albemarle Street and located inside a 1820s Georgian building, this is their first joint venture where food will get equal billing along with the drinks. Don’t miss out on a chance to experience this cocktail and culinary dream team!
One of the most glamorous of the new bar openings, Bob Bob Ricard is branching out with a second site in May, and in the heart of the City no less. Taking up residence on the eighth floor of the Cheesegrater, Bob Bob Cite will be making this site even more luxurious whilst keeping Bob Bob Ricard’s winning features: Press for Champagne buttons will be returning and as well as the glamorous booth dining tables.
Ceramic Art London returns to King’s Cross, with dynamic displays from over 90 of the world’s most talented ceramicists
Ceramic Art London Returns
With packed courses, record sales and prime time TV programmes centred around the stuff, it seems we are a nation potty for ceramics. As one of the most ancient industries on the planet, ceramic artistry boasts an impressive history. From the moment humans discovered clay could be dug up from the ground and fashioned into the ancient urns of antiquity, to today’s commonplace cereal bowl, the technology and techniques in the art have undoubtedly changed but the basics remain the same.
Returning to its home in King’s Cross for a 15th edition, Ceramic Art London is the leading showcase for contemporary ceramic art and one of the most dynamic displays from the best in the business across the globe. This year’s fair takes place from 23-35 March at Central Saint Martins, home to over 100 years of ceramic art teaching. Guests can expect 91 of the world’s most distinguished ceramic artists and a varied selection of exciting and ambitious work.
For those already in the know, this is an opportunity to explore further and buy directly from the creator. For gallery owners and collectors, it’s an opportunity to snap up new talent and for the artists, Ceramic Art London offers a unique platform to showcase and sell their work. With pieces starting at just £15, the event offers collectors of all budgets the chance to take something away with them.
A quarter of the exhibiting makers are from overseas this year, with a third of them travelling from Korea. Reflecting the selectors’ desire to showcase CAL favourites whilst introducing new faces, this year’s fair features 20 first-time exhibitors, including well established potters Henry Pim, with his intricately engineered architectural structures, and Monika Debus, whose symbol laden pieces are the product of a practice that focuses on painting, calligraphy, experiment and chance. Rising star newcomers include Marike Jacobs with her multi-textured cups and pitchers and Hilary Mayo whose graceful, paint drip-effect creations subtly satirise the making process.
All the Easter food gifts you need for an unforgettable Easter banquet
The springtime is upon us, the daffodils are blooming and the Easter bank holiday is nigh. If you’re looking for a treat to be shared with the whole family this Easter then look no further. Our guide to Easter food gifts is guaranteed to make your taste buds tingle with everything from a selection of classic chocolate eggs, biscuits and even babkas. Don’t miss out on giving your loved ones a truly special treat this Easter!
A Guide to Easter Food Gifts
Daylesford Organic Dairy Free Rose and Almond Easter Egg, £20; daylesford.com
From Madeleine Shaw’s high and fast topside, to Nigella’s low and slow, heavy herbed lamb, here is how to get the best results from your Sunday Roast every time
Words Miriam Carey
How to make the perfect Sunday Roast
When it comes to traditional British dishes you can’t get much better than the humble roast. Originally it was the dish people cooked after attending church on a Sunday, hence often being called Sunday roast, however it is a versatile dish we often turn to on many occasions, including dinner parties, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day.
In its simplest form the Sunday roast is not much more than roast meat, herbs, a good quality fat, and selection of vegetables – yet it is so delicious. Being no more than its whole ‘food components’ the Sunday roast finds itself a health option. Also, depending on which cut of meat you buy and the cooking time, or indeed vegan dish you go for, the roast could be adapted for an evening or midweek.
Also, for those scared of the multi-tasking element, choose a simple recipe to start with, for example a one pot roast.
The meat is one of the most essential components of a roast. The typical choices tend to be chicken, beef, lamb or for a vegetable-based option – a nut roast. However, there is a whole host of other options available – vegetable wellington, roast salmon or sea bass, rack of lamb, partridge, quail, goose or venison.
Nigella is known for cooking a good roast lamb, the roast chicken is one of Mark Hix’s specialities in his restaurant, and for a mini mid-week roast, beef is one of Madeleine Shaw’s favourites.
What you need to think about when roasting beef is which cut to buy as you can roast so many bits of cow. Classic cuts include silverside, topside, rump, sirloin and fillet, which are usually all sold boneless. For beginners, boneless ribeye is probably the simplest tastiest option – cut from the eye of the ribs. However, roasting on the bone is known to provide the best flavour.
A good tip is to buy your joint from a butcher or market, not a supermarket. Beef should be dry to touch, have some marbling and not be bright red. Meat sweats so it should be hung to dry not vacuum packed – if the colour is red the meat has been kept in an oxygen-free environment.
Madeline Shaw chooses topside which is simply seasoned, before roasting for 40 minutes, in this easy mid-week roast recipe.
The main tip when buying chicken to roast is to purchase the best quality one you can and usually the most expensive. At a farm shop you should be able to find a bird that is organic and has lived free-range. Even if it was not reared on the farm they are likely to have a good relationship with the supplier.
In terms of seasoning you have lots of options. Using lemon will give you a citrusy flavour, or alternatively try orange or lime. This recipe using Valencia oranges, hot sauce, honey and ginger makes a lovely golden roast.
For a Scandi inspired dish try this roast chicken with dill and leeks.
This simply seasoned recipe by Mark Hix use salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, parsley and a generous amount of butter. The bird is cooked for 45 mins and rested for 10. Above all chicken likes to be not overcooked and likes to rest.
Cooking lamb is similar to beef, you must tackle the ultimatums: bone in or bone out? Quick and high or low and slow? Boneless cuts of lamb are easier to deal with – especially when serving, however the bone yields tons of deep flavour.
As for the temperature, when you’re cooking tender portions of lamb, you can get away with quicker cooking times at higher temperatures. A cut from the centre of the lamb, for example the rack, is softer and more tender. A cut from lower part of the body such as the shoulder tends to be less tender, so should be cooked longer and slower temperatures so it falls of the bone.
Lamb, especially strong-flavoured, gamey varieties, need marinating in strong flavours. In this recipe Nigella uses oregano, rosemary, garlic, lemon, orange, olive oil and salt, and slow cooks the lamb for 140 minutes before resting for 30 mins.
Top Nutritionist, Liam Mahoney reveals his six top tips to help fight those cravings and suppress your appetite
Healthy tips to suppress your appetite
Your body relies on food for energy, so it’s normal to feel hungry if you don’t eat for a few hours. But if your stomach has a constant rumble, even after a meal, there are a few simple yet effective ways you can tweak your diet and lifestyle to help you feel fuller for longer. Top Nutritionist, Liam Mahoney from leading Active Nutrition and protein brand Grenade shares his six top tips to combat hunger.
EAT MORE PROTEIN
Protein is a staple of any healthy diet, with numerous studies showing that protein is the most filling and metabolism boosting of all the macronutrients. To get more protein into your diet and curb hunger cravings it is important to try and consume protein at every meal. Packing more protein into your diet can really help to keep hunger at bay, so opt for lean meats, lentils, eggs and oats to up your protein intake at meal times. Snack wise, I recommend carrying a protein bar with you to make sure you’re not tempted by unhealthy, un-filling options which could only leave you feeling hungrier, and as a result, overeating. I recommend the Carb Killa bars from Grenade, each bar is packed with over 20g of protein, and at just 220 calories per bar, they’re the ideal alternative to chocolate and convenience foods. They’re also packed with fibre and contain less than 1.5g of sugar.
DRINK MORE WATER
Water intake is incredibly important for your overall health, but it can also help to make you feel full. The body finds it difficult to tell the difference between hunger and thirst, meaning that often when you feel hungry, a glass of water could do the trick. Aim to drink around 2-3 litres of water each day, and also try to incorporate water-based foods into your diet, such as broccoli, asparagus, or celery, as these too can help to control hunger pangs.
CUT BACK ON STARCHY, SUGARY CARBS
Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not the enemy. However, certain starchy, sugary carbs, such as, white bread, cakes and cookies are nothing but empty calories that will leave you feeling incredibly unsatisfied. They will satisfy your hunger pangs for a short period of time, but soon after you’ll be craving something else. If your diet is packed with these kinds of foods, you’ll very rarely stay full and often end up craving more and more sugar, which isn’t good news for your health, or your waistline. Pay close attention to the nutritional content of the foods you’re eating, as fruits and vegetables loaded with fibre can help to suppress your appetite and leave you with more energy.
EAT LITTLE AND OFTEN
Eating a large meal comprised primarily of refined starchy foods will cause the sugar level in your blood to rise, but once that meal is digested, energy levels crash and then sugar cravings begin to strike. The bigger the meal, the higher your need for sugary snacks to refuel your body, and eating an entire bag of crisps or chocolate might satisfy a craving, but it won’t curb the hunger, so you end up eating more. Frequent, small meals on the other hand deliver manageable amounts of energy, keeping blood sugar levels stable and hunger under control, whilst allowing the body to function more efficiently throughout the course of the day.
PLAN AND PREP
Planning and preparing what you are going to eat in advance will encourage you to make conscious choices about your food. When you plan ahead, you may notice that your appetite actually decreases because you’re aware of what you are going to eat next, so you will be less likely to worry about your cravings and impulsively snacking. Food journaling is also a great way of keeping track of what you are eating, as it will encourage you to consider what you’ve already eaten, and what you plan to eat later. When you plan and prep, you can ensure you are eating foods that will satisfy your hunger and keep you fuller for longer.
GET MORE SLEEP
When sleep is interrupted or shortened, ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates appetite, often referred to as the ‘hunger hormone’ increases and leptin, the hormone that will suppress your appetite decreases. To keep your levels of ghrelin down, aim to get the recommended eight hours of sleep a night and avoid foods and meals high in sugar before bedtime, as they will cause a surge in blood sugar and increase energy, which in turn will disturb your sleep, making you feel cranky and hungry the next day.
With each of us contributing to plastic pollution every day, follow our simple tips to reduce waste
Simple Tips to Reduce Plastic Waste
It seems that the world is finally realising the disastrous impact that plastic waste is having on our oceans. Oceanic Global has said that each year we throw away enough plastic to circle the earth and that areas of our oceans contain six times more plastic than life. The real question is: what are we going to do about it?
This is where we can help change these statistics. By altering our daily routine in the slightest way, we can have a real impact. Influencer Plastic Preacher (@plasticpreacher) blogs about simple ways to cut down on plastic and says the best advice is to ‘be prepared’.
That’s why we’ve created a list of simple sustainable tips we can all follow to make a difference.
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)
Who needs to pay 5p when you can just bring your own? This is probably the simplest and easiest way to cut down your plastic waste. Make sure you pack a reusable bag every time you leave the house, as you never know when the urge to shop may strike! There are plenty of environmentally friendly bags you can use. String and tote bags are light and easy to carry with you wherever you go.
Shop The Products, Not The Packaging
While it can be difficult to avoid plastic packaging when doing your weekly shop, it’s good to know that London is quickly expanding its waste-free shops. Customers are meant to bring their own containers with them to refill with products like pasta, tea leaves and even shampoo. Alongside dried goods there’s also toiletries like bamboo toothbrushes, paper-wrapped toilet roll and even dog food. Whole Foods, Hoxton Fruit and Veg and As Nature Intended all encourage zero waste shopping.
Stop Buying Bottled Water
Seeing as we are lucky enough to live in a country where our tap water is of the best quality, we have no excuse when it comes to buying bottled water. In the UK we use more than 35 million plastic bottles every year. The simplest way to reduce that number is to carry a reusable bottle like the ones from S’well with you every day. There’s even an refill app that tells you where to refill your bottle for free.
The Last Straw
Bars tend to get overexcited when it comes to adding straws to your favourite cocktail so it’s your job to say no. If you’re really passionate about changing the tide on plastic straws, Greenpeace suggests getting proactive. Don’t shy away from asking the manager at your local pub or Pret to replace their straws with biodegradable paper ones.
Invest In A Spork
When it comes to lunchtime in the office, this is your time to shine. Ok, so we agree it may not be the most fashionable of accessories but it will stop you from taking plastic cutlery from the local salad bar. Take pride in no plastic!
Cut The Cup
Despite looking like they’re made of cardboard, 99 per cent of disposable coffee cups are not recyclable. Every minute over one million cups end up in landfills. The quick fix? Buy a reusable cup to take with you on your caffeine mission. Not only will you be helping reduce plastic waste but you’ll also be helping your bank account. Coffee chains will reward you if you bring in a reusable cup with Pret and Costa discounting 50p from any hot drink.
Not only is gum bad for bloating and enamel, it’s even worse for the environment. The reality is that the gum we chew is plastic and it’s impossible to recycle. Consider giving it up altogether or switching to mints.
Get A Milkman
Surprisingly, there are still plenty of milkmen doing the early morning rounds. So instead of lugging your plastic pint back from the supermarket, have a reusable glass bottle delivered straight to your door. This is effortless and will take you one quick phone call.
Clean Up Your Act
Re-thinking everyday cleaning products, such as machine washable dishcloths, is another good way to reduce plastic waste. A silicon dish scrubber makes for a good swap, and since it’s washable and reusable, it’s also cost-effective.
Say No To Takeaways
Though Deliveroo are looking to reduce plastics in their takeaway packaging, it’s better not to order one altogether. If you can’t afford the time, or added cost, of dining in, you could grab one of the reusable glass or tupperware containers and see if you’re local deli will fill it for you. Planning meals ahead of time will help you resist the urge for an instant meal.
Whisky has never been more fashionable, with a host of cool whisky bars in London to cater for your obsession. So if you’re a lover of this malted grain and fancy exploring drams from Scotland or even Japan, check out our top ten favourite bars
Words Georgie Rutherford
Top 10 whisky bars in London
Spice and Rye
Join Glenmorangie at their pop up Spice & Rye bar and celebrate the return of rye whiskey. A gorgeously clandestine, dimly–lit, whisky laced speakeasy on Percy Street. Decked out in authentic 30s style and furnished with grandfather’s armchairs, you’ll sip your way through a world-class selection of whiskies. At the bar guests can enjoy whisky cocktails inspired by the era such as the Chapel St. Sour accompanied by the swinging sounds of a live jazz band. Open for five nights only, guests are invited to pre-book early to make sure they don’t miss out!
The Vault of Soho
If you’re looking for top quality whisky, Milroy’s – London’s oldest whisky shop – has lit a new spark in its underground cavern. Head downstairs to the basement bar, aka The Vault, via a ‘hidden’ door and arrive in a dimly lit room with dark-hued furnishings. With an unpretentious and whisky cocktail list, this is bound to be a visit you’ll never forget.
In the labyrinth of streets behind Liverpool Street Station sits one of the most revolutionary whisky bars in London. With no actual bar, you work your way through three cabinets filled with over 250 bottles of whisky all organised by flavour profile: smoky, fruity and spicy. Not forgetting the bar’s main attraction, the two booze-filled rivers flowing through an 18 foot oak tree trunk table. Trust me, the novelty of this bar will never wear off.
One of our favourite whisky bars in London, find this whisky haven tucked away in a deserted alley off Fleet Street. There are a stupendous 500 bottles of Scotch and Irish whisky stocked behind the bar – famous for their youthful and uplifting flavours. The bartenders know all the prices by heart so make sure to ask before you buy. Don’t miss out on Whisky Wednesday, where the first shot – poured while you peruse – is on the house.
Nestled at the end of Bethnal Green Road, this pub is a cosy hideaway filled with a spectacular collection of Irish whisky. There are over 70 to sample, as well as a few famous whisky cocktails. The stripped back interior and the retro turntable pays homage to the history and charisma of this east London favourite.
Go on a voyage of discovery in this brooding basement. Split over two floors, the upstairs is ideal for affordable aperitivos while the basement is the perfect nightcap destination. There are 250 drams to explore and over half of them are Scotch and the rest hail from Ireland, Japan and America. The space is intimate and cool – the perfect date night destination – with art deco features throughout. Promising a slightly darker approach from the crisp cocktail menu upstairs, down here you can expect more complex cocktails and possibly the biggest whisky library in London.
Opposite the iconic Tea building in Shoreditch sits this whisky bar with a subtle hint of the Orient. The ‘oriental curiosities’ theme continues with the décor as well as the menu with activated charcoal found in everything from the burger buns to the cocktails. The whisky collection isn’t overwhelming and feels well thought out, featuring a few exclusive finds including Karuizawa. Dare to try something new because you won’t be disappointed.
A big favourite with the Scottish whisky fans is the Boisdale’s whisky bar, a 12 metre long ‘amber wall of liquid gold’ that holds over 1000 bottles of malt whisky. This place is Scottish in both style and substance, with crimson red walls and tartan seating – while the cigar room and heated terrace are the perfect finishing touches.
Inside this decadent five star hotel, you’ll find a treasure trove of rare whisky. Though they’ve recently trimmed their collection to around 52, all are extremely special bottles including The Athenaeum’s own unique blend. Whiskies range in price from £9 to an astounding £342 for a Glenvit 1984. So if you’re willing to splash out on something special, this is the place to go.