The Retreat Kitchen is a lovely new addition to London’s vegan food scene. Tucked away on Hill Rise in Richmond, this cute little café can be easily overlooked. It is co-owned by TV presenter Nick Knowles, Maggie Nuttal and Claire Langdon who met on BBC’s TV series The Retreat, where they embarked on a life changing 28-day detox programme in Thailand. Back in the UK, they decided to share their new found love for a plant-based diet by setting up The Retreat Kitchen where they offer delicious homemade vegan dishes, organic teas, smoothies and even vegan afternoon tea!
There are now more places than ever that have herbivores covered in London and it is so nice to see a vegan café opening in my borough as well. That said, The Retreat Kitchen is not only for those avoiding meat, fish & dairy but also for people like me who value meat-free days which are not only good for the environment but our bodies too and with places like this there’s really no excuse not to go meat-free every now and then.
However, it wasn’t on one of those meat-free days that I first came across The Retreat Kitchen, instead, it was on a rather hectic day with little time to bother about food at all. I was just in need of something quick to eat when I saw this nice, little cafe opposite from the bus stop where I was waiting and I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of healthy looking salads as well as quiche on the counter which quickly filled up my takeaway box. It was a delicious lunch, healthy & nourishing and perfect on a day like that and I was happy to be invited back to have a nice sit-down meal which started with a Green Giant (picture above right), packed with goodness from a combination of spinach, kale, banana, mango, kiwi, apple juice, spirulina, chlorella & wheatgrass – highly recommend it!
For lunch, I opted for a selection of their beautiful salads, decorated with a few edible flowers & quiche as well as a small sample of their curry of the day. The food was utterly delicious and you’d never guess that no eggs or dairy are used in their recipes. Maggie & Claire’s passion for plant-based food really shines through their lovingly created vegan dishes that are everything but boring!
It was also nice to try a selection of their desserts – lemon & poppyseed cake, chocolate muffin and a small piece of their coffee & walnut cake which was my favourite. The coffee served at the café is supplied by the Old Spike Roastery in Peckham – a social enterprise supporting people experiencing homelessness in the UK. Oat milk forms the base of their coffee’s, alternatively, it is also possible to have cow’s milk instead which reflects their openness and welcoming attitude towards non-vegans.
I will be back for sure and next time I might even pair lunch with a glass of their vegan wine or prosecco. It is a great place to be introduced to vegan food if you have not tried it before in a friendly ambience and owner’s that care about their community with leftover food finding its way to The Vineyard food bank nearby. The BBC series ‘The Retreat’ is now also available on Netflix.
The Retreat Kitchen
16 Hill Rise Richmond
Open weekdays (except Monday’s) from 9 am to 5 pm and on weekends between 10 am – 5 pm.