Consistently pushing ahead of global trends, London has been busy reinventing itself as an eco-warrior. Plastic is out, upcycling is in, ‘sustainability’ is a key word in every Londoner’s vocabulary and entertainment comes with a healthy side of social responsibility. Here are our top picks for an eco-friendly visit to London.
For menus that are as environmentally conscious as they are delicious, little rivals the British capital’s gastronomic scene. Here, vegan dishes are perked up with Michelin stars by the likes of buzzing bistro Pollen Street Social and Indian Gymkhana, with many of London’s go-to favourites flying the flag for a farm-to-fork philosophy. One such stalwart is acclaimed chef Skye Gyngell’s Spring, whose well-appointed menu lurches indulgently from local oysters to guinea fowl alongside sustainable initiatives to reduce food waste and single-use plastics. Strident eco-foodies should head to Wild Food Café in Covent Garden for an innovative, purely plant-based menu of inspired ingredients… the vegan cheesecakes are not to be missed.
A century after the Arts and Crafts movement set the tone for London’s 1920s aesthetic, crafting has reinvented itself in the capital. This time, the focus is on side-stepping the production line and upcycling pre-loved treasures. From spoon-carving at The Good Life Centre to pottery at Camden Arts Centre and creating unique shibori (stitching) indigo-dyed gifts, there’s plenty to suit all tastes and abilities in London’s eco-crafting scene.
London’s high-octane, round-the-clock lifestyle has resulted in the need for wellness, an industry that’s now booming. The capital is peppered with excellent spas that harbour a determinedly holistic, all-natural approach. For one of the finest, duck into Espa Life at Corinthia and relax beneath the soothing strokes of their Inner Calm Massage. Using breathwork to balance, aromatherapy to invigorate and rose quartz to nurture, it’s a firm rebuttal of chemicals and additives.
Generously scattered with royal parks, the capital offers plenty of opportunity to get outside and take a breath of fresh air, with centuries-old trees and acres of green spaces to enjoy. To get more involved in the capital’s green credentials, join up for some community tree planting. For those who prefer grass to the treadmill, Green Gym combines working out with keeping public greens and gardens clean and well-maintained.
When it comes to shopping high-end international brands, London takes the crown. But it’s not only a paradise for those seeking big-name retail outlets. A cluster of fiercely sustainable, eco-centric boutiques and markets is carving its way into the heart of the city. Daylesford Farm Shop & Café is piled high with plump organic fare direct from its farm in the Cotswolds. The Organic Pharmacy, with branches throughout the capital, favours natural remedies over pharmaceuticals. For responsible fashion, vintage couture finds a new home at Beyond Retro, while The Old Truman Brewery is home to an abundance of eco-friendly London entrepreneurs and crafters.