The Wandering Mother | Family Lifestyle Blog

The most instagrammable places to eat in London

I can’t believe how quickly this year has flown by! New Year celebrations are a great way of getting everyone together, especially if it’s with family and loved ones. I’ve been actively trying to be less consumed by social media but it’s pretty hard when as soon as you open instagram, a million and one fabulous places pop up and then your bucket list of places to go just gets longer.

I created this post because I wanted to share some of my favourite places and some insta-famous places in London where you can get something to eat (or perhaps drink). I’ve only been to a couple but committed to getting out more and exploring these wonderful places.

The most instagrammable places to eat in London

Instagrammable Restaurants

Bob Bob Ricard, Soho
Best known for… the champagne button

The Most Instagrammable Restaurants in London | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
Photo Credit: Bob Bob Ricard
London's Most Instagrammable Restaurants | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
The BBR Signature Glory / Photo Credit: Standard Online

After being introduced to this restaurant by my best friend it’s now become one of my favourite restaurants. Its fine-dining prices are compensated by the generous portions. Bob Bob Ricard is an adults-only dining place so bare this in mind if you have young children and wanted to dine with them. Under 14s are not permitted here however if you’re planning a meal with your friends or partner, it’s a fabulous place to eat. The food cuisine is Russian and British which threw me off at the beginning but it’s fantastic and everything is cooked with perfection.

We went here for Daddy P’s 30th birthday (see photos of our day) and I was blown away again by the opulent decor and good food. Our favourite thing to order was the pelmeni for the starter, mariner’s fish pie and lobster mash for the mains and for dessert, the BBR signature chocolate glory which looks amazing and eating it is really a little experience in itself! The waiter/waitress comes over to drizzle hot chocolate sauce over your beautiful gold ball to reveal the delicious goodness inside… amazing!

The Ivy Chelsea Garden, Chelsea
Best known for… the floral installations

London's most instagrammable restaurants | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
The front door arrangements of The Ivy Chelsea Garden

I’m sure anyone who passes the doors of The Ivy Chelsea Garden is bound to be tempted to take a photo. Look at the glorious arrangement – it always looks so opulent and beautiful! For this festive season, they’ve kitted it out in the style of a gingerbread house – check it out on their instagram page, @ivychelsgarden

I have been to the Ivy Cafe in Blackheath and really loved the environment. The Chelsea Garden branch is like a super-magnified version of that – all the photos of the interior decor is amazing and so beautiful. However if you’re not a big fan of botanical plants and flowers, it may not be the best place to eat for you. It really does feel like you’re dining in a garden at The Ivy.

The Oval at the Wellesley, Knightsbridge
Best known for… the fine dining experience

London's most instagrammable restaurants | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
Photo credit: Tripadvisor

I’ve only just discovered this place and it looks amazing. It looks really fancy so I don’t think it’s a place you’d feel comfortable cam-whoring at but a shot like the one above would be dreamy! The Wellesley also have a jazz lounge where they have live piano music playing daily and serve afternoon tea.

Again, it’s another pricey place to eat but the menu looks good.

Aqua Shard, London Bridge
Best known for… the views of London

London’s most instagrammable restaurants | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
Photo Credit: Aqua Shard

I have only been to the Aqua Shard restaurant once for a friend’s birthday but the food was great and the views were even better. Service was good and the food tasted delicious but slightly on the small side for me. It’s not a place where you can arrive hungry and expect to leave feeling full or with a food baby. You need to have something light to eat beforehand to leave feeling ‘content’. The tables are lovely and even if you’ve not got a window seat you can still catch a glimpse of the skyline.

If you’re planning to head here for just the drinks, the bar area gets really busy. Not ideal if you’re short like me because everyone else felt like they were towering over me with their sky-high stilettos. Some advice – if you’re dining in the evening, dress to impress. It’s a formal dress code so make sure you’re looking extra special.

Clos Maggiore, Covent Garden
Best known for… the romantic setting

The most instagrammable restaurants in London | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
Photo Credit: Trip Advisor

A restaurant after my own heart. Look at that romantic atmosphere, the ceiling is adorned with fairy lights, white cherry blossoms, a roaring fireplace – it’s absolutely beautiful! It’s been dubbed as ‘World’s Most Romantic Restaurant’ and it’s not hard to see why! Clos Maggiore serves contemporary French cuisine. I haven’t dined here yet but my sister has and she said she loved the setting but not a fan of the food. Check out their menu before booking so you’re not disappointed because it’s not the cheapest place to dine either.

Sketch London, Mayfair
Best known for… The Gallery aka David Shrigley’s pink room

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Sketch - London's Most Instagrammable places to eat

This is one place I am dying to go! According to Secret London, Sketch is one of the most beautiful restaurants in London. Located in Mayfair on Conduit Street, it’s not cheap here but it’s different compared to your usual dining experience. Afternoon tea here in The Gallery aka the pink room, surrounded with artwork and crockery commissioned by David Shrigley is amazing. The cute little tea cups, tea pots and plates are labelled with creative text (they are also available to buy!) and the sandwiches and pastries look good… and very instagrammable indeed!

*updated review*
I went here with a girl friend for afternoon tea and I can say it was a lovely experience, the food was very tasty and you can get endless refills on teas and sandwiches. I also took photos of our food but the majority of my time whilst eating and people-watching, it seemed like people were more concerned with taking selfies and getting that perfect food photo than actually eating it.


Prettiest Cafes in London

Élan Cafe, various locations
Best known for… the pretty pink flower wall and decor

Élan cafe, also known as EL&N (Eat, Love & Nourish) must be one of the ULTIMATE pink cafes that is known for it’s insta-worthy status. I love the style of this cafe and it really is one of the prettiest cafe in London – it’s definitely the pinkest! It’s a great place to go for an all girls catch-up. As they don’t have a reservation system, you can end up queuing for a while. It’s a popular with models, influencers, bloggers and anyone wanting a piece of the insta-worthy-selfie-pie. Turnover for your table is 1.5-2hrs max so you won’t be able to spend a whole afternoon at this gorgeous place. Time is money right?

The prices are really high (somewhat extortionate for some drinks ie. the butterfly pea latte which is £15!) so it’s a place for a treat than a regular coffee spot. You’re looking at £6 for a matcha latte, £4.50-4.80 for a regular latte or cappuccino and snack bites start from £5. I’m not a massive fan of their food, drinks are okay but the winning dessert has to be their giant strawberry macaron which actually tastes as good as it looks.

Palm Vaults, Hackney
Best known for… the vegan cakes, hanging plants & rainbow lattes

London's most instagrammable places to eat | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
Palm Vault’s cute and quirky decor / Photo Credit: QNOLA

I first came across Palm Vaults by chance through a friend – she posted an instagram story of her pink latte and I instantly fell in love… after that I was on the hunt for pink lattes. I love matcha lattes and before rainbow lattes were popular, the hulk-looking latte was the only coffee alternative you could get. At the cafe, I tried either the velvet rose or pink velvet tonic latte (the difference is rosewater in the velvet rose one) which tasted okay but not what I expected. However, their pink latte was so so much better than the one at Élan cafe and for a cheaper price too!

I also tried the ‘blue moon’ tea latte (Thai butterfly tea, lavender, oat milk) and it was AMAZING! I would definitely order this one again as it tasted like a mild lavender latte – really delicious and it tastes nice. The vegan cakes are delicious and the icing doesn’t taste overly sweet. Check out Sweet Monday’s review of Palm Vaults for an idea of what to expect. This place is currently one of my favourite vegan cafes.

*UPDATE* Unfortunately this cafe is now permanently closed. There’s rumours that they may re-open but nothing has been confirmed. So for now, we can only enjoy previous reviews and photos of this amazing place.


Insta-worthy Bars

Tonight Josephine, Waterloo
Best known for… the cocktails & THAT neon sign

The most instagrammable places in London | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
Photo Credit: Google

Okay, so this one is not really a restaurant or place to eat but it is DEFINITELY one of the most instagrammable places in London! Tonight Josephine is a new and trendy bar that popped up in Waterloo. They have another trendy bar opening soon in Shoreditch which will also be kitted out in the same pink glitzy glamour.

I’m not a drinker so I haven’t been but my other sister went for a night out with her girls here and they absolutely loved it. Banging tunes, fantastic cocktails and mocktails (non-alcoholic cocktails) and of course, loads of chances to cam-whore with the surroundings and especially those insta-famous neon signs. Just type in the hashtag #tonightjosephine on instagram and you’ll see what I’m on about!

Sky Garden, Fenchurch Street
Best known for… the rooftop garden

London's Most Instagrammable Places to Eat | The Greenwich Mummy Blog
Photo Credit: Google

Sky Garden is a rooftop garden in the middle of the city which you can visit for free but entry needs to be pre-booked online. You also need to make sure you have a valid form of photo identification to enter. Families and children are permitted to enter but under 16s are not permitted to enter without an accompanying adult. There are several restaurants and bars at Sky Garden including the Fenchurch restaurant and the Darwin Brasserie which overlooks the garden.

It’s a great place to visit which is on my to-do list but as the entry is so popular, the free tickets always sell out before I can book them. Admissions go live on their website every Monday for two weeks ahead. It’s only an hour’s admission but if you can book yourself into one of the bars i.e. Sky Pod Bar or restaurants, your entry to the Sky Garden is free. Be aware, the temperature is similar to the weather outside so if it’s a cold day, wrap up warm as it’ll be chilly inside the Sky Garden too.

SushiSamba, Heron Tower
Best known for… the bamboo ceiling & the drinks

The Most Instagrammable restaurants in London
Photo Credit: SushiSamba

A great place to eat, drink, and party! SushiSamba Heron Tower is a very popular place to go after work and even more so on the weekends. The decor is simple but very stylish – I really love the bamboo ceiling, it’s something you don’t normally see with London architecture. I haven’t been here yet so hard to comment on the nightlife here but everyone has told me the atmosphere is very lively and amazing.

Bon Appétit!

NB. This post contains affiliate links.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review

Food Review: Beefeaters Woolwich

Being on my fitness journey, I have learnt that being healthy is not about restricting yourself or cutting out foods, it’s about making better food choices but also allowing yourself to eat freely from time to time. That is what makes healthy eating more sustainable.

I don’t believe in all the ‘clean eating’ stuff, I’m more of the flexible IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) eating kinda gal. 🙂 Even sometimes macro counting goes out of the window for me. I still make conscious decisions to watch my carb intake – not because I don’t want to eat a lot of carbs – but because of my gestational diabetes diagnoses in both pregnancies I just want to err on the cautious side of things.

Last week I visited this lovely new steak restaurant, Beefeater Woolwich. Woolwich Arsenal has undergone a series of redevelopments to sass up the area. Not a bad thing as it’s nice to bring fresh people to the area but I can’t help feeling like eventually my lovely rough-around-the-edges town will become fully gentrified. Last year’s Marks and Spencer relaunch was nice to witness because there’d always been an M&S in Woolwich so it was welcomed back with open arms. However I am not so sure if the same can be said for some of the other new food places that have cropped up there.

First Impressions
Beefeater in Woolwich is located on the main road underneath its Premier Inn hotel counterpart. I suppose quite a few of the hotel residents would dine here are its the closest restaurant to the hotel (Nandos is second) that opens late enough for food in Woolwich. From the outside, the restaurant looks quite modest and blends in well with the surroundings, only the giant signage gives away their location. My table was booked for 6:30pm and by then it was already dark outside so luckily the brightly lit sign helped me find my way to the restaurant entrance.IMG_9270

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I went along as a lone diner as my dining partner (my sister) had to drop out at the last minute. I didn’t mind but felt a little apprehensive because I have never really dined alone and just had visions of being seen as a loner whilst everyone else was sitting with their friends and family eating, laughing and having fun. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t that bad. I was greeted by a lovely member of staff who escorted me to my table. I told her I was dining alone and she sat me opposite the open kitchen and said that the booth is popular with people who dine alone and work/business diners who need to use their laptops whilst lunching/dining. That made me feel a little bit more at ease.

The interior decor has a modern rustic look with wooden panels and a mix of leather sofas and fabric chairs. I really liked the industrial-inspired lighting and beef cuts hanging decoration. I also loved my view of the open kitchen, I would definitely ask to be seated in the same place I sat.

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Menus for the evening; an a la carte menu and a set menu to choose from

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My view of the open kitchen

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Loving the decor of the place and the big beef cuts hanging plaque

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The Menu
From hindsight, the options I chose may not appeal to everyone but I really enjoyed my dishes. After speaking with my sister, she made a big deal about not combining seafood with steak – I didn’t know that was even a thing but there you go. Lesson learnt. The food was good, the portions were very generous and the price was affordable. I would definitely recommend Beefeater Woolwich to anyone who is local, travelling to the area or staying nearby. It’s our first steak restaurant in the area and I am sure they will become a popular choice for families wanting to eat out.

The Food
As soon as I was sat down, the host took my drinks order; I don’t drink so just went for a diet cola and a glass of water. For starters, I ordered the garlic prawn pan – I really fancied something not too heavy and you can’t really go wrong with grilled prawns. The starter took about 7-10 mins to arrive and it was lovely, hot and well presented.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review
Garlic prawn pan with ciabatta bread

The prawns were cooked well, not overdone nor under-cooked and I used the bread to dip the sauce that was in the pan. It tasted fresh and slightly buttery, I couldn’t really taste the garlic so my suggestion would be not to be scared of using a bit more to bring out the garlic flavour – after all, it is called garlic prawn pan. It took me 5 minutes or less to demolish the dish. I was hungry. It tasted good and I wanted more. There was decent amount of prawns in there and not a measly amount like 3-4 prawns which you can sometimes get in other restaurants. My plates were cleared relatively quickly by my waitress as I waited for my main course. I opted for the Beefeater Surf ‘n’ Turf with the prawn and lobster sauce and swapped my triple-cooked chips for sweet potato chips.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review
Surf ‘n’ Turf sirloin steak with king prawns (I swapped the triple cooked chips for sweet potato chips)

“All our steaks are served with half a slow-roasted tomato, grilled mushroom, Lamb’s lettuce and unlimited triple cooked chips.” Beefeater menu

I had my steak cooked medium-well and it came out beautifully. The steak was tender, juicy and not bloody at all but still nice and pinkish inside. The king prawns were also very tasty but less can be said for the prawn and lobster sauce. I knew I should’ve chosen the peppercorn sauce but wanted to be different. All I could think was the saying “stick to what you know” because that really would’ve been the best option. The sauce didn’t taste much like prawn or lobster but more of just a mild creamy sauce. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t fantastic either. The flavour of the sauce was just not strong enough.

I ordered creamed spinach as a side which I’ve had at restaurants before and loved but this time it was a little more overdone than I would’ve liked. The spinach did not have the texture as I was used to – it was more like an okra texture – good thing I love okra! I’ve never tried making creamed spinach but I guess it’s not easy as it would be so easy to overcook spinach. It was still tasty nevertheless so it didn’t bother me too much.

The grilled mushroom was amazing – the taste was lovely and cooked perfectly. I didn’t think the mushroom would taste that nice but it did! The sweet potato chips were nice but I wished they were presented in a small bowl instead of on the main plate. I love chips that have a crunch on the outside but about 80% of my chips were either soggy or soft due to the moisture of them. Perhaps sweet potato chips soak up more juice than triple-cooked chips so I don’t think other diners would have the same problem. If I had this dish again I would ask for my chips to be served in a separate bowl. I left the salad leaves and grilled tomato as I’m not a fan of them but they looked tasty and fresh.

I was really full after finishing the main course. I did really struggle to eat all of my chips but ate the majority of them because I don’t like to waste food and didn’t want to be hungry when I got home. I had to think twice about ordering dessert and was stuck between choosing the lighter chocolate torte and the chocolate brownie. With the recommendation of the host, I went for the brownie. Calorie and macro counting had already gone out of the window by now so I wasn’t bothered – I just wanted something nice and sweet to end my evening.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Beefeater Woolwich Food Review
Rich chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream

The host gave me some breathing time before taking my dessert order which was great. It gave my belly enough time to settle and make some room for something sweet. 🙂 When the brownie arrived it looked amazing, it was very well presented. The chocolate brownie slice was of a generous portion and so was the ice cream. The chocolate sauce drizzle looked so pretty and executed with precision. I tucked into my brownie and was not disappointed.

The brownie was rich, soft and moist on the inside and slightly firmer on the outside – like how brownies should be. The ice cream was very milky and mildly vanilla flavoured which complimented the richness of the brownie. A well-balanced dessert I thought. A coffee would’ve been great for after dessert but as I was getting tired, I decided to skip the coffee and head off home.

My verdict?
I like this place. It’s good food, well priced for its portion size and has a lovely family-friendly atmosphere. I would definitely go back again.

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The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

Food Review: Vegetarian lunch at the Ethos Restaurant in London

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review

Okay this post is long and overdue I do apologise but having Ethos on my mind for the past couple of days, I decided I needed to post this instead of leaving it to sit in my drafts folder.

A few months back (Oct/Nov times) I decided to try out this popular vegetarian restaurant with my bestie Coco who turned pescatarian almost a year ago. She hadn’t really ate out at vegetarian or vegan restaurants so I wanted us to try out a new dining experience which didn’t involve me stuffing my face with meat and her watching me. She has said a few times she misses meat and poultry so I wanted us to be on the same page this time. I found out about this trendy little restaurant called Ethos through another friend who’s pescatarian. It had just opened up earlier in 2016 I believe and became really popular for non-meat eaters. There’s loads of vegetarian and more vegan restaurants popping up now which I think is great.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Ethos Foods restaurant / Photo Credit: Best of Interiors

Location, Location

Ethos Foods is located on East Castle street, just a stone throw away from London’s bustling Oxford Street. When you’re at Oxford Circus station, the restaurant is a short 7-10 mins walk away. The restaurant blends in well with its surroundings so you might walk past it without knowing. Nestled between other buildings, the beautiful glass front shows off the natural looking decor inside.

Decor

The decor inside is simple but modern. As I went around October/November times, the restaurant had a wonderful autumnal display. Lots of oranges and browns (colour theme) which looked warm and inviting. I was also very impressed with the shop front. The wide floor-length windows allow you to eat and admire the outside at the same time. I loved the black leather (I’m guessing it’s faux-leather!) booths and marble table tops. I found the birch trees a bit weird at first but grew more and more fond of them whilst at the restaurant.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The warm and inviting autumnal window display

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The seating area – see how navigating a bigger pram could be tricky? / Photo Credit: Londonist

Space

It’s not a massive restaurant – the image above of the shop front is basically the length of the whole place but I think this gives it a friendly and intimate feel. In terms of the space, I can’t really say the place is buggy-friendly. Yes the doors can open up for large or double pushchairs it’s a little difficult to navigate around to the seats with a bigger pram. My advice would be to ask for a seat nearer to the buffet stations and doors. The staff are very attentive so I am sure they would be smart enough to work that out should it ever happen. I was a little apprehensive about the space beforehand (even though I only have a tiny little Mamas & Papas Urbo) I didn’t bring it because I wasn’t sure I would be able to move around the restaurant comfortably with the pram. The seats are positioned quite closely together and when I had to move about with Baby Girl in my baby wrap, I felt a bit cramped and the restaurant wasn’t even busy.

As lovely as the faux-leather booths were, it was a little tricky to sit in as the tables are pushed quite closely to the chairs. The other thing was that you don’t get a booth to yourself – for Ethos to make use of the space, the booths are split into two so they can sit two sets of guests in them. It’s a clever way for utilising space but not the most friendliest for parents with young children… but then again I guess we’re not their main target market. The family-friendly space is the only downfall of Ethos though, everything else if above standards.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The buffet-style food stations / Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
View of the seating area / Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

Now onto the food…

Food, Glorious Food

The food at Ethos is absolutely amazing. O.M.G! The flavours, the varieties, not to mention the desserts. Oh my. We’re not a vegetarian family so I’ve not been to many though I am choosing to go to more as I really liked them. The first veggie restaurant I went to was Mildred’s in Camden and I had the most amazing halloumi and char-grilled aubergine flatbread burger. From that day onward, I knew I loved the vegetarian dining experience and Ethos Foods didn’t let me down. There was plenty of fresh food to choose from (hot and cold) and the self-service buffet meant I can easily pick a little of everything I fancy.

The food is priced on a pay-by-weight basis which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. For me, it meant better portion control and the price per kilo was affordable. I think I paid about £12 for my full plate and then I spent a little more on desserts (charged separately, around £2-3 per slice.. I chose 2 things) and opted for tap water my whole lunch was around £20.00. Okay, £20 for lunch is not what I’d spend daily but it’s a good price for an occasional lunch with friends, etc.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
My plate full of delicious food!

I had miso roasted aubergines, halloumi bites, spinach and ricotta cheese balls, green beans, Hungarian goulash, seaweed salad, cous cous, massaged kale salad with kumquats, and a broccoli with carrots cashew cream curry. My favourite was the aubergines, spinach/ricotta balls, the goulash and cashew cream curry. Everything was packed-full with flavour and spices. No-one can ever tell me that vegetarian food is bland and boring! On purpose, I tried to avoid having too much carbs simply because of having Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies it puts me at higher risk of developing it later in life. So for that reason only I am a little cautious but it doesn’t mean I cut out carbs, just limit it to a decent amount. I resisted the sweet potato fries and creamy potato gratin but had a little bit of gnocchi instead. 🙂

Now that autumn is over, I am sure the menu at Ethos would be a little different. I recently checked out their sample menu online and some things are not on there like the spinach and ricotta balls and seaweed salad. However it is a ‘sample menu’ so you could still stumble upon it at the restaurant.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Dessert table (sorry for the blurred image!)

I wasn’t going to get dessert but then I thought why not as who knows when I’ll be back lol … I can’t ever imagine going here with both LO and Baby Girl – not while they’re still young as they’ll probably make so much noise and disturb everyone else’s dining experience haha! I tried to be as good as possible and only picked two things – the peanut butter bomb (an Ethos favourite) and a raspberry and vanilla raw square. The peanut butter bomb was incredibly rich, I shared half of mine with my friend and still thought it was rich. Amazingly delicious though, there was only one left which I picked but if there was more I’m sure I would’ve gone back to buy two more. They taste like Reese’s peanut butter cups but way better!

The raw square was fabulous and just as I would expect for a raw dessert. If you’ve never tried raw desserts before you are seriously missing out. It was so mouth-watering, softly whipped and had a slight coconut taste because I think they used coconut to make the base of the square. Absolutely yum!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

My friend also bought herself a raw raspberry square and a black bean brownie which I tried. It was so tasty but again so rich in taste and texture. One brownie was more than enough for the both of us. I really want to try and make my own black bean brownie and a few other raw desserts but I haven’t got round to doing so yet. I may have to put some time aside next week to do so!

So if you haven’t yet gathered from my raving review, I highly recommend giving Ethos a visit whether you’re a vegetarian/vegan or not. If the food hasn’t won you over at least pop in to give the desserts a try – you won’t be disappointed. It’s not somewhere I would say to eat for a work lunch but great if you’re with a couple of friends and looking for a place with good vegetarian food, a lovely atmosphere in the heart of Central London.

Enjoy & Bon Appétit! 

Here are some other bloggers who’ve also been to Ethos and written about their dining experience:

The London Mother
Fat Gay Vegan
Her Favourite Food
I’m Wandering and Positive