Lexington’s Sales and Marketing team tour Soho revealing London’s best kept hidden secrets, from coffee & cake to banh mi baguettes & lifestyle juicing.
Amy Franklin, food blogger and journalist at EP Magazine (our tour guide for the afternoon) took us on a culinary Soho adventure. Eager to see what Soho had to offer, we were ready to explore and keen to taste. Whilst coffee shops like Pret, Nero and Harris and Hoole are the giants of the market, the reality is that London offers countless amazing cafes that we were about to discover!
During the afternoon we chatted about a range of food concepts and ideas; debating today’s game changers and the companies that have transformed the market so drastically. With the likes of Itsu, Nusa Kitchen and Chilango taking over the streets of London it’s evident that great value fresh food has never been better or more prevalent.
First up was Whaam Banh Mi, a banging Vietnamese joint just off Piccadilly, bursting with aromatic scents of coriander, Thai basil and all things beautiful! The venue had a contemporary setting, with punchy pop art displays and art deco inspired backdrops (my favourite part!)
Founder Ben, a former City financier, welcomed us and talked us through his Banh Mi Baguette – fillings included brisket, pulled pork, chicken, Thai fish cake and tofu. With the baguette came crispy vegetables, colourful herbs, punchy spices, and sauces. As an alternative there were summer rolls and fragrant salads for those wanting something lighter (we all went for the baguette!)
After demolishing all of Ben’s tasters we were definitely impressed. The flavours not only made a dish with diversity but one that had a light finish. It’s a no brainer that Ben moved from finance to food!
Next stop was Carnaby Street –leading into Kingly Court, the hidden jewel of Soho. Tucked behind Hamley’s, Kingly Court creates a hub for all food lovers. Bustling with customers, the joint offers a vast range of affordable and skilfully cooked cuisine from all ethnic origins.
We were taken to a cute smoothie shack called ‘Moosh’ in the centre of the square where you can sit and watch the world go by. They have coffee, juice, cake and detox smoothies. We tried loads of juices and smoothies, all bursting with zest – a great kick start to any day. Calling themselves a ‘healthy indulgence to take you to a happy place’ they justly fit their name!
Finally; my favourite spot, Crosstown Doughnuts. Being big cake eaters and fans of all things sweet, this was most definitely my favourite! They offer a range of hand crafted doughnuts from sea salt caramel and banana cream to crème brulee and Belgian chocolate truffle (which I was not sharing). Even writing this is making my mouth water… the best way to describe it is a doughnut with a bonus!
It was lovely to spend time out of the work environment and see the evolution of Soho’s food scene. There are innumerable ideas and oodles of inventive and chic concepts – every place has a different idea and every idea can only grow and offer something new…watch this space!
By Lois Panayiotou, part of the Lexy Marketing Team