Looking for a quiet place to work and eat? Bored of Starbucks or cramming yourself into the tiny and trendy hangouts that notoriously offer infamous artisan coffee, yet never have anywhere to sit?

If you live in London and you are within reach of Farringdon, ‘Ask for Janice‘ could be your new little spot for some uninterrupted work and interesting food.

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The decor is definitely trendy and in-keeping with that of many cafes in the East, with exposed pipework an brick work, recycled furniture and edgy artwork. However, the service is far from arrogant.

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Friendly and happy staff were happy to greet me upon arrival and I was eating from the breakfast menu within fifteen minutes of arriving. Albeit the fast service, there wasn’t a “rushed” environment at all, I spent just under two hours with my laptop, free wifi, breakfast and various hot drinks before I decided to go.

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The earl grey tea was loose leaf and really delicious.

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The mushrooms on toast with a poached egg was the perfect little vegetarian brunch for me this morning! The poached egg had a perfectly cooked runny yolk, may I add.

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Just be careful if you sit by the door, on a colder day the “wind tunnel” action that occurs down Long Lane could make it a slightly less pleasant dining experience than you had expected, but on a warmer day like today it was welcomed.

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Customers moved in and out of the restaurant quickly, meaning that it never felt overcrowded. However, due to the restaurant being so close to the city and offering breakfasts from 7.30am, I can imagine it’s much busier before 9am, around lunchtime and after 5pm (for their famous gin list). So, if you have a free day, then go during the quieter periods like I did and you’ll have a spacious and uninterrupted work place.

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The closest tube stations are Barbican and Farringdon, so if you are looking for a new space to do a bit of blogging or work, then try out Ask For Janice.

Oats are always my “go to” when I’m in a rush or needing some comforting warmth. However, when I woke up this morning with a horrendous cold, I knew I had to up my health game, so I cooked myself up a lovely bowl of oats with a nutritional twist.

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Packed full of protein, energy and antioxidants – this 340 calorie breakfast is one for a busy work day or a day when you wake up feeling like you need a health boost, like me!

Oats

Benefits; Slow release energy, filling, good portion of protein and fibre, good for cardiovascular health & lowering cholesterol levels.

100g contains; 389 kcal, 7g fat, 66g carbohydrate, 11.0g fibre, 17g protein

I used 40g

Manuka Honey

Benefits; Proven to be effective in fighting infection – perfect if you’re coming down with a cold.

100g contains; 348 kcal, 0.1g fat, 86.9g carbohydrate, 0.2g fibre, 0.2g protein

I used 1tsp

Pumpkin Seeds

Benefits; Packed full of magnesium, contain a wide variety of nutrients including manganese to copper, protein and zinc. They contain plant compounds known as phytosterols and free-radical scavenging antioxidants, which can give your health an added boost.

100g contains; 618 kcal, 49.1g fat, 10.7g carbohydrate, 6.0g fibre, 30.2g protein

I used 2g

Blueberries

Benefits; Believed to have the highest level of antioxidants of any fruit or vegetable.

100g contains; 57 kcal, 0.3g fat, 14.0g carbohydrate, 2.4g fibre, 0.7g protein

I used 20g

Chia Seeds

Benefits; They’re loaded with antioxidants, they are low carb – almost all the carbs are fibre, they expand in your stomach and keep you fuller for longer, high in quality protein – around 14% of each portion is protein and they are also high in Omega-3 fatty acids.

100g contains; 447 kcal, 35g fat, 4.5g carbohydrate, 37.5g fibre, 20.4g protein

I used 4g

Almond Milk

Benefits; Not only is almond-milk cholesterol free, according to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated fats, such as those found in almond milk, are good for your heart if you substitute them for saturated fats, such as those found in cow’s milk. It’s also low in calories, so it’s good if you’re on a diet.

100ml contains; 24 kcal, 1.1g fat, 3.og carbohydrate, 0.2g fibre, 0.5g protein

I used 200ml

Dried Cranberries

Benefits; I added these more for the sweetness factor that anything else but cranberries are proven to prevent Urinary Tract Infections which can be highly unpleasant and potentially quite dangerous for women in the long run.

100g contains; 347 kcal, 0.7g fat, 82.8g carbohydrate, 3.8g fibre, 0.4g protein

I used 10g

Bananas

Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and contain moderate amounts of vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre. Ripe bananas were also found to contain serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

100g contains; 89 kcal, 0.3g fat, 23.0g carbohydrate, 2.6g fibre, 1.1g protein

I used 60g

This brekkie is perfect for a cold winter morning and it will keep you going throughout your day!

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The celebrations may be ending but the new diets are definitely beginning. It’s the cliche “new year, new me” and guaranteed you will feel like you aren’t hearing the end of it. But in all fairness, after a month of gluttony, everyone could benefit from a bit of dry January and some “detoxing”.

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The Detox Kitchen on Mortimer Street

The Detox Kitchen Deli on Mortimer Street is where I kick started the new, healthy approach this weekend. It’s quite hard to spot if you don’t know where it is.  There is no grand advertising outside the restaurant on this very dormant street, yet it was packed to the brim on the inside. There is even a fitness studio on the lower ground floor. Their slogan – “where healthy meets delicious” – couldn’t be more relevant.

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The Detox Kitchen offers a pick and choose service where you can pick the size of your portion and then choose your salads and protein accordingly. All of their dishes are wheat free, dairy free and free of refined sugar. A medium sized container is £5.95 for three to four salads and a portion of protein will cost you an extra £3.

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There were around eight delicious salads to choose from, three different types of protein and three vegetarian protein options. All of the food was packed full of flavour, defying the myth that healthy food has to be boring. On top of the deli food on offer, there is also an eat in brunch menu available here.

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There are also a wide range of smoothies and juices to choose from if that’s all you’re after – I had “protein power,” which was heavenly, and a meal in itself! One warning I would issue is that strict dieters beware as the calories aren’t listed on the food description labels. However, if you have the “My Fitness Pal” app, you can probably work it out yourself (give or take a calorie or two).

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Delicious vegetarian frittata at the front and other protein in the back

I’ve got to say, the food was absolutely delicious! They really go all out on flavour here, the “roasted squash, grilled pepper and paprika dressing” salad had to be my favourite – not to mention the pesto courgetti or the cauliflower and avocado salad. They don’t do boring salads here and you really have to try the food to experience the flavours.

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A medium sized portion with protein

The Detox Kitchen was heaving on a Saturday afternoon. The layout of the restaurant is made up of two long tables that fit about seven people each and there are a further three separate tables that can fit four at a push, meaning that if you can’t get your own smaller table you will have to share with others who are trying to enjoy their Detox Kitchen experience too.

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The decor is simple and modern, yellow tulips on the table definitely added a brightness to the dining experience. A wall of live plants greets you as you come in, adding to the whole earthly, detox feel they are going for here.

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The wall of live plants

You’ll need to check that there is available seating when you walk in as I witnessed a couple of people buying a delicious “eat in” plate of food, without first checking there were free tables to sit at, needless to say they were left standing there for a while whilst they waited for a table to free up.

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The staff were all incredibly lovely and three different members came over to check that the food was okay and that we had what we needed. There was a slight delay in making my smoothie so they upgraded it from a regular to a large at no extra cost which was an unexpected surprise!

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Protein Power

We were also given added extras of hummus and sweet potato with our meal at no extra cost. I couldn’t actually finish my regular size portion because they were so incredibly generous with their portion sizing.

The Detox Kitchen is perfect for a healthy lunch outing, I was left feeling comfortably full and extremely satisfied by what I had eaten, it’s even left me considering a dairy free & wheat free way of life. I’m dying to go back again. There are also other Detox Kitchen outlets in London that offer services such as grab & go.

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Enjoying a Protein Power smoothie

Lunch for two with two regular sized portions, two pieces of protein, a regular smoothie and a coffee came to just over £24.

If you want to visit: Fitzroy Place, 10 Mortimer St, London W1T 3JJ

Take a peek at the website: http://detoxkitchen.co.uk