Journalists used to be known for indulging in liquid lunches but a cafe just across the road from theTelegraph is offering a very different kind.
Actually those boozy lunches, or lunch breaks of any kind, are a distant memory now and what Woodland Holistics on Campo Lane is offering isn’t a swift gin and tonic but a range of nutritional shakes as part of its menu.
The shop is divided into a cafe and shop upstairs and a set of complementary therapy rooms downstairs, accessed via a spiral staircase.
Upstairs is run by Lindsay Haynes and her fiance Marc Bennett has Magick Hands, the therapy side of the business.
He offers different types of massage, aromatherapy and reflexology, provided by himself and other therapists who rent the space.
Marc used to be a baker but after a period of unemployment he retrained as a therapist.
Lindsay suggested the business to him and they set up with the help of the Prince’s Trust about five months ago.
The cafe is small and airy and features some quirky artwork, including large fabric letters with the name on with a teapot and other items hanging down from it.
The wall behind the counter is decorated with a tree and birds and containers of tea on the wall are made to look like bird boxes.
Lindsay was away from the cafe on the day that I visited and the service really struggled as a result, so much so that Marc gave us our drinks free.
They offer an interesting range of herbal teas and I had wanted to try Tastes Like Earl Grey, made with bergamot and bee balm, but they couldn’t find the bee balm.
Marc suggested I try the redbush and vanilla tea and the pot I had really hit the spot. My friend Ruth loved her orange and ginger hot chocolate, with organic and Fairtrade ingredients (£2).
If you’re stressed out or need a system boost or mood or memory enhancer they have teas for that as well, at £1.50 to £2. They also do regular teas and coffees if only caffeine will do.
The food menu is small and is comprised mostly of paninis and deli boxes that are supplied by Urban Pantry.
They range in price from £3.50 to £4.50 and most of the paninis feature Continental fillings including fish and veggie choices. Marc said they can provide vegan and gluten-free options.
Ruth went for the chicken saltimbocca (£4.50), made with great pesto that was whizzed up fresh on the spot.
That really made it live up to its name, which means ‘jump in the mouth’.
My serrano ham panini with quince preserve didn’t have the same fresh taste but was lovely nonetheless, with plenty of meat and a hint of sweetness (£4.50).
There were some tempting-looking cakes and scones on offer, so I went for the beautifully moist and rich dark chocolate cake. Ruth opted for green tea cake, which tasted good with a tangy lemony buttercream icing but had gone a bit dry.
Our bill came to £13 for the food only.
Woodland Holistics, 7 Campo Lane, S1 2EF. Tel 07983 908114. woodlandholistics.moonfruit.com