January, the month of ‘change’, not as hectic as December but much more than the few that follow it, so for me in order to keep on the steady path of change for the year to come, I have promised myself I will take time to enjoy myself this year, starting with at least 1 hour a day that is for pure enjoyment.
I had seen that the reviews for the cafe were very good but wanted to try out the food and drinks myself, so I popped along with my Mum for an afternoon bite. This was a really great place to take my Mum and she is still finding her feet with vegan food and the endless possibilities. It is the perfect place to take non-vegans for a bite to eat, such a relaxing and welcoming space, you will never want to leave!
Online I found the Retreat Cafe that is situated in gorgeous Richmond and the story behind the owners Claire and Maggie, coming to start this wonderful vegan cafe, was inspired. So much so, I decided to pop in and taste their menu. If you want to know more about Claire and Maggie’s retreat to Thailand, it is available on Netflix and well worth watching it, as their life-changing experiences are perfect for some motivation, into a stress-free, vegan life, what could be better? Ah, yes, food…
Starting with a beetroot juice with added ginger, apple and lemon, not only was this phenomenal in colour but the sweetness of the apple and beetroot worked so well with the sharpness of the lemon and the subtle heat of the ginger. This was a great way to start the meal, as I always feel fresh juice get me ready for food. They have so many juices to choose from and they are more happy to make you something based on your preferences.
First up for the dishes was a Tuscan bean soup, which blew my mind. It was so tasty and satisfying, they had got the balance of flavours just right and my Mum didn’t want to share this!
Next up was the artichoke quiche which was divine, I have not had quiche since turning vegan, I have attempted to make it several times and failed miserably. Luckily, they have mastered it and I thoroughly enjoyed this. It was served with a plethora of salads, ranging from quinoa to mixed beans, it was the picture of health and it tasted delicious, especially topped with some wonderfully cooked butternut squash to add a seasonal element to it. This was absolutely scrumptious and I could eat this every day for lunch with ease!
Lastly was the mushroom, spinach and cheese melt on toasted sourdough, with Rubies in the Rubble onion relish. The mushrooms were cooked with plenty of garlic, the spinach was cooked perfectly and the cheese was melted just how I like it with the sweet and rich flavour of the onion relish, this was a dish that would make even the worst day better. This was proper vegan comfort food and my Mum and I were only too happy with this choice!
Not only is this such a welcoming place to eat what I particularly like is that they have really taken their time to choose ethical suppliers. This is so admirable and I am so glad that they have done this and unsurprised that they are proud to share this as they have clearly decided to make a change not just with vegan food but with the overall ethos of this eatery. This includes Old Spike Roastery, which helps and employs the homeless which I think is fantastic and wholeheartedly support, not to mention the coffee is absolutely gorgeous!
Overall this is the place to head for if you want to recharge with some delicious vegan food in a relaxed atmosphere and when you have finished eating and drinking, you can head on over to Richmond Park to walk it all off while enjoying the nature that surrounds you! I left with a slice of incredibly delicious orange and chocolate cake for afters, this is the perfect thing to eat whilst on your journey through the park. They have so many cakes and sweet treats that are all homemade and worth trying if the rest of their cakes are as delicious as the chocolate and orange cake I tried then, you are in for a treat!