Ever wondered how those Hollywood celebs look so trim in the magazines? It mostly comes down to the copious amounts of botox and lipo they spend their wealth on every month. There is another little secret, however, and it’s called…the smoothie.
For those that don’t know, Beak Street is located at the end of the notoriously fashionable Carnaby Street, the road that became the coolest of all the cool places in London during the swinging 60s. It’s a trendy part of town so Pure fits in quite comfortably.
Inside it’s like the super healthy alternative to Subway. As you walk in you can pick up a healthy sandwich or pre-made salad from the refrigerator on your right or you can join the queue on the left and have something specially made for you. A team of salad specialists working behind the counter take your order and then create it according to your specifications. All the ingredients are on display and they make your salad right in front of you.
The smoothie counter is located at the back of the shop. If you’re unfamiliar with the flavours you can scan the menu on the wall behind the counter. Pure is superb if you’re on the move and in need of a quick fix but for those that want to eat or drink in there isn’t much space. A couple of tables and a small bar by the front door is all they offer but then this place isn’t aimed at people who like to sit down for extended periods of time. If you want to stay trim then you should be power walking back to work, anyway.
You know when you go to the gym and you have a quick glance at the miserable-looking runners on the treadmills and the only reason that they keep running is because they know it’s good for them? That’s what the queue for the salad bar looks like. Don’t let that put you off though, the staff are actually a nice bunch and don’t mind a joke and a laugh.
With the local area populated by young, trendy fashion gurus lunchtime is an especially busy time of day. It feels like a take-away bar and that is ultimately what it is. If you manage to get one of the two tables by the front window you’ll be surrounded by people queuing and rushing in and out of the door. If you’re lucky enough to grab the elevated table away from the front door you’ll have a little more space but you’ll still have to deal with people racing to and from the smoothie counter so it’s not ideal if you’re looking for somewhere to sit down and unwind.
For around a fiver you can have one of the Pure salads which you can either take from the menu or have made up with your personal choice of ingredients. If you’re a health freak and a normal salad isn’t good enough, then opt for the Celebrity Skin Salad with salmon, which comes with flaked almonds, pine nuts, avocado, lettuce mix, cucumber, tomatoes and, of course, grilled salmon all lightly garnished with French dressing. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy maybe the high protein salad will with its raisins, free range eggs, sprouts and turkey.
If you’re not after a salad then perhaps a wholewheat wrap is in order. With fillings like crunchy tuna, sweet potato, salmon and avocado amongst others the healthy theme continues for just under £3. Sandwiches come served on multi-seed low GI bread and again come in at just under £3. Hot foods comprise of soups and change on a daily basis so if you’re after something specific it’s worth contacting them beforehand to make sure they have what you want. For no more than a couple of quid you can grab a light snack like a yoghurt (strawberry, cherry or honey), a muesli bar or a muffin (banana and bran or apple and bran).
In a world where almost everything we consume is filled with artificial sweeteners and ludicrous amounts of caffeine, it’s refreshing to go back to basics with a simple smoothie. The California Classic is made up of strawberries, bananas, skimmed milk, orange juice and honey and it tastes absolutely superb. The quantities are just right allowing the various flavours to come through. The only downer is you don’t get much for your money. A small cup, no bigger than a paper coffee cup, costs £2.65. The medium and the large are £3.35 and £4.45 respectively.
Again, the super healthy can opt for something a little more hardcore as nutritional supplements are on hand for a bit of extra kick. Whatever you need, you’ll find it in the title: Brain Fuel, Hangover Over, The Protein Provider, Immune Tune and The Energy Elixir with acai are a few on the list and range in price from around £3 to £5.50.
The juices are just as healthy. The Detox consists of celery, carrot, beetroot and fennel while the Green Energy offers a blend of spinach, carrot and apple. The juices cost no more than £3 and a shot of wheatgrass is £1.25. Teas include chai, peppermint, jasmine, green, Earl Grey, rooibos and English breakfast for £1.20 and the coffees are a little more.
The Last Word
Although expensive, Pure is the healthy option if you’re in the Soho area. The refreshingly natural flavours making up the smoothies are extremely tasty and the lavish ingredients in the various salads, wraps, soups and snacks mean that this little outlet offers a flavoursome alternative to a lot of the junk being offered to us today.