London Juice Bars

Press Juice 2014 - Press_juices_Kale_2014.jpgThanks to a flurry of new openings in the capital, juice bars are becoming pressing news: Marylebone’s Roots & Bulbs has been trading in healthy drinks since February, The Juice Well is preparing to launch in Soho and a few streets west, the new Press bar will open within the Ham Yard development in June. Here, we investigate the latest happenings and the people behind the peelings.

Arriving this month, The Juice Well will be a premium juice bar on Peter Street in Soho, offering cold pressed drinks, superfood smoothies and ‘cleanses’ (consisting of more than a kilo of fruit and vegetables). The bar is a collaboration between Will Ricker (behind La Bodega Negra and XO) and Joe Cross (author ofWill Ricker Juice Well - Will's_Image_WEB.jpg Reboot with Joe’s Juice Diet). The pair credit Cross’s juice diet for helping them to lose eight stone between them. Ricker (pictured right) describes the juices as ‘self-help in a bottle’, citing a study by Harvard Medical School suggesting half of a person’s daily diet should be plants.

For over a decade the UK government has promoted eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, a figure challenged by University College London in April. After an analysis of the Health Survey for England, the university published a report recommending eating seven or more portions a day, a target that juice bars can help their customers to reach. Ricker claims ‘one bottle of our juice is equivalent to eight [portions of fruit and vegetable] a day.’

Sarah Cadji Roots and Bulbs - Roots_and_Bulbs_2014_WEB.jpgThe UCL report also found vegetables to offer a greater health boost than fruit, stating vegetables are more effective in reducing risk of death. Sarah Cadji (pictured left) of Marylebone juice bar Roots & Bulbs agrees: ‘Our juice is the real thing in the sense that it contains no fruits, just vegetables. Partnering up vegetables with a little fruit is ok, but the other way round is not beneficial.’ Roots & Bulbs offers juices such as the G1, a blend of cucumber, celery, spinach, ginger, lemon and spices.

This focus on vegetables takes inspiration from the LA juice bar scene, a part of which will find a home in London this June with the opening of Press in the forthcoming Ham Yard Hotel, Soho. Founders Ed Foy and Georgie Reames decided to launch Press in London after living in LA and New York, where cold pressed juices became a part of their daily diets. The new venue is to specialise in 100% vegetable creations like pure kale juice.

Meanwhile, Peckham-based Ali Baba Juice + Matcha took its Rye Lane delights out east. Shoreditch played host to its pop-up vending machine Lucky Juice on Hanbury Street earlier this month, which sold juices made from three ingredients randomly selected via an animated spinner -a fruit machine that was addictive for all the right reasons.

Juicy action can also be found elsewhere in the capital, including at Sprout Juicery in Battersea, offering cold-pressed potions like the super defender, with kale, carrots, orange and ginger. Kensington’s The Good Life Eatery offers a selection of juices including the beetroot-based lucky seven. With such a strong link emerging between general wellbeing and raw plant food, expect the juice flood to spread.

The BBC has more information on recommended daily fruit and vegetable consumption here.

Published May 2014