Meditation has gone mainstream, yoga is in vogue and eating clean is the new normal. It’s no surprise then that Mill Lane’s new health, wellness and yoga space has been welcomed by West Hampstead with open arms. Offering healthy, homemade food, a range of teas and fresh juices from their café upstairs, and yoga classes and acupuncture treatments in the back room and downstairs, it’s the place to go if you’re in need of a wellness boost. I headed north to try some of their now notorious nibbles and to find some inner zen…
Curled Leaf is certain to inspire some ‘ommhn…’ There’s a wall lined with over 52 types of tea - of course many with natural healing remedies - a counter brimming with delicious vegetarian and vegan delights and there’s a bunch of beautiful flowers on every table. There’s even a secret garden out the back where you can enjoy a green smoothie and some good old fresh air.
The space is run by husband and wife team, Lulzim and Alketa, who both live locally and love the family-orientated, community feel to the area (they have three boys of their own and Alketa is expecting their fourth). Lulzim warmly greets me and I take a seat on the long wooden bench at the front of the café. There’s a little fire burning at the back of the room and a few patchwork armchairs taken by headphone-wearing locals engrossed in their laptops.
Lulzim joins me with a colourful plate, sky-high with a range of their different dishes. All the food they serve is fresh, homemade and vegetarian, though there are usually some vegan and sugar-free options too, including some popular date, cashew, cacao powder and peanut butter raw balls. I tucked into a roasted butternut squash dish, garlic infused aubergine, sweet pea snaps and pules and a bed of rocket with roasted pepper, yoghurt and pomegranate seeds. It was served with a generous sprinkling of nuts and seats and a beautifully fluffy piece of homemade, spelt bread topped with humus and homemade pesto. The saying good food tastes good sprung to mind and I was very sad to take my final bite.
We resume chatting - in between nibbling on delicious a cinnamon sweet and sipping a spicy tea - and it’s immediately obvious how passionate Lulzim is about the benefits of yoga and acupuncture as he talks about my posture and ways of relieving tension and stress. He offers acupuncture and Chinese medicine treatments from a treatment room at the back - think Japanese rice paper windows and soothing music - and his wife teaches yoga one-to-one and in classes in the beautiful, world-inspired room downstairs, as well as a range of as storytelling and music classes for babies and little ones. Classes are open to all ages and abilities and people usually congregate before or after for a tea and natter and deliciously healthy bite. See you on the mat!
Free yoga session for new customers with your Portico Places card