Britain’s trusty café-scene has long-been about enjoying a refreshing cuppa over a catch-up with our loved ones. But as the wellness industry booms, it’s no surprise that many cafés and schemes now dish-up holistic experiences alongside their cream teas. Here are five you should know about right now.
Words: Deb Caine
Get your cuppa zen in Edinburgh
Nowadays, no self-respecting high-street would be complete without its very own vegan café but some venues also offer a space for yoga, meditation or reiki. Edinburgh’s Beetroot Sauvage café and wellness centre opened its doors a year ago. As well as serving-up wholesome vegan fayre, there’s a separate space for yoga and complimentary treatments. Owner Marie-Ann Marten explains, ‘The intention for our business is to be a holistic space for people to find what nourishes them, from soil to soul.’ Mindfulness and a meal! Where do we sign-up?
Pay with kindness in Brighton, London, Manchester or Dublin
Yes, it’s nice to be nice isn’t it? Schemes such as the Gosh! Kindness Café pop-up initiative, currently touring the country offers free plant-based snacks to customers. What’s the catch? To get your free-lunch, you pledge to complete an act of kindness for another – anything from offering to do that mountain of ironing you’ve all been avoiding, to running an errand for your neighbour. Sounds like an all-round win-win!
Dine with death in various pop-up locations
Talking about death is a tricky topic for many of us reserved Brits. But Death Cafe is on a mission to break this stigma. Far from being creepy and morbid, participating venues offer friendly settings for those wanting to discuss death and dying over their flat-whites and thus, de-mystify the unknown. With London roots, regular death cafe meet-ups are now held throughout the UK (and abroad) to encourage people to live life to the max!
Waste not, want not in Wakefield
With more of us looking for ways to live sustainably, The Real Junk Food Project has taken this several steps further by rescuing perfectly edible food from supermarkets and the like, destined for land-fill and re-distributing through its networks. Starting out as one ‘pay as you feel’ café, the scheme is now widely represented in the UK and abroad. The ethos that customers pay what they want for their meal or nothing at all if they haven’t the means, aims to ensure that no one goes needlessly hungry.
Get your chat on in various pop-up locations
For those seeking company with their cappuccino, initiatives such as award-winning, The Chatty Café Scheme also focus on more than just a quick brew. Over nine hundred UK cafés now proudly display a ‘Chatter & Natter’ sign on one of their tables to show it’s reserved for customers happy to share with a stranger. The goal is to bring together parents with bubs, the elderly, carers and those they care for and people who may otherwise go all day without having a conversation.
Well, looks like it’s that time again…who’s up for coffee and cake?