Our choice of cafes and restaurants that put morals on the menu. This month we try a raw food feast and check out Britain’s only pub to pass on its profits to charity
InSpiral Lounge, Camden, London
Sat over Regent’s Canal in the throng of Camden resides InSpiral Lounge, a hangout for London’s most health-conscious, eco-loving residents and visitors. Opened six years ago, the cafe has huge, magnificent windows and offers a fantastic view of Camden Lock.
The vibe is chilled, with live DJs regularly taking to the decks. The place was enjoyably busy when we arrived late on a Friday afternoon.
The mainly raw food menu is intricate and oozes health-giving properties. It changes regularly, but on the day we visited options were plentiful, with raw beetroot burgers in a polenta bun, a multitude of kale and seaweed concoctions, salads, gluten- free lasagne and hot rice and stew options. We chose a selection of dishes, along with some raw ice cream and juices, plus raw chocolates and crackers.
My friend and I had mixed feelings about some of the food, but the chocolates and crackers were good and those around us appeared to be tucking in wholeheartedly.
The cafe’s ethos is centred around people and the environment. Profits are reinvested into the business for a variety of purposes, including staff development, creating new natural products and eco-packaging.
The Robin Hood, Brighton
On the border of Brighton and Hove, you’ll find a blue-painted pub with a fairly unique selling point: all of its profits go to charity.
The aptly named Robin Hood is an atmospheric pub, boasting a genuinely friendly feel, which gives away around £10,000 a year to local causes. Many of the regulars have no idea – they simply come for the warmth, a reasonably priced drink and the tasty £5 pizzas. But every month, after staff and bills are paid, this is the only pub in Britain to pass on its profits to those in need.
The place has a real ‘sheltering from the winter’ feel inside and is popular with those in their 30s and 40s. It’s also a popular hangout for staff and beneficiaries of the charities that the pub supports.
Entertainment comes in the form of good wine and conversation, a busy pub quiz on a Monday, board games, blindfolded tasting sessions and the occasional sing-along around the piano.