It always shocks me how much you can take a place for granted until you leave. I used to work right round the corner from The Life Goddess on Store Street in central London and yet rarely made time to grab a coffee when I was only a few minutes away. Now, working on the nigh-on soulless streets of Mayfair, I'd swap a week's worth of watery dispenser coffee for just one good flat white from here.
So when my parents made a fleeting visit a few weekends ago, we of course somehow seemed to wind up sitting in the front window, the place packed to the rafters, a churning Saturday service in full swing. As The Life Goddess is relatively new to the Bloomsbury streets, it's great to see it doing so well already.
Half high-quality Greek deli, half beautifully presented restaurant, The Life Goddess was my fave pay day/ Friday debrief haunt when I worked nearby, but I'd never eaten a full meal here. My Mum ordered a salad - somewhere between a Greek and Niçoise, while my Dad (a fellow legume obsessive) and I went for a bean and spinach stew and a side portion of fava bean dip, my favourite thing on the entire menu here.
Although service was a little slow, it was easy to spot why- the restaurant seems to have totally taken over the neighbourhood at the weekend. At one end of the restaurant a huge family were sat eating lunch and catching up, while outside an endless babble of customers and staff mingled between iced coffees and the final hot hours of the day. It was a gorgeous lunch for central London, and I'm really not sure, outside of maybe Soho, you'd get a similar atmosphere anywhere else.
Our bean stew was huge, perfectly seasoned (just right on the salt) and tasted even more moreish thanks to the side of fava beans and olive oil with bread. I'd say that's a perfect lunch right there.
Finally- after managing to eat every single bean on my plate, we ordered iced coffee, and were even treated to a batch of florentines because of the wait and busy staff.
It's not easy catering to vegetarian and vegans straight off the bat, but this cafe knows not to over-complicate its menu because the produce itself is so delicious. The Life Goddess has turned into a gorgeous lunch spot and I can't wait to come back- if only I still worked round the corner!