HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts very own green travel experts take a look at the capital’s coolest green hangouts, complete with suggestions on where to eat, drink, shop and stay. Everything you need to make a perfect day out in London, 100% eco-friendly and guilt-free.
Eat & Drink
From the finest locally sourced produce to the best organic pizza in the World, London’s list of sustainable restaurants is pretty impressive, and there are just enough choices to make your eco-friendly day out in town flawless.
- Story Deli – E2 7DG
First up our east London contender. Story Deli is a pizza parlour which occupies an intimate space on Bethnal Green Road. The menu couldn’t be simpler, super-thin, crisp bread-like pizzas finished with some quality organic ingredients. Very recently voted the world’s best, by 50 bloggers around the world, for Chowzter’s Fast Feast awards.
- Duke of Cambridge – N1 8JT
The first in Britain to claim the British Soil Association’s endorsement; the Duke of Cambridge is an organic gastro-pub in Islington with a daily changing menu that reflects the owners’ strict focus on seasonal ingredients and sustainable sourcing. In fact, if it’s not in season you won’t find it on the menu!
- Vitao – W1D 2DW
One of the first of its kind, Vitao is a vegan restaurant based on lively Oxford Street, serving healthy vegan, macrobiotic and raw meal options. Organic wholefoods are at the foundation of every recipe served here. They are also the first restaurant in the UK to avoid refined flours and cane sugars as well as artificial, GMO or chemically enhanced ingredients.
- Waterhouse – N1 5QJ
This canalside restaurant in Shoreditch is run by the Shoreditch Trust, a charitable organisation which supports and empowers communities to tackle inequality and exclusion across deprived neighbourhoods in the London Borough of Hackney. The deliciously tempting yet ethical menu at Waterhouse features only the freshest seasonal ingredients.
London is renowned for its fabulous high-street where you can be certain to find the latest fashion trends. When going green in the city however, you need to be thoughtful not only with the way that you consume goods, but also with the shops and brands that you buy them from. Here are some ideas to get you started on the perfect green shopping-spree.
- Eco Age – W4 2DW
In a converted Chiswick town house, you’ll find this cute green-minded lifestyle shop devoted to home design. Eco Age sells home furnishings such as lampshades made out of shaved wood, to biodegradable wallpaper or paints. And for the celebrity spotters out there, you might be interested to know that Colin Firth’s wife is one of the store’s creative partners.
- Borough Market – SE1 1TL
For the best produce at rather affordable prices, head up to the amazing Borough Market, a unique corner of culinary London. Greengrocers provide everyday staples such as carrots, onions and apples to the most weird and wonderful produce imaginable. Whether it is organic, biodynamic or locally grown, you’ll be sure to find it piled high on Borough Market’s stalls.
- Vintage & second hand – EC1, EC2, E1
Nothing screams Eco more than buying second hand and vintage products. For the best of vintage clothing, that doesn’t cost the earth, head east towards Shoreditch and Brick Lane. Some names to get you started are Beyond Retro, an impressive vintage emporium housed in a disused dairy in East London, where you can find both men and women’s clothing; and, Rokit, one of the capital’s most famous vintage stores in Brick Lane.
Thankfully there are plenty of green travel options for getting around the city, from the new hybrid red-buses to the so-called Boris bikes, there is virtually nowhere in Central London where you cannot get to, by way of eco-friendly transportation.
- Public Transport network
London’s transport network is one of the greatest in the world: there are buses, underground, overground, river services, light railway and cross-rail (coming soon). The highlight, however, has to be the new London buses designed by the famous Heatherwick studio (the same studio who designed the 2012 Olympic cauldron). The new red buses use the latest green diesel-electric hybrid technology making them the best performing buses in the world!
If you prefer to avoid the crowds in public transport, then hiring a bike might be just right up your ally. Popularly known as Boris bikes, the Barclays cycle hire bicycles can be found in several docking stations all over Central London. Prices usually range from £2 for 24 hours, to £10 for 7 days.
Sometimes walking in London can be your best option, and you’ll be surprised as to how much time you can save when choosing to walk from A to B. Say goodbye to the inconveniences of waiting in traffic, or facing the rush-hour delays on the tube.
Some of the finest hotels in the capital have now fully embraced environmental practices in their operations, and it is not unusual to see messaging throughout their facilities, informing hotel guests on energy efficiency and carbon reduction policies. Here is our top choice for a green hotel stay when in London.
- The Nadler Kensington – SW5 0PG
A luxury yet affordable green option, this delightful 4 star was only the second hotel in London to receive the Prestigious Gold Award under the Green Tourism Business Scheme. External, corridor and public toilet lights are sensor and timer operated so that electricity is not wasted in low-use hours. Fair trade tea and coffee is also offered to guests.
Have Your Say
There are obviously many other green travel choices we could have added in here, so if you think any different we would love to hear it! Have any great tips to Green London? Let us know in the comments below.
London Underground – image by @Doug88888 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Vintage Clothing Sign – image by Garry Knight via Flickr (CC BY-SA-2.0)
Park – image by Chris JL via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Borough Market – image by [Duncan] via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Re-cycling – image by Jim Budd via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Cutlery – Image by Alpha via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Shop – Image by Steve Snodgrass via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Barclays Bikes – Image by njtrout_2000 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)