Where on earth to go when you’re not drinking?

Many people will be familiar with the subconscious mind phenomenon whereby you give something up only for it to suddenly appear everywhere. Just ask any member of the Clergy.


Like any self-respecting bon vivant I’ve occasionally turned to Dojo to find ‘the best stuff in the city’. This has unearthed such gems as: ‘South London’s ten hottest car boot sales’, a faux speak-easy in Chinatown (complete with authentic f-you NYC style service) and a plethora of break-up-worthy, dire café-ateliers in Paris.

Alas, I acquiesce with Dojo, and as I enter five weeks without a tipple, ‘Sober Dating’ naturally jumped right out at me.

Recently a friend of mine’s blind-date was 10 minutes late. During this window he managed to sink 3.5 glasses of wine in 10 minutes.  Needless to say he can’t remember the date too well, though he tells me it was “probably amazing”. The lesson, of course, is to always turn up on time for your dates and don’t trust men with beards.

To all those taking on an alcohol free patch and finding it a challenge, here are suggestions for places to visit:

1) Redemption Bar – Shoreditch & Notting Hill


Aptly named Redemption Bar invites you ‘spoil yourself without spoiling yourself’.  Sadly this is no Ferrero Rocher Ambassador party – though I would fucking love to go to one of those. In fact it’s a twin set of dry bars (Notting Hill & Shoreditch) serving non-alcoholic creations. There is also a vegan menu. Esquire names named it one of its ‘where to take her in January’ places (sounds eerily Dojo-eque).

  • Super interesting fact: Patrick Baboumian, one of the world’s strongest men, is actually one of many vegans on the list. Sort of like a human hippo:
Patrick looks like he’s eaten quite a few vegans (technically cheating).
Patrick looks like he’s eaten quite a few vegans (technically cheating).

2) The Detox Kitchen – Soho & Fitzrovia

Lily Simpson
Lily Simpson

We’ve been waiting 12 years for Dr Dre to put out his Detox album. He needs to get on the beetroot smoothies ASAP and could do far worse than get his dose from The Detox Kitchen. Rumour has is, this is Elle Macpherson’s favourite place to grab a bite. Let face it, you should always trust super-models’ restaurant recommendations. Founded by Lisa Simpson, this makes excellent, healthy food – all wheat, dairy and refined sugar free. Take your most allergic friend for a risk free treat.

3) Counter Albion – Shoreditch

See you there

This is my favourite place on one of the sleekest streets in sexy, sultry Shoreditch. The breakfast is an absolute steal at around £6.  For this, pretty much all you can eat Sourdough Baguettes with Goat Butter & Organic Berry Jams, creamy Scrambled Eggs, Amaranth Porridge and Yogurts topped with Macadamia and Pistachio happiness.

This is healthy gangster’s paradise where the punters glow, knowingly. You’ll walk out with a halo and a flat stomach.

If none of these appeal, you can download Dojo here or just have a beer.

Published by alotofchop.com

Restaurant, chef and food enthusiast.

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