Recently she opened 'The Mae Deli' in Marylebone, a venture she shares with her husband, and the menu in there is reflective of the mantra in her cookbooks. I have wanted to go there for ages, but unsurprisingly there was a queue out the door the first time I went. But last week I finally managed to visit!
The deli is based over 2 levels, upstairs they have high stools edged around the sides with a counter. Downstairs they have a few table and chairs, more appropriate for those sitting down to eat a meal. In terms of food options, there isn't a huge list - but I personally didn't think that was a problem as everything was freshly made, healthy, and looked delicious!
In terms of meals there are 2 options - you can have 1 hot dish, or you can have a selection of 4 salads. There were also freshly made dips, and sun-dried tomato falafel. As well as this you can find an abundance of juices, smoothies, and a few healthy desserts. If you aren't actually a vegetarian, there is the option of adding grilled chicken or salmon to your meal. I went with 3 different salads and some falafel, all topped off with home-made houmous.
Let me say it as it is, the food there was absolutely delicious. And so filling! I'm not shy with my portion sizes and I still struggled to finish it all. All of the salads were so creative and flavoursome, each one tasted totally different. I also paired it with a really tasty berry smoothie. The good news is the menu changes weekly - so you'll never get bored if you decide to visit more than once!
You can find a sample menu on their website here.
On top of this the aesthetic of the place is so lovely, rustic tables and homely cushions and decorations. It's really nicely designed. Also the staff are lovely and really helpful - I was there with my sister-in-law and nephew, so we had a buggy. They offered to hold our food and take it down whilst we lugged the buggy up and down the stairs. They were also generally very attentive and weren't shy of making conversation or offering you help if you needed it. When staff are that good you remember what a big difference it makes!
The only criticism I have is it was quite a warm day in London, and as a result it was pretty stuffy in there. There were a few fans, but they weren't quite cutting it - and it was only 22 °C. Something to think about for the summer months coming up.
All in all I really recommend it! You question whether places like this are worth the hype, but this one definitely is. The perfect place to go to if you are looking for a delicious, healthy lunch. It also won't break the bank, I paid £15.75 - but that was for a fresh fruit smoothie, and a big filling lunch that kept me going all afternoon into the evening.
Address: 21 Seymour Place, London, W1H 5BH. Nearest tube: Marble Arch (but walking distance from several others)