I’ve always been critical of detoxes and juice cleanses. Starving your body for days can’t be good for your metabolism, while pumping it full of simple carbs – juices and smoothies are generally very high in simple sugars, yet you get none of the fibre goodness from the fruits – must have some negative effects. But I do see how giving your body’s digestive system a rest for a couple of days can be a good thing and how a detox can do wonders to cleanse your mind and encourage you to engage with your health and review what you’re putting in your body. So I decided to give it a go. But I didn’t chose any old smoothie/juice bar. Press London does things a little differently.
Press was dreamt up in California and brought to life in the UK. Founders Georgie Reames and Ed Foy discovered cold-pressed juices as an easy was to get some much-needed nutritional TLC while living busy work and social lives in LA and New York. They’re now on a mission to create top-quality, fresh and unadulterated juices for hard-working Londoners.
Press’ cleanses are designed to improve your skin, increase energy levels and sleep quality, jump-start your immune system and generally help you reset less healthy eating habits and start a healthier way of thinking and living. They suggest a 1, 2 or 3 day cleanse with raw veg or almonds to snack on if you get overly peckish – so nothing too drastic. And you won’t get bored. Their menu of fruit and veg juices, dairy-free nut milks and cold-pressed smoothies are a feast for the eyes – I didn’t know where to start! And rather than feeling like I was punishing myself for a week of bad eating habits, I actually enjoyed each drink just as much as I’d look forward to a hearty meal.
Press’ pre-made juices and non-dairy ‘leche’ drinks make up their recommended ‘cleanse’ menu. The quintet of Greenhouse juices take a leafy green base and adapt it with different flavour twists, from zesty lemon to cleansing fennel, fiery jalapeño to cooling cucumber. The balance of flavours means no one ingredient overpowers another. And there’s no trace of gritty sediment – its a clean-tasting, smooth and pleasant drink, not a nasty green juice reserved for health fanatics.
Or for those who prefer something more fruity, there are seasonal Orchard, Garden and Grove juices, with apple, berries, pineapple and orange.
The Cacao Leche is delicious. Rich with cocoa, yet light and subtly sweet with a slight almond flavour. There’s no real milk, but it has a milky consistency that makes a great morning drink.
The juices are fantastic, but it’s the smoothies that I can’t get enough of. The selection is split into three categories: protein, energy and superfoods.
For a post-gym snack, the Warrior is a favourite – a perfect match of banana and peanut butter. I like taking the Alkaline Balance, made with a Greenhouse base, and switching out the avocado for banana for a little added sweetness; it’s almond-y-, vanilla-y-rich, yet refreshing.
The Açai Antioxidant, with superfoods açai, lacuma powder (made from the lacuma fruit, this has a unique maple flavour and is packed with minerals like beta-carotene, iron and zinc and B vitamins) and ashwaganda (a powerful herb with healing powers and mood enhancing qualities) has a back-note of spicy from the berries, a sweetness from the vanilla leche and banana, and a richness from the cacao. With added collagen, this smoothie not only tastes fantastic, but does wonders for your skin.
Even the smoothies that you think couldn’t possibly taste nice are will surprise you. The Supergreens (to which I added protein after another morning workout) is oh-so moreish, with a kick of cayenne to get your metabolism going, sweet banana frozen and blended for thickness and full-flavoured almond.
Conclusion: I definitely feel healthier, calmer and less sluggish after two days of cleansing, so give your body a #springshakeup with Press. It gets a thumbs up from this sceptic!
Broadgate Circle, Selfridges, Denman St – Soho, 1 Cheapside – St Paul’s
See website for opening times and contact details