Sustainable, seasonal and nutritious, Farmacy was the first Glowcation to create a plant-based, refined-sugar free menu, heavily influenced by California in a super stylish West London interior. Camilla Fayed is the face behind Farmacy, Notting Hill’s pioneering plant-based restaurant which when it opened in 2016 was ahead of its time.

Launching the Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook this Autumn now means the plant-based recipes which have become such a success can reach a wider audience. Here Camilla reveals how she starts the day and what’s next for Farmacy.

Which is your favourite recipe from your new book and why?

The Farmacy White Macadamia Cookies are one of my favourite sweet treats. They are gluten and refined sugar- free, perfect for enjoying as an afternoon snack at home, or on-the-go. They are also fun and easy to make – the children and I make them about once a week at home.

What’s a perfect Autumn recipe from your book?

Forager’s Pie- it’s packed full of seasonal vegetable and a great warming dinner to feed the whole family as we enter the colder months.

What are your daily techniques and life hacks for running a business?

Never give in to fear! Draw strength from mistakes and surround yourself with a passionate and hungry team.

Growing a plant-based business can be tough and many fail in the first year.

What advice would you give to someone starting out now with a small business in the world of wellness?

Very few supported me and my vision at the beginning, never giving in to fear was the key. With a lot of hard work and dedication, from both myself and my amazing team (whom without, none of this would have been possible) –  here we are!

It has been over two years since our inception, and not only has the restaurant gone from strength to strength, but we have also launched not just a cookbook, but last year also cultivated our very own Farmacy Kitchen Garden.

We have a biodynamic plot of land in Kent, that grows fruit, vegetables and herbs for the restaurant.

The garden initiative has been hugely educational for the whole Farmacy team. Having harnessed their understanding of provenance and biodynamics, there are now many ingredients on the menu that have been replaced with more sustainable alternatives.

What has been the highest and lowest moment of running your business?

The highest: there have been so many…

The amazing, positive feedback we received from guests when we first opened and still do to this day.
The launch of our first cookbook earlier this year.
Creating the Farmacy Kitchen Garden [a biodynamic plot of land in Kent we use to grow produce for the restaurant] and getting the whole team involved and excited about
Winning the ‘Feed People Well’ Awards at the prestigious Food Made Good Awards hosted by The Sustainable Restaurant Association last month.

The lowest: I’m not sure. Even the tough bits have proved an exciting challenge, and on reflection – a useful learning curve – though I’m sure I didn’t think this at the time! 😉

What are your top 5 secrets for keeping that inner and outer glow under pressure?

A plant-based diet
Getting enough sleep
Spending time outdoors
Quality time with family or friends – when my phone is off
Using all-natural products – especially on my face!

If you were looking at making changes towards a plant-based lifestyle where would you advise people to start?

A lot of people expect plant-based cooking and food to be boring, and restrictive, but Farmacy, and the subsequent cookbook, was our opportunity to show people that it can be delicious, exciting and food that you can implement on a daily basis.

Many of the recipes in the book have surprised readers, showing how tasty plant-based food can be by using healthier substitutes.

This is especially the case with the dessert recipes, that use ingredients such as cacao in place of cooking chocolate, or dates instead of refined sugar.

My main piece of advice would be for people to insist on sourcing organic produce from local farmers markets and staying out of the supermarkets where organic food is overpriced and usually covered in plastic. A healthy and nutritious lifestyle does not co-exist with chemicals and pesticides.

 

A morning ritual is so important to wellbeing. How do you start your day and what do you eat for breakfast?

I’m a firm believer in the benefits of both fasting, and intermittent fasting. I start the day with a pure celery or green juice religiously. I therefore tend not to eat as soon as I wake up, and instead prefer to opt for an energy boosting mid-day snack, followed by healthy and nutritious lunch.

You’ve achieved so much. Where next and what are you dreaming about for the Farmacy brand?

We are due to open a second site in London next Spring and will soon be launching across the pond – watch this space!

You can buy Camilla’s Farmacy Cookbook by clicking here and you can read our in depth review of Farmacy here .

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