PRANA: LE1’S NEWEST ARTISAN COFFEE & PLANT BASED FOOD CAFÉ
The heart of Leicester City Centre salutes Prana, a café specialising in plant based foods in the form of salads, sandwiches and cakes accompanied by speciality teas and artisan coffee selections. Although Prana opened its doors on 9 May 2018, it seems to be quite the talk of the town, and that isn’t just down to its location!
The word Prana derived from Sanskrit is often referred to as the ‘life force’ or ‘life energy’ and it’s obvious to see how this links in with the wholefood plant based philosophy. Prana are aiming to meet the demands of the recent boom in vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diet trends.
On their current menu they can proudly boast, the finest coffee, whole leaf artisan tea, rich hot chocolate, chilled nutritious juices and smoothies, delicate pastries and cakes, freshly made on-site hot and cold sandwiches, nutritious Prana bowls and soups and a luxurious afternoon tea.
Prana is housed in the former Barclays bank on the corner of Horsefair Street and Every Street. The beautiful Grade II listed building dates back to the early 1900s and features beautiful high ceilings and large windows, which as you enter gives a bright and airy mood.
Opposite the entrance is the serving counter with an array of artisan coffees, teas, wholefoods, sandwiches, snacks, salads and sweet delights on offer. Along the sides under the tables are tall dark wood bistro style tables with red upholstered bar chairs. The remaining space is strategically placed with tables and chairs in keeping with the red and dark hues interspersed with the occasional gold-tone button-back sofas and there’s even a beautiful red chaise long. Ok, so I’m pretty much sold with the décor and high ceilings alone.
The atmosphere is casual and laid back, no encroaching staff giving you the glare as you wait for your date to arrive. One could even speculate that Prana is going to make an idyllic location to provide some inspiration for future blog posts, accompanied by one of the selection of artisan coffees on offer. Whilst we’re on the topic of coffee, Prana use speciality coffee from London, which is ground by the very exclusive grinders, Square Mile. This in collaboration with the Victoria Arduino premier Italian espresso machine, known as the Black Eagle, delivers the most divine of cups of coffee imaginable! I can vouch for that for sure!
When it came to selecting my fare, I was a little unsure of what to go for from the huge selection but the friendly, helpful staff soon laid out the options for me and I was well on my way to making a healthy selection.
I opted for the Olive Tapanade Sandwich, which consisted of two slices of freshly made gluten free wholemeal bread sandwiching a filling lubricated with a scrape of vegan mayonnaise, consisting of thinly sliced tomatoes, red onions, pretty lettuce leaves. I’ll let you into a little secret, I’m not so fond of bread or a sandwich but I tell you this was genuinely the softest and melt in the mouth bread I’ve tasted in a long while. The ingredients tasted fresh and flavoursome. A sandwich most definitely to savour, it even came accompanied with a handful of tortilla chips. It’s the finishing touches that make all the difference don’t you know?!
After such a healthy start it was only fare to add one of the pretty eggless Vanilla and strawberry cupcakes to my lunch. Again no complaints from me, the softest vanilla sponge topped with a swirl of ice-cream and a fresh strawberry. Just the right amount of sweetness to end a lunch and provide a light lunchtime treat. Of course that was all washed down with one of the artisan coffee Cappuccinos, which incidentally looked mighty fine in a large red cup topped off with a dash of impressive coffee art!
Prana is definitely a firm favourite in LE1 in my recommendations list, Why? Well, impeccable service, beautiful surroundings in the form of a regal Grade II listed property (by the way take a minute to look up and marvel at the ceiling!) and delicious vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free food. What’s truly not to like?!
If I’ve ever gone AWOL, it’s quite possible you can find me pondering about my next blog post with coffee in tow, making my way through the wholefood menu at Prana.
Many thanks to all the staff at Prana, in particular the manager, Beena who showed great hospitality and an infinite amount of patience, whilst I photographed my experience! Feel free to catch up on some of my favourite coffee and cake locales around LE1 in the meantime!
4-8 Horsefair Street
Leicester, LE1 5BN
Tel 0116 254 7569
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