New café and yoga centre will enhance Lancaster

A plant-based café and yoga studio in Lancaster city centre’s historic conservation area has been opened.

Temple Yoga and The Herbarium in Great John Street, designed by Harrison Pitt Architects, will serve plant-based food and high-quality drinks, as well as featuring Lancaster’s newest dedicated space for yoga and meditation.

The building, previously occupied by Fawcett’s Outdoor Apparel and Fishing Tackle, had fallen into a dilapidated condition.

Extensive renovation and refurbishment work has seen the ground and first floor accommodating a bar area with extended opening hours. Temple Yoga and The Herbarium is now open and serving a simple menu of healthy breakfast items, salads, sandwiches, soup and cake.

The café and yoga studio is a start-up business developed by Natalie Temple, previously a youth worker, and Lucie Carrington, a former film producer and founder of the LA1 Shorts film festival.

Both business partners are keen travellers and want to encourage tourists to visit their home city of Lancaster. They believe the plant-based café and yoga studio will reflect the vibrant and diverse nature of the city by creating a multiuse space, aimed at all audiences.

The upper floors of the premises are currently used as student accommodation and bedsits, which Natalie and Lucie intend to use as accommodation to support wellness retreats and to enable affordable holiday accommodation.

Lucie said: “Eventually, we want to open a late-night café/bar, serving health food as there is currently limited vegetarian or vegan food places available in Lancaster after 6pm. We are also planning on offering cooking workshops and events featuring a training night on cooking healthy food and easy home-cooked healthy food.

“We feel that the stigma surrounding veganism needs to be broken down and that going for a vegan meal can be comparable to going out for Chinese or Italian food and doesn’t always have to be an entire lifestyle choice.”

Natalie is currently working with students at Lancaster and Morecambe College and previously taught yoga at the Urban Buddha.

She said: “I’m particularly interested in, and passionate about yoga and meditation for teens and young adults. It is very rare in today’s fast paced, technological society that we stop, move away from a screen and take time for ourselves.

“Mental health issues are becoming increasingly common and myself and Lucie are keen to provide a sanctuary within the city where people are able to stop, breathe and take time to be present in the moment, whether that is taking part in a meditation or yoga session or something as simple as enjoying a cup of tea and chat with a friend.”

Zoe Hooton, director and project lead at Harrison Pitt Architects, added: “This is an exciting business venture that will significantly enhance Lancaster’s diverse city centre economy, as well as restoring a historic building that had become sadly dilapidated.”

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