BRAIN FOOD: Canteen culture - L'Oreal, London

BRAIN FOOD: Canteen culture - L'Oreal, London - Entree: Arriving on the 8th floor of L'Oreal's west London HQ, you realise that the Laboratoires Garnier ads aren't fantasy after all. It's bright, white and populated by the kind of beautiful young people y

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Entree: Arriving on the 8th floor of L'Oreal's west London HQ, you realise that the Laboratoires Garnier ads aren't fantasy after all. It's bright, white and populated by the kind of beautiful young people you'd expect to find in a cosmetics business. The trendy decor adds to the ambience and makes diners feel they are eating out at a swanky restaurant rather than grabbing a staff canteen sarny.

Main dish: L'Oreal's reputation as the purveyor of elixirs of youth is much in evidence in the canteen. The choice of health-conscious, life-enhancing cuisine on offer is impressive. Waldorf salads aplenty and, on today's menu, toxin-flushing pea soup (a snip at 85p), iron-packed goat's cheese and beetroot pasties, or roasted squash with a toasted pine-nut dressing. But it's not all super-waif rabbit food; for these short winter days, steak pie is also available. Assuage your guilt by washing it down with a healthy cocktail of herbal tea and marionberry juice.

Dessert: Fresh fruit salads and carrot cake predominate, as you'd expect. No time for two courses? Choose between a quick gossip at the coffee bar, a light lunch at the self-service area, or go intimate at the deli shelf, where you can order a baguette of your choice. And as it's open from 7.30am to 7pm, it's never too busy.

Whine list: For all its lofty situation, the views (dominated by the local bus station) are disappointing. But the food and surroundings are so good, you won't be looking out of the window.

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