Browsing Tag

fitness

Lifestyle, London

A Sneak Peek At London’s South Kensington Club

June 19, 2015

London is home to some of the oldest and most exclusive private members’ clubs in the world. I was fortunate enough recently to visit the newest club in town, South Kensington Club. Offering something a little bit different than your average private club – SKC will be catering to members with an interest in culture, health and fitness, exotic travel and culinary experiences once it officially opens this month on 25th June.IMG_4734 (1)

I met one of my oldest friends and fellow Cali native, Britt, for dinner at SKC during the ‘soft launch’ phase for a taster of what is still yet to come. If this is the club’s pre-opening period then I can only imagine how spectacular the official opening will be. Far from stuffy and pretentious, the staff were friendly with meticulously attentive service from the second I walked in through the imposing black front door. I was personally escorted to the Club’s restaurant, but had to stop and quickly admire the long elegant staircase leading upstairs to the juice bar, gym and terrace. Can’t you just imagine the uniformed von Trapp children marching down these steps in perfect unison?!
Original stairway at SKC

Located a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of South Kensington and Hyde Park on Harrington Road, SKC is steeped in British history. The Club’s bathhouse extends into Queensberry Mews, which was once Francis Bacon’s first London home and studio. IMG_4714The 25,000 sq ft building was also the former home to the original Pineapple Dance Studios and Ronnie Wood’s Harrington Club, where the likes of Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart graced the stage. Whilst the interiors of the Club are modern in style, there’s a homely atmosphere and you can’t help but feel the artistic spirit of the previous residents. 
Restaurant at SKC

The Club’s Restaurant has a nice laid-back and welcoming vibe, so you won’t feel out of place if you don’t dress to impress. The Restaurant serves healthy Mediterranean cuisine with an infusion of traditional artesian Sicilian flare from breakfast to dinner with an inspiring wine and cocktail menu to match.IMG_4688

We mulled over the menu sipping on a refreshing Aperol Spritz in true Italian spirit and were served the most delicious kamut bread with tomato spread, anchovies and capers to nibble on. I had never tried kamut before, which is apparently an ancient wheat that is incredibly healthy and easier to digest than modern day wheat. I could have easily feasted on this healthy bread basket all night, but Britt insisted that we slow down on the kamut and put our order in pronto before we started to fill up. IMG_4687

There is a wide selection to choose from off the Mediterranean menu, but we decided to share the following dishes:IMG_4696Fresh crabmeat with burrata, grilled pickle & cherry tomato
IMG_4697

Raw artichoke, roasted granola & quinoa saladIMG_4698

Kamut pizza, pomodoro e fior di latte mozzarellaIMG_4704

Grilled fillet of beef, white asparagus & rosemary
IMG_4712

Following our delicious and filling dinner, we walked up the staircase to have a wander around and plopped ourselves down in the Club Sitting Room Bar, which is the perfect spot for a night cap. The bar has a cosy and informal vibe with mid-century American interiors that reminded me of a New England yacht club. 
IMG_4713

We left the Club Sitting Room Bar to the sounds of the bartender shaking an iced martini, and had a look around The Voyager Club Lounge, which will be home to the Club’s Voyager Programme at South Kensington Club. Offering members an interesting program that pays tribute to the Club’s ethos of “inspiring its members to explore through reading, listening and travelling on journeys of discovery.”Voyager Room at SKC

The Voyager Club Lounge is where monthly lectures and international speakers will take place along with the opportunity to join tailor-made expeditions around the globe, such as trekking in the North Pole, foraging for food in Sweden or even piloting a helicopter! You can physically prep and train for all such adventures with the fitness instructors in the Club’s gorgeous gym.
Gym at SKC

I typically prefer to run outside rather than indoors on a treadmill, but this gym is beautifully designed with lots of natural light coming through the floor-to-ceiling windows. I loved the historic touches of the building in the spacious fitness area- it’s not every day you train with a kettle ball next to stained-glass windows!IMG_4719

The Club has three studios where yoga (heated and regular), barrecore, pilates and dance cardio classes are available in addition to private training. There are also several treatment rooms and a Turkish Hammam where you can soothe tired muscles post workout. What’s not to love about your own private spa?
IMG_4729

Officially opening in less than a week, South Kensington Club is a refreshing and unique London private members’ club, which is now accepting new membership. Whether you’re interested in far-flung travels, al fresco fine dining, or challenging fitness classes and pampering spa treatments, SKC have members’ every need covered.

www.southkensingtonclub.com

+44 203 006 6868

Fashion

Look Fit, Get Fit: The Hottest New Workout Wear

October 22, 2014
As a self-confessed workout addict, I find it that much easier to get out of bed for a morning workout if I’m going to be wearing clothes that are not only functional, but also ooze a little stylish flair. Athletic clothing is more fashionable than ever before, so it allows you to transition easily from running in the gym to running about town. Who cares if you’re in spandex; why get changed when you are already sporting clothes that are comfortable and look good?
I always stock up on Lululemon workout clothes when I’m in the States (much more affordable than in the UK) and I swear by Sweaty Betty for running gear in London. After some research (and extensive online shopping!) I’ve discovered a whole new range of ultra chic designer athletic clothing brands around the globe worth splurging on.
These brands are so fashionable that you can easily wear pieces from their collections in and out of the gym – maybe even to the office! Whether you need an extra incentive to make that early morning workout in the colder autumn mornings or if you’re already writing your Christmas wish list, here are the top designer sportswear brands:
I’ve been a fan of California’s Koral Activewear for years. Their products combine eye-catching design and colourful fabrics – just putting them on makes you feel empowered and ready to go. 
Koral Activewear is far from cheap, but their garments last ages and you will get a lot of wear out of luxury sportswear that looks this good.
Backup dancer physique sadly not included. 

Outdoor Voices is a slick collection of stylish and relaxed sporty apparel. I first stumbled upon this American brand by asking a fellow yogi in class where her cute yoga top was from.
Their clothes are lightweight and flattering; great for lower impact and toning workouts (yoga, barre bar, pilates) and for wearing around town. 
I love travelling in their loose-fitting trousers, which keep me comfy throughout long flights.
 
If you’ve tried a hot Bikram yoga class before, you know how wet, sweaty and gross your clothes can get. Daquini specialise in breathable and quick-drying fabrics designed for hot yoga workouts. Similar to Spanx, Daquini’s form-fitting capris support your physique even in the most unflattering of postures. Their stylish sports bras, tank tops, shorts and capris ensure your downward dog is always fashion forward.
Free shipping worldwide – another reason to lift that yogi leg up and jump for joy!
My dearest friend Megan first introduced me to London’s luxury sportswear brand Lucas Hugh when I was training for the London Marathon and needed an extra incentive to take the gruelling workouts to the next level. A pricey pair of their Prism Leggings did the trick.
Made famous recently by Jennifer Lawrence who wore a Lucas Hugh workout jacket in The Hunger Games, Lucas Hugh is equally high-end fashion and high-quality versatile sportswear. The New Zealand founder and designer, Anjhe Mules, has perfected eye-catching and flattering stretchable fabric that keeps you supported throughout your workout. 
I can verify that Lucas Hugh’s sealed-seam technology prevent chafing – a HUGE plus for runners and gym rats. Like most designer brands, their clothes come with a hefty price tag, but their products won’t disappoint. I’m already saving up for their latest line – listen up Santa!

Available in select London boutiques and online at Matches Fashion and Net-A-Porter
Whoever said sportswear can’t be hot didn’t know what they were talking about. Michi has to be one of the sexiest designer athletic brands on the market. If you imagine yourself on the red carpet or the runway when you’re on the treadmill then this provocative athletic brand will put some seriously sexy pep into your workout.
Made by hand in Canada, Michi cleverly combines glamorous lingerie with sophisticated designer sportswear for an edgy, seductive and polished look. You can easily wear their latest line straight from the gym directly to the hottest nightclub in town! 
yoga
Designer sportswear will cause harm to your credit card, but in my opinion, if it encourages you to fit a workout into your busy schedule, that is money well invested. Think of all the money you have saved by staying in the gym and out of your local pub. Combat the quickly approaching festive and calorific holiday season with some extra stylish workouts!