The Beauty experience: Grace Belgravia
For the women that are spending their summers in London, this is something for you. During my trip, I visited Grace Belgravia (Cara Delevigne is said to be a member) – a member’s only health club – however they do summer memberships for women spending their summers in London. Based in Belgravia on West Halkin street, the health and wellness club is one of the most beautiful and dreamy spaces I’ve ever visited. Lots of natural light, and attention to detail – the more impressive part is what they have to offer. They have their own spa, their own cafe with healthy food, a blow dry bar, a mani/pedi section as well as a health centre – with a GP to the royal family (he is based between the palace and Grace Belgravia), a psychiatrist, colonist, as well as a room for vitamin infusions. I checked out the spa with my mom and sister for massages – both my mom and sister got signature Grace massages, and I booked in for a Deep Tissue. This was hands down, the best deep tissue massage I’ve ever had. I’ve never experienced the release of toxins and tension like that and I’ve also discovered areas in my body that I didn’t know held any tension. Make sure to book in for Yumiko, promise you will be amazed. As there are quite a few incredible services at Grace Belgravia, I thought I would mention a few of them below:
–The Grace restaurant & Cafe is great for a healthy meal or a lunch but they also offer takeaway healthy food, meal deliveries, an 8 week weight loss programme, and a five day intensive cleanse.
-Meals at the Apothecary bar & cafe include cashew and blackberry porridge for breakfast, raw pad Thai for lunch, Aromatic duck breast for dinner and finishing off with dessert, Raw cacao and cinnamon cheesecake. The bar also serve a range of pressed juices and smoothies.
–The Gym have equipment, PT sessions as well as range of classes such as Target spin, yoga beat, Pilates, Cardio training, strength and conditioning to dance and Ballet barre. If you have an injury, the PT would work with the physiotherapists and sports massage therapists.
-Depending on the day of the week, the Medical Centre have different services such as Acupuncture, Aesthetic medicine, allergies & functional medicine, anti-ageing, Colon hydrotherapy, dermatology, emotional wellbeing, Genetic testing, infusion clinic, Telomere testing, GP services, Gynaecology, Nutrition, Osteopathy, Physiotherapy, Podiatry, Prenatal care and wellbeing programmes.
-They offer wellness programs as well – their signature approach which is more of a healing and maintenance journey, a Grace Intensive cleanse programme, a weight loss programme and an integrated sleep therapy programme.
-For the Spa, everyone hired has an impressive background and highly trained in their fields. The spa offers treatments like the Grace signature massage, deep tissue massage, detox treatment to firm and tone, reflexology as well as pre and post natal massage. For face treatments, they offer Natural Bisse Facials, and lastly for Grooming, they offer manicures, pedicures, paraffin wax, body contouring, tanning, brow tinting, waxing, threading and blow dry.
-They also tend to have really interesting events at the space. A few that were scheduled for July include Breakfast in Christie’s Travel, How to be comfortable in an uncomfortable situation, and business with Amanda Wakeley to name a few.
Haircut: Luke Hersheson at Daniel Hersheson
If you’re planning to give your hair a new change, invest in an amazing stylist to take you there. When I was in London in June, I decided to go for a chop and cut off my long ombre hair and so I went for the king of chops – Luke Hersheson. The son of Daniel Hersheson and one of London’s top celebrity hair stylists. (FYI they have a flagship at Harvey Nichols and Conduit Street – as well as blow dry and braid bars all over town). You only know the power of a good cut after you’ve had a bad one and a really good one. The better the cut, the less you have to style, and the better it looks unstyled and styled. Luke is famous for a couple of chops including Sienna Miller and Alexa Chung’s, so I thought I’d go for the ever so trendy, Lob cut. After getting a feel for my hair, Luke suggested a length (which he then went shorter after he started to cut) and recommended that I keep me layers long, and taking off some of the weight of the hair. If you’re planning to go for a blow dry whilst you’re in town, I love Harriet at the Harvey Nichols branch for effortless beachy waves.
Blow dry Bar: Duck & Dry
There’s something I love in going to blow dry bars – they are always so pretty, cute and straight to the point. I have a handful of favourites and Duck & Dry is one of them. Based on King’s road (a lovely road in London, off Sloane and very close to South Kensington), the studio has the perfect mix of looking luxurious as well as beautiful. Spacious, lots of natural light and lovely attention to detail. You can choose a look from the menu or just explain to your stylist what you’d like, before heading to the basin. D&D use L’Oreal and Davines shampoo (they also have a little retail space & a bar!). I went for loose beachy waves with senior stylist, Amy – which looked so good and natural. Sadly, my hair didn’t last as long as I would have liked it to. That being said, it really is about the whole experience – I also like how they offer gift cards, as it would make the loveliest Thank you or happy birthday gift.
Treatment: Moroccan Oil treatment at Hari’s Salon
Moroccan Oil is one of my favourite haircare brands, and love using their oil – the scents, and the hydrated result. I’ve never tried an in salon treatment by the salon, so I decided to book in for one at Hari’s Salon – they have two branches in London, I went to the one on Brompton road. A busy salon, in the perfect location – I was quickly taken care of (coat and magazines) before moving to the basin with my stylist, Hayley. The treatment consisted of two shampoos, a conditioner before going back to my chair for the actual main part of the treatment. The mask mixed with the oil applied into sections of my hair and left for 20 minutes under a steamer. Once the mask was removed and my hair was washed, it felt so soft, fresh, hydrated – not to mention smelt SO so good. My hair was then blow dried by Marvin, who I must say gives the most fabulous waves and volume. Highly recommend him if you just want a really good blow dry – he’s hilarious too.
PS the salon is not women’s only, so you will see both men and women getting their hair done.
Bootcamp: Barry’s Bootcamp
I must say, I love the fact that London has a Barry’s Bootcamp. For the ones that aren’t familiar, Barry’s Bootcamp is a fitness cult like Soulcycle, Flywheel and Physique57 to name a few. They’ve had one in Euston Road since they opened and have just opened their cooler, edgier sister in East London. During my trip, I booked in for a class at the Euston studio. Make sure to book in advance, as I booked several days before and was on the waitlist (and the classes ain’t small or cheap!). However that being said, Barry’s Bootcamp is an experience – the whole studio, to the instructor, all the way to a crazy, intense, and insane workout. In short, Barry’s bootcamp is split into two parts – you either start on a treadmill or a bench – and end up moving to different sides throughout the class. You are sprinting when you are on the treadmill and you are pumping weights and doing planks when you are at the bench. My instructor was Anya, who was tough and great! The studio has showers, changing rooms, a retail space and even a smoothie bar!
TRX Workout: Core Collective
I must say the time between I lived in London and right now, the fitness industry has been growing. There has been a rise in boutique fitness studios, which is quite exciting. One in my old neighbourhood, Core Collective is a luxury studio in High street Kensington that offer three types of classes – I did the resistance class (which is a mix of TRX & Circuit training). All three classes are 45 minutes long – they also have Velocity (interval training) and Accelerate (a spinning class) – and of course, bespoke PT sessions. My class was with Anya, she’s a toughie – sweet, but pushes you hard. The actual studio is gorgeous – an industrial style, there’s a cafe as soon as soon as you enter and the studios and changing rooms were downstairs. Gorgeous studio, great experience and left with my muscles shaking!
Reformer Pilates: Frame Fitness
If you’re looking for a quick, straight to the point kind of workout – I recommend heading for a reformer pilates class. Frame have 2 studios in London – the closest to Central was the one in Queen’s Park (however, please note – it is not in central London). As soon as you come in, they check you off the list, and you wait to get called in by the instructor – and you leave right after the class. The class was great – a full body workout on the reformer using the ring, a pilates box and handles (which I haven’t used before) and light music in the back however it lacked a personal experience, I didn’t really know the instructor’s name or tell him about any injuries (I didn’t have any though). The studio is quite small, but it has a small retail section downstairs as well as healthy snacks and drinks.
Barre: Ten Barre
You might be familiar with Ten Pilates – as a lot of celebrities work out there. They now have a lot more branches, and have introduced a lot more workouts. When I was in London, I booked in for their Tenbarre class at the St James studio. I had a few mixed feelings on the workout – the instructor was amazing, so sweet and really made sure everyone knew what they were doing – and made sure we got a full workout out of the class. Personally, I wish the class had it’s own class – Barre takes place a corner in the studio that had bars as well as some ventilation as I found myself sweating before getting to the workout and we were a class of four. The barre class is a little different to your typical bar adding more of an athletic push.