We have a confession to make: sometimes, just sometimes, we ditch our fitness routines in favour of Pimm’s-fuelled picnics, boozy brunches, and the siren call of lie-ins in boutique hotel beds. Lucky for us, London is just the place to shake off any fitness lull, whether you’re a regular morning jogger, a sometimes Pilates practitioner or a lapsed lap swimmer. We’ve rounded up a few of the city’s not-so-average fitness experiences, complete with post-workout treats.
See the sunrise
Try An energetic morning yoga in the walkways session on Tower Bridge. It’s just the thing for early-rising yogis, who will be treated to a bird’s-eye view of ridge through the glass-bottomed walkway, 42 metres above the Thames, with every downward dog and child’s pose. Sessions are held twice a month, on Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
Eat Meander along the south side of the river to Caravan Bankside and feast on grain pancakes with vanilla ricotta or organic granola with salted coconut yoghurt while most people are still grumbling at their snooze alarms. You’ll also find a hefty selection of savoury dishes, including eggs many ways, freshly pressed juices and Caravan’s daily roasted single-origin coffees.
Try A taster session with Gorilla Circus Flying Trapeze School in Hyde Park and learn to fly through the air with the greatest of ease. This adrenaline-fuelled summer activity is perfect for thrill-seekers looking for something more than the traditional treadmill. Bonus: it’s so much fun, you’ll forget that it’s technically exercise.
Eat Treat yourself to fresh Mediterranean sharing plates at Apero Restaurant and Bar after your daredevil session. Keep it light as air with a ribbon vegetable bake or a dandelion, radicchio, blood orange and basil salad, or calm your post-flight nerves with a Sipsmith gin-spiked juice.
Make a splash
Try FloatFit at the Haymarket Hotel if you’re seeking balance – of both the inner and outer varieties. Aquaphysical has brought its specially designed stand-up paddle boards to Haymarket’s subterranean pool for pulse-pounding HIIT (high intensity interval training) and balance-testing Vinyasa yoga sessions. Class options alternate on a fortnightly basis.
Eat Afterwards, head upstairs to the included ‘Recovery Brunch’ at Brumus restaurant, for health-guru staples including smoothies, crushed avocado on rye, and a wide choice of more decadent dishes, including freshly baked waffles and sweetcorn-chilli fritters.
Pedal to the beat
Try Boom Cycle in The Curtain’s underground Shoreditch club. These exclusive spin classes – for hotel guests and members only – reap the benefit of the LP club’s seriously muscled sound system and disco-ready lighting. High-energy hits and a party-on-a-bike atmosphere keep these pedal-pumping clipping along at pace.
Eat Breakfast on healthier-than-though dark chocolate and spirulina chia pudding, scrambled silken tofu on rye, or eggs any style with halloumi and kimchi greens at artisan roastery Ozone Coffee’s cafe on nearby Leonard Street. The health-conscious menu items pack a major punch in both flavour and aesthetics, and the nectar-of-the-gods coffee is locally roasted and seriously smooth.
Pose up a sweat
Try Rocket yoga at Frame Yoga’s King Cross outpost, which ups the ante on traditional asanas. For yogis (of all levels) with a bit of a wild streak, these ashtanga sessions feature a soundtrack of the decidedly non-Enya variety and offer the chance to work up a sweat while you practise inversions, stretch your travel-weary limbs, and, in the words of creator Larry Shultz, skip straight to the ‘fun stuff’.
Eat Refuel with a smoothie at Frame’s juice bar, then walk around the corner to Grain Store at Granary Square for crunchy-as-you-please offerings, including savoury-sweet potato waffles and beetroot burgers with goat’s cheese and casava chips. Go ahead and order that AM-appropriate cocktail too; you’re the wild-child of yoga, after all.
Featured image is FloatFit at the Haymarket Hotel