Move/Munch/Must | Form’s Wellness Guide to London
There are lots of things you’re never more than a few dozen metres away from in London. As more and more of the general population take up pursuits of wellness, boutique fitness studios and plant-based eateries are fast becoming one of them.
London also being home to Form Nutrition HQ, our team has been fortunate enough to have sampled a sizeable chunk of these offering (though at this point, no Londoner will ever make their way through all of them). From multi-sensory yoga studios to the best cauliflower-based pizza slice you can eat, here are our recommendations.
Lanserhof at the Arts Club
Lanserhof at the Arts Club is up there with London’s most exclusive fitness offerings since opening last year. Its holistic approach to wellbeing gives members (and non-members, by appointment) access to shockwave therapy, MRI body analysis, cold chamber, IV drips and highly specialised training equipment. You’ll also find Form’s plant-based proteins in the adaptogen-filled concoctions at the smoothie bar.
Blok could well be London’s sleekest boutique studio, set up first in East London’s Clapton then replicated in Shoreditch. Choose from their class menu that spans everything from animal movement and callisthenics to barre, rocket yoga, boxing, signature Blokfit, Blokparty, Bloksculpt, the list goes on. As well as its cafe supporting sustainable, local brands, it’s committed to reducing single-use plastic across all sites, wherever possible, too.
For London’s most comprehensive array of yoga disciplines, Triyoga outposts in Chelsea, Camden, Shoreditch, Ealing and Soho are where to get your downward dog on. Founded 20 years ago, it works with some of the best teachers of their style and encourages every visitor to find the class and teacher that suits them best. Our pick has got to be Mercedes Ngoh Sieff’s Sunday morning Vinyasa Flow in Chelsea.
Track Life LDN
There’s a run club to dodge around every street corner in some parts of London, but Rory Knight and Omar Mansour of Track Life LDN do things a little differently. Their athlete inspired workouts generally take place in Battersea and are all about fine-tuning your short distance times through clever drills, optimal technique and a lot of fun along the way.
Shoreditch’s ChromaYoga is a very modern approach to yoga, with practices that stimulate almost all of your senses. Light therapy, aromatherapy and “brain-stimulating soundscapes” each work together to provide a fully immersive experience. Book into a class that caters to your mood: Red is strong and dynamic while Pink will focus more on gentle stretching and breathwork.
Boxing studios emerged as one of London’s top forecasted fitness trends for 2020, not because boxing is altogether new but because the capital’s latest wave of no-spit-and-sawdust fight clubs certainly is. Leading the way is Mayfair’s Jab, brainchild of former England boxing team captain George Veness. More than just a high-intensity sequence to some remixed chart hits, the authentic approach to boxing offers a comprehensive understanding of the discipline.
All the deliciousness of the classic Italian slice, but through a healthy, plant-based lens – should you wander into the powder pink interiors of Humble Pizza on Chelsea’s King’s Road, you’d be remiss not to try one of its delicious cauliflower-based pizzas. We find it hard to resist the Genova – vegan pesto, red pepper, courgette, creamy tofu and macadamia nuts *chef’s kiss*.
Notting Hill’s Farmacy is all about conscious eating, with a brand ethos of preparing their food in a way that respects everything between the soil and sun. Not only does all its produce come from its biodynamic farm (which is transported by electric van), it tastes pretty amazing too. Our go-to order is the Middle Eastern Earth Bowl.
For casual vegan eats, Ethos’ self-service, pay what your food weighs model is a convenient and tasty stop should you find yourself around Soho. Stack your plate high with everything from vegan curries to miso aubergine and myriad salads, but don’t forget to leave room for its equally delightful raw deserts and plant-based bakes.
In Club Mexicana food is meat-free. So popular were the tacos and burritos in its street vendor beginnings that it now occupy stalls in Seven Dials market and Shoreditch Dinerama, but the kitchen of Homerton pub The Spread Eagle. Vegan takes on pork, chorizo and fish tacos should all be considered in its three for £10 deal.
For the best vegan junk food in town, Shoreditch’s Unity Diner is a non-profit that fast food’s major players could learn a thing or two from. Damn good vegan burgers, hot dogs, dirty fries and cocktails are served to raise money for the animal rights campaigning work of Surge. Best of all is its sustainability commitment – 100% biodegradable takeaway containers, coffee cups and straws, ethically made cotton uniforms with chemical-free vegan ink.
Where to go in London for great vegan dumplings and bao? Well, the clue is in the name. Chay means vegan in Vietnamese, and Eat Chay serves up some of the best East Asian vegan food we’ve come across. Taking up container space in trendy Shoreditch Box Park, Choose from bao buns of BBQ seitan, soy chick’n or crispy tofu, with a side of vegan pork dumplings to share.
We live in a fast-paced world and few places are quite so emblematic of that as London. Re:Centre is all about the stillness and calm we neglect in our lives, and this permeates all its classes and events. Book into Richie Bostock’s breathwork classes to reconnect with your body and accelerate your personal growth from within. Can’t make it, check out some of his tips for success here.
Hampstead Bathing Ponds
London’s infamous heath is home to three bathing ponds, divided into women’s, men’s and mixed. Regardless of what time of year you visit, you’ll always find someone paddling – so make like Wim Hof and take the plunge on a February weekend or join the decidedly bigger crowds in the height of summer.
Volunteer with The Felix Project
For all its delicious restaurants, London is a major culprit for wasting food. One organisation that seeks to change that is the Felix Project, which collects fresh, nutritious food that can’t be sold to deliver to charities and schools who can provide healthy meals for the most vulnerable. If you’re looking for a place to volunteer your time for a compassionate cause, this is one of the best places you can do it.
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