Time to Glow: With Secret Urban Escape – the new way to workout

Want to get your glow on this summer? Check out Secret Urban Escape! Offering  mind-blowing pop up lifestyle events at unique, unusual and extraordinary locations throughout London,  Secret Urban Escape is designed to re-energise, inspire and wow you.  Escape the daily grind and prepare to be surprised!

This amazing concept is the brainchild of Iris and Tash, two super cool ladies who love socialising, exercising and generally spreading positive vibes. Tash is a trained yoga teacher whilst Iris is a career and life coach – what a pair! Together they can solve all your mental and physical wellbeing woes!

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The first event, Pilates in the Park launched on 21st June and took place in Hyde Park. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and we all met, after having been drip-fed clues via email as to the exact whereabouts of the event.  The Pilates class was taught by the talented Chloe Hodgson, our resident fitspiration for January.

Chloe taught a dynamic class ensuring all our bodies were quivering and shaking after each posture. The class flew by, Chloe has a really engaging teaching method – you feel inspired and constantly motivated throughout the class due to Chloe’s can-do, enthusiastic attitude. I really felt like it was a full body workout and I didn’t even leave the mat! Amazing what you can achieve with such a small amount of space.

The class lasted an hour then we were treated to some delicious food from the Detox Kitchen to reward us for our virtuous feat of dragging ourselves out of bed on a Saturday morning to do exercise. The food consisted of homemade granola with coconut yoghurt and berries, brown rice risotto with squash washed down with alkalising green juices. These delightful pots of goodness were wolfed down by the group and we all sat and chatted in the sun – it was like having a picnic with your friends!

Afterwards I felt inspired, happy and ready to enjoy the rest of my weekend. Everyone was really friendly and it was a great way to meet like-minded people – I even got a few people’s number and have met up with them since!

Secret Urban Escape makes you forget about the daily grind. Instead you feel as though you have been transported out of a city. Iris and Tash’s vision is exactly what London needs – time out to reconnect, meet new people and relax.

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At Secret Urban Escape they like to mix things up, so you can expect something different from each event. Some might make you #SWEAT, #RELAX, #MOVE and so much more…

The next event takes place on Sunday 20th July from 9.30am-12pm. Get ready to run your socks off, build up a sweat and enjoy some post-run yoga to stretch out those weary muscles. After your workout, you’ll enjoy a scrumptious picnic with delicious healthy food and drinks plus chilled music – the perfect setting to rest those legs and meet their growing community. So lace up your trainers and run Forrest run! For more information and to buy tickets visit Secret Urban Escape.

words by Bex Fairbrother


Buy the leggings here

The Summer Makeup Bag Essentials We Can’t Live Without!

So obviously nobody in real life does a total make-up bag edit when it comes to summer like we do with our wardrobes. But adding even just a few of the following can make a difference to the look (and longevity) of your makeup when the sun is shining. So here are my summer make up bag essentials which I always have in my make-up bag for long-lasting prettiness from June to September.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, SPF15, £52
My cannot-live-without base which eliminates redness, softens fine lines, minimizes pore size and creates the perfect flawless base for make up.


Chantecaille Tinted Moisturiser, SPF 15, £58
I still haven’t found anything to beat this. The formula is excellent – provides fantastic coverage yet looks super sheer. It makes you look like you’re not really wearing make up but just have a lovley, healthy glowing complexion.


Burberry Fresh Glow, £34
My go-to highlighter for day or evening. I use it on top of tinted moisturiser, blended on the top of cheekbones and under the brow arch.


Nars Laguna Bronzing Powder, £27
Still one of their bestselling products because it suits every skintone. It has a very subtle golden shimmer which flatters everyone and makes you look like you’ve had a weekend in the sun even when you haven’t. Even more beautiful on tanned skin.


Kevyn Aucoin Eye Pencil Primatif, £21 (in Defining Brown)
Brown eye pencil is for most people way more flattering than black. So unless you are going for a purist Chrissie Hynde eye, I would use brown every time – especially during the summer when your skin is warmed up with colour. This pencil has the softest velvety texture which is so easy to apply and only smudges if you want it to.


Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Waterproof Mascara, £22
Creates pretty long, sweeping lashes and stays put in the pool or the beach (if you are at a pool or beach that requires a bit of mascara. I know mine does)


Nudestix Skin Concealor Pencil, £24
A fabulous concealor from this new brand where everything is in the form of a chunky crayon. Especially easy to apply under the eye or a dot around the nose. Fantastic colours too.


Charlotte Tilbury Nude lip, K.I.S.S.I.N.G lipstick, £23 and Lip Lustre gloss, £16.50
If it’s good enough for Kate Moss, it’s good enough for me. Charlotte Tilbury’s well researched nude lipsticks are brilliant. Kate wears Penelope Pink lipstick with Lip Lustre Gloss in Seduction. It really is the perfect nude with (or without) a tan.

words by Lucia Ferrari



Grilled Prawns with Chickpea Salad

Grilled Prawns with chickpea salad by The Detox Kitchen 

( Serves 2 )


1 tin chickpeas

1 red pepper

1 yellow pepper

2 spring onions

1 handful coriander, finely chopped

1 handful mint leaves, finely chopped

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper


For the dressing

1 handful spinach

1 clove garlic, peeled

½ small red chili

1 spring onion

1 tsp rapeseed oil

Pinch salt

Pinch pepper

12 King prawns



Place a griddle pan on a medium heat. While that is heating, drain and rinse the chickpeas and place them in a mixing bowl. Very finely chop the peppers, spring onions and herbs and mix this through the chickpeas with the limejuice, zest, salt and pepper.  To make the coarse dressing, finely chop the spinach, garlic, chili and spring onions, mix with a little rapeseed oil, salt and pepper.Place three king prawns on each skewer. Drizzle with a little rapeseed oil and place on the hot griddle pan for 2 minutes on each side until cooed throughout.To serve, place the prawns on top of the salad and spoon over the spinach and chili dressing.


Couture on Court – Stella McCartney unveils her new “tennis inspired” Barricade Collection at Wimbledon 2014!

Wimbledon. It’s the tennis tournament that warrants strawberries, cream and Pimm’s as a staple dietary requirement, transforms Murray Mount into a pilgrimage-worthy destination, and unveils…sexy, streamlined silhouettes by Stella?!

Yes, that’s right Hip and Healthies, from catwalk to court, the Stella McCartney for adidas AW14 collection barricade for Fall/ Winter 14 makes its exclusive debut on centre court as featured on brand ambassadors Caroline Wozniacki, Maria Kirilenko and Andrea Petkovic for their upcoming matches.

Sporting striking, stand-out style, the wonderful Wimbledon women will wear all-white, ultra-feminine separates and one-piece dresses to ensure that they wow not only by their tennis talent, but their superior style standards.

And don’t think that practicality is compromised. Strategically structured with open and closed mesh fabrics and textures, the designs ensure ultimate security, flexibility and ventilation. Each piece is engineered to ensure 100% performance, yet, true to Stella McCartney tradition, each intricate detail certifies the collection as timeless.

Be prepared to be dazzled by Caroline Wozniacki, who is due to present the limited edition cropped spacer fabric Bomber Jacket in White and flattering Dress with fit-and-flare bi-tonal pleats in a Wimbledon exclusive. With effortless seam construction and ClimaLITE technology, as featured in all items in the collection, Wozniacki is confident that the style will not only aid her game, but radiate true, innovative athletic vitality. She says: ‘This season’s adidas by Stella McCartney barricade collection is amazing. It doesn’t only look great, but the functionality of each piece is outstanding. I love the bomber jacket and femininity of my dress; the collection gives me the confidence I need to focus on nothing else but my performance – which ultimately, is what every professional tennis player wants.’


Similarly, Maria Kirilenko will debut the elbow-sleeved Tee to flatter her flawless feminine physique while Andrea Petkovic will exhibit the sleeveless, collared Tank, designed with a supportive yet sexy racer back and playful asymmetric ruffling to allow beautiful movement during each serve. Both women are due to celebrate the new Skort in White, designed with flirty flyaways to establish the collection as no less than cutting-edge.

Maria comments, “adidas by Stella McCartney barricade allows me to feel confident on court, every time. It is the perfect combination of performance and style, and the all-white collection for Wimbledon is stunning – the different texture combinations look amazing, but they’re also perfect for keeping cool when you need it most.”

But Stella McCartney doesn’t stop there. Never to miss an opportunity, the barricade footwear with barricade 8 tooling complements the clothing line to perfection. By providing weightless comfort, agility and buoyancy, these shoes are carefully created to allow acute receptiveness on court. Of course, the ensemble would not be complete without seasonal accessories such as an on-court tennis bag and visor; and as ever, Stella delivers.

So, want to look and feel like a real Wimbledon woman? Be sure to check out the adidas AW14 barricade collection by Stella McCartney available right now at high-end and specialty retailers worldwide, as well as the adidas by Stella McCartney flagship store in Brompton Cross, London and online at www.adidas.com/tennis.

Apparel and Accessories prices start from 15 Euro for the barricade socks up to 110 Euro for the aSMC dress. Footwear prices start from 130 Euros.

Sweet Nothing – Book Review!

Sweet Nothing is Nicole Mowbray’s candid account of her relationship with sugar or her “unattractive story of gluttony” as she puts it.  Nicole Mowbray is an established writer and former editor of LIFE&STYLE and FEMAIL of the DAILY MAIL.

Whilst it is partly a memoir, documenting her journey of ditching the white stuff, one she does with extreme honesty, Sweet Nothing is also a guide to how we too can give up sugar and make the necessary changes to transform our lives.

Mowbray’s account of how she quit sugar comes at an appropriate time when sugar seems to be the health buzzword which is on all of our lips (literally!) Sweet Nothing isn’t a sugar-coated (excuse the pun) version of events. Mowbray reveals the evil truths behind this “white poison” as her dad so aptly describes it.

When she goes cold turkey, the horrific withdrawal symptoms she experiences are something that you would imagine a hardcore drug addict might be confronted with when they too quit their “white poison.”  The dizziness, excruciating headaches and lethargy are just a few of the unpleasant side effects which Mowbray is confronted with, highlighting just how dangerous sugar is.

Her account details how giving up sugar changes her life, improves her physical health and mental wellbeing, her relationships as well as her relationship with herself.  It is a powerful tale which includes interviews from experts including nutritionists, cardiologists and psychologists which both highlight the scientific facts behind sugar and how it affects our emotions.

Mowbray not only highlights how sugar (which you’d be surprised is present in so many foods and drinks that we consume daily thinking they are “healthy”) can have an impact on our social relationships but also points out the scary and damaging effects it can have on our bodies.  She also touches upon how we have become conditioned to associate sweet food with feeling good and through her own personal journey aims to re-educate and encourage people to think harder about their sugar consumption and the alternatives that are out there.

 Mowbray offers advice, expert tips as well as a number of recipes to help others embark on their sugar-free journey and succeed.  Her frank account is a powerful read for a generation suffering from an obesity epidemic.  

Buy Sweet Nothing here.

words by Rebecca Fairbrother

If You Only Do One Thing This Week… Never Leave Home Without These Travel Bag Essentials!

It’s always an exciting moment to retrieve your long forgotten suitcase out from under the bed or down from the loft because it only means one thing… Holiday season! We revel in the joy of whipping out our summer clothes and perching on top of our suitcases in order to squeeze in every last pair of sandals (because you can never have too many!). We also love organising our carry-on bag (Sad, we know!), so below, are the essentials we never leave the country without!

Caudalie Beauty Elixir 30ml – £11.50
We’ve all been told time and time again, that planes are probably one of the most dehydrating ways of transport, not only for your body, but your skin too. Caudalie’s famous Beauty Elixir Face Mist is a powerful plant based, anti-dull spray that will give a surge of moisture and radiance to dry and lack lustre skin.

Neals Yard Melissa Hand Cream 30ml – £13.50
Speaking of feeling dehydrated, it’s always lovely to whip out a luxurious hand cream to give your hands a bit of a pamper when they’re feeling a bit papery and dry. We love the Neals Yard Melissa Hand Cream for it’s rich and nourishing ingredients and it’s so easy to store in your carry-on bag.

IQ Superfood Chocolate – £2.85
Plane food is the worst, right? So whenever we travelling, we always carry a stash of healthy nibbles! A firm favourite has got to be IQ Superfood Chocolate for their inventive flavours and their organic and raw ingredients. The flvour we keep going back to is the orange wild wild raspberry. (So addictive!).

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray 75ml – £16.00
Overnight flights can be made much more relaxing with a little help from This Works. Their best selling Deep Sleep Pillow Spray aims to calm and sooth your mind and body to encourage a deeper sleep and help you feel refreshed upon awakening.

L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Roll On Eau De Toilette 10ml – £14.50
This dainty and easily portable Cherry Blossom roll-on offers a gorgeous, light, fruity scent that’s super handy for touch-ups on the go. Roll on’s are great for travelling because there’s nothing worse than getting a mouth full of perfume from the person sitting in front of you who’s decided to practically have a shower in it!

Kiehl’s SPF Lip Balm 15ml – £9.50
Having dry, cracked lips is such a bummer, especially on holiday when the sun is beaming down making them even worse! Our go-to remedy is the Kiehl’s SPF Lip Balm everytime. Apart from offering protection from the sun, it also combats the effects of harsh winds and blasting air cons! It’s definitely a winner in our books.

Jason Nourishing Apricot Deodorant Stick – £4.99
Jason’s pure, natural deodorant is perfect for a freshen up when things get a little bit hot and sticky (we’ve all been there!). Natural apricot oil and nourishing Vitamin E will smooth and soften underarm skin, while the grapefruit seed extract (containing antimicrobial properties), will help fight odor-enhancing bacteria!

Punch Foods Raw Cacao Superseeds – £3.99
The newest super snack to hit the town is the utterly delicious Punch Foods Superseeds! These tubes of naturally flavoured seeds make snacking on the go way more hygienic! Simply knock a few mouthfuls back straight out the tube and you’re good to go! Heads up – The raw cacao flavour is the yummiest!

Mio Skincare Workout Wonder Invigorating Muscle Gel 100ml – £21.00
Boost circulation and ease tense, sore muscles with this invigorating muscle gel. Travelling can take its toll on the body, so we love to slather on this gel when we want to energise and cool our tired muscles. You can purchase this in travel size with Mio’s “Your Fit Skin Kit” where you also receive “The Activist”, a firming body oil, and “Boob Tube+”, a multi action bust firmer!

words by Molly Jennings


Hip & Healthy Travel To The Ecuadorian Coast!

On the South coast of Ecuador, in the Manabi province, lays the sleepy coastal village of Ayampe. The stunning beaches are hugged by rich green hills and the friendliest of locals. In this village lays Otra Ola, a surfing, yoga and Spanish school situated right on the coast! This unique little school offers the chance to feed your mind, body and soul, and to really reconnect with yourself. The location provided the ideal backdrop for experiencing colourful Ecuador whilst investing time in healthy, mindful and sometimes challenging opportunities.


The yoga school is situated in an open roofed studio within a charming garden, where the ocean can be heard and humming birds spotted as they fly between vibrant flowers. Akhanda yoga is practised here daily and was a new branch of yoga for myself on arrival (combining elements of the four traditional yoga paths- Bakhti, Karma, Jnana and Raja). I was unfamiliar with the meditative elements and breathing techniques that Akhanda yoga offers and I was afraid it may compromise on the ‘burn’ felt from a challenging session on the mat. I was wrong and the experience has emphasised to me the unparalleled importance of the mind and breathing in yoga. The holistic approach not only provides a fulfilling workout, but the benefits are enhanced through a calming and clearly explained introduction to the mindfulness yoga can achieve.


Another perk of Otra Ola is their organic cafe! All of their food is made with fresh and locally grown ingredients. One dish that particularly caught my eye was the ceviche, a classic South American dish of raw fish cured in lemon or lime juices. In Ecuador it is traditionally served in a sauce of fresh raw tomato, red onion and green peppers… It made the perfect dish for a hot day by the waves.

Fruit is also in abundance and varies from the familiar, every-day options we find at home to the more exotic! Not only is it exciting to try new fruity flavours, but the availability means new smoothies and recipes can be experimented with almost daily. A particular favourite of mine is the Granadilla fruit. Shaped like a plum, it features a yellow shell like exterior that you crack open to expose a seedy pulp that resembles a passion fruit. Its subtle sweetness made a great topper for smoothie bowls and yogurts in the mornings.

Staying Active

This beautiful stretch of Ecuadorian coastline is blessed with incredible sunsets and a refreshing sea breeze. This time of the evening makes for a spectacular opportunity to go running on the beach, barefoot style. If you’re more inclined to make use of the scenery, then the surf is the place to go. Not quite a surf goddess yet? There’s no need to worry, surf lessons are available for all ranges of ability!

It is possible to observe humpback whales between June and October but you can also spot other wildlife all year round. Many spectacular sea birds live along the coast, and the best way to spot them is by taking a rewarding hike on the nearby island ‘Isla de la Plata’. Blue footed boobies (most famously known from the Galapogas Islands) and other wildlife keep you entertained whilst hiking too. The close proximity to the Galapogas Islands also makes it possible to combine the two trips really easily.

If you enjoy travelling, exploring a new and vibrant culture, whilst also dedicating time to your wellbeing, this is a wonderful option without the price tag that comes with many yoga retreats.

Plan your visit to Otra Ola here.

words by Rebecca O’Rourke

Fitspiration – Calgary Avansino

What motivates you to workout? Exercise makes me feel calm and happy and at the same time makes me feel energised and positive – you can’t get much better than that. It’s fun, it’s good for you and it is a powerful tool for the mind, helping to alleviate stresses and anxiety. After a great spin, yoga or interval class, all my day’s worries have left my body in the form of sweat, leaving me feeling confident and excited about whatever comes next.

Are there any workout trends that you’re particularly loving this season? There are a few that I’ve been really excited about in the past six months. I love the intensity of Russell Bateman’s SBC classes at Baker Street and the new Dance and Interval classes at Barrecore are terrific to burn calories. The new studio for Paolas’ BodyBarre in Fulham is fantastic – wish I lived closer! And I always love a hot yoga class at TriYoga.

Name your top healthy foods you couldn’t live without! I absolutely couldn’t live without avocados and nuts. Since I don’t eat much meat at all, they are positive sources of fat and protein for me. Equally important to my diet are apples, which I eat often with almond butter as a snack, as well as blueberries and basically veggies of every variety. I’m a plant-based girl through and through!

You’re hailed as the “Sugar-Free Queen”! Tell us about why you are so passionate to dish the dirt on sugar? Quite simply, it’s making both adults and children unhealthy, unwell and overweight. According to the NHS, the average person in Britain now consumes roughly 700g of sugar a week, which equates to 140 teaspoons. Experts have said, however, that our bodies are only designed to handle half of that or less per week. The bitter truth is that our health has become severely impacted as a result of this excessive sugar consumption. Expanding waistlines, constant cravings, binge eating, increased blood pressure, heightened risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease – the underlying force behind much of this is sugar. One in four adults are now obese in the UK and there are 3 million reported cases of diabetes. Something needs to be done – and rapidly – about the way we eat and think. Saying goodbye to sugar is a great first step.

What’s your fail-safe sugar-free breakfast that you can’t stop making? I try to mix it up so I am never bored by my breakfast and, more importantly, so my kids aren’t bored. Chia seed pudding made with homemade almond milk, cinnamon and blueberries is a favourite and other regulars are bircher muesli, rolled oat porridge made with almond milk and flaked coconut, wheat-free toast with avocado and my famous green smoothies. I’m always trying new combinations too, so we’ll often have a new rice porridge I am testing or gluten-free muffins made with delicious fruits and grains.

You’re a very busy lady who’s always on the go, how do you fit in exercise and how do you maintain a healthy diet when you’re travelling a lot? In terms of exercise, I always schedule it in my diary as I would a meeting. With a packed work diary and two young children, it would be easy to find reasons not to go if I wasn’t strict with myself about finding time. I’ll sit down on a Sunday evening and work out a plan for the week ahead. Sometimes I will make an hour for myself at lunchtime; other days I wake up an hour earlier than normal, before the children have risen, to fit in an intense morning workout. If I am planning to meet a friend, then rather than suggest a restaurant or bar, I like to head to exercise classes together. It’s a great way of finding that extra time in the day and always fun to do with a plus one. When I am travelling, I religiously plan ahead and bring tons of healthy snacks with me. I’m also always on Google searching, “best healthy restaurants and juice bars in ……” – you’d be surprised what amazing places you can find all over the world.

What are your must-have beauty essentials? Water, sunscreen and sleep! That’s what really helps me feel fabulous – but of course a coat of mascara and a sweep of bronzer can do a world of good too.

What makes you feel confident when you’re just having one of those days?! I always throw on a bright, cheerful dress if I’m really tired or if I’m feeling it might be “one of those days” and I also try to spend an extra five minutes to put on my make-up properly. I know it sounds like a cliché but I make a special effort to smile at people, help someone and compliment people if I’m having a down day – I really believe the good vibes bounce back to you.

Did your healthy habits come from your childhood or was it something you discovered later in life? I was raised on a vegetarian diet by health conscious parents; many of the habits I have now as an adult have been part of my life from a very young age and I thank my parents for that endlessly. However, I’d say in the last ten years or so, I have fine-tuned these to suit my lifestyle and personal tastes. I’m much more flexitarian now, if I fancy steamed salmon or eggs I have them but my diet is primarily plant-based.

Do you have a favourite quote or mantra you like to stick by? Work hard and be nice to people!

You’re having a dinner party, what would you cook? Depends on who is coming! But I always try to serve an assortment of delicious veggie recipes to prove to people how satisfying eating this way can be. Sometimes I serve fish, but never meat. And I always make a mouth-watering dessert that does not contain refined sugar or dairy. I love telling people that, right after they’ve said, “that was the yummiest dessert!”

What’s your favourite go-to “healthy hub” in London? Luckily there are more and more by the day. Roots & Bulbs, Nama, The Good Life, The River Café, Whole Foods, KX Gym, Juice Well, Daylesford Café.

Do you have any top tips for any sugar-free newbies? First of all, learn to look out for hidden sugar in places you would least expect it. Fruit juice, fruit yogurts, pasta sauces, canned salmon, breaded fish and chicken fingers, instant porridges, breakfast cereals, salad dressings, marinades and, of course, all processed foods. If you start there and begin to educate yourself about all of the sneaky hiding places for sugar, you will be well on your way. Then you just have to commit to purging it from your diet. The great thing is that once you quit the white stuff, you don’t crave it!

Can you describe your perfect holiday destination? For beach holidays, I’d say it definitely has to be Maalifushi in the Maldives. It’s unbelievably peaceful there and their focus is all on wellbeing, relaxing and healthy living – they even have a raw, vegan menu, which is one of the best I’ve ever eaten from. It’s my ultimate happy place.

It’s been a busy day, how do you wind down? The first step of winding down for me is taking off my “work” clothes and getting into my comfortable home clothes; I try to symbolically leave whatever stresses the day brought there in a pile with my clothes. I leave my phone downstairs so I’m not tempted to check it while I am with my kids, and then I just try to shut out the rest of the world and BE with my little precious girls. Sometimes we read, sometimes we have a dance party and sometimes we just hang out but it’s always the best part of my day!

What are your favourite few things from our active-wear store? L’urv Sunshine Seduction Floral leggings

L'urv Sunshine Seduction Floral Leggings, £65

L’urv Sunshine Seduction Floral Leggings, £65

L’urv Sea Spray Shorts 

L'urv Sea Spray Shorts

L’urv Sea Spray Shorts


A Hip & Healthy Turkish Delight!

When I was first asked to review a hotel in Bodrum, Turkey, I had flashbacks of the last time I was there 15 years ago. Said flashbacks included seedy nightclubs, traumatic haggling over fake Oakley sunglasses and lots of rather rowdy “lads on-tour”. The Turkish coastal town of Bodrum has previously had a bit of an edgy reputation as a package-holiday mecca. But times have changed and although there are still coach tours and all-inclusives, Bodrum and the surrounding coastline have had a seriously glam make-over and the area is now living up to its name as the Turkish Riviera. With a new, more sophisticated look, there are luxury hotels a-plenty, shops selling gorgeous beachwear and restaurants for serious foodies.

We arrived at the Kempinski Barbaros Bay near Bodrum late at night, tired and peckish (why does traveling always make you so hungry?). My apprehension fuelled by those not-so-nice memories of Bodrum was put to rest immediately on entering this beautiful property (no lads on-tour here). The staff were exceptionally welcoming and realising we were probably ready for bed, ushered us to our rather splendid room where there were bowls of fresh strawberries and apricots lying in wait (yummy!). Our room was spacious, with a ridiculously comfy bed and equipped with everything we needed for a happy holiday (including a dental kit which was particularly useful for someone like me who always forgets their toothbrush). There was also the added bonus of a balcony, perfectly sized for morning yoga and with views across the sea to the other side of the peninsula.

After a long, much-needed sleep we awoke to the sun shining through our windows and a view of the turquoise ocean. Breakfast in the hotel is served between 7am and 11am so there is plenty of time to ease into your holiday. And if you need a little more sleep, breakfast can be served on your balcony at any time during the day. As a breakfast-lover I can be a little critical of hotel breakfasts but I can’t find a bad word to say about this one. The morning feast at the Kempinski Barbaros Bay knocks socks off every other hotel breakfast I have ever had. I won’t go on too long as you may not be as passionate about breakfast as me, but this sumptuous selection of fresh, homemade, (mainly) healthy food has something for everyone – Paleo, raw, vegan, gluten-free, lactose-free (they even have lactose-free milk and gluten-free breads) or lovers of a little-bit-of-everything. My mornings kicked off with fresh cherries, cantaloupe melon, strawberries and mint tea followed by a bowl of porridge topped with homemade peanut butter, walnuts, cinnamon and dried strawberries (there is actually a whole area of the buffet devoted to nuts, seeds and dried fruits – heaven!). And men needn’t fear a lack of man-food – there are plenty of eggs, fish and cold meats on offer.

Post-morning feasting, you can make your way down to the enormous pool, the beach or the sun deck. There is no rush to the sun-loungers and sun-lounger booking techniques are seriously frowned upon. Plus there are more than enough sun-loungers to go around and each one has an umbrella, catches a bit of sun and has a sea view. We spent our first morning at lazing around the pool still recovering from “Londoner fatigue syndrome”.

With a little bit more energy in the bank and fuelled by our rather substantial breakfast, we headed to the beach for a sporty afternoon of stand-up paddle boarding. In order to ensure everyone is happy, there are child-friendly and adult-only sections of the beach as well as sun loungers on the sand and sun loungers scattered around the manicured gardens set back from the water’s edge – ideal for those who find getting sand everywhere a little annoying. With its array of watersports (stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, sailing, windsurfing and motorised sports such as wakeboarding), hidden-away hammocks and a bar serving freshly squeezed juices, the Barbaros Bay beach is a perfect hangout for the super active as well as the not-so-active.

0013_Barbarossa Beach

Kempinski Barbarossa Beach


Following our active afternoon, we indulged ourselves with a blissful candle-lit massage at the hotel spa. And without sounding cliché, this isn’t your average spa. There is an indoor pool and jacuzzi, two Turkish hammams (one for the boys and one for the girls), saunas and steam rooms (yes, plural), treatment rooms for pretty much every spa treatment you can think of (they even offer underwater shiatsu massage), a hair and nail salon as well as an impressive gym complete with a brand new Pilates reformer machine. In addition, the outdoor deck hosts complementary group Pilates classes in the morning and candle-lit yoga classes one evening every week. I attended one of the Pilates classes and because it was only me crazy enough to get up early on holiday for Pilates in the Turkish sun, the lovely instructor gave me a private class on the reformer machine followed by a delicious ginger tea. If you are in need of a super-detox, the spa also offers “purification packages” for 3 or 7 days which include treatments, fresh juices and personal training. You can also throw in some Pilates and yoga to ensure you come home well and truly detoxified.

When the sun starts going down, you can take your pick from four equally delicious restaurants, all of which have indoor or al-fresco dining (by 8pm it is cool enough to eat outside). The main restaurant, Olives, is a dinner buffet on the same grand scale as breakfast with an abundance of fresh salads, cold and warm options, Turkish mezzes (so delicious!) and fresh fish cooked in front of you. There is also a dessert bar of note, where you can pick and mix mini-desserts or opt for a healthier handful of dried fruit and nuts or even a little dark choccy with a cup of herbal tea. The supper alternatives are all a la carte and include The Saigon Club which serves Asian-fusion food, La Luce, an Italian serving pasta, fish and meat and the Barbaros Beach Restaurant for grilled sea food and salads on the beach.

Pilates, lots of swimming in the sea, snorkelling, paddle boarding and lounging around (which in itself is quite draining when done at 34 degrees) meant come night time we were pretty tired in a happy, healthy way. At the end of our 4 day trip we didn’t want to leave this little slice of paradise and its breakfast-from-heaven and wished we were staying a little longer. My previous memories of holidays in Turkey have been wiped out and replaced by a magical mini-break at the seriously hip and healthy Kempinski Barbaros Bay.

You can fly direct to Bodrum airport from airports all over the UK on Easyjet, Monarch or Thomas Cook. Return flights cost about £200 per person but mixing and matching airlines can save you a few pennies which you can spend on that extra spa treatment! The best times to visit are between March and November, with July and August being the busiest and hottest months. Temperatures either side of the summer are still in the twenties meaning it is the perfect location for a spring or autumn wellbeing mini-break. Nightly rates at the Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay start from around £180 per night, based on a double occupancy with breakfast included. To book contact Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay +90 252 3110303 or visit www.kempinski.com/bodrum.

words by Kathleen Fleming

The Hip & Healthy Guide To Sunscreens!

Skin care is vital all year round, but especially when the sun starts peeping through! Renowned British dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe who practises in both London and Los Angeles has over thirty years experience advising his patients on the best sun protection and is always my first port of call on anything to do with sun and skin.

What is the difference between UVA and UVB?
“UVA rays are the main cause of ageing while UVB rays burn the skin”, explains Dr Lowe , “But both UVA and UVB rays can cause skin cancers, so you must choose a suncream with both. The SPF number on the bottle only refers to protection against UVB rays and has nothing to do with UVA protection, which means a product with an SPF 30 may not contain any ingredients that defend against UVA rays. So check your suncream has UVA protection written on the bottle also. ”

Which SPF to choose?
After making sure the cream you are going to use contains both UVA and UVB protection, most dermatologists agree a SPF 30 with good UVA is sufficient. Dr Lowe suggests, “SPF 50 is overkill unless you are a redhead (skin type 1), also a higher SPF may expose the skin to unnecessary chemicals.” Dr Lowe advises re-applying a lower factor SPF (20 or 30) very regularly throughout the day, especially after swimming or towelling off. In strong summer sun, those with skin type II (the most common in the UK) will burn after 10 minutes without any sunscreen! Yikes!

Hip & Healthy’s go-to sunscreens?
The following are all a joy to use. They have perfect consistencies and don’t feel heavy or greasy on the skin yet still offer the best protection.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Lotion for body SPF 30 +UVA, 100 ml, £16.50
I used to stockpile this in France before it was available here. A winner because it is so light you cannot feel it on the skin and is excellent for sensitive skin too. I have never ever burned using this product.

Garnier Ambre Solaire Light and Silky Protection Lotion SPF30 + UVA, 200 ml, £13.50
A well priced suncream with excellent research and technology behind it. You cannot go wrong with any of this range. The light fragrance may not be everybody’s cup of tea though.

Nivea Sun Protect and Refresh Lotion SPF30 + UVA, 200ml £15
This product is lovely to use and also comes in spray form for easy application. Very trustworthy technology again and is a favourite amongst dermatologists.

Clinique SPF 30 Body Cream with UVA, 150 ml, £19.50
This luxurious sun cream literally melts into the skin! As well as being cooling on application, it’s also good for sensitive skin.

The Organic Pharmacy SPF30 +UVA, 100 ml £36.95
Free from artificial preservatives, colourants, fragrances and petrochemicals of any kind; this is a 100% mineral sunscreen infused with nourishing shea butter and soothing aloe.

words by Lucia Ferrari

image: Pinterest

If You Only Do One Thing This Week…Exercise Your Way To A Brazilian Body!


This week, the Hip & Healthy team are feeling in a “Brazilian” mood! No, we’ve not got the world cup on our minds… we’re talking about the coveted and gorgeous Brazilian Bod! Brazilian women seem to have this amazing inner confidence, and they totally embrace all the beautiful, natural curves of the female body. We’re definitely all over that! Because we’re feeling so inspired by the brazilian way of enhancing our curves, we’ve compiled some of our favourite exercise that will lift and accentuate those famous Brazilian body parts! Get ready to workout!

Be Bootylicious!

Booty kick backs are awesome for sculpting and defining the glutes and the top of the hamstring… all you need to perform them is a tennis ball! Start on all fours and place the tennis ball behind the back of your right knee and squeeze to keep it in place. Now life that leg behind you up into a 90 degree angle and start some little pulses up and down slowly and contolled. The aim is to keep that tennis ball behind your knee without letting it fall! You should have a nice, straight back at all times and remember to keep your abs tight. Perform 20 on each leg five times a day for a gorgeously toned behind! 

Itzy Bitzy Teeny Tiny Tummy!

Now that you’ve got the Brazilian booty, its time to recreate the “corset” waist look with super effective side planks dips. This move will target your obliques (the criss cross section of your abs), creating toned and sleek muscles that are totally beach worthy! Simply prop yourself up on your elbow, stack your feet on top of one another and raise your hips up and down. Repeat 12 times on each side five times a day. When your abs are shaking, you know you’re doing it right!

Sexy, Slender Arms!

Bid farewell to the “chicken wings” and welcome sexy, slender arms! It can be a challenge to blast the upper arm area but we think arm circles will do just the trick. Arm circles are perfect for toning and strengthening the shoulders and upper arms, but prepare to feel the burn! All you need to do is hold a can of chopped tomatoes (or whatever you have in your cupboards) in each hand, lift your arms to just below shoulder height and get circling! We recommend 1 minute forwards and backwards twice through for best results. Repeat morning and evening and get ready to flaunt that strapless dress! 

Lean, Long, Lengthy thighs!

Mini Band walking is amazing for defining and sculpting the outer thighs and top of the glutes and you can do this exercise pretty much anywhere, be it on the beach or in your hotel room! Place a resistance band around your ankles and take large steps to the side leading with your heel, keeping your feet facing forwards and legs straight at all times. You do feel a bit like an awkward penguin performing this move but it really targets the abductor muscles that run along the outside of your leg and activates the glute muscles too (a booty bonus!). Take 10-12 steps to the right and repeat to the left and perform as many times as you like! There really are no limitations to this exercise and it’s perfect if you don’t have a lot of time! We love the Perform Better Mini Bands where you can choose the resistance that suits you.

words by Molly Jennings

image: Pinterest

The Best Holiday Books That Will Change Your Life

Whenever I go on holiday I always take two types of books with me. I like to take a really great fictional novel I can get totally lost in and I also take away something that will inspire me to make a change in my life or a book that I can learn something valuable from. Over the years I have collected many fantastic books (all thumbed to pieces, covered in suncream and often missing a few pages due to leaving them by the pool) but there are a few that I really wanted to share. Holidays provide one of the best times to sit back, relax and re-evaluate life – these books are some of my faves and will help us all in our quest to becoming the best versions of ourselves…

What: Thrive

Who: Arianna Huffington (who started the Huffington Post)

What’s it all about? After years of stress, hard-work and little sleep, Arianna fainted through exhaustion, hitting her head badly on her desk on the way down. That was the wake up call she needed to realise that surely there was more to life than this. In her book she redefines the way we measure success, introducing us to a third metric that includes four important pillars: Wellbeing, Wonder, Wisdom and Giving. You’ll learn about how one should really measure their lives, and the lessons that Arianna shares from her own experiences are both witty and brilliant.

Best piece of advice: Sleep your way to the top – quite literally! Arianna is an advocate of turning off all electronic devices and getting into bed early. Nothing will keep you motivated and creative like a good night’s sleep.

Best for: Burnt-out business women.

What: Lean In

Who: Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook)

What’s it all about? This book is for anyone who’s thought twice about taking a promotion because they want to start a family, for those women who have a tendancy to sit at the back of the meeting room struggling to get their voice heard, or for any woman who has doubted her decisions at work, cried in the office or felt that being a woman in the workplace can sometimes feel a bit more difficult than it should. So that’s most working women then… The biggest lesson I learned from this inspiring book is that I am not alone in nearly any of the negative emotions I have felt relating to business. Sheryl’s suggestions are practical, funny, easy to implement and will most definately gain you quick results. She has had an amazing career that spans five years at the Treasury, a stint at Google and is now working at Facebook. She reminds us that we are all capable of amazing things despite what we feel might be holding us back.

Best piece of advice: To accept that promotion / better job / extra-responsibility even if you are thinking about starting a family. It still takes nine months to actually make the baby and by that time to you will be able to leave and come back at a much higher level than if you hadn’t. Let go of the guilt.

Best for: Those trying to juggle family and work-life. Getting the balance is never easy but it is possible.

What: May Cause Miracles

Who: Gabrielle Bernstein

What’s it all about? A positive life change begins with a positive thought. Gabby believes that changing the way we think can have an incredible impact on the results we see in our days. So, for ease, she has put together a 6-week guide to happiness that will help you to think in a way that you’ll start to expect miracles to take place all the time. It’s all about choosing love over fear and pressing the reset button on negative feelings about yourself. I especially love her affirmations.

Best piece of advice: Adopt an attitude of gratitude!

Best for: Happy hunters and wellness warriors.

What: Food, inc.

Who: Based on the film by Robert Kenner and Edited by Karl Weber

What’s it all about? Based on the powerful documentary about the American food industry, this book will make you change the way you eat for good. Did you know that the medical costs imposed by the fast-food industry are much larger than its annual profits (not that the industry pays the bills!). This book will make you question the way you buy your food and make it impossible for you to eat meat again without knowing exactly where it came from. It looks at the hazards of genetically engineering food, the way animals are treated, pesticides, fast-food, kids’ nutrition and how we can all become much more nutrition savvy!

Best piece of advice: Give up meat for more than one day a week… Hello Meet-Free-Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday!

Best for: Meat eaters that want to make a change.

What: The 4-Hour Work Week

Who: Tim Ferriss

What’s it all about? Tim introduces us to a new way of thinking smart and getting rich. Forget the rat race he says, you can have it all and work less than you ever have before. I found this particularly helpful with practical tips on managing business without feeling like you have to be in the office 24/7 for things to run smoothly. This book shows you that there is no point in working for work’s sake – there is a big difference between being busy and being efficient. It will inspire you to create the life you actually want to live and will make you understand that there is never a ‘right’ time for doing it. It’s all about taking the plunge and giving you the tools to survive once you have. Time management features heavily in this book, which is brilliant for a workaholic like me!

Best piece of advice: Go on a low-information diet. Too much information will clutter our minds and make us less productive in the long run. Pus, consuming all that info takes way to much time.

Best for: Those wanting to escape the 9-5, do things their own way and make a lot of money in the process.

words by Sadie MacLeod