I was blissfully unaware of what Kundalini yoga was before entering the suspended studio nestled into the roof of Remedi London. After all, this is a place that offers aesthetic treatments and medical consultations, but that is all part of their 360 approach that really does delve into every corner of wellness.
Remedi London is the new wellness hub in one of London’s coolest new neighbourhoods, Nine Elms, just a stone’s throw away from Vauxhall. Branching into many aspects of wellness from IV drips, advanced aesthetics and diagnostic testing, to reiki healing, sound therapy and (of course) kundalini yoga, this all-encompassing space blends modern medicine and holistic spirituality under one roof. Co-founders, Dr. Nima and Yasmin come from a background in integrative medicine and holistic practices, the vision with Remedi London is a combined approach with the idea that the different dimensions of wellness will ultimately help you live the most fulfilled life.
Kundalini yoga is a spiritual journey to balance the chakras, with twists and turns, sweat and stillness, vibrations and energy shifts. Boosting your mental and physical state, Kundalini intertwines mantras, kriyas, mudras and meditations to awaken our “Prana”, helping to deal with stress, depression and anxiety. The practice is designed to unlock your Kundalini energy, located at the base of your spine, through a series of chanting, singing, breathing exercises and active poses. Aligned with the moon cycles, each session embarks on a unique sequence at Remedi London, led by wellness guide and inner transformation expert, Jayne Ellis.
Fundamentally, Kundalini pairs movement with breath. Sounds familiar right? Well, this is yoga in a whole new entity. It draws in energy from deep within you. The teacher started by introducing the new moon in Leo that we were entering. A time to be bold and fearless. The Leo energy knows its worth, something I could learn from!
The breathwork felt foreign, everyone around me seemed to be more than comfortable releasing colossal breaths. Wholeheartedly throwing myself into it, I followed suit, in the bid to reap the benefits, and wow did I feel them!
I couldn’t relay everything we did as I was fully immersed in the pattern of breath and movement, but one episode that distinctively stood out was raising the legs with a deep inhalation and exhaling them down, using the navel (aka the core) to control the movement. The breathing grew aggressive as time went by. Around 2 minutes in, the heat flooded through my body and as the movement grew more challenging, the euphoric sensations heightened until suddenly Jayne cut us off. ‘Hold the breath, mula bandha, stuck in the navel, pull up through the pelvic floor….and then release’. The feeling that followed was still yet exhilarating, and that’s when I understood what all the fuss was about.
There were moments I felt lightheaded, waves of sickness rippled over me, like my body was purging the bad energy to cleanse my mind and body. Don’t be put off by this, it’s completely normal for newbies to experience this kind of reaction.
To close off the all-encompassing practice, we chanted in harmony, eyes closed, egos forgot and let the reverberating energy hum through us. I floated out of the studio, 1 hour and 45 minutes had passed, not that I had the cloudiest idea what the time was. I can liken Kundalini yoga to Reiki healing, yet there wasn’t a holistic practitioner hovering over me…did this mean I had become the master? I had initiated this energetic flow, zipping around my body like an electric current, blown away by this newfound spiritual skill I had just unlocked, I was in awe of the power of this practice.
I was reborn into a beaming sunset across the skyline of Nine Elms at 8pm on a balmy August evening, with a lilac haze on the horizon…possibly the most striking sky I’ve ever seen in London. Call it a coincidence, but it struck a real cord with me and added to the cathartic spark that had been lit in my spirit.
Permission to be bold, proof that stepping over the edge can open new pathways. My soul was smiling, it’s not often we allow ourselves time to reconnect with our spirit. Will I be back? Absolutely. It’s not always I’ll have 2 hours spare in my schedule, but knowing that I can call on Kundalini yoga at any time I need a sense of grounding, feels like a sacred discovery that I have in my back pocket for when life gets overwhelming.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Finland and was delighted by the blissful surroundings of nature. Being immersed in the Finnish lifestyle, I was surrounded by breathtaking scenery and got the opportunity to practice daily health rituals that Fins swear by for maintaining their wellbeing. From sauna sessions to lake swimming, I also enjoyed nutrient-dense meals made from ingredients that had been freshly picked from the local forest. There’s a reason why Finland is known as the happiest place to live and I’m starting to see why!
As someone who struggles with breakouts and skin irritation in times of stress, I immediately felt a sense of calm and relief when I arrived in Finland. The vast amounts of greenery and fresh air that this country is so well known for was instantly relaxing and I knew I wanted to bottle the feeling to take home with me. This is where Forest Spa Finland comes in. I’ve claimed this Nordic wellness brand as my ‘Finland in a bottle’and here’s why.
When Finland invited me out to the Forest Spa Finland motherland, I was excited to discover how Fins live and why nature is intrinsically linked to their wellbeing. Forest Spa Finland’s ethos is to encapsulate this into a selection of beauty and lifestyle products to give people a little slice of Finland from wherever they are in the world. With this in mind, they’ve gone about creating natural, adaptogen-based formulas with the intention to support skin health from the inside and out. Looking through an internal health lens, they use nutrients that support the gut microbiome, boost vitamins and minerals for immune support whilst targeting the impacts of stress on the skin. Topically, their Nordic Adaptogen Serum has been formulated to lock in anti-inflammatories and antioxidants that soothe and protect all skin types. Whilst also firming, nourishing and brightening skin and combating stressors seen in conditions such as acne. Efficacy and quality are equally just as important to Forest Spa Finland. Their mission was to not only utilise some of mother nature’s finest, most powerful ingredients but to make sure they were expertly extracted from source to offer the highest potency and absorbability. This epitomises the Finnish ethos, they seek out the best quality in everything they do and these products mirror that.
As a nutritional therapist, I’m passionate about skincare starting from the inside and focusing on the nutrients that we include in our diet in order to promote a clear and healthy complexion. During my trip, I was delighted by dietary choices that, without consciousness, support all aspects of the skin. We are familiar with the Finnish love of fresh fish, which I enjoyed daily, especially knowing that the fish had been sourced directly from the lake near my cosy cabin. A diet abundant in fish is known to support omega 3 status, an essential nutrient for skin health but their skin-loving diet didn’t stop there.
In the summer Fins harvest fresh, wild berries (think blueberries, bilberries and cloudberries) and turn them into mouth-watering Rye Topped pies that last the whole year round. Not only do they provide the body with antioxidants and fibre, they taste incredible too and I enjoyed multiple servings during my visit! In the Autumn, Fins spend time harvesting wild mushrooms which they use in miso soups and other recipes to support their digestive health and provide the body with a dose of natural collagen to support skin elasticity. Paired with nettle-infused side plates which support detoxification, I’m learning so much about how Nordic countries utilise eating with the seasons to boost health.
Forest Spa Finland’s Nordic Adaptogen Supplement really leans on the principles of the Finnish diet, with ingredients such as Chaga Mushroom, Wild Bilberry and Pine Bark, all of which can be foraged. These ingredients are potent antioxidants, meaning that they combat the stress within our body which, if not kept under control, can manifest as skin complaints such as eczema, acne, fine lines and wrinkles. Now being back at home, I feel this supplement has perfectly encapsulated the antioxidant-rich diet of the Fins and is sure to be helping me combat city living.
Speaking of city living, pollution levels in many urban areas can have such an impact on the appearance of our skin. Working topically is something I really love to do, especially if we can use it as a mindful practice and act of self-love at the same time.
City pollution levels are increasing all the time, destroying our important skin barrier whilst also clogging our pores and increasing inflammation. Fins are incredibly passionate about preserving nature and biodiversity… after all, 75% of Finnish land is made up of greenery, trees and forest. The pure air Fins are blessed with also help to oxygenate the skin, keeping it soft and supple with little to no air pollution to clog pores and cause inflammation. When standing in the forest, surrounded by the aroma of fresh pine, birch, hazel and linden trees, the fresh air allowed me to immerse all of my senses in the green surroundings. During my visit to Finland, I spent a lot of time grounding myself in nature, which isn’t so easy to do living in a big city like London. Whether this was by eating meals outdoors or taking part in nature meditations, paying close attention to your senses are all important aspects of calming the nervous system. This is reflected in the aroma of the Nordic Adaptogen Serum that is applied topically to the complexion. Upon deep inhalation, I feel calm and instantly grounded whilst massaging it into my skin and for a brief moment, I am transported back to my Finnish cabin.
Many elements of nature have been infused into the ingredients to give benefits to the skin. An elixir of Cloudberry and Seabuckthorn oil (one of my favourite inflammatory acne ingredients) along with natural AHA’s help to smooth lines and texture. Rather than mixing the ingredients in water, the base of the product is Birch Sap, which is a beautiful tree that epitomises the wild Finnish landscape.
So if you’re looking to bring a daily dose of Finnish lifestyle into your health and wellbeing routines, allow Forest Spa Finland to transport you there.
Get 20% Off Forest Spa Finland: Use code “SKINWELLNESS20” at checkout to get 20% off your Forest Spa Finland Order.
Oestrogen dominance is a prevalent hormonal imbalance that affects many individuals, especially women. This condition occurs when estrogen levels outweigh other sex hormones in the body, throwing off the delicate hormonal equilibrium. As a result, it can lead to a range of uncomfortable and distressing symptoms, from irregular menstrual cycles to bloating, mood swings, and more. Understanding the intricacies of estrogen dominance is crucial for promoting hormonal health and overall well-being.
Meet leading hormone expert and naturopathic endocrinologist Dr. Jolene Brighten— best-selling author of Beyond The Pill & Is This Normal. Oestrogen dominance is one of the most common issues Jolene sees, and manifests in those miserable PMS symptoms— think bloating, water retention and sore boobs. Dr. Brighten is on a mission to empower women with the information they weren’t taught at school— starting with hacking our hormones.
The Root Cause Of Oestrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is a type of hormone imbalance where you have too much oestrogen in relation to progesterone.
There are two main types of oestrogen dominance:
Frank oestrogen dominance: your body makes too much oestrogen
Relative oestrogen dominance: You have too much oestrogen relative to progesterone
There are many ways in which our environment, food, stress, and other lifestyle factors can mess with our hormones and create oestrogen dominance.
Your liver is responsible for packaging up oestrogen so your gut can move it out. If either your liver or your gut doesn’t do its job, then oestrogen could build up, and you might develop oestrogen dominance.
You must supply your liver with what it needs to process oestrogen, and you must eliminate every day to remove excess oestrogen from the body.
Environmental toxins known as xenoestrogens can also be behind your symptoms. A lot of household and personal care items expose you to xenoestrogens.
Anovulatory cycles (months where you don’t release an egg) could also lead to oestrogen dominance.
If you don’t ovulate or are otherwise having issues getting progesterone levels up during your luteal phase, this can cause relative oestrogen dominance.
What Happens When You Have It?
There is a range of oestrogen dominance symptoms to look out for if you suspect you have too much oestrogen, although it is different for every woman. Some women will experience a range of symptoms, and others may experience just one or two.
Excess oestrogen can cause symptoms such as irregular/heavy periods, water retention, breast swelling, mood swings, weight gain, hair loss, painful periods and PMS.
Steps To Solving Oestrogen Dominance
~ Love Your Liver: Your liver is responsible for getting oestrogen ready to be moved out of the body. Some basics of how to show your liver some love and support include: eating quality protein, a minimum of 3x cups of cruciferous vegetables a day & taking a B complex.
~ Fix Your Gut: Once the liver processes oestrogen for elimination, it is up to your digestive tract to move it out. If you are experiencing constipation, there is a good chance your oestrogen exiting efficiently, and instead, going back into circulation in the body.
Figuring out and treating the underlying cause of your digestive issues is crucial in creating optimal hormonal health. When there is dysbiosis or an imbalance of gut flora, these organisms can make more beta-glucuronidase— an enzyme that can lead to higher levels of oestrogen in the body.
~ Eat Fibre: Aim for at least 25 grams per day by eating plenty of vegetables and fruits.
Fibre will keep your bowels regular and help eliminate waste, including unnecessary oestrogen.
~ Sleep: 7 hours sleep is the minimum you should be getting nightly. Your body needs sleep and your hormones demand it. For many of my patients, I recommend wearing light-blocking glasses 1-2 hours before bed to help them get the rest they need and shift their hormones to a more favourable state.
If you’re struggling with sleep, I recommend you meet with your doctor to determine the cause and treat it appropriately— your hormones could be a cause of sleep disturbance.
Few places evoke a sense of nostalgia like Cornwall. With its beautiful beaches, idyllic villages, incredible food and traditional days out on the boat, it is no secret that Cornwall really is a special place to create lifelong memories for family holidays.
Highcliffe is owned and run by the Mably family, with Rob, his daughter Becca and their excellent team who manage the day-to-day operations. It has been in the family for three generations, after Rob’s father settled there, looking for a quieter life after WWII. Just a stone’s throw away from popular Polzeath beach, with 46 beautiful holiday houses, a tennis court, a yoga studio and an impressive gym, it really is the ultimate home away from home you are guaranteed to fall in love with ( and we did).
They are in the final stages of completing their latest collection of fantastic new modern homes, and I was so excited to get the opportunity to review one of their newest houses “Botallack” with my darling husband, 2-year-old son and cocker spaniel ( yes these gorgeous houses are also dog friendly).
Highcliffe is all about creating somewhere to relax, unwind, and make the most of enjoying the local area. Walking into this house I immediately felt a sense of calm ( let the holiday begin). It strikes the perfect balance of feeling both luxurious and modern, whilst still cosy. With the ideal blend of raw materials, earthy hues, polished concrete floors and double-height entrances, every detail of the house is so beautifully considered. And the views!! Oh my goodness did I mention the views yet? With the kitchen and living room on the top floor, this stunning house is designed in a way to maximise the impressive and far-reaching seascape.
All four bedrooms were so peaceful, and our master bedroom with an ensuite opened straight out into the garden with deck chairs. Outside, there is even a hot shower to wash the sand off after the surf with side access into the utility room, so you can do your laundry before heading home.. which of course is the ultimate win, especially with kids.
Highcliffe is perfectly situated to take advantage of all the best things Cornwall has to offer. Our favourite day was taking the ferry over to Padstow (which my little one absolutely loved – “BOAT” he giddily yelled the whole voyage…) to walk around the stunning town. We visited the National Lobster Hatchery, bought some delicious seafood from Rick Stein’s fishmonger to cook for supper that evening and we also popped into the sweetest little bookstore to buy my son a cornish story book to read at bedtime.
Holidays can always feel tricky with a 2-year-olds napping schedule, so holiday homes are perfect for this age, and Highcliffe even more so for its incredible location. You can spend the mornings out exploring, and then head home for lunch while your kiddo sleeps.
For lunches we picked up delicious food in Polzeath; an amazing pizza from (Paradise Pizza) an artisan horse box on the beach and the fish and chips from The Waterfront was incredible. My little one’s first fish and chips did not disappoint and note to future self (and to you) buy your kids their own, because it’s far too delicious to share! So while our son napped we got to enjoy a lovely long lunch on the balcony, looking out over the ocean with a couple of glasses of rose and some much-needed adult time. Our afternoons were always spent on the hunt for ice cream (check out Cracking Crab) and a lovely long walk along the coast with our dog Boss.
With the spacious and stunning kitchen ( which has everything you will need to cook and entertain) at the heart of this wonderful house, cooking something in the evening was pure joy! Watching the sunset with a negroni in hand and Boss lying at our feet, followed by delicious locally bought crab and samphire pasta or an incredible steak from the local butcher, we got the chance to properly unwind while our son slept, leaving us feeling like we really had the opportunity to relax and enjoy our perfect family holiday. Highcliffe you were the dream and we will be back.
Recent statistics from the NHS show that fewer than 7 in 10 eligible women had their cervical smear test in the last year, with this being the lowest level in a decade. This worrying stat got us thinking…what are the concerns women are having that may put them off booking that all-important screening. Pain? Embarrassment? Fear? Whatever it may be, we’re here to get to the root of your misconceptions by putting our readers’ questions to Gynaecological surgeon, Dr John Butler, in partnership with The Lady Garden Foundation.
The Lady Garden Foundation is a national women’s health charity, that raises awareness and funding for gynaecological health. Since 2014, they’ve been funding groundbreaking research into the treatment of cervical cancers at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
How often should you have a cervical smear?
It is recommended that cervical screening is performed every three years from the ages of 25 to 49 and every five years from ages 50 to 64. If a test is abnormal, the follow-ups will be different.
How painful is the insertion of the speculum and is there anything that makes the procedure less painful?
It is usually very well tolerated and it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have as well as any past experiences. There are different sizes of speculums (the instruments we use to see the cervix) and it can be helpful to know which size you find most comfortable. If women are menopausal, a course of vaginal estrogen treatment can make a big difference to the comfort and efficacy of the examination.
Aside from cervical cancer, what else can a screening find?
It’s not a test for cervical cancer but HPV, this is a virus that may lead to cancer. HPV can also cause other conditions such as warts and sometimes infections like candida or thrush.
Will a cervical screening be more painful if you’ve not been sexually active before? Is it relevant to have one if you’re not sexually active?
Cervical screenings are recommended to all women, regardless of whether they are sexually active. For those who have not been sexually active, screening can be conducted safely with minimal discomfort.
What is the most common age (group) to get cervical cancer? Is it pre or post menopause for instance?
The highest incidence of cervical cancer is in pre-menopausal women aged 30 to 34.
Do you think women should be more proactive in getting a smear test done privately, earlier than the current NHS recommends which is 25?
The NHS provides free cervical screening for women aged 25 to 65. However, some women may choose to have the extra reassurance of more frequent screening through going private. These additional screenings may help prevent cancer but may also cause unnecessary concern. This is particularly the case for women under 25 where HPV is common. This HPV often clears up on it’s own by the age of the first NHS screen at 25.
Do you stop having cervical screenings after a certain age?
Yes, aged 65
Does a positive HPV test mean you have cancer?
No this is a test for a virus that can cause pre-cancerous changes of the cervix (CIN). Only for a small number of women may this develop into cervical cancer if not treated.
How likely are you to get a false negative?
Modern HPV tests are very unlikely to give false negative results. In fact, it is less than 1% if the sample is correctly taken.
If you have a positive HPV result followed by a negative result does this mean the virus is still in your system but dormant or has it completely cleared?
This is good news! However, dormant HPV could reactivate or reinfect, therefore it is important to still attend your cervical screening.
What should women expect from a colposcopy?
This is a very routine examination that is usually no more uncomfortable than a cervical screening. It involves using a magnifying camera (a colposcope) and a special stain to see if there are any areas of the cervix or vagina that require a biopsy or removal.
I had a bad experience with my 1st cervical screening and found it very painful, is there any advice you can give?
I am sorry to hear this. There are usually lots of things we can do to make things more comfortable, do speak to the team performing the test and let them know what was painful as it may be that a smaller speculum, inserting the speculum yourself, being examined on a gynaecology chair, or taking painkillers before can make this easier.
I’ve been asked to go in for a biopsy, I’ve heard it’s quite painful. Is there anything that can be done to minimise discomfort?
The biopsy is usually part of a colposcopy this is usually no more uncomfortable than a screening test, some women feel no pain and for some there may be tenderness and cramping during or after the biopsy. It’s worthwhile having some simple painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to hand if you have discomfort.
How does cervical screening work when you have a prolapse?
It is usually unaffected by prolapse if the cervix can still be well visualised.
As the summer reaches its peak, it’s truly refreshing to discover the array of new vegan ice creams now gracing the frozen section of supermarkets, providing a delightful and invigorating option for those seeking plant-based treats. Furthermore, this August brings with it a theme of healthier sweet treats, offering a perfect solution for parents in need of satisfying and wholesome snacks for their kids during the seemingly endless school holidays. Among the exciting novelties, there’s a captivating new toast topper, combining delectable flavours from not one but two of the most beloved brands, promising a unique and enjoyable taste experience for toast enthusiasts and breakfast lovers alike. So, why not make the most of the remaining summer days by indulging in these summer food essentials to the world of food and drink this month?
Gone are the days when you could just toss in a few summer dresses and a bikini and be ready for some summer sun. Over the years, as my family has grown, so has my luggage, and I’ve learned some major packing hacks for going abroad with children that will make the journey a whole lot easier and happier for all.
Ages Newborn – 2
Take the Car Seat with you: The first holiday I did as a mum of two was when Max was 3 and JJ was 6 weeks old. We opted to bring JJ in the car seat over the pram and it was a great idea as he slept happily in his safe space from the car, to the car seat wheels, and then his final transition onto the plane was just as smooth. And he felt totally protected. We also managed to nab business class flights (these were the days when we weren’t beholden to kids’ summer holiday prices) and JJ’s car seat slotted in perfected in the seat in between me and my husband.
Bring a Comprehensive Backpack: Backpacks make excellent cabin bags when you’re a parent. They free up your hands at the airport and if you choose wisely offer a ton of spots to stash everything from milk bottles to snacks. This Small Cabin Backpack from Rockis a favourite as it’s durable and will slot nicely under your airplane seat for easy access.
Ages 2 – 4
The Trunki: The Trunki is one of the best modern-day traveling essentials if you have young children. A ride-on kid’s suitcase, the Trunki comes in a variety of designs and colours so you’ll be sure to find one that your toddler loves. Not only can they literally ride it making navigating airports and distant gates so much easier, but because it also acts as cabin luggage for your little one, if you pack it with all your little one’s essentials then you can rest assured that you’ll have access to everything you need not only for the duration of the flight.
Ages 4 – 8
Wireless Headphones: A must-have for those kids who will happily while away travel time on a screen of their choice, wireless headphones are their ultimate travel companion. Make sure you choose a pair that fit your kids head. My littlest son has a tiny head and needs child-sized headphones or he spends the entire flight asking me to hold them on his head. Whereas my eldest son has an adult-sized head and so can wear adult-sized headphones. I particularly love Belkin’s Soundform Mini Wireless On-Ear Headphones for Kids for their colour choices and their simplicity to use.
Lot’s of walking requires super comfy shoes. I love these Chuck Taylors as they go with everything from my favourite tracksuit to cute shorts, making them a great transitional shoe when you get to your destination too.
With the arrival of another summer heatwave, we’re dusting off our Vitamix for an icy breakfast delight! This Salted Caramel Smoothie Bowl recipe from Kate O’Brien’s book, Glow, is the perfect way to cool off in the morning.
2 chopped frozen bananas
1–2 pitted dates, depending on your preferred level of sweetness
1 tbsp nut or seed butter or 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
50–75ml almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
Method Place all the ingredients, except your toppings, in a blender and blitz. Pour into a bowl, add your preferred toppings and enjoy!
Birch, London’s award-winning hub that epitomises the idiom ‘work hard, play hard’, has opened its 2nd hotel-come-members club, this time heading South! Selsdon, just outside of Croydon, may be an unlikely choice to open an uber-cool city escape, but what you’ll find when you reach the 19th-century mansion is acres and acres (200 to be precise) of infinite rewilding woodlands, a project Birch has put in place to reinstate the former golf course to its feral state, inviting wildlife back in.
Birch Community is a first-of-its-kind concept, intermixing co-working, fitness facilities, rooms, restaurants and art studios into one big adult playground. While the Cheshunt location gives off fun-fuelled festival vibes, Selsdon is grounded by nature. There’s space to breathe, land to explore and tons to do! In a world where our eyes are glued to our phones, Birch hopes that in this environment, you will meet like-minded people, reconnect with nature and try something new.
The design is coherent with the sister branch, imagined by leading interior design and architecture studios, A-nrd and Sella Concept. Quirky and cool, the style mirrors the crowd Birch attracts. Many hidden gems were uncovered during the remodelling, forging the characteristics of the space, with contemporary design elements woven into the original mosaic parquet flooring, stained glass windows and decorative bas-relief ceiling. Apricot hues warm up all-day dining spots, the Meadow bar and Vervain, contrasting to the Snug where a bold indigo blue ceiling is enriched with dark oak and regal shades of purple. Rough around the edges, there’s beauty in the imperfections of the building which clearly had a past long before Birch. Rather than stripping away, Birch has interjected their cool-meets-contemporary style into its existence, and luckily it blends marvellously.
All 181 rooms take a calmer route based on a sage palette, featuring recycled linen, hand-blown glass wall lamps and an upholstered bouclé couch. Pair-back and perfectly fine, the rooms are simply for sleeping, Birch is more interested in wowing you with what’s going on in the hotel rather than retreating to the rooms, so there’s no TV or tech to distract you.
Led by Michelin-starred chef Lee Westcott, Birch houses two restaurants; all-day dining British brasserie, Vervain and the much-anticipated, Elodie. The 5-course menu explores farm-to-fork dining, with ingredients picked from the estate and the kitchen garden. In sync with the seasons, the dishes celebrate the best of British produce, from summer courgettes with gooseberry, sorrel and elderflower to spring lamb with green olive, turnip and three-cornered garlic, the introductory menu champion seasonality with flare. Both vegan and vegetarian varieties of the menu are on offer to accommodate dietary options.
The wellness space at Birch compromises a state-of-the-art gym, yoga studio, spin studio and treatment rooms, with the expansion of a Lido, yoga deck and padel courts coming very soon! Offering a full timetable of fitness classes including yoga, barre, cycling, strength and HIIT, as well as monthly events that are rooted in holistic wellness from gong baths to nature therapy walks, there’s a world of wellbeing to get stuck into.
Creativity is at the core of Birch’s ethos, setting them apart from other clubs and hotels. The art studios host pottery, screenprinting, ring carving and spoon-whittling workshops, designed to tap into your creative spirit. For those in what happens in the kitchen, there are sourdough-making lessons in the bakery!
If you happened to be based in South London, The Hub is one of the coolest co-working spots we’ve come across. The polar opposite of a corporate environment, it’s ideal for creatives that need desk space without the extortionate fees attached, and you can mingle with others in your line of work.
Little ones are more than welcome at Birch, with family rooms, and dedicated spaces and workshops for kids and tweens. Birchlings, the kids club, is a space for kids to experiment with arts and crafts, plus there is an arcade and, of course, the great outdoors to run wild!
Birch is the place to head if you need to tap out from city life without having to go too far. Find your inner artist, book a yoga class, get lost in the woods and feast on exceptionally great food. Whether it’s a solo trip, a stay with friends or a couples weekend, Birch Selsdon is the cool new place that has a bit of everything going on!
Welcome to the world of hen parties reimagined! If you’re someone who prefers serene moments over wild nights, and relaxation over raucous celebrations, then this collection of healthy hen party ideas is tailor-made for you. Gone are the days of alcohol-fueled festivities; instead, we invite you to embark on a journey of wellness and rejuvenation.
Indulge in a weekend filled with self-care and pampering, surrounded by your closest friends and loved ones. Whether you’re seeking a tranquil spa retreat, a mindful yoga getaway, or a nature-inspired escape, these alcohol-free (and hangover free!) hen party ideas are designed to soothe your soul and create unforgettable memories.
So, if you’re ready to say “cheers” to a different kind of hen party – one that puts your well-being first – then read on as we delve into a world of relaxation, self-discovery, and rejuvenation. Let the celebrations begin!
This countryside bolthole is a haven for healthy hen weekends thanks to its 19th-century wedding cake architecture and romantic Susie Atkinson interiors. Upon arrival, hens can head straight to The Coach House Spa where dappled iridescent light from canopies of stained-glass ceilings dance on ceramic tiled walls, creating a colour-drenched indoor nirvana to soothe the senses. Take a dip, or recline by the pool taking in the views of the Surrey Hills, or unload those pre-wedding stresses with specialist treatments. Hens may choose to treat the bride to a special Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) session which helps repair cells, calm nerves, and cleanses to fuel the body’s defences against viruses, ensuring the bride keeps strong, sharp and energised in the run-up to her big day. The spa can also organise vitamin and mineral infusions for the whole group to boost immune systems before the celebrations kick off. Come evening, hens can head to The Dining Room for elegant Japanese dining where a menu of sushi, sashimi, and nigiri plus the finest cuts of delicate meat and fish awaits. Beaverbrook also boasts a cinema that hens can take over in its entirety for the ultimate private girly movie night.
Sitting on 850 acres of wildflower fields, sprawling woodlands and sparkling lakes, The Lakes by YOO is the ideal location for a nature-based getaway in the heart of the Cotswolds countryside. The estate offers accommodation options for hens of all sizes – its three-bedroom apartments are ideal for smaller groups of up to six looking for a more intimate getaway; whilst bigger groups can opt for one of the larger private homes on the estate. Each property comes with a fully-equipped kitchen for feasting at home, whilst the new Lakes Bar & Kitchen serves up a range of nutritious brunch-style dishes, juices and mocktails.
An abundance of nature-based immersion awaits: stand-up paddle boarding and wild swimming in one of the estate’s 11 lakes, guided walks or cycles through the wildflower fields up to the Lakes’ on-site farm, or for more active types, heading to the Activity Tower for a high ropes session followed by an exhilarating zip line across the lake. The brand new Lakes Spa & Wellness Centre offers pampering in all forms – a spacious studio acts as the space for private yoga, Pilates and fitness classes, meanwhile, guests can opt for wellness rituals from COSMOSS, the wellness brand from KATE MOSS; facials from Dr Barbara Sturm; and massages from Moss of the Isles. The bravest of the bunch can try an ice plunge before their spa treatments, or simply retreat to the heated indoor swimming pool.
Located on the sought-after north-eastern coast of Sardinia, 7Pines Resort Sardinia is a luxury beachfront property surrounded by 15 hectares of untouched coastline and nature reserve in Baja Sardinia overlooking the archipelago of La Maddalena. New this year, the resort’s Pure Seven Spa will open to guests this season, offering a series of tailormade relaxing, rebalancing and reinvigorating treatments using local and natural ingredients. The spa offers a state-of-the-art wellbeing experience, comprising of five treatment cabins for treatments, a relaxation area, a steam room, a sauna, an emotional shower, an ice room and outdoor areas for Kneipp therapy.
Whilst the notion of ‘laid-back luxury’ is at the heart of the Resort’s experience, it also has an abundance of exciting offerings for healthy hens seeking an active holiday. A one-of-a-kind experience, horse riding is a unique and memorable way to discover the breathtaking landscapes of Costa Smeralda. Guests can enjoy this family-friendly excursion either in the early morning or in the late evening, with an experienced guide who will lead the way to the most beautiful spots. If sightseeing is more up your street, discover the most beautiful corners of Costa Smeralda on an E-bike. This eco-adventure will guide guests through the picturesque villages of San Pantaleo and Monte Moro where they can admire the spectacular views of the entire Costa Smeralda area and cruise with ease.
Located in the heart of Tuscany in the San Marcello Piteglio mountains, Oasyhotel is set within the WWF-protected Oasi Dynamo reserve. Comprising 16 eco-lodges Oasyhotel represents the perfect synergy between environmental conservation, social responsibility and positive responsible tourism through its deep-rooted philanthropic philosophy and effort into eco-sound agriculture, breeding programmes and scientific research. Family-owned and privately run, Oasyhotel donates all hotel revenue towards the conservation of the Oasi Dynamo reserve and consequently supports the WWF.
Hen-Doers are free to roam the expanse and experience a wide range of active outdoor adventures and wilderness well-being activities. The reserve boasts hiking and biking trails with incredible views over the trees, with complimentary electric bikes included in all guest stays. Alongside carefully curated nature wildlife walks, wolf tracking, orienteering, and horse riding, Oasyhotel offers visitors the chance for calmer activities such as foraging, Nordic wellness walking, forest therapy, meditation, and yoga.
For those seeking mountain magic, Four Seasons Hotel Megève offers a contemporary Alpine wonderland nestled between the charming village of Megève and the legendary Mont Blanc summit. It provides direct access to mountains, golf course, and hike tracks, making it an ideal location for outdoor adventures, spa journeys, and culinary delights, just a short drive from Geneva. The 55-bedroom hotel boasts a French character, a modern Alpine aesthetic, the region’s largest spa, a world-class Alpine golf course, and a Michelin-starred restaurant, La Dame de Pic – Le 1920.
The ultimate wellness hen-do itinerary at Four Seasons Hotel Megève includes mountain picnics, where you can enjoy gastronomic picnics or BBQs by the lake or on top of the mountain. You can explore the Alps with guided hikes or overnight treks along various routes, including climbs towards Mont Joly. For an exhilarating activity, try canyoning, which involves traversing canyons by rappelling, sliding, and jumping into natural pools. Mountain biking offers an invigorating ride on trails connecting nearby towns, providing scenic views of the majestic Mont Blanc.
Six Senses Kaplankaya is a stylish lifestyle destination located just a short hop from Bodrum and captures all the very best that the laidback Mediterranean lifestyle has to offer. For a healthier, calmer and more peaceful getaway, Six Senses Kaplankaya is home to one of the most extensive and advanced spa and wellness offerings within the Six Senses portfolio. Spread over two floors spanning 10,000m² (107,640ft²), the Spa is home to 38 treatment rooms and comprises an impressive signature treatment menu, steam rooms, hydrotherapy pools, traditional Turkish Hamman, ice room, crystal room, private watsu pool, nail salon and hair salon, and Alchemy Bar (where guests can craft their own 100% organic lotions and potions). Ranging from Chinese medicine experts, must-visit osteopaths, and facialists to spiritual healers and aura readers, Six Senses Kaplankaya offers an impressive calendar of visiting practitioners, who combine the old with the new in the pursuit of your well-being. There are four excellent restaurants offering locally-sourced, sustainable Turkish and Mediterranean-inspired fare. Three secluded beaches create the setting for thrilling water sports or just long lazy days spent with your toes in the sand, while other activities include hikes to local villages to visit traditional artisans and archaeological sites, cooking classes and local market visits with the chef, yacht tours, and sightseeing by helicopter.
Located in the sylvan surrounds of the picture-perfect village of Barnsley, Barnsley House is a sumptuous home-away-from-home. With its magical storybook gardens and heritage architectural features, this beautiful country house hotel makes the perfect backdrop to a special celebration.
Tucked away in the corner of the hotel’s beautiful gardens, the Barnsley House Spa is a tranquil sanctuary and the perfect place to unwind with friends. The spa boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, offering enchanting views of the surrounding gardens, whilst botanical elements from the garden can be found all around the spa from the indoor plants, tables crafted from tree trunks and lavender placed on treatment beds. The spa is fully equipped with an outdoor hydrotherapy pool, a steam room, sauna, herbavarium, and five beautifully designed treatment rooms where guests can indulge in a range of luxurious spa treatments and therapies. Guests can also enjoy a chick flick or sing-along favourite Barnsley House’s very own private cinema, which is decked in rose-toned leather chairs.
It can be tricky to entertain little ones during the Summer holidays so we have created our guide to keep your little ones entertained and happy, come rain ( which we seem to be having a lot of lately) or shine. With a fun list of cool toys, garden play and clubs you can rest assured your little will be fully engaged this Summer.
Get Them Outside
Veloretti Bikes have the sleekest looking bikes for all the family, including their new electric bike which looks perfect if you need a little extra help keeping up with your little ones. Nothing says summer like teaching your kid to ride a bike and their tricycles are beyond adorable and the ideal way to start your kids’ biking journey. The two solid training wheels provide optimal support to build confidence and thanks to the easily detachable training wheels you can convert it into a balance bike in no time. For the older kiddies, their Maxi bike is amazing and has easily detachable side wheels for when they are ready to graduate to two wheels for some serious cycling fun. This is guaranteed to keep your little one busy practising for hours.
Everyone knows that gardening is good for the soul and what a perfect way to get little ones outdoors and inspire a new generation of little green fingers than with the Janod Mud Kitchen and Little Gardener Set. Little ones will love getting their hands messy with the wooden Mud kitchen creating some seriously muddy potions, while the adorable set of gardening tools will teach your little one how to take care of their plants.
For older kids who like to take trips down to the woods, The Forest School Den Kit is perfect. In a heavy-duty canvas bag, the kit includes everything they need to build their own special hideout where they can hang out for hours with camouflage face paints and a compass that will keep them busy all summer.
Cool Kids Clubs
Bear Grylls Survival Academy Adventure Day in Cowdry is the perfect action-packed adventure for kids. With a compact introduction to wilderness survival, this experience has been designed to incorporate the essential survival skills and techniques from Bear’s own arsenal while creating fun and long-lasting memories for your kids.
Or have fun with your family in the great outdoors with Camp Wilderness and get everyone huddled up around a fire to make some wild memories with each other.
For Rainy Days ( and this year we seem to be having a lot of them)
Keeping little ones away from a screen during rainy days can be tricky so here are a few ideas to try to keep them entertained indoors.
Nothing is cozier on a rainy day than a story and Yoto has your little one covered. With hundreds of epic stories to choose from, from Peppa Pig, Disney, Roald Dahl and Marvel to name just a few, this is the ultimate way to inspire little ones’ imaginations of all ages. It also comes with a free blank card so your little one can feel inspired to create their very own story this summer. This will be your secret weapon (with no parental guilt) on a rainy day.
Get your kids busy helping in the kitchen with the Hummingbird Decorating Kit where they can learn how to frost their own cupcakes The Hummingbird Bakery way. You can choose from Rainbow Cupcakes, Vanilla and Chocolate, Chocolate or even a Brownie Decorating Kit which includes a palette knife to help you frost like a pro!
To ensure even your littlest one can get involved in the kitchen The Step Up ladder is the ultimate must-have for budding chefs and kitchen helpers so they can safely reach the countertops to really join in the fun. Perfect from 18 months and the best way to get toddlers excited about food.
When you can go outside and kids need to burn off a little energy this is the ultimate toy. With a Climbing Arch, ramp and Climbing triangle this cool little climbing frame will develop your kids motor skills, balance, strength and agility while keeping them busy for hours… bonus, they will be exhausted afterwards.
Get ready for an exhilarating August in the capital, as a wave of fresh fitness studios crashes into town! Embrace the energy of low-impact workouts or amp up the intensity with high-octane concepts that push your limits. But wait, there’s more! If you’re seeking the perfect blend of productivity and wellness, we’ve uncovered the ultimate co-working space for you. And when it comes to spicing up your mid-week routine, we’ve got a mouthwatering solution. Stay ahead of the game with the latest launches and openings in the world of wellness, because this August, it’s all about embracing the new!
The Wellness Retreat To Book Now…
Chewton Glen and The Beauty Triangle will join forces on Friday, 22nd September 2023, for the inaugural Chewton Glen x The Beauty Triangle Wellness Retreat. This one-day immersion into holistic health and wellbeing will take place at Chewton Glen, an award-winning spa hotel in the enchanting New Forest. The retreat offers intelligent panel-led conversations with leading wellness practitioners, covering topics like skincare, women’s wellness, and the power of the mind. Guests can also enjoy soul-replenishing activities, guided sound healing, al fresco yoga, and a mindful coastal walk. The day will be powered by healthy snacks, juices, and teas, along with a nutritious sharing-style lunch to foster open dialogue and connections among participants. Book here.
The Newest Fitness Studio To Open In Victoria
Psycle has opened a brand new studio at Eccleston Place in Victoria! The new location is set to run Psycle’s signature Ride classes plus other fitness concepts including Barre and Yoga. The Victoria branch will be Psycle’s fifth, bringing the same well-executed fitness experience to a new part of the city. If you’re yet to try out Psycle, take advantage of their exclusive opening introductory offer, just £10 for a class!
The State-Of-The-Art Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Centre To Visit
If you’ve seen athletes, A-listers and wellness-wiseacres funnelling themselves into what appear to be life-sized incubators and you’re intrigued to learn more, NUMA is the spot in Marylebone to discover! Housing medical-grade chambers, NUMA specialises in consultant-led Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy delivering near 100% oxygen levels to increase cellular and tissue oxygenation, exerting numerous physiological benefits. The process is straightforward and painless, albeit slightly elating due to the high pressure in the chamber. Simply lie in the chamber with the specialised BIBS masks breathing in 100% oxygen, at increased atmospheric pressure. From reduced swelling and inflammation, post-workout recovery, collagen production, stimulating stem cells and more, this new biohacking therapy is worth the hype.
The New Workspace Geared Towards Wellbeing
New to TOG’s portfolio of co-working offices is Chancery House in Holborn. Reimaged into an inviting contemporary space, this is elite co-working, meticulously designed to create an inspiring work environment that feels more like a members club than an office. The stunning adaptable design features focus booths, lounges for collaborative work, meeting rooms and alfresco spots to work whilst dosing up on Vit-D. Centred around finding balance in your day, you can interlude self-care into your schedule, with a fully equipped gym, including private exercise pods, a yoga studio, a reformer Pilates studio and an infra-red sauna within the space. The on-site cafe serves up healthy and nutritious meals to fuel your workday without the need to order in. Membership options are flexible, with varied tiers to suit businesses and individuals. If you’re looking to seamlessly get your wellness fix whilst, at work, Chancery House is the ultimate workspace!
Elements By Retrofit
Retrofit has introduced a new space in Kensington geared towards low-impact classes! Elements By Retrofit offers mat and reformer Pilates, guided meditation and aerial yoga, giving Londoners a less hectic, more tranquil way to work out in a calming studio away from all the noise! The timetable caters for beginners through to advanced Reformer Pilates classes, alongside aerial yoga sessions, combining yoga poses with the use of a hammock for suspended fun.
The Colourful Salad Rolls Set To Brighten Lunchtime
Kaleido Rolls is the healthy salad roll bar, recently launching its flagship restaurant at 10 Kingly Street, just off Carnaby Street! Perfect for a quick lunch or a grab-and-go, Kaleido Rolls is convenient and nutritionally hits the spot! Made from scratch daily, the rice paper salad rolls are filled with a selection of mouth-watering options from parma ham and melon, maple salmon and edamame, chicken caesar, feta and pesto, roasted aubergine and tamari and sweet potato and tahini plus more. Providing a colourful pick-me-up these rainbow rolls are full of flavour, making a change from the mundane.
The Wilding Wellness Overnight Stay
Stepping into wellness travel, Down Hall Hotel Spa & Estate in Essex have introduced a new ‘Wellness In The Wild’ package, inviting guests to explore the realm of the 110 acres surrounding the hotel. Featuring an evening gong bath ritual in the woodlands, open-air sunrise yoga and a relaxing spa treatment at the Eden Spa, the overnight stay is a chance to press pause and relish in some R&R. Coinciding with the full moon, Wellness In The Wild commenced on the 1st of September, 24 hours to connect with nature, awaken the senses and lean into therapeutic healing practises.
A Cornish Wellness Experience
Discover Cornwall’s most stylish holiday homes, Atlanta Trevone, and experience their brand new Well Curated X Atlanta Trevone Wellness Retreats. Enjoy cold water immersion, breath-work classes, yoga, pilates, coastal walks, and dinners by private chefs.
The first retreat is from 21-24 September 2023, offering a three-night escape to families and friends seeking privacy, luxury, and the stunning UK coastal location. Atlanta Trevone presents five luxury self-catering holiday homes near Trevone Bay’s beaches and a natural bathing pool, boasting exquisite design.
The retreat includes breathwork, wild swimming, daily yoga, private dinners, signature platters, massages, coastal walks, and Saunas by the Sea at Harlyn Bay. Additional experiences like art masterclasses, surf lessons, golf, tennis coaching, and in-house beauty treatments are available at an extra cost.
Prices start at £995 per person based on five sharing Atlanta Trevone’s Atlanta View, including the full retreat experience. Unwind, rejuvenate, and indulge in Cornwall’s premier wellness destination with Well Curated X Atlanta Trevone Wellness Retreats.atlantatrevonebay.com, 01841 521175.