5 feel-good addresses in London
Wellbeing has become the watchword du jour in a city that once scorned clean living. New trends might come and go (we’ve yet to brave an IV vitamin drip), but beneath the hype there’s been a seismic shift in attitudes. The coolest new cafés are ‘plant-based’ – AKA vegan – while a wave of sleek wellness studios is giving gyms a run for their money. From a morning swim in the Serpentine to a feelgood lunch at Farmacy, here’s where to head in West London to tap into the feelgood vibes.
The Franklin24 Egerton Gardens, SW3 2DB
Serenity kicks in at check-in at this Knightsbridge hotel, thanks to Anouska Hempel’s opulent decor – a masterclass in monochrome chic. Bedrooms are calm and cossetting (think four-posters with Frette linen) with views over Egerton Gardens, while tranquil nooks run from the library to the garden terrace. Hit the gym – or better still, hide out in the marble-clad hammam.
Goop188 Westbourne Grove, W11
Tap into LA’s kookiest wellness trends at this Notting Hill boutique, owned by A list actress-turned-wellbeing messiah Gwyneth Paltrow. If some of the stock’s slightly bonkers (like the infamous yoni eggs), there’s plenty to sway cynics, from handcrafted homeware to niche beauty brands. Head downstairs for upscale, ethical fashion and sportswear, from silk PJs to cashmere joggers.
Hyde ParkHyde Park, W2
All kinds of sporting pursuits go on in central London’s largest park, from meditative tai chi to raucous rollerblading sessions. Above all, this is prime jogging terrain: detour through the formal gardens, or loop the Serpentine lake. In summer, you can hire a rowing boat or swim in the lido (open to the public from May to September, though club members take the plunge year-round).
Farmacy74 Westbourne Grove, W2 5SH
For squeaky-clean eats, book a booth at this chichi organic eatery. The all-day menu is strictly plant-based, from virtuous ‘earth bowls’ to gluten-free desserts (regulars swear by the sticky toffee pudding). Someone in the kitchen clearly has a mischievous streak – hence the superfood shot-filled syringes and playful ‘high tea’, featuring hemp-leaf brews and CBD-laced truffles.
Cloud Twelve2-5 Colville Mews, W11
This swanky, one-stop wellness hub is officially a members’ club, but its spa, hair salon and café are open to everyone. Drop by for a turmeric latte or book in for a treatment (options run from ayurvedic massages to state-of-the-art facials). A dream team of experts also offers alternative therapies – including acupuncturist Ross Barr, who’s ministered to Meghan Markle.
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Image credits: © Cloud Twelve; © Cloud Twelve; © The Franklin; © Goop; © Alamy; © Farmacy; © Cloud Twelve; © Imagesource; © 69b Boutique; © Eurostar