Smart Living

The Finer Things: three of London’s smartest fitness concepts

The party season is fast approaching. These three programmes are the way to deal with it

Words by
Aleks Cvetkovic

We’re about to descend into what is the most hectic time of the year for many Londoners. The run up to Christmas is grey, cold and fraught, whether it’s filled with meetings and deadlines or poorly planned Christmas shopping. Add to that a constant stream of cocktail parties and nights on the town and it’s not tricky to see how so many of us have to make ‘get back to the gym’ our number-one New Year’s resolution.

Fortunately, the capital isn’t short of refined fitness facilities for those of a stylish disposition to make use of. Taking care of yourself has never been more fashionable and luxury fitness services have been gaining ground in response to London’s growing appetite for healthy living.

There are many to choose from, but these three are firm favourites. Take our advice, get ahead of the curve and sign up before the winter months take their toll. Come January, your conscience will thank you for it.

1. Grow and the Soho Fitness Lab

Soho Fitness Lab, luxury fitness, The Jackal magazine

Think of the Soho Fitness Lab as your friendly independent gym on steroids (no pun intended). It’s a high-end, one-to-one personal training and physiotherapy studio off Wardour Street that boasts specialist service and expert-led training. It’s a positive environment dedicated to getting the best results in a manageable, constructive way. Clients have access to a private ‘PT pod,’ staff with a minimum of five years experience and a very useful laundry service, where clients can leave their kit on-site and have it freshened up in time for their next day’s workout.

The concept was put together by husband and wife duo, Brett and Sandra Durney, who’ve now turned their attention to a new project that’s launching in January. Grow is a soon-to-launch fitness studio that will provide the very best in strength-based circuit training and yoga classes located at the bottom of Charlotte Street. As Brett puts it, it’s a space to ‘flow like a yogi and train like an athlete.’ Intrigued? You can check it out here.

Three classes for £75, sohofitnesslab.com/ growfitness.co.uk

2. The South Kensington Club

The South Kensington Club, men's fitness, The Jackal magazine

If you’re after a slightly softer approach to staying healthy, the ‘SKC’ has been mixing-up London’s luxury wellness scene since 2014. It caused quite a stir when it opened; a West London private members club that eschews hedonism in favour of balanced, mindful living is quite the novelty. It’s more than proven its worth, owner Luca del Bono has worked tirelessly to develop a club that draws on state of the art research, technologies and techniques to deliver a true healthy haven. There’s a serious gym, fitness studios, a health-conscious Mediterranean restaurant and a Watsu pool to enjoy, all wrapped up in a comfortable zen atmosphere.

The club prides itself on blending different cultural, culinary and wellness-focused philosophies, chief among which is its traditional Russian banyas. These take place in the club’s bathhouse which has been designed in collaboration with James Larkin, who’s an engineer and (conveniently) a banya expert. The treatment is an intense restorative, it improves circulation and aids the removal of toxins from the body. Take our advice and combine with a state-of-the-art bamboo massage to relieve tense muscles and a coffee scrub to tone and cleanse the skin.

For membership enquiries visit southkensingtonclub.com

3. BodySPace at The Corinthia

BodySPace Corinthia hotel, The Jackal

We’ve praised BodySPace before. It’s a hard-hitting concept pioneered by Stephen Price of SP & Co. and David Higgins, founder of Bootcamp Pilates, which combines research-led treatments with what Price calls an ‘experience based approach’ to personal fitness. The practice prides itself on its responsive programmes and scientific methods. Now, it’s taken-up residence at The Corinthia hotel, with a raft of new services to choose from. It’s a significant move for BodySPace and opens up a fitness concept to the hotel’s guests that was previously only accessible to private clients and professional athletes.

Both the specialists and technologies on offer are impressive, from one of the world’s foremost acupuncture practitioners to HeartMath or Firstbeat programmes; heart rate variability monitoring that provides data on stress, exercise and recovery. Equally impressive are The Corinthia’s facilities. BodySPace treatments are housed in ESPA Life, the four-floor, awarding-winning hotel spa. It’s enough to make you want to book a suite for the night, just to get in for a treatment.

£60-120 for personal training. £250 for nutritional consultation, corinthia.com / body-space.co.uk