Tag Archives: fitness

Good-bye, Parsons Green!

I was so lucky when I first moved to London and got a little studio flat just off the Kings Road in Fulham. I fell in love with the area, and never left. Then we got our little mews house in Parsons Green, and I can honestly say that there is no other neighbourhood in London I’d rather live. It’s a truly special place.

Fulham Parsons Green Lane

Fulham Epple Road

Parsons Green has plenty of curb appeal, with endless rows of streets to wander down on a sunny day. I’ll miss spending Saturday mornings making the rounds to all my favourite shops and stops. Here’s a few in case you’re ever in the neighbourhood:

Fulham Epple Road Doors

Fulham Road Cologne and Cotton

Cologne & Cotton is the only place I’ll go for bed linens and bath essentials. I can’t resist their luxurious cotton nightwear. They stock fancy European fragrances and toiletries, and a selection of adorable children’s items – in case you’re on the hunt for a perfect baby shower gift.

Cologne and Cotton Blue Stripe Sheets

Fulham Road Nomad Books

Nomad Books is the indie bookshop that every neighbourhood in London yearns for. With a steady rotation of staff picks, there’s always a  recommendation in the window to tempt me inside. The cafe buzzes with the sounds and aroma of freshly brewed java, great with a new novel and a crumbly slice of cake.

Fulham Road Nomad Books Window

Parsons Green

Parsons Green The White Horse

Every neighbourhood in the city has its local public house. But living here we’re blessed with one of London’s most iconic pubs, The White Horse. The beer garden gets rammed in the spring and summer when the outdoor grill gets fired up, wafting the sweet smell of barbeque across the green.

Parsons Green The White Horse taps

Parsons Green The White Horse Beer

Parsons Green The White Horse Drink

Parsons Green Elizabeth King

Grocery shopping is never a chore at Elizabeth King (also known as Bayley & Sage). We’re spoiled for choice with its impressive range of fresh fruit and veg, homemade pastas and sauces, and heavenly pastries and baked goods. And we’ve never come away from here without a big, gooey hunk of cheese from the dairy case.

Parsons Green Elizabeth King Fruit

Parsons Green Elizabeth King Shopping

Parsons Green Elizabeth King Tomatoes

When it comes to health and fitness, I’ve got it pretty good in my neighbourhood. There are a slew of places to get my fitness on. For my gym kit, I go straight to Sweaty Betty. They sell comfy, stylish activewear, and they host free yoga classes in the shop several times a week.

Parsons Green Sweaty Betty Pilates Socks and Leggings

Bootcamp Pilates is an old fave. Everyone knows them by now. Sure, it isn’t the poshest or sexiest studio in London. But it’s gooood.

Parsons Green Bootcamp Pilates

Bootcamp Pilates Fulham Parsons Green

Every corner of this neighbourhood is now so familiar and feels like home. There have been many crazy dinner parties, and quiet weeknights in, and rainy Sunday mornings reading The Times with a steaming mug of tea. So it was a with a heavy heart that we packed up everything and watched the removal vans be loaded one by one. This place holds so many wonderful memories of our years in London.

Mustow Place Parsons Green Rose Red Door

Mustow Place Flat Upstairs Sitting Room

Mustow Place Sitting Room Upstairs

Moving Day Mustow Pl

Moving Day Mustow Place

Moving Van

Moving Day

Moving Day Beam Me Up To The Container

Moving Day Boxes

Moving Day Eddie Van

Moving Day Van Postcard Crazy New

Soon, all our earthly possessions will be aboard a shipping container, crossing the Atlantic to the shores of the New World. We don’t know what will happen next on our new adventure, what people we’ll meet, or good times we’ll share. The only thing we know is that we couldn’t have picked a better place on the map to spend our time in London.

Long live the Green!

Yoga at Bamford Spa

After all the planning (and then indulgence) of Thanksgiving, it was time to escape the city and chill out. I booked into a morning yoga class at and we skittered out to the country for a relaxing weekend.

Bamford Haybarn Day Spa falls under the umbrella of Daylesford farm shops, the tiny solitary cork plugging the stop in the huge demand for luxury home and lifestyle brands. It’s overpriced, full of desperate housewives, and it gives my husband the heebie-jeebies just pulling into the packed parking lot. But it does the trick with no Williams-Sonoma, Restoration Hardware, or Dean & Deluca around the corner for competition.

The upside is that there’s no better place to pick up your organic veg, freshly baked bread, premium cheeses and basic household staples.

Daylesford Bamford Spa Fountain

Cotswold Entrance

Daylesford Enter

Daylesford Squash Table Display Varieties

Daylesford Veg Cart Display Boxes

Plus, did I mention they have a spa? Oh, that’s right, of course I did.

Daylesford Baybard Wellness Retreat

Daylesford Bamford Spa Lotions and Potions

The entrance is laden with the requisite line of bath and spa products, and a respectable stash of flimsy, flowing yogawear. I flirted with the thought of how much better my hatha class might be if I purchased a strand of Bamford Indian prayer beads… But I only had time enough for a pot of tea in the lounge before I had to be on the mat.

Daylesford Bamford Spa Fountain Driftwood

Daylesford Bamford Spa Loungers

The spa lounge is a sun-bleached solarium with lots of plush linen loungers to nestle upon as you gaze out on the country landscape – basically, like looking out on my childhood back yard, but all the same, deeply comforting.

Daylesford Bamford Haybarn Tea Tray

Daylesford Bamford Spa Tea Tray

Up the spiral staircase and through the knee-walled practice space, is the entrance to the studio.

Daylesford Bamford Spa Yoga Room

Daylesford Bamford Spa Yoga Beads

Daylesford Bamford Spa Yoga Mat Buddha

The hour and a half hatha class was an absolute dream – the instructor tranquilly chanted and coaxed us through the postures, and I came out feeling completely restored.

Daylesford Bamford Spa White Rimmed Water Glass

The other perk to Bamford yoga is getting to do a cheeky bit of shopping before my ride comes to collect me.

Daylesford Shopping Bag Walking Car Park

Later that afternoon, the boys went for their daily dose of recreation at the local golf course, and I tagged along. They teed up at the driving range, thwacking one dimpled ball after the next into the mist-coated yonder.

Cotswold Golf Course Driving Range Swing

Cotswold Golf Course Driving Range Swoing

Cotswold Driving Range Wellies Swing

They made it look so easy, I couldn’t resist taking a couple of swings myself…

Cotswold Driving Range Swing

Cotswolds Golf Swing

With somewhat less finesse!

I definitely make a better caddy than a player.

Cotswold Golf Course Driving Range Glove

Cotswold Golf Course Sunset

As the sun set and the temperature started to drop, we retired our clubs and warmed up by a toasty log fire.

Cotswold Sunset Golf Course Path

Cotswold Man and his Fire

Cotswold Fire

I spent the evening warming my back against the fire, penning my letter to Santa Claus… Maybe those Indian prayer beads will make it into my stocking come Christmas day 🙂

Taking a Hike: Ancient Byzantine Ruins

After a few days on the boat bobbing along the southern coast of Turkey, we came ashore to stretch our sea legs on dry land. We hiked a gravely path up into the hills, encountering some local wildlife along the way.hike hike1

hike21 hike2 hike4

We emerged from the forest into an open field with ancient ruins in the distance.  hike6

It comes in handy having a fiancé who studied Medieval History. We were able to identify the ruins as being from the Byzantine Empire and estimate they date between 12th and 14th centuries. The Byzantine Empire arose when the Roman Empire split and took the eastern half.  The folks who built these structures would have been Greek Orthodox and ruled from Constantinople (now Istanbul) which eventually fell, after a long decline, to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.

hike7 hike8 hike9 hike10 hike11

The scholars among us tried to translate some of these huge tablets – but it’s all Greek to me! hike12 hike13 hike14 hike15

hike20

We scurried back down the hill, where our dinghy was waiting to shuttle us back to the boat.

hike16
hike17

That evening we cruised into the port of Fethiye as the sun set.

stripy stripy2 stripy3 stripy sunset stripy sunset1

There might have been an impromptu dance-off on the roof…

stripy dance1 stripy dance

Despite my best moves like Jagger, I think I lost that one.

We pulled into the Fethiye marina at dusk, as canapés were being served on deck.

stripy marina

00 0

After a nibble, we set off into Fethiye for a bit of shopping in the buzzing shops of the bazaar.

stripy marina2 stripy marina3

000 0000

00000

A humdinger of a day – on land and at sea!

Sunset Yoga on a Turkish Gulet

While in Turkey, I had the pleasure of meeting the nicest gal (and fellow American expat) whose daily yoga classes onboard the boat were one of the most rejuvenating parts of the experience!

Colby is a Manuka Life instructor in London, certified in yoga, private instruction and retreats. Her buoyant energy really served to invigorate the practice – and the soothing sway of the boat just added to the sessions.

Manuka happens to have a line of colorful, lightweight yoga wear that is some of the most comfy and flattering that I’ve ever tried. This Active Seamless Tee had me humming “Ommmm” as soon as I slipped it on! I am definitely going to check out their shop on New Kings Road for more of this collection.

1gear 2gear yoga1 yoga10

As the sun made its westerly decent into the hills, we unfurled our mats for a soothing sunset practice.

yoga5 yoga4 yoga12 yoga13 yoga14

One of my favorite benefits of yoga is that it promotes awareness of the body and breath. Breathing is a lot like a wave, rolling in as you inhale and flowing out as you exhale. To be on a yacht, rocking gently on the water, really emphasized that sensation.

Practicing yoga outdoors, I could smell and taste the sea with every breath. And rather than reaching for the ceiling or extending out toward a wall, I found myself gazing up at the emerging stars in the dusky sky and stretching for the brilliant glow of the sunset on the horizon.

yoga6

yoga40 yoga7 yoga8 yoga21 yoga20 yoga18 yoga11

I savored and clutched every minute of this session – truly the most peaceful and relaxing yoga class I’ve ever had.

yoga15 yoga17 yoga22

Namaste! xx

Battersea Park 5.6k Race

Running is bad for you.  For real – new research out last year from the Mayo Clinic found that 1 in 10 marathon finishers showed scarring to their heart after the race. Over time, distance runners strain their cardiac muscles, putting them at increased risk of heart attack. There you have it – another reason I’m not big on running. There are others: it wrecks your knees and joints, it wreaks havoc on your skin, and am I the only one who has never experienced the “runner’s high”? There’s my two pence on running.

That said, it is bikini season and, with vacation approaching in a mere two weeks, only drastic measures will suffice to get me looking my poolside best. Plus, it’s for charity! The race took place in Battersea Park and raised money for WaterAid, a charity which provides safe water and improved sanitation to impoverished communities in 27 countries. It was a gorgeous afternoon, with plenty of sunshine and a cooling breeze. It was time to throw the caution of proven scientific research to the wind… and run!

Battersea Park

Battersea Park

Battersea

Battersea1

Battersea4

Crossing the finish line!

Crossing the finish line!

Battersea6

Battersea3

Battersea7

Time to go home and lay on the sofa!

Richmond Park

1

Even city slickers like me have an inherent need for nature now and then. Concrete and grime, screeching trains, and congested sidewalks often wear me out – and I have to hightail it for a grassy little patch in the country. Today I went on an urban safari – in Richmond Park. Pedalling around the landscape, I encountered swans, deer, horses and plenty of doggies romping through the open pastures. It’s easy to forget you are on the outskirts of London – until you pass a clearing and catch a glimpse of the Shard in the distance.

2

park

s4

pond

swan2

swan

s2

s3

After working up an appetite cruising around all afternoon, I was desperate for a bite to eat. The Victoria gastropub in nearby Sheen is a local favorite and we could smell the fragrant outdoor barbecue as we arrived. Sitting in the sunny conservatory overlooking the patio, we feasted on a selection of chargrilled grub before heading home for an evening deciphering the Sunday crossword.

vic

vic2

King prawns a la plancha | garlic, parsley & lemon butter

King prawns a la plancha | garlic, parsley & lemon butter

Summer special spiced lamb burger | tomato chilli jam, tzatziki

Summer special spiced lamb burger | tomato chilli jam, tzatziki

vic5

Chocolate mousse | honeycomb & chocolate crumble

Chocolate mousse | honeycomb & chocolate crumble

London is sweetest in the summer!