Start the New Year with a Detox in London
If you're ready to shake off the effects of the end-of-year parties, London is well-equipped to help you start 2016 right.
Whether you're into green juices or not, most of us hit January 1 in a post-party haze, feeling like we could do with a little less food and wine, and a little more exercise. It's a societal shift: we all find ourselves craving fresh air and fresh food more than the slippers, sofas, and mulled wine we yearned for the week before. Lucky for travelers, London is well-prepped to serve the demands, with detox brunch menus, pay-as-you-train fitness classes, and sophisticated mocktails aplenty.
1. Wake Up with Wellness
Those chocolate yule logs aren't exactly known for their high antioxidant levels. Replenish those depleted supplies at Grace Belgravia, a women-only health, wellbeing, and lifestyle club. Try its liver-cleansing, antioxidant-rich Brussels sprouts and kale salad with orange, pomegranate, and cranberry coriander, and a hazelnut and mustard dressing. Follow it up with the Grace Detoxifying Body Treatment ($186 for 60 minutes).
2. Enjoy a Healthy Lunch
Just because it's January, lunch doesn't have to mean gnawing on cucumber. GAUCHO has introduced a super-food detox lunch menu, meaning healthy, large plates bursting with color and nutrients ($34 for two courses; $39 for three). Skip the Bloody Mary and start instead with a specially mixed green juice, made with coconut water, lime, apple, kale, cucumber, and mint. Move on to fresh fish starters, and steak and salad, before finishing lunch with pudding (yes, there's pudding) thanks to GAUCHO's non-naughty yogurt panna cotta
3. Pay-as-You-Train Fitness
We all know that in January, you're pretty much queuing to get in the door at your regular gym. That's no fun, especially before work when you're already struggling to get there. Combat the crush by trying out one of London's numerous pay-as-you-go classes, which have the benefit of being capacity controlled. You still have to get a spot, but once you're in, there's no lines or waiting for someone to put back the sweaty dumbbells. Try 1Rebel's Reshape class, a 45-minute session with weights and treadmill intervals, or if you really want a challenge, F45 for circuits.
4. Embrace Mocktails
After all those bottles of Prosecco, now is a time for remembering your liver. Whether you're taking on Dry January or not, revel in the fact that many of London's best bars do some pretty mean mocktails, so that you're not home sulking while everyone else is out. Dishoom have their Virgin Bombay Colada (a blend of pineapple and coconut-cream flavored with coriander, chai syrup, and lime juice). Dandelyan, the Mondrian London's award-winning cocktail bar, serves the Dandelyan Sourless (modeled on one of their most popular cocktails but without the booze). Grain Store offers an interesting selection of seasonal non-alcoholic cocktails including the French Blonde (grape juice, elder flower cordial, lemongrass, verjus).
5. Skinny Rebel Workout at Conrad London St. James
Traveling with work and already thinking your routine will go out the window? Think again, for Conrad London St. James has just introduced the Skinny Rebel workout, combining the use of altitude masks with high intensity, total body training. This is the first hotel to debut the regime, a collaboration with Train Dirty London, and guests can expect to burn up to 1,000 calories a session. That'll counteract any splurge meals.
6. Ultimate Detox Brunch
Pont St.'s executive chef Sophie Michell has paired with Kara Rosen of Plenish Juice to create this menu, which features six new vibrant and healthy dishes, each paired with colorful Plenish Juices that will encourage diners to kick off their 2016 with good intentions. Try the California Eggs Benedict (chicken patty, spinach, avocado, and jalapeño hollandaise) with a Plenish Kick Juice (pineapple, chili, lime, and coconut nectar), or the sour cherry, pistachio, macadamia nut, and coconut oil granola, served with a Plenish Pump Juice (beetroot, cherry, and lime).
7. Refuel at the W Hotel
This January, the W London has launched Vitamin Mix Series, an immersive 5-part weekly event that incorporates music, design, and taste. The free sessions will be multi-sensory experiences that are designed to evoke feelgood emotions, with an electronic soundscape and vertical light installation inspired by the chemical compounds of vitamins.
8. An All-Encompassing Spa Experience
As if we needed an excuse to hit the spa, The Spa in Dolphin Square has given us one, being London's only spa to offer the ultra detoxifying benefits of a combined, 360-style treatment. It includes the 25-minute Hammam Ritual, a traditional Moroccan treatment; the 40-minute Rhassoul treatment that soothes and nourishes the skin with lava clay sourced from the Atlas Mountains; and a 25-minute Salt Infused Steam, which uses the ancient healing powers of salt that helps a variety of skin and respiratory conditions, along with drawing out toxins and soothing aching muscles.