The London Wellness Guide
London. It’s a city that has the kind of magic that sparkles at every turn. Even the most mundane buildings teem with history and beauty and flowers jut up, dotting the city in technicolor blooms. I was fortunate enough to be back in London this summer for a family vacation and had an absolute blast exploring the city’s wellness scene. I have already written one guide to London which can be found here to start out. The below guide is if you want to delve a bit deeper into the wellness scene of the city.
My trip to Europe was an epic almost three week adventure that started in Paris with my cousin and sisters. We were in Paris during a heat wave but we really enjoyed our time together wandering around the city (check out Pink Mamma if you want a fun place to eat). After a few days in Paris, I left my family to fly to my office’s headquarters in Dublin and meet with everyone there. I did get quite sick while I was there (a story for another post) but shout out to Camden Court Hotel who did everything to make me comfortable. Finally, after a few days in Dublin I flew to London and met up with my parents, sisters, cousin, and aunt and uncle- a family affair!
All of us have been to London before so this trip was great because we got to really explore the city like locals. I absolutely love London - the people, the history, the gardens and was pretty impressed with all of the wellness offerings that seem to have popped up since I last went in 2017. From juice spots to healthy restaurants, spas to gardens to recharge in, London really has their own take on wellness and it involves a lot of flowers and parks which I’m totally on board with.
We were actually in London for the Yankee’s game (which they won!) and there the same time as Wimbledon and though the city was packed for these two events, outside of the super tourist spots, we never felt the crush of people too much. We were located on Cadogan Square in an airbnb, where we could make breakfast, relax, and recharge on our patio in the morning.
It was really nice to be with family, although from the heat wave in Paris and the travel to Dublin, I was feeling pretty sick the first few days so had to take things slower. We started the trip off at Chelsea Physic Gardens, a great suggestion from my sister where you can walk through an incredible garden filled with herbal medicines like cannabis, rosemary, lemon balm and more. They also have old restored greenhouses, a cute outdoor cafe, and lots of benches for pondering life while looking at beautiful flowers.
After our day at the gardens we hit the ground running, heading to Hampstead where my dad and uncle grew up to see where they used to live, explore the area, and visit the Heath. It was a blast and we even ran into an older woman who knew all of the people they knew when they lived in their apartment building (she also had owned a vintage shop frequented by Sienna Miller, how cool!). I learned so much about Hampstead while there and had no idea it was such a hot spots for artists from singers to painters to dancers.
Following Hampstead (and one of the best Yankees games I’ve seen to date), my sister led us the next morning in a recharge yoga session on our patio that was much needed. That day, we took a trip to Windsor Castle and Stonehenge where we got to see where Meghan Markle got married (obviously the most important piece of history there) and learn about the energy field Stonehenge is built on.
The rest of the trip we really covered a lot of ground, getting tea at Petersham Nurseries, visiting Churchill’s war rooms and so much more. It was so nice to be with family and take some time out of our schedules to be with each other and enjoy our time together. I can’t wait to go back to London (Nick and I have a wedding there next year) to explore more.
See my wellness guide below and me know if you have any wellness favorites in London!
LONDON WELLNESS GUIDE
Live like a Local in Knightsbridge/Kensington: This time in London we stayed in Knightsbridge which was a beautiful and relaxing way to see the city. We were on Cadogan square where there were more fancy cards and kids in adorable school uniforms than I could count. Really centrally located and fun to pretend you’re one of those fancy British families.
Take in the Sights and Culture in Covent Garden/Shoreditch: This is the area I stayed in the last time I was in London. It’s close to all the tourist attractions like The London Eye and has beautiful parks surrounding it. Shoreditch, a 15 minute walk fro Covent Garden is a little younger and urban with lots of hipster spots to explore.
EAT & DRINK
For Brunch, Try Granger and Co.: On the cutest street (stop by the stationary and general stores) lined with tea lights, Granger and Co has your standard green juices, avocado toast and more in a beautiful setting but with a Mediterranean twist.
For Lunch in Hampstead, Try The Horseshoe: It was the hottest day London has seen in awhile when we were in Hampstead and this place was a great rest from the sun. Delicious food, warm atmosphere, and all the ice Europe usually never gives you.
For a Picnic in the Park, Experience Ottolenghi: I feel like everyone and their mother had heard about this place but me. Really beautiful spread of healthy and mediterranean eats to pack up and take on your picnic in the park. Worth the hype according to my sisters.
For Tea, Head to Petersham Nurseries: If Terrain had a baby with London, it would be Petersham Nurseries. The stunning space is full of greenery, distressed wood, and amazing candles. The food is farm to table, the wait staff is lovely, and the atmosphere is the perfect way to cap off an afternoon of wandering.
For a Casual Dinner, Eat at Lupita: Their tacos rival the best of Los Angeles and their guacamole is delicious. They are available on Deliveroo (London’s answer to Grubhub and Seamless) or head in for a nice atmosphere.
Make a Reservation at Dishoom: Your friend’s friend, your second cousin, and your grandma have probably eaten at Dishoom. Great healthy Indian small plates with a hype that is completely warranted. Make a reservation to avoid the long line.
Grab a Drink at The Botanist: On Sloane Square, The Botanist attracts everyone from tourists to people getting after work drinks. The food is pretty standard but the drinks are discounted for happy hour and I loved my citrusy herby mocktail I got.
Indulge Your Juice Habit at CPRESS: I ended up getting my juices at Whole Foods but this place came highly recommended by my London team. Looks a lot like Pressed Juicery.
People Watch at Hyde Park: Hyde Park was about a 15 minute walk from me and I loved finding a big tree to sit under, listening to a podcast or reading a book, and watching the people go by. The park is huge, so there’s a place that will suit your needs whether by the water, watching the newborn duckling waddle behind their mom, or sitting under a big tree.
Recharge Your Energy at Windsor Castle & Stonehenge: We had such a blast on an all day trip to Windsor Castle and Stonehenge. Escaping to the English countryside, Windsor Castle is an incredible piece of history not to mention wellness queen herself, Meghan Markle got married there. Stonehenge was our second stop and I had no idea it was made on an energy field you can see if you hold a necklace up to your hand and watch it rotate clockwise then counterclockwise on the other side.
Sightsee by Boat on The Thames: We took a tour of London’s sites by boat ride on the Thames. It was a great way to see the history without fighting the crowds and so nice to be out on the water.
Wander Around Hampstead: My dad grew up in this area and it’s always so beautiful and fun to explore. Hampstead used to be home to artists like Peter Sellars and now the likes of Sting and Harry Styles call Hampstead home. Wader around The Heath, the wellness shops, and the old coffee shops and don’t forget to visit John Keats house and The Freud Museum where you can sit on the couch many of Freud’s patients sat on.
Take in the Blooms at The Columbia Road Flower Market: Recommended this in my last guide and recommending it again. It is such an experience to hear the flower sellers screaming in cockney accents, the incredible flowers everywhere you turn, and vintage shops on cobble stone streets. Get there when it opens to explore the space before it gets crowded.
Listen to Live Music at Grosvenor Square: We wandered here after dinner at Scott’s (great Dover Sole) and they had live music, tee pee tents for the kids, and beautiful seating, a Pimms truck and some food trucks. Get there from 6PM-8PM in the summer to relax and listen to some bands.
Take in the Street Art in Shoreditch: Shoreditch has street art nearly everywhere you look and it’s clear it’s a part of the culture there. There’s official tours you can do but you can also just Google Map the sites in the link which works just as well. We were able to see people doing the street art live which was awesome to see.
Get a Boost at RevIV: After a 12 hour flight, a heat wave in Paris, and hopping from Paris to work in Dublin to vacation in London in just a few days I was feeling totally dehydrated and exhausted. Stopped by RevIV for their basic IV to feel better faster. They’re so nice here and you can turn on Netflix and cuddle up on a couch while you’re getting hydrated.
Take a Stroll in Chelsea Physic Gardens: Beside the Thames, so hidden you’d almost miss it lies Chelsea Physic Gardens, a sprawling wonderland of blooms and trees and 16th century restored greenhouses. Spend some time toward the entrance, where you’ll find their edibles section of herbal medicines and their uses.
Get a Massage at Aman London: Maybe you got a bonus. Maybe you want to treat yourself. I didn’t have either of those criteria so didn’t go but if you’re feeling fancy and want to spend a little more this is the only Aman spa that exists outside of an Aman property and man does it look dreamy.
Get Your Pilates On at Frame: I didn’t get a chance to go, but everyone in my London office told me Frame was the place to be for machine Pilates. They have studios all over the city and it’s definitely on my list for the next time I’m there.
Grab Wellness Essentials at Neal’s Yard: I was shocked at how crowded this little space was compared to two years ago, try heading here in the morning where crowds are much less for tinctures, organic essential oils, and amazing candles.