Travel

England

Establishment neighborhood
Vanessa Kandiyoti
[email protected]
Vanessa Kandiyoti is a polymath—which alone is reason to be fascinated by her. Born in Belgium, with Turkish origins, the former jewelry designer now resides in West London, where she teaches meditation, compassion, and deep calm. Kandiyoti leads group sessions, but is also available for one-on-ones. Aside from having the most calming voice and soothing manner, Kandiyoti is a fascinating and optimistic person, so whether you’re an experienced meditator or a novice, you’ll leave feeling centered and uplifted.
Nymph of Neptune
Astrology is one of those enthralling specialties that we can never quite figure out for ourselves, which is why we have the London-based Nymph of Neptune on speed dial. With several years of experience interpreting client’s birth charts behind her, this astrologist is an expert at illuminating the significance of planetary positions—specifically Mars, Venus, Mercury, and the moon—at the time and date of our births, and what that might mean for us personally and professionally. An hour or two with Nymph of Neptune is truly enlightening. What’s more, sessions can be conducted in English, Italian, or French, the choice—and the path—is yours.
Estelle Bingham
104 Draycott Ave., Chelsea
There’s only one word for Estelle Bingham’s practice: transformative. Or maybe two: utterly transformative. Her particular combination of crystal healing and guided meditation melts away the anxieties of modern life. She’s done this for twenty years, and if you choose to surrender and commit some time to exploring her methods of holistic healing, the results can be remarkable. You can book sessions either at Bamford’s sparkling new well-being haven in Brompton Cross or at home.
Alexandra Soveral
20 Upper Ground, Southbank
After a long, dehydrating flight or an intense week at work or really any other time, come to think of it, there are few things we love more than a massage at Aqua Spa in the Sea Containers hotel (formerly the Mondrian). Skin specialist Alexandra Soveral’s Signature Treatment is manna to your visage. A deep clean is followed by an intense lymphatic-drainage massage. Hot and cold stones are dipped in fragrant oils and rolled over the face, taking care of puffiness and smoothing out fatigue lines. Soveral’s organic, nontoxic products are made from botanicals grown on her family farm in Portugal—and they smell heavenly. Pick up a jar of Angel Balm, a miracle in a jar that you can cleanse with or smear on as a hydrating mask while up in the air or overnight in bed. You can also book in with Soveral herself at her Maida Vale London clinic.
Agua Spa
20 Upper Ground, Southbank
A new discovery for us, Agua Spa is located under the hypermodern Sea Containers hotel (formerly the Mondrian) and designed by Tom Dixon. It’s the antithesis of a normal spa. There are no hard corners, only undulating surfaces that curve into corridors and communal spaces, and the color scheme is white, grey, and silver. The whole vibe is more akin to a spaceship or a futuristic cocoon than the usual wood/cotton/natural-light mix. The manicures and pedicures are both indulgent and blessedly efficient, but of all the treatments, the Soveral Signature Facial is one we come back to again and again. If you’re into lymphatic massage, aromatherapy, and nontoxic beauty, you won’t be disappointed. We also found ourselves in the womblike relaxation area sipping herbal tea and reading newspapers (thoughtfully left by each bed) long after our appointment ended.
Bamford Haybarn Spa
104 Draycott Ave., Chelsea
Carole Bamford’s latest London enterprise, the Bamford Haybarn Spa, is fast becoming our wellness home away from home in London. Tucked away on Draycott Avenue in Chelsea, the building looks like something straight off of Bamford’s own Gloucestershire farm, with its rustic white wood and signature green glass bottles full of nontoxic botanical oils, creams, and serums. Inside, you find a full wellness temple with a subterranean spa and first floor space offering yoga, Pilates, meditation, and fascinating workshops with holistic experts (like crystal healing and sound baths). The “sleep” treatment is our go-to after a long flight or a bout of insomnia. Each session starts with submerging your weary feet in Epsom-salted water while you pick your oil of choice and the music you want to drift off to. One hour is all you need to feel thoroughly depuffed and ready for bed. If you want dinner first, Daylesford Organic is blessedly around the corner, for vibrant, straight-off-the-farm food (straight off Bamford’s farm, that is).
Lanserhof at the Arts Club
17-18 Dover St., Mayfair
Several goop staffers are longtime fans of the Lanserhof’s clinic in Austria. So we were delighted when they opened their first UK clinic, across the street from the Arts Club in Mayfair. The custom-tailored programs at this medical spa and gym marry time-honored holistic treatments with modern medicine. Arts Club members and Lanserhof patients can avail themselves of the top-notch facilities that include Britain’s first cryotherapy chambers, treatment rooms for sports injuries, diagnostics with the clinic’s doctors, and a thoughtfully crafted menu of healthy food to tuck into post-treatment.
Squirrel
11 Harrington Rd., Kensington
Lunch on the go can be a conundrum. One the one hand, you know you should eat something healthy and green. But you also want to feel full and not have to go miles out of your way to pick it up. For those based in West London, there’s Squirrel. The menu of build-your-own bowls is full of proteins, vegetables, and tasty add-ins like feta, avocado, and pickled onions, which make these salads feel like full-on meals. They are filling enough to stave off the dreaded 3 p.m. hunger pangs, but light enough to stop any midafternoon snoozing at your desk. Our standing order when in town is chicken or salmon mixed with nutty quinoa, kale, pickled onions, and a boiled egg—all tossed in a citrusy sumac dressing. You can order for delivery or pickup, and it never takes more than thirty minutes for your biodegradable bowl to arrive or be ready. Best of all, it’s consistent, and lunch is exactly as you order it every time.
Slaw
149 Upper St., Islington
Three friends with careers in law and finance have come together to open their passion project: Slaw. The menu is rooted in the kind of plant-based, root-to-stem cooking that they love to eat, eliminating as much waste as possible. The interior feels straight out of Copenhagen, with chevron wood flooring, white-painted brick walls, and stacks of firewood heaped in the corners. You immediately want to settle into one of the wicker chairs and start eating. Bowls of squash and barley risotto topped with hazelnut crumb, a plate of garlicky chickpeas, and spicy, slow-roasted tomatoes are so nourishing and satisfying, you’ll hardly miss the meat—and that’s exactly the point.
Wildflower
Level 5, 95a Rye Ln., Peckham
Peckham is a neighborhood deep in Southeast London, and it’s experiencing an urban renaissance. And Peckham Levels—a multistory creative space that addresses the working needs of the modern multihyphenate—embodies this breath of fresh air. Wildflower is the Level’s canteen, where global vegetarian food is served—the type beloved in this culturally diverse area. A typical menu includes coconut dal with fried eggs and flatbread for breakfast, locally baked sourdough, all manner of roasted and glazed vegetables, and affogatos for dessert, spiked with Frangelico, a hazelnut liqueur. As is the case with most spots in this area, the décor is simple and utilitarian, with long tables for communal dining and plenty of greenery. Wildflower’s health-driven menu is affordable, too, which means those communal tables are always heaving with a loyal, local crowd.
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