Tag Archives: london

Live Ride at 1Rebel

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Recently I have been in an ongoing battle with myself and keeping fit. There’s a part of me who wants to be that girl at the gym, with that wonderful flat stomach, lifting weights and really enjoying it. Then there is the other part of me who wants to be that girl on the sofa, with that wonderful stuffed crust pizza, lifting another slice into her mouth and really enjoying it. When it comes down to it the latter usually wins the fight. Because of this I haven’t been particularly happy with my physical appearance, but there is no woe is me here – this is of my own doing. I came to the conclusion that maybe the gym isn’t for me and I should try other ways to get fit – explore some classes and see what I enjoy.

I have only ever been to one spin class and it was interesting. Spin classes are usually in dark lit rooms, with very loud dance music and an instructor reassuringly shouting at you, all very modern and cool, if a little scary. I did enjoy my only experience so when I discovered 1Rebel I thought I would give it a try. That and they offer a free taster class. I booked myself in for a ‘Live Ride’ on a Monday night.

One of the most annoying things I found about going to the gym is the amount of stuff I had to lug around with me – change of clothes, towel, shower stuff, trainers, drink, locker key, headphones…. In addition to carting my laptop and everything else I need, it’s a real chore. This was one of the first and favourite things I noticed about 1Rebel. Everything you need is there for you and complimentary. Shoes that work specifically with the bikes, towels, a free bottle of water and the lockers don’t need keys or change. I could have gone with just a change of clothing and would have had everything else I needed right there. This is a massive plus point for me.

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Once in, changed and on my designated bike a lovely gent came over to make sure I was all settled properly and comfortable. The studio was impressive – modern and stylish, a projection screen and stage in front of me, surrounded by high-tech equipment, club like lighting and of course, a top of the range speaker system.

The workout lasted around 45 minutes and the instructor did all he could to encourage us throughout – even when we were clearly flagging. Not only did we do a set of high intensity bike exercises, dumb bells were provided so that when our legs were having a ‘rest’ we were working on our arms. The variation of this was great and I felt that my whole body was getting attention. From spin sprinting as fast as we could to turning the resistance right up and climbing hills, the instructor kept it interesting and encouraged us to workout in time with the music, which was a combination of house, dance, pop and hip-hop – from remixes of John Legend through to Lady Gaga and even throwing in some Sneakbo, it was a good mix. Oh and the reason they call this session the ‘Live Ride’ is because throughout the whole workout we have Marco on the stage whaling on his saxophone. Yes, that’s right! –  A live saxophonist during a spin class. It was something a little different and entertaining. I never thought I would be spinning along to ‘212’ whilst a saxophonist blares out a solo – Weird yet brilliant.

Overall the experience at 1Rebel was great – as a studio it has everything you need, there is also a gym and a ‘roots and bulbs’ bar serving juices and healthy food. The people gave it that extra charm with everyone being friendly and helpful. The environment is perfect and the workout did exactly what it supposed to – I was dripping with sweat but having a good time!

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1Rebel is located near Liverpool Street so perfect for those city workers but they plan to open studios all over London, with their next one arriving in Broadgate. This is the ideal place for time strapped people who need a workout that’s invigorating and offering something different after a busy day.

You can book yourself a free session here http://www.1rebel.co.uk/#classes following that a ride session is £20 each.

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Afternoon Tea at Sketch

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For me, afternoon tea is one of those occasions where you want to be taken away from reality for a couple of hours. A little bit of glamour, a lot of indulgence and a sprinkle of fantasy. London boasts a host of afternoon teas, from the classic scone and tea cup affair right through to the weird and wonderful. Whatever you fancy, it’s there with a tier of finger sandwiches and mini pastries for you to spoil yourself. I’m no expert but I imagine Sketch is up there with the best of them in the city.

Situated in Mayfair on Conduit Street, right in the centre of everything, Sketch offers all you want from an afternoon tea experience – exclusivity, fascination, indulgence, charm and the perfect setting to lap up the luxury. Walking through the black curtains, across the chalk hopscotch and through the enchanted forest themed Grace Room; there is something to marvel at with every glance.

After leaving my coat and bag in the cloak room I was taken through to the gallery, a room to keep all senses entertained at all times. Everything is draped in a dusky pink, the velvet chairs lined with a rose gold trim base, a grand circular skylight overlooking the room and the walls covered in David Shrigleys signature art – simple, slightly absurd and full of humour.

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I joined my friend Stacey at our table and from the second we sat down, we were looked after – our every need attended to. Because it was 1pm on a Monday afternoon we played well-behaved and opted not to have a glass of bubbly but stick to a sugar high for our poison of the afternoon. As we waited for our treats we noticed that even the tableware had something to offer thanks to Shrigley.  Stylish, white, ceramic and all with a message to share – again in true Shrigley signature style; simple and playful. Our favourite being the ‘Forget About It’ memo at the bottom of our cups.

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Once settled I wanted to satisfy my curiosity about the famous Sketch toilets that people have talked about. From the hazy pink glow of the gallery I walked through to the bright white lights of the toilets and followed the sound of farmyard animals (yes, you read that right) up a large white staircase to be met with a futuristic wonderland – a space age, farm-yard, disco dancing room that fills you with imagination, almost making you forget that you are there to pee. A giant bird’s nest sits under a brightly coloured ceiling that looks over the space age cocoons topped with geese (not real ones) – you enter a pod to use the loo and are greeted with the sound of geese whilst you do your business – strange but true. Even the sinks had their own flare with wall sculptures, plinths, and quotes to see you on your way right.

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Returning to a tower of delicacies, the mini offerings were an exploration in themselves. The classic finger sandwiches of cucumber, salmon and egg were jazzed up with caviar, a warm quail’s egg and fresh ricotta cheese. Warm cheese pastries wrapped up in paper and a yellow bow, tiny circular apple crumbles, mini macaroons and blueberry éclairs – all tasting too good not to say yes to a second round when asked by our waitress (who was also lovely). Although I opted for coffee as I’m not a tea fan they had a wide selection of really amazing sounding teas to go along with the finger food.  We finished off with a fresh scone served with homemade jam and cream.

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Sketch is a work of art, an experience to remember and definitely one worth trying. It’s a must for any afternoon tea lover. To be honest, I would advise you to go – even if it’s just to check out the toilets. This is another glorious London gem.

https://sketch.london

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Burger & Lobster

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When I finally got the opportunity to go to Burger and Lobster, it felt like I was the last one on the boat. Most people I know had been and the hype around it was huge. Despite being renowned for its lengthy waiting times as well as its lobster roll, my lovely friend Stacey and I decided to accept the over an hour wait challenge and go see what all the fuss is about.

A good idea which I think other restaurants should take note of, if you do have a long waiting time for a table, the B&L team take your mobile number and give you a call 5 minutes before its ready. That way you’re not just standing around waiting and can go and grab a drink somewhere close by. Burger and Lobster is in the heart of Soho so there are plenty of options.

When we were shown to our table the menu offering was pretty straight forward. Burger or Lobster all at the same price of £20. You can have you lobster boiled, fried, baked or in a lobster roll. I went for the roll as it was the pinup of the menu. Arriving very sharpish on a tray served with fries, salad and a garlic sauce the delectable lobster roll is chopped lobster with a special sauce served in a brioche bun. It’s difficult to describe just how glorious it was. The combination of the slightly sweet brioche with the fresh lobster was perfection. No faults at all!

We finished up with puddings, of course. I got some chocolate pudding concoction and Stacey got the cheesecake. The puddings were great but if I’m honest, I was still back with the lobster. I could have eaten it all again.

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So, should you believe the hype? In a nutshell, yes!

Yes, there are long waiting times and it’s very busy but the lobster more than makes up for it. On my next trip I will be going for the baked lobster. I want to go and try lobster in every way there is to try lobster. I feel you should too! Lobster is excellent.

Also, as a note, the drinks menu is very cool and even includes a list of non-alcoholic cocktails for us non-drinkers.

If you haven’t been yet, go armed with snacks for the long wait and be ready to be rocked by the lobster. (sorry)

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Everything is free in the Ziferblat Cafe…except the time

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The self-proclaimed “tree-house for grown-ups” or “everyone’s living room­­” ­ Ziferblat Café is indeed a welcoming place. Situated in the centre of all that is hipster, the pay-per minute café can be found on Old Street in Shoreditch. I decided after reading about it online to hold a meeting there and see what all the fuss is about. After buzzing the doorbell and walking up two flights of stairs we were greeted by Jonah, a lovely man wearing an even lovelier jumper. He showed us how the system of the café worked, around the help-yourself kitchen and left us to do our thing amongst the dried hanging flowers and mismatched furniture.

So, how does it work? Well, you grab a clock of your choice from the display when you enter. Ours was a little red one called Audrey. You then grab a slip of paper; write down the clocks name, your name and the time. Everything is then at your disposal; teas, coffee and the free wifi. There’s even a communal table where people can leave stuff they want to share. It was busier than I expected and the atmosphere was cool and definitely that of a ‘bustling creative hub’.

Another great thing is that you can take any food and drink that you want with you, so if you’re trying to save money you could take some lunch along, set up camp and enjoy the unlimited amount of free wifi and hot beverages. Price wise you pay 2p a minute each, so I paid around £3.50 for my freelancing buddy and I to have our hour or so long meeting.

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The Ziferblat café is a really novel and cool idea. It fits Shoreditch like a perfectly snug vintage outfit from Brick Lane. Lovely! It’s somewhere to work, possibly meet other freelancers and cool artistic types, not have to spend a fortune on drinks or food and not feel guilty about just hanging around enjoying a nice cold glass of tap water. Something all struggling freelancers should be entitled to enjoy!

If you haven’t been yet, definitely give it a try.

For more info check out the website http://ziferblat.net/ and follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/ziferblatlondon/ 

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