It’s the end of January, Christmas is definitely over and winter feels ever-more gloomy. Contrary to popular belief, it IS possible for Londoners to slow down and relax once in a while, and this comes with some priceless benefits for both body and mind – stress relief, increased productivity, and boost in mood. This is the ethos of ‘slow down to speed up’. Here are our top places in London to wind down.
175 – 179 Oxford Street
Monday-Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 11:30am – 6pm
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
Hidden underground in Lush’s flagship store – just past all the towers of delicious smelling bath-bombs and glittery soaps – is a surprisingly quaint escape from the busy streets of Soho. The cosy, country-styled spa offers mineral baths, multi-sensory massage experiences and reflexology appointments, all with carefully tailored soundtracks. In need of a quick treatment on your lunch break? Choose The Comforter: a hot chocolate scrub followed by a bubbling rose serum massage (£85).
14 Collent Street
7am – 9pm
Nearest Tube: Hackney Central, London Fields, Homerton
Hackney’s quirky yoga, Pilates and fitness haven, The Refinery, is the perfect place to find something for everyone to reset; whether your form of relaxation is to exercise away the stress, or to introduce some zen into your life in the form of restorative yoga (which includes blankets). The soft-lit, incense-scented studios and post-class herbal teas are the perfect example of The Refinery’s holistic approach to wellbeing. Trial the infamous benefits of yoga for a £5 introductory class, or invest in 10 days for £35!
6:30am – 10pm
Nearest Tube: Charing Cross
Situated in the 5-star Corinthia Hotel in Trafalgar Square, ESPA Life is a lavish day spa hidden away from the daily London hustle. Thermal suites, swimming pools, jet pools, steam rooms, heated loungers, ice fountains and sleeping pods… it’s possible to feel revived just thinking about ESPA. Our pick is the Relax & Rejuvenate package for two (£714) – a one night stay in a luxury suite (including a bottle of champagne on arrival and breakfast the following morning), personalised massages and full use of the vitality pools, saunas, and gym. ESPA Life is perfect for those with a hefty stress level (and hefty bank balance).
Unit 1, Canalside
Monday – Wednesday: 9-5pm
Thursday – Friday: 9am-10pm
Nearest Tube: Hackney Wick, Stratford
For a more food-centred reset, MOTHER Works is an organic canal-side haven perfect for a nutritious, hearty meal. Cold-pressed juices (also available for delivery), smoothie bowls, salads, soups and other vegan treats will help revitalise you and get you through the winter. One 250ml vegetable juice promises to pack in more immune-boosting nutrients than 1000ml of fruit juice – perfect for fending off any lurking colds. MOTHER Works is accessible by free shuttle bus from Westfield Shopping Centre at Stratford, or an 8-minute walk from Hackney Wick. Check out their Instagram here!
2 Forest Road
Monday – Sunday: 9:30am-4pm
Nearest Tube: Tottenham Hale, Blackhorse Road
Walthamstow Wetlands offers Londoners a countryside escape from the city, 15 minutes from central. As Europe’s largest urban wetland, the abundance of wildlife and picturesque waters is the perfect place to connect with nature (without straying too far from your work laptop). Explore this peaceful oasis by walking, running or cycling, stopping off at the cafe to refuel. Weekly activities and events are on throughout the year – keep up to date here.
What is your favourite thing to do or place to go when you need to reset? Let us know in the comments below!