Classpass

Just bought Classpass (forgetting that next week is technically rest week before the Hackney Half marathon)! So excited to blog about all the upcoming fitness fun!

Clicky clicky booky booky…

Advertisements

Psycle Review (Cycle)

If you haven’t heard of Psycle then you are truly immune to the effects of snazzy marketing. The brand has become synonymous with the desires of many modern women (and men): that instant, Instagrammable post-workout selfie that will be the envy of their friends who are sitting at home, eating takeaway and browsing fitness posts.

Don’t get me wrong, I mean no disrespect to Psycle, nor criticise the brand and its ambitions. I personally think that their marketing strategies are spot on and that they are doing a sterling job at motivating “ordinary” people to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. Sure, it’s an expensive hobby and won’t be to everyone’s taste (cue the pricey onsite juice bar), but judging by how oversubscribed the classes are, lots of people are loving the Psycle package.

I signed up for the intro offer and tried two classes: Mortimer Street (Psycle HQ) and Selfridges Body Works (pop up).

 Mortimer Street with Alana and Selfridges with Kaya

Things I liked: great music, enthusiastic instructors, good vibe and well equipped changing rooms

The class had a great vice. I got the feeling that everybody was excited to be there and was having a good time. The workout is an intense 45 minute session, incorporating vigorous cycling, arm presses and weight exercises. Staff are on hand to help with the clip in shoes and setting up the bikes. We started with a warm up before cycling our way through about 5 or 6 instructor led songs, each with their own routine. Some were faster paced and designed to make you up your RPM, others were slower but was just as hard since you were encouraged to pile on the resistance so that it felt like you were cycling through treacle. We finished with a warm down and a series of stretches.

IMG_5324[1]

Ready to ride!

The changing rooms in both venues were fully equipped with everything you could possibly need. In the ladies, in addition to the complimentary towels, you have everything from Bumble & Bumble hair products to GHD hairdryers and straighteners to Cowshed toiletries to hair bobbles and grips. They even had a nifty plastic bag dispenser so that you could keep your sweaty gym gear separate from the rest of your bag. I thought that these were nice touches and definitely made the high price tag easier to stomach.

IMG_5327[1]

Kirsty and I after our first ever Psycle class

Things I disliked: weights that slid off bikes, no watt output meter, could do with more space in changing rooms and the PRICE.

There were a few minor niggles. There wasn’t a specific weights hook under the saddles which meant they were placed in the spare bottle holder. If you pedal too enthusiastically (as I did!) they may slide off mid-session and embarrassingly roll across the studio. If you’re a numbers gal like me, then the lack of a screen showing your watt output and resistance levels is a tad annoying. The changing rooms are a bit cramped in HQ, particularly given the fact that Studio 1 has a max capacity of 50.

The main niggle, well it’s not really a niggle but more of a resigned acceptance, is the price. At £20 a class, Psycle is pricey. The thing that irks me is not the headline price per class per se, but that their bulk buy packs are so lacking in value. A pack of 5 will set you back £95 (£19/class), a pack of 10 is £180 (£18/class), a pack of 20 is £325 (£16.25/class) and a pack of 50 costs a whopping £775 and only works out to £15.50/class. They’ve scrapped their buddy credit package so even if you’re happy to drop that £775 at the Psycle till, you still can’t take your friend to an odd class here or there for free. I totally understand that you get a lot for your money but at the end of the day, it’s not cheap.

I really enjoyed both classes and I’d love to carry on but the lack of a cheaper regular class option lets Psycle down.

Nanban

nanban

Upon stepping into this beautifully decorated space, you will be greeted by Masterchef winner Tim Anderson’s Japanese fusion creation, Nanban. According to the website, “Nanban means ‘Southern Barbarian’, a term the Japanese once used to describe Europeans, since they first arrived in Japan via the South China Seas, and they were, of course, barbaric.” Nanban is located a short walk from Brixton tube station.

There’s nothing barbaric about Anderson’s food, carefully presented in pretty ceramic dishes and thoughtfully balanced on the palette. We went on a Thursday night, me displaying classic “hangry” behaviour having come straight from a BOOM cycle class (review to come!). Thankfully our excellent waiter swiftly took our order. A tangy Salmon Kake-ae (vinegar-cured salmon with daikon, carrot, and cucumber in a miso-sesame dressing) and fluffy Ackee & Saltfish Korokke (potato, ackee, and saltfish croquettes with katsu sauce) were summoned to placate my hunger. The tartness of the vinegar-cured salmon was well balanced by the richness of the miso-sesame dressing. The korokke was unexpectedly spicy but worked well with the saltfish and the katsu sauce. Our waiter accidently ordered an extra Eringi with Ponzu Butter (the King of Mushrooms, sauteed in ponzu butter, garnished with crushed garlic chips) which we were allowed to keep at no extra cost, a nice touch. The texture of the eringi was firm but I felt the flavour element fell short, leaving the dish a little bland.

Appetisers were followed by a hearty bowl of Kumamoto Ramen (thin noodles in nose-to-tail pork broth with garlic chips, burnt garlic oil, pork belly, tea-pickled egg, and pickled mustard greens) for me and a Sasebo Burger (two 100g burger patties with burnt garlic mayo, gochujang burger sauce, pork belly, American cheese, pickled red onion, lettuce, and tomato) for Mike. Serving sizes were generous. I thought the ramen was tasty although I wasn’t entirely convinced about the tea-pickled egg. Ramen purists may turn their noses up at Anderson’s offering but they should remember that Nanban is a fusion restaurant and seeks to try new combinations.  The burger was yummy with ample amounts of sauce. Who can say no to two patties and pork belly in one burger?

IMG_5360

The drinks menu also offered interesting choices. I went for the perfectly delectable plum wine whilst Mike opted for a Hitachino Nest Japanese Classic Cedar-Aged Ale (don’t ask me anything about that – beer n00b). If we had more time/were feeling boozy we would have loved to try all the sochus and sakes on offer (okay, well maybe not all…). Bonus brownie points go to Nanban for stocking the much acclaimed Nyetimber Classic Cuvée, good for those wanting something a bit more special with their meal.

All in all, a solid Japanese-fusion option in Brixton with good sized dishes made with fresh ingredients.

  • Starters x2 (plus x1 free)
  • Mains x2
  • Drinks x2

TOTAL: ~£55

http://www.nanban.co.uk/ | @NanbanLondon

Hello World!

Dear all / To whom it may concern / Hello beautiful people!

“If you can’t beat them then join them…”

My dear friends, I have given in to the inevitable and I have decided to become the proud another of (yet another) fitness and food blog, with the occasional frequent cocktail thrown in for good measure. Hence DETOX (fitness, though I do have a bit of an issue with categorising fitness as “detox” but hey, it rhymes) and RETOX (eat eat booze booze).

My reasons for starting this blogging adventure are multifold, ranging from finding other blogs lacking in providing the information I really wanted, loving any excuse to eat and exercise, having a huge stash of instagrammable photos, needing another outlet for my creativity outside of the daily grind and some kind of self-fulfilment and desire to share with you all the amazing fun things you can do in London to enrich your daily routines.

So here’s the plan. Feng is going to do loads of fitness-y things and eat loads more food, try to snap it up in some pretty photos, write up some funny stories and maybe even give you some useful information? And show you all kind of cute cat pictures (non-kitty lovers beware). Cat picture right on cue:

Cats on exercise balls

I’ve got a long list of places to write about already, places I’ve either already been or will be going to very soon.

DETOX: Fierce Grace Yoga, Psycle, Castle Climbing, FRAME, NTC, BOOM Cycle, PureRide, 1Rebel, Barry’s, Arch Climbing, Vauxwall, Yogahaven, BLOK and many more!

RETOX: Ceviche, Salt Yard, Nightjar, Goodmans, Flat Iron, Pix, Dean St Townhouse, Nanban, Bao, Happiness Forgets, Artesian, Dabbous, Bubbledogs, Gaucho, The Ledbury, Wringer + Mangle and even more!

Watch this space! Extra points to the tech geeks / nerds who have clocked the title reference. PEACE OUT.