I spent a lot of time in the city of London during my days in University and started my corporate career there so I have a soft spot for this city. On this trip, I was pleasantly surprised to see London transform into a more health conscious city. There’s a greater appreciation for the outdoors and fitness as a whole, most likely due to the influence of the Olympics, the Barclays bikes and Paula Radcliff! Even though it was very nippy ( 5 degrees and hailing in May!), I saw lots of joggers and cyclists in the wee hours of the morning.
What I also discovered is that there is now an abundance of sports stores in London which makes it a great city to shop for active wear and sports gear. We stayed at a friend’s flat off High Street Kensington and every block had several specialised sports/outdoor stores. If you are around the center of town, there is the North Face flagship store in Covent Garden, Nike Town in Oxford Circus and the Asics flagship store around the corner from Nike.
For those who haven’t heard of Sweaty Betty, I strongly recommend that you pay a visit to one of their many London/UK shops if you happen ever set foot in the UK. Sweaty Betty is a staple activewear brand to the most stylish lot in the UK, akin to Lululemon in Vancouver. I love their style and the variety of fitness wear they offer. They have dedicated lines for yoga, dance, tennis, volleyball and running. Unfortunately, their retail stores have only started going global recently ( 2 stores in NY and Connecticut stateside opened this year). For those of you who can’t get to a retail store and want to get your hands on their stuff can order online as they do offer international shipping. Thank goodness for online shopping! Check them out and let me know what you think.
Outside of the city, we attended one of my besties wedding in a gorgeous country home called Babington House. We were given an opportunity to test our skills at archery and clay pigeon shooting which were new experiences for many of us who grew up in Hong Kong. It was a beautiful and heart warming wedding and there were lots of happy quality times with all my childhood friends. Oh do I cherish these moments!
Need to Knows
Babington House. Beautiful countryhome in Somerset, run by Soho House . 20 mins from Bath . Your bathroom is overflowing with luxurious cowshed toiletries that you may not want to get out of the bath.
Sweaty Betty. You must check them out if you love working out, looking and feeling good.
Niketown, Oxford Circus. Three storey, 70,000 sq. ft. space in the heart of London. Swoosh lovers will go gaga over Niketown and may never leave.
The North Face, Covent Garden. This is the flagship store. You can find anything and everything Northface.
Asics, Oxford Circus. This is the flagship store for the UK so they have a comprehensive collection of Asics, especially for runners. There are also gait assessment and 3D Foot mapping services in this shop.
Runnersneed Everything a runner needs.
Snow + Rock. Ski and snowboard gear
Cycle Surgery. For the cycling enthusiasts out there.