London’s Soho conjures up images of fashionable nights out, but with vegan cafés and fitness studios popping up on every street corner, the West End has plenty to offer on the health front too. This guide will help you find your wellness fix, whether it’s the best juice bars or the chicest places to break a sweat.
A wellness spot offering fashion, fitness, food and beauty under one roof, No.1 Carnaby is a must visit. The basement studio plays host to some of the capital’s most popular workouts, with takeovers from Equilibrium, GymClass, Yogarise and other well-known names. Don’t forget to refuel with a post-class avocado toast and smoothie bowl at the in-house Farm Girl café.
Nestled in the basement of Detox Kitchen lies the LDM studio – one of Soho’s best-kept fitness secrets. A low-impact combination of resistance, conditioning and cardio will leave limbs feeling longer and leaner in just one session. Burn calories with LDM’s Shape Changer or calm a frazzled mind with LDM Restore.
Gyms don’t get more luxury than Third Space, and the Soho outpost won’t disappoint. Spread across four levels connected by open steel staircases, this place includes a boxing ring, skylit climbing wall, altitude chamber and Pilates studio, as well as 130 classes every week. Extra perks include: laundry service, state-of-the-art medical centre and a live DJ.
Offering a curated line-up of HIIT, yoga and spinning, Another_Space has fitness covered for the class fiend. The studio is bright and airy, the instructors motivating and the changing rooms packed with fluffy towels and Cowshed products. Chris’ yoga classes come highly recommended, while Reynold’s cycle sessions are a guaranteed mood boost. For more in the way of yoga, check out our guide to the best yoga studios in London.
The original and arguably the best spin studio in town, Psycle is a favourite among Londoners. The low-intensity workout offers a full-body experience that’ll leave legs, arms and abs shaking. Spin enthusiasts will love the challenge of the longer 60- and 90-minute sessions, while barre and HIIT fans should keep an eye out for new classes coming soon.
Offering casual, self-service vegetarian food to office workers and Oxford Street shoppers, Ethos has fast become a foodie hotspot. Dishes range from Thai corn fritters and aloo scotch eggs (aloo is usually made with potatoes, cauliflower and spices) to a dizzying array of vegetable- and pulse-based salads. The Nordic-inspired décor is equally noteworthy.
Located on the second floor of Kingly Court, SO Pure is an Ayurvedic-inspired eatery tempting crowds with dishes designed to heal and balance. Open from early till late (and conveniently located next door to Triyoga), expect an array of gluten-, dairy- and refined-sugar-free choices all packed with medicinal spices and gut-friendly probiotics.
Serving up veggie fare for more than a quarter of a century, Mildreds is a Soho institution. There’s a no-bookings policy, but the inventive, generously portioned food is worth the wait. Creative starters include fennel and mascarpone tortelloni, which is indulgent but not too heavy, so you can save room for mains like the mock-chicken katsu curry that will impress veggies and meat eaters alike.
The poké bowl has come under fire for sustainability issues, but the menu at Honi Poké is varied and offers plenty of non-fish options. From tofu to umami-packed seaweed, there’s even the option to switch up rice for slaw. Seating in this Dean Street eatery is limited, but all dishes can be made to takeaway; perfect for a picnic lunch in nearby Soho Square Gardens.
From a stellar breakfast menu (try the shakshuka with smoked labneh) to an award-winning line-up of sharing plates, Yotam Ottolenghi’s NOPI is worth the hype. Fresh ingredients, mind-blowing flavour combinations and sleek interiors make this Soho spot a must-visit.
Those in the know flock to Detox Kitchen for their health fix. Quench your thirst with their impressive range of juices and smoothies, all made to order and fully customisable – think energy boosters like spirulina and maca as well as honey, cinnamon and ginger shots. Smoothies, meanwhile, can be topped with granola and coconut yoghurt.
All juices and smoothies at this London favourite are made fresh in store. Choose from Vit-Hit, brimming with coconut yoghurt and ginger, or tackle an energy slump with Go Green, a zesty blend of kale, avocado and mint. Protein-based shakes also cater to the post-gym crowd. If juice bars are right up your alley, check out our guide to discover more of the best fruit smoothies and juice bars in London.
Using a clever cold-press technique supercharges the vitamin and antioxidant content in Press’s seasonal juices and tonics, making them some of the best in town. Press’s juice cleanses – using ingredients sourced from London markets – are also on hand to revive flagging immune systems.
London’s Glow Bar branch has a café, shop and saunas | Courtesy of Glow Bar
The latest addition to London’s wellness scene, Glow Bar is direct route to enhancing your natural beauty. Stock up on your favourite vegan skincare brands or head downstairs for an infrared sauna. Be sure to pick up a Moon Milk (an adaptogen-based drink) while you’re there. Brimming with mood-boosting, gut-friendly and skin-soothing ingredients, Glow Bar’s products will leave you with a spring in your step.
An unexpected oasis in the heart of Piccadilly Circus, this subterranean spa leads the way in its holistic approach to wellbeing. Nine treatment rooms, a sauna, a hammam and London’s first Watsu pool for private hydrotherapy sessions make Akasha the perfect place to while away the hours. A day in spent in these serene surroundings will revive even the most frazzled of urbanites.
More akin to a Cotswolds spa than a central London spot, Cowshed’s Carnaby Street sanctuary offers indulgent manicures, pedicures and rejuvenating face and body treatments, all carried out with the brand’s iconic plant-based products. Short on time? A selection of speedy, 30-minute treatments are also available.
The capital’s go-to destination for yoga, Pilates and complementary therapies, Triyoga is the answer to all your wellness needs. Come here for reflexology, acupuncture, naturopathy or osteopathy and leave feeling balanced and rejuvenated. And keep an eye out for visiting practitioners, who regularly host wellbeing workshops and buzzy treatments.
Located on the sixth floor of the W London in Leicester Square, the uber-modern Away Spa is home to some of London’s most acclaimed therapists. Sign up for a facial with sought-after skin expert Su-Man or book in for a session with spray-tan guru James Harknett. Or try a bliss-inducing steam and sauna, which will guarantee top-to-toe relaxation.
Our debut short film, The Soul of Soho, explores neighborhoods separated by oceans, history and culture but united by craft community and change. Neighborhoods bound by one name: Soho. Intimate portraits of city living in the Sohos of London, New York and Hong Kong reveal rich stories of the people who bring life to these iconic neighborhoods. Explore Soho here.
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