Barry’s Bootcamp London Review

This is the room where everything becomes possible. Where you push through the “I can’t’s” and “If Only’s.” Where you run faster, lift more, lean out, quiet down. This is what transformation looks like. Where you become the best version of yourself. – Barry’s Bootcamp

Barrys

We had wanted to try Barry’s Bootcamp for a really long time and we finally got round to purchasing a class.  We booked ourselves into the 11:00am full body class one Saturday and we were super excited to to try the workout that has been the talk of London town for a while.

We had read on the website that we needed to turn up to the class 15 minutes before the class so being super keen beans we somehow managed to turn up 40 minutes before hand (we blame google maps it always says it takes longer than it does!). When we arrived we were checked in and each given towel- luxury.

After checking out the post workout shake menu we headed straight to the changing rooms and we were already impressed. When people say it is the small things in life that make you happy they are certainly right, the changing rooms were equipped with GHD straighteners, hair dryers, hair spray, deodorant, tampons- you name it they had it.

As it was our first time the instructor took us into the room beforehand, the lights were dimmed and there were bright red lights lighting up the room. The instructor Briefed us on how to use the treadmills before inviting the rest of the class to join.

When booking into a class on Barry’s you have to decide whether or not you want to start on the treadmill or on the floor, we opted for the treadmill. The class was a mixture between interval and strength training. We sprinted until our legs nearly fell off and lifted weights heavier than we would usually opt for, we pushed our bodies and it felt blooming fantastic.

When people say Barrys Bootcamp is hard they certainly were not lying! It was the sweatiest we have ever been and probably the hardest workout we have ever been to but we loved it and we cannot wait to go back again!

After the class we jumped in the shower, which by the way were amazing the shampoo smelt incredible. Once we were dressed and refreshed and the last ones out of the changing rooms we headed to the refuel bar to order a shake. We stupidly didn’t order them before our class so we had to wait about 20 minutes as they were busy making lots of shakes ready for the next class so top tip pre-order your shake guys. The shakes were reasonably priced costing us £5.00 each and trust us when we say they were a decent size as well.

Barry’s costs £20 per class but you can also purchase packages and the more classes you buy at once the cheaper each class becomes. We definitely think it is worth the money but it isn’t something we would choose to go to every week as it would become incredibly expensive, we will be returning though!

We Vlogged the day we went to Barry’s so if you want to see more you can catch up on our vlog here.

How to spend a healthy day in London

We love spending a healthy day in London. A typical day for us would be the below, we love trying new classes and new food especially brunch food!

Attend a class/ visit a new gym- There are so many great fitness classes in London, it would be impossible for us to name them all but some of Londoners favourites include; Barry’s boot camp, F45, unit London, Kobox and bests bootcamp. You can also look on the app ‘class pass’ where you will discover hundreds more classes. If classes aren’t really your thing you could always look on the ‘payasugym’ app where you can search by location for a gym.

Go for brunch- Brunch is massive in London, everyone seems to be having brunch these days which is great if you love breakfast food as it means you can eat it for both breakfast and lunch. Some of our favourite brunch spots in London include; daisy greens which is behind Marble Arch, Mauriels kitchen in South Kensington, The good life eatery, Daylesfood farm in Marylebone high street, Grind (lots of locations), Chiltern Firehouse and so many more!

Rent a boris bike- Renting Boris bikes or Santander bikes is so much fun and a great way to explore London. It is an absolute bargain as well, it only costs £2 for 24 hours meaning you could cycle your way around London. We especially love cycling through the London parks as cycling on the busy London roads can be slightly terrifying to say they least!

Walk- don’t use the tube- We have a rule that when we are visiting London we walk everywhere! We hate getting the tube it’s so busy and also can get really expensive if you are using it all the time. Most places in London are a lot closer to each other than you probable think. Next time before you hop on the tube open your google maps and look at how far away you are, you’ll be surprised at how little time you save getting the tube. Walking also means you get to explore parts of London that you perhaps wouldn’t have seen otherwise. We always like to take the scenic route in the hunt to find the hidden gems of London.

A toursits’ guide to London

Despite both living close to London we do love having a touristy day out in London and exploring the amazing city. London is incredible because there is so much to do regardless of your age and there is also so much history to the city.
We have decided to pull together some ideas if you are planning a day out in London. You can pick your favourites from the below list and tailor the day to suit your needs. The great thing about London is that a lot of it is walking distance away from each other and the best way to explore a city is by walking. When you walk somewhere you find areas that you wouldn’t normally discover and really explore the city.

Central Tourist locations:
Buckingham Palace – get off the tube at Green Park and walk to Buckingham Palace to see one of the most famous sites in London. This place is swamped with tourist so be careful in the crowds, but make sure you get that good shot. The best time to go is to see the changing of the guard at 11am.

Trafalgar Square – You can walk to Trafalgar Square along the tree lined Mall from Buckingham Palace, or the closest tube is Trafalgar Square. You can visit the National Gallery here or the National Portrait Gallery and also take pictures of Trafalgar

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament – You can easily walk to Big Ben from Buckingham Palace or from Trafalgar Square, or the closest tube station is Westminster. Big Ben is so iconic so you have to visit here when coming to London. If you are lucky you may see lots of protestors outside too. Make sure you walk along Waterloo Bridge to get a good shot and this bridge then takes you to the London Eye

London Eye – The London Eye is a great tourist attraction and personally we think the best time of day to go on it is at dusk so you can watch the sun set over London. The London Eye may be slightly expensive but if you haven’t been on it before then its highly recommended. You can spend your visit pointing out the iconic buildings across the skyline.

Sea Life Aquarium – a great day out for the family is the aquarium which is right by the London Eye. For those who love aquariums and sea creatures this is a fun day out!

Tower Bridge & London Bridge:
These locations are very close to each other so it’s a good idea to visit all these places together

Borough Market – Borough Market is foodie heaven and the closest tube is London Bridge. The best time to visit the market is early in the day as it is less busy, however the market is only open Wednesday to Saturday There are so many different food stalls here to purchase food from but also street food stalls to purchase delicious hot food. You could spend hours here tasting samples of different cheeses, meats and sweet treats. Make sure you visit Rabot 1745 for the most incredible hot chocolate.

The Shard – the tallest building in London is guaranteed to provide you with incredible views of London. You can be on the 72nd floor of this building admiring the London skyline with 360 degree views. To visit the viewing gallery you need to book in advance, but you could also visit one of the many bars or restaurants for dinner and drinks with a difference.

HMS Belfast – the HMS Belfast is moored between London Bridge and Tower Bridge and is such a fun day out for the whole family. There is so much to do and see on board the ship and of course great views of the iconic Tower Bridge. On the HMS Belfast you will learn all about live at sea but also about World War Two.

Tower of London – Tower of London to see the crown jewels is an excellent way to spend the afternoon in London. To make the visit enjoyable for kids you can download an interactive app to keep the kids encouraged throughout the visit. The great thing about a visit to the Tower of London is that you can spend as little or as long as you like here.

Tower Bridge – one of the most famous bridges that people often think is called London Bridge, but make sure you do not mix the two! Tower Bridge is a suspension bridge that consists of 2 bridge towers tied together at the upper level by 2 walkways and you can visit Tower Bridge and climb to a glass floor walkway for impressive views of London. Your ticket also included a visit to the engine room to learn about the inner workings of the bridge.

Covent Garden/West End/Soho:
Covent Garden – you have to visit here purely to see how beautiful it is, the covered market place is gorgeous especially at Christmas. You will also see some amazing street performers here

Theatre – a trip to London isn’t complete without a trip to London’s West End to see a play or a musical. There are so many amazing shows on at the theatre you will want to see them all! Aladdin is incredible and so is Lion King if you are a Disney Fan. Mamma Mia is an amazing sing a long musical that is guaranteed to make you feel good. Matilda is also incredible and highly recommended. Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera are also excellent choices

Eating – There are SO many restaurants in this area that you are spoilt for choice. There are too many to put here, but look out for a post about pre-theatre menus in London soon. However, many restaurants offer excellent value pre-theatre menus so make sure you research or book in advance.

Regents Park/Camden:
London Zoo – London Zoo is amazing if we do say so ourselves! It’s such a big zoo so you could easily spend the day here. Nestled in Regents Park and close to the stunning Primrose Hill this is a great place to visit with the family. There are lots of events on throughout the day in particular learning about different animals. We love bringing a picnic to the zoo, however there are plenty of places to buy food too.

Madame Tussauds – Madame Tussauds is on the edge of Regents Park and is part of the famous wax work museum chain. You can take your picture with a number of famous people and pretend to be mingling with the celebs! The wax works change of a regular basis. When booking your ticket online you get to pick a time slot, its advised to book in advance otherwise you could be queuing for hours to gain entry.

Camden – Camden is very very close to the beautiful Regents Park. Camden is a very vibrant and eclectic part of London right by a beautiful lock. Camden is famous for its market so make sure you visit it for a browse. There are also many different street food stands to buy delicious food.

This is only scraping the surface of visiting London, make sure you check back for more blog posts about the best city in the world (we may be biased!).

Brunch Review 3 : Jackson and Rye

ifesWe had a day out in London so we had to try out a new spot for brunch and had been recommended to go to Jackson and Rye who serve brunch until 4.30 at weekends.

There are 6 Jackson and Rye’s and most of them are in London; Soho, City, Chiswick, Richmond, Kingston and then Guildford. We visited the one in Soho which was on Wardour Street, very close to China Town and an excellent location for all the London theatres.

According to their website their brunch is ‘legendary’ and to be fair we were really spoilt for choice and it took a long look at the menu to decide what to have. However true to form, we both went for the same thing AGAIN! This might start to become a problem, because then we don’t get to give you guys reviews of 2 dishes, however we can’t help that we have similar tastes buds and love pancakes!

Therefore we both went for the caramelised banana pancakes and were very intrigued by the maple cream. The pancakes arrived super super quick and looked very fluffy. We were given 3 pancakes each and half a caramelised banana and a pot of maple syrup creak, there was also extra syrup on the table.

The pancakes looked fluffy and tasted fluffy too and the banana complimented the pancakes perfectly as did the cream. We thoroughly enjoyed our pancakes however wish we had more banana, maybe a whole banana as it tasted so good!

The place was very dark and at first we didn’t like it but then it grew on us and we liked the dark atmosphere and the relaxing music. The menu was large with lots of choice and this place would cater for all needs.

We would definitely recommend this place at weekends for brunch and think it is great that you can enjoy brunch all the way until 4.30, who said you have to eat brunch at 11.30!!

Where shall we visit next? Please send us your recommendations!

Brunch Review 1: Muriel’s Kitchen

We are on the hunt for the best places to go for brunch in London and Greater London and couldn’t think of a better topic to blog about. As you can probably already tell we are absolute foodies and we would say breakfast is our favourite meal of the day, you can read our blog post about it hereAt the weekend going for brunch is ideal because it means a later breakfast and you can go all out on a big meal to start the day.

We read about Muriel’s Kitchen on The Culture Trip so when we were in the area before a blogging event we just had to take a visit. We tried to book a table online but it was fully booked (we would recommend booking in advance at the weekend), however decided to risk it and turn up. We had to wait around 15 minutes for a table because the whole place was jam packed but it was worth the wait.

Firstly we ordered drinks with Rachel opting to try a juice and Annie going for the bottomless filter coffee (£2 is a bargain!). The juice was delicious and very refreshing and we like the little touch of the cucumber on the side.

We then ordered the toast to share, this came with butter and a whole jar of jam!! The bread was very tasty and there was certainly enough for us to share whilst we waited for the main event! It was so hard to decide what to order for the main brunch. We had watched all the dishes come out the kitchen whilst waiting for a table and were eying up a couple of dishes. As Rachel doesn’t like eggs it was a bit easier to decide, (most brunch dishes always include some form of egg!), and choosing the pancakes was a clear winner. It was harder for Annie to decide however in the end she also went for the pancakes.

When they arrived, our faces and gasps of ‘wow’ even made the waitress chuckle. The presentation wad impressive and the portion size even better! We do not know how the pancakes were made  but they were so fluffy and a bit cake like and had berries in them too. They were then topped with berry coulis, icing sugar and greek yoghurt. We were then given a very generous jug of maple syrup to pour over. I don’t think we need to write any more about because you can just drool over the pictures instead!

We are advocates of brunch and love trying out new places to go. This was definitely a great place to start our hunt for the best place for brunch in London and Greater London. Where would you recommend we try next?

BLOGMAS Day 22- Christmas in London

We love living in London at Christmas, it always get you in the festive mood and there is so much going on to see and do! We thought we would put our favourites things to do in London at Christmas for you all to spread the festive cheer! The below are in no particular order!
Carnaby Street- Carnaby Street always have some cool and different Christmas lights that are great to go and see. We love Carnaby Street because it’s not a busy as Oxford Street but has some really cute shops. Carnaby Street starts with Liberty’s which is such an amazing department store and very typically English. We love browsing there at Christmas, even if we cannot afford to buy anything! Along Carnaby Street are some fab shops such as……… There are also some great places to eat which can be found along Carnaby Street and also in Kingly Court. Why not try Mother Mash, Dirty Bones or The Diner.
Christmas Carol Concert- There are so many carol concerts happening in London during advent so you have plenty to chose from depending on your location. There’s a great range of concerts at St Martin in the Fields in Trafalgar Square, with a concert that’s even dedicated to Christmas shoppers! Langham Place the church next to the BBC also have a lot of carol concerts to go to. Or why not visit the famous St Paul’s Cathedral, we went to a lovely family Carol concert on a Saturday afternoon and it was lovely.
Winter Wonderland- It might look and seem super tacky but what a better way to feel Christmassy than a visit to Winter Wonderland. They are celebrating their 10th Anniversary of being open so putting on some cool displays. Winter Wonderland can sometimes be very busy, so be prepared to queue!
London’s Southbank- Why not spend the afternoon or evening around the iconic London eye visiting the Southbank Christmas market and treat yourself to some mulled wine and browse the cute Christmas stalls. Walk a little further along the river and there’s another market outside the Tate Modern.
Covent Garden- We love Covent Garden, it’s such a fab little place to visit with lots of shops and restaurants. There is also lots going on here as the street artists love to perform here. You are more than likely to see a Christmas choir perform when you visit! The lights at Covent Garden are always beautiful so worth a visit. If you are going to the theatre in London’s West End then Covent Garden is a great place to go for dinner beforehand!
Roof Top Bar- For those who like to enjoy a drink or two, why not try London’s many roof top bars. We love Pergola on the Roof at London’s Westfield White City.

BLOGMAS Day 20 – Department Stores at Christmas

The best time to visit department stores is without a doubt at Christmastime. You are sure to see some epic Christmas lights and Christmas window displays to get you in the festive mood. No matter what city you are in the department stores will not let you down

Selfridges-Selfridges in London, Manchester or Birmingham is great.  All brands, products and Christmas gifts all under one roof what more do you want. Browsing the food halls in Selfridges is always a delight, especially when they are giving out free samples. The Selfridges in London always has great window displays, with the front of the store adored in lights. When in Selfridges do not forget to visit the Christmas department, maybe it is your tradition to buy a new bauble each Christmas, or maybe you need some inspiration – Christmas Shop is the best place to start! Selfridges in London has a new bag hall and its amazing, so do not forget to check it out!

Harrods-Harrods is so beautiful covered in all the lights and is such an iconic building in London. Even if you cannot afford to buy anything here its always such a great experience. The food hall is simply stunning the decor is amazing. Do not forget to visit the white and black halls with the perfume (also know as the perfumery and cosmetics hall).  Do not forget to visit the signature Harrods Christmas World which transports you to a magical Christmas world (not literally!) If you are wanting to treat yourself why not visit The Georgian for Afternoon Tea.

Hamley’s- You are never too old to visit Hamley’s and its even more of a fab and magical experience at Christmas time. As soon as you enter the doors you feel like a kid again, with the shop assistants flying aeroplanes around you or showing you magic tricks, theres something for everyone here and you won’t be disappointed. I would advise to go early to later in the day as Hamlets as become somewhat of a tourist attraction. Do not forget to purchase the iconic Hamley’s Bear!

Fortnum and Mason- When in London, you must visit the “Queen’s Supermarket” (!!). Fortnum and Mason transports you back in time and its so quintensitally English you will want to spend all day here! From sampling chocolates on the ground floor to googling handbags. Do not forget to visit the Christmas Hamper department and look at the iconic F&M Hampers. They make excellent Christmas presents too!

John Lewis- Who doesn’t love John Lewis, and I think its their delightful staff that make the shopping experience what it is. Nothing is ever trouble for the partners and they are always there to help. The great thing about John Lewis is that most towns and cities in the UK will have one, so anyone can visit! We do love the John Lewis cafe because their shortbread and flapjacks taste amazing! However if you happen to visiting the John Lewis on Oxford Street make sure you visit the roof garden in association with The Gardening Society. You can purchase Christmas trees here and also enjoy some food or a glass of champagne. There aren’t that many tables so I would advise you to book. However if you don’t mind sitting outside with your drink its okay to just turn up.

Liberty – A quintessentially British department store is a must see at Christmas. Liberty has a whole floor dedicated to Christmas (floor 6 to be precise!) and its a magical winter wonderland. Even if you don’t buy anything its nice to visit Liberty’s and do a spot of window shopping. Liberty’s is located at the top of Carnaby Street so why not check out the cool lights here and there are many shops to visit here too!