January 23, 2019
January isn’t my favourite month of the year. In fact, it’s probably my least favourite. Why? The onset of a new year in the cold and feeling like I have to plan everything, look after myself and keep my energy levels high to do my best work (even though all I feel like doing is hibernating) can be tough – both mentally and physically.
For this reason, I set out on a mission to banish my winter blues and up my energy levels in perhaps the most unexpected place: central London. But this is the thing with Regent Street, thanks to its rich history (it’s celebrating 200 years this year) it has so many hidden gems. And this January it’s focusing on helping us ease into 2019 through food, workouts, talks, meditations… you name it.
For example, did you know there’s a whole spa underneath Hotel Café Royal? Neither did I. I happily got to visit Akasha Holistic Wellbeing and experience the most incredible treatment called Clarity & Focus. It’s unlike any other treatment I’ve ever had, namely because you don’t know what’s going to happen until you get there. The reason for this is that it’s all about your energy and my therapist (the wonderful Sinead Dehora) had to feel my energy level before she knew what she was going to do – which ended up being a mix of targeted massage techniques to rebalance my energy and reflexology to – as she put it – get my battery back up from 20% to 75%. Exactly what I needed for my low energy at this time of year. Feeling so Zen, I next went to the sauna in the spa for half an hour or so before a quick dip in the pool and then out to head to lunch.
I’m not personally doing Veganuary, but a big goal of mine this year is to eat less meat as it has such a negative impact on the planet, so I was really excited to try the vegan menu at Stem. At first I thought I might regret it but I seriously can’t explain just how delicious – and filling! – the food was. It was all so inventive. A favourite of mine was pureed pumpkin that was served to look like an egg yolk (photo below). I’ll definitely be heading back here and I urge you to try it out too.
Next I headed to Jo Malone London for a Fragrance Combining consultation. It’s easy to forget just how much of an impact scent has on our minds. Scent is the strongest of our five senses and is linked to our olfactory nerve which is tied to our memories and emotions, therefore directly impacting our mood, concentration and memory recall. To find out my own fragrance combination I was asked what kind of scents I normally liked, before trying out some new ones and then I was presented them in pairs (without being told which two were mixed, so as not to impact my judgement). I ended up choosing the Regent Street exclusive Geranium & Verbana combined with my old favourite Pomegranate Noir to adds depth to the scent. I also love that I can adapt them daily to fit my mood. I was then given a surprisingly stress relieving hand and arm massage with the body lotion of my picks. I think we often underestimate just how much we use the muscles in our hands and this was a great way to relax and enjoy the scents even more.
By then my energy was balanced, I was well fed and I smelled delicious. What else could I want? Well tea of course, this is England. Not many people know about one of my favourite places to take shelter from the non-stop buzz of Regent Street, and that is L’Occitane. As well as being one of my favourite brands (I remember always popping into their shops when I was younger and falling in love with all the packaging and scents) the flagship store on Regent Street has an upper level which is a café. Comfy seats, tea and macrons. If that isn’t heaven…
And since I was in the store I couldn’t help picking out some of their new baby range for my nephew and getting a scent engraved for my friend’s birthday alongside picking out some favourites (if you haven’t tried the Almond Shower Oil then add it to your list!).
At the end of the day I felt so much more myself and more focused than I had all month, it’s amazing what having a moment of self care can do. Whether that’s booking yourself in for a treatment, spritzing your favourite perfume or trying out new foods.
You can find more wellbeing activities to help you re-energise this January right here.
this post was created in collaboration with Regent Street