The Mission – Personal Fitness in Earls Court
The sun has been threatening to come out for some time here in Earls Court, but only in the last few days has it made good on those warnings and, as such, I haven’t felt the suffocating sensation of trying to squeeze into last year’s summer dress… until today.
I remember the days when summer wasn’t solely designed to make you feel rotund and desperately guilty with every lick of your ice-cream cone. The nauseating knowledge that after a certain point in your life these sweet distractions actually do make a semi-permanent pitt stop on your hips. In my case it’s as if I have been encased inside a whole extra person, a life sized Russian doll made of cellulite and claiming squatter’s rights on my body. And at times like these I need all the help I can get.
Lucky then that The Mission has opened its doors on the Old Brompton Road. A private exercise studio offering one on one services for those of us who are truly serious about shifting that bulk. A team of seven trainers, all with their own specialties, will knock you into shape in no time using the local parks as a backdrop as well as their private studio facilities.
As well as all the expected options that a personal training group might have, The Mission goes a few steps further, well, all the way to Andelucia for an exclusive (only 6 spaces are available on any one retreat) fitness camp away from all the temptations and divertissement of every day life.
If you can’t get away this summer then might I point you in the direction of the Vacu Therapy that they offer? It sounds a lot like what it is; get your self into some shorts and a tank top and climb inside the vacu booth. Its fat burning straight from the USA and your first session is free. There are some who swear by it, particularly those who are having trouble with that post-natal drift…
Oh wait, that’s me. See you there then.The Mission 249 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court, SW5 9HP
Ping Pong and Pizza
Earls Court is serving up pizza by the slice and ping pong by the game. One of the latest crazes to rock New York City has bounced across the pond and landed squarely (or roundly) in our neighbourhood.
Table tennis, once a simple, nerdy side show for the ‘not-quite-sporty’ was transformed a few Olympics back by Asian speed demons in tiny shorts. Now, having long grown tired of being recognised as a genuine sport, ping pong is revived for the desperately hip. With bars and clubs popping up all over the shop proving that there is a clear market for ranked beer pong, it’s no wonder that a line forms around the block each Friday when Ping opens its doors.
But don’t just settle for the weekend, why not stop by for a Tournament Tuesday. Entry is free and there’s a £100 gift voucher for the lucky winner.
If you haven’t quite got your top spin perfected you can always get yourself a haircut at the eponymous Deano’s Barber Shop, located downstairs and cropping men’s barnetts from Monday-Wednesday 6-11pm.
If you’re like me and prefer a less pressured experience (the last time I played ping pong I hit myself in the face with my paddle) then just grab a stool, a beer and a pizza and take in the show.Ping 180-184 Earl’s Court Rd, Earls Court, SW5 9QG
020 7370 5358 Mon-Wed 6-11pm Thurs-Sat 6-2am Closed Sunday
Troubadour Wines Earls Court
Earls Court is rife with fabulous places to get yourself a cocktail or an ice cold beer on tap, but sometimes I find myself looking for a slightly more refined experience.
I am by no means an expert when it comes to choosing a fine drinking wine although I have been known to consume with gusto whenever given the opportunity taste something really special… I like the help that comes in restaurants and often accost the nearest waiter or sommelier and pester him/her with the silliest questions in order to satisfy my wine wish list.
‘Will it taste like fairies with white flowers are dancing on my tongue?’ or ‘Is it oaky like a lumberjack has just finished sawing down a copse or does it have more of a French polish finish?’
So enthusiastic am I that I either become a wine expert’s best friend or worst nightmare, which is why I am so lucky to have Troubadour Wines slap bang in the middle of Earls Court!
The shop is always manned with an on site expert who is happy to field even the most ridiculous queries and make sure you find what you’re looking for. They do specialise in Argentinian wines and have been awarded ‘Best Argentinean Wine Retailer of the Year’ for their high quality wines from the region.
But don’t think this limits your choice, Troubadour Wines stocks some gems for anyone with a healthy curiosity for a slightly different vintage. Wines from India, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Lebanon all adorn the shelves here. However, if you just fancy a good old fashioned bottle of French they have you covered here too.
Also, if you want to have a quiet glass on the premises but don’t want to wade into the hustle and bustle of the cafe next door then just nip downstairs to the tranquil wine bar with your bottle of choice and enjoy.
How very civilised!Troubadour Wines 263-267 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court SW5 9JA
020 7341 6341
Sabai Leela Health Spa Earls Court
Why is living in Earls Court so convenient? Because in addition to all the expected shops and services that exist within minutes of my front door, there are also a couple that shuttle this little pocket of West London into a whole new arena of accommodating.
One such gem is Sabai Leela, a high-end but very traditional Thai Massage and Health Spa. They stay open until 9pm each night. This means that you can put in a full day of work and still have time to calmly make your way to a deliciously relaxing 8pm massage appointment. And that’s the point isn’t it? Relax! Which, as it turns out, is exactly what Sabai Leela means.
There are other treatments on offer as well; facials, mani-pedis, acupuncture, reflexology and if you think you need it you can have a free osteopathic consultation to boot.
The decor is clean and calming, all straight lines, slate and candles. When you arrive you are shown to a private changing room where you are given a robe and slippers which you wear for the duration of your stay. Tranquility is all around you as you enter from water features gently bubbling in the corner to low lighting and soft atonal music sound tracking the whole experience.
Round off your treatment with some of the most amazing tea that has ever passed your lips. I can’t tell you what it’s called as the box was a veritable maze of squiggly Thai writing but I can say that even at a gasp inducing £29, I still bought some.
Now, sit back and relax…Sabai Leela 282 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court, SW5 9HR 020 7373 7763 Mon-Fri: 12-9pm Sat/Sun: 10-9pm
Wimbledon at The Pembroke
Although you may not have noticed, summer fast approaches, I promise. And this means a plethora of excellent events and activities on offer here in Earls Court.
There’ll be picnics and garden parties and street festivals, but I’ll come to all that later. A summer staple of course, and just down the way, is Wimbledon. But unless you want to stand in line for several hours or shell out well over £2000 for the privilege of attending in person you’ll have to watch it at home. Or will you?
One of my favourite local pubs, The Pembroke, has decided to play host for all those important games, sets and matches by revving up their big screens on the mezzanine floor.
Unlike watching sports at so many other London pubs, which can be thoroughly dingy affairs, The Pembroke has a wonderful upstairs gallery with fantastically high ceilings and gigantic windows that wrap around the entirety of two sides of the room. The other sides house an upstairs bar and direct access to a roof terrace… I hope you’re catching the summery drift here.
So, think summer, wide open windows, Pimms, Champagne, strawberries and a full table service all set to the gentle ‘pop’ and ‘whoosh’ of ball hitting racket as Andy Murray makes his way to the final.
Book your table now!
Speak to Angus MacPherson or Lee Cayford on 020 7373 8337The Pembroke 261 Old Brompton Rd, Earls Court, SW5 9JA 020 7373 8337 Mon-Sun: 12pm-12am