How To Relax Living in a City That Never Sleeps

relax in a bar with wine
I have lived in London for 8 years and as much as I love the endless hustle bustle, there are times when I just need to shut off from the noise and enjoy just being in the moment, peace and quiet, relaxation and serenity. I wanted to share with my fellow city dwellers my top five favourite ways to find that moment of calm in a city that never sleeps, from £0 to £200, whatever your bank balance there is a perfect way to enjoy your special time to yourself.

1. Aire Spa

There are not many words to describe my time at Aire Spa, it's an 'if you know, you know' kinda experience. This was a special treat, a birthday present from my other half. I arrived at 8:45am on Sunday morning and left 3 hours later feeling 60kg lighter, I floated back to Holborn to catch the Central Line home where I then fell fast asleep listening to a Ludovico playlist. For 3 hours I felt like royalty, from when I arrived to when I was changed into my swimwear and ready for the ultimate spa experience, there was a polite and calming person at every step ready to "guide" me through the next stage. The pools ranged from body temperature to 40 degrees, cold plunge pools, vapour rooms, to a salt water pool and then the finale; a bath of a 1000 jets to really massage out those 9-5 induced knots. As I lay in the 40 degree pool, my head resting against the stone wall, candles circling the whole room filling the atmosphere with a warm orange glow, I was gently awakened from my bliss to be led to my full body green tea exfoliation and 45 minute massage... without going into too much detail, I almost dribbled, it was that good! After the massage, I enjoyed a glass of champagne and two refrigerated truffles before spending the last hour hopping from pool to pool, before the bells tinkled my time to leave. An experience I will never forget.

2. Climpson and Sons

One of my most favourite things to do, particularly on a rainy grey British day, is pick up a book from one of my most beloved authors (I have plenty on my bookshelf), one that can bring a smile to my face on a bleak day. Hop on my bike and cycle to one of many cosy coffee shops in East London, some of my favourites; Climpson and Sons, La Bouche, Bach on Broadway Market, Milfields on Chatsworth Road, Footnotes on Wilton Way and Phlox Books on Francis Road. Cappuccino in one hand, book in the other, and the echoes of people chatting and laughing in the background. This is an easy way to find relaxation and me time in the city, this is my form of meditation. Even if it is just 30 minutes out of your day, that peace and self time is so important for the mental health of just being in the moment, off your phone.

3. Candles and Create

Candle lights, glass of wine, and crafty things was a typical winter evening back in lockdown, one that I will continue through the next autumn/winter (just not as regularly as I do love a pub night with my pals too). A good movie on in the background, all the candles lit, a glass of pinot on my side table and my floor cover in paper, scissors, cutting board and glue, my go to craft (when I am not illustrating) is collages, I am obsessed with creating collages. You can go crazy, be so unique, minimal or cluttered, whatever your soul requires to feel fully restored in creativity. The process of delicately and carefully cutting out objects with the Stanley knife before gently gluing it onto the blank canvas is truly calming and mediative, and once finished you can sit back and joyfully stare at your masterpiece, finish your wine and breath.

4. Campania and Jones

Dinner for one Al Fresco style outside an off the beaten track restaurant, hidden from the noise and instead surrounding you with warmth from the candle light and the hushed tones of chatter from the pub next door. Campania and Jones is one of my favourite restaurants and can be enjoyed sitting outside throughout the whole year, just remember to add a wooly hat and thick scarf to your outfit that day. The chilled breeze is stunted by the oozy heat from the fresh potato gnocchi and complimented by the rich red wine. This is the perfect place to spend alone or with a pal, take a break from the hustle and bustle of the nearby London streets and instead sit back, breath and eat all the southern Italian deliciousness. 

5. Blok London

My go to, to fully burn off that stress and feel invigorated is a Boxing class or a pilates class at Blok, or a nice cold run by the canal. Get those hands wrapped up and start boxing a punch bag to some loud hip hop, that will rinse your body of 9-5 stress, or start the day by unfolding your yoga mat, and get toning and stretching that core strength. Nothing beats a clear head from a 6am Pilates class followed by a coffee and a hot shower. Alternatively if the budget is running low by the end of the month, a brisk run along the canal or though a leafy park with a fun podcast or an upbeat playlist, for me I love running in the colder months, I adore that feeling of a cold fresh breeze hitting your face as you puff your way through the 5K. 
Thats it from me, I hope you find these top tips on how to RELAX in a CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS fun and rewarding.
Lots of Love, Emily at Nomadic Arthouse.