Leicester Square doesn’t bring to mind wellbeing, surrounded by the M&M store, Chinatown, Experimental Cocktail Club and the likes.
The W Hotel, however, which sits at the centre of it all, has your wellbeing in mind. A ‘work hard, play hard’ mantra has been part of their longterm philosophy, and that is about where my mantra lies. If you’re looking to mix up your Sunday activities, the W’s collaboration with ‘At Your Beat’ dance classes is where you need to head with a girlfriend.
Dance-fit pioneers ‘At Your Beat’ run classes at permanent pop-up studio White Space in Covent Garden. It’s a time to release those endorphins, in one of the most supportive spaces I have ever experienced. When they say ‘women empower women’, they really mean it here. Lead by incredibly enthusiastic teachers, join in easy-to-follow grooves and dance it out. You won’t stop smiling, I can promise you that!
Then it’s time to head back for the Retox part of your Sunday. You let your hair down in class, it’s about the brunch. Up to the first floor lobby, past the chandelier of disco balls, and you’ll find yourself at the restaurant for The W’s brunch offering. It includes a buffet selection of cheese, smoothies, small bowls of fruits and salads with tapas style hot dishes coming around every few minutes, with regular top ups of prosecco.
The brunch in itself was disappointing, missing brunch favourites of eggs, pancakes and wholesome salads. The circuit style foodie offering works well, but it didn’t leave me as satisfied as I would post an actual circuit class. Though the background electric sounds of the DJ set will ensure you find yourself wiling away hours with your friends, for a blissful Sunday affair.
Post brunch, make sure you stop by the photobooth in the lobby to grab post Detox Retox shots, one to keep in the wallet.
We are here for a wellbeing weekend after all, so we check in to one of the rooms.
With 192 rooms spanning seven floors, the décor is a welcome change from more traditional hotel rooms. It resembles a calmer party atmosphere, much like the public spaces. Corridors are jet black, dimly lit with studded bedroom doors. I head into a spacious corner room overlooking Chinatown, with a chaise longue and desk space adorned with yoga books for the morning. Showers and toilets are cleverly hidden behind walls of mirrors, with toiletries by Bliss, make-up remover, nail kits and ear buds.
The mini bar was a favourite spot with your own cocktail making it, alongside healthy snacks from The Food Doctor, vegan Jealous sweets, ricecakes (and intimacy kits for couples having a different kind of weekend).
It’s the peacefulness that surprised me most of all. Not a sound of the hullabaloo outside! That, my friends, gives you a restful sleep for wellbeing in the city.
Dynamic London chef, Ravinder Bhogal, has devised her first all-Vegan menu as part of the W Dining Series. All-vegan includes the wine. With dishes hailing from East Africa, India and Persia, Bhogal says the new menu is “a love letter to her vegan niece”.
The menu includes besan fritters with coconut yoghurt and curry leaf; cauliflower popcorn, Thai basil tempura, black vinegar and chilli dip; caramel braised tofu with confit garlic rice and smacked chilli cucumbers and for dessert, saffron, mango and passion fruit ‘cheesecake’. There’ll also be a vegan cocktail and two vegan wines to accompany the menu. 2018: the year of the dog, the year of the woman and the year of the vegan.