I’ll Be There | Fare Healthy Festival | Shoreditch (4th – 5th February)

For the first time ever I have succeeded in keeping January a dry month! #DRYJANUARY SUCCESS! And having felt so good for it I haven’t even poured an Espresso Martini down my throat this morning and convinced myself it was breakfast (as I’d initially been counting down the days to do).

*the fact that I was lucky enough to spend January in India, where alcohol is either out of date, tastes like paint stripper or not available was enormously helpful…

Nonetheless I’m really feeling inspired to keep on the healthy path of sobriety, meaning that instead of ending the grape depression (I’m here all week) by reaching for the nearest class of wine, I’ll be heading to Shoreditch’s Truman Brewery for the third annual Fare Healthy Festival – the UKs first and foremost food, fitness and wellbeing festival.


Perfectly timed to keep those new year good intentions going, the two-day event will once again inspire, educate, entertain and motivate attendees to eat, move, think, and, as a result, #feelbetter.

Open from 9.30am until 5.30pm, the festival is unique in combining food, fitness and wellbeing, with pop-up restaurants and bars, exercise classes, expert panel talks, cookery demonstrations, a bookstore, alongside a market place featuring over 100 brands.


Fare Healthy has something for everyone with a series of varied exercise classes including Ballet Barre with Naturally Sassy, the renowned SBC experience with Russell Bateman, and yoga classes from two of my favourite teachers; Michael Wong from Boys of Yoga, and the lovely lady I’m lucky enough to have as amy mindful mentor, Annie Clarke of Mind Body Bowl (pre-order her new book here)



For those more interested in the foodie side of the festival, Fare Healthy is also teaming up with four renowned British chefs to launch the festival’s first ever supper club, ‘A Root To Fruit Banquet’, on Saturday 4th February. The Root to Fruit chefs are pledging to create a meal that use zero-packaging to create a zero waste dining experience.

Chefs cooking on the night will be:

● Tom Hunt, eco chef, food waste activist and chef patron of Poco restaurant
● Gill Meller, head chef of River Cottage and author of new book Gather
● Justin Horne, chef and founder of Tiny Leaf, London’s first zero waste restaurant
● Tess Ward, chef, food writer and author of The Naked Diet cookbook
● Peardrop London, catering company & lunch delivery service set up by chef Rose Lloyd Owen, founder of Fare Healthy

The four course menu will be entirely organic, vegetarian, agro-ecological, 100% British and most importantly, will use ingredients in their entirety, from their roots to their stalks, demonstrating how much of our food is thrown away. Cocktails will be available at the Sipsmith and Jax Coco Bar and Pure ionic water will also be available

Root to Fruit Eating means to eat mindfully, reconnecting with our foods origin and nature in order to value our food, the planet and the farmers who produce our ingredients.


Fare Healthy was created in autumn 2014, a collaboration between self-taught chef Rose Lloyd Owen and a small selection of chefs, bloggers, and fitness instructors. Since it’s inception and launch event in January 2015, Fare Healthy has amassed a loyal following of fans, and tickets for previous events have sold out in less than an hour.

Tickets are on sale now, priced at £25 per person for the festival and at £50 per person for the banquet. The Root to Fruit banquet begins at 7.30pm.

Move Your Frame, Shoreditch: Review Part 2

With specially formulated and inspiring fitness classes running from 6:30am to 8:30pm on week days and from 9:00am to 6:30pm on weekends and bank holidays; the classes at Frame are about guaranteeing incredible results with a laid-back approach, allowing you to drop by any time and try something new, or get fit by doing something you normally wouldn’t (like Bend it like Barbie or Jane Fonda style aerobics).

Frame was created to make working out fun, flexible and efficient, offering five exciting and varied signature workout classes which move seamlessly through exercises; 24 high intensity Cardio classes; eight dance classes to get fit while moving your frame to some great music; 12 yoga options serving as a tonic for your mind and body, relieving stress, tight muscles and anxiousness; 4 pilates classes including a dynamic reformer class; prenatal classes, personal training programmes, bootcamps and Frame holidays.

The dance, fitness and holistic studio is right smack-bang in the middle of the greatest two little suburbs in the entire world; Shoreditch and Queen’s Park and this piece follows part one of my month-long Frame Shoreditch review.


After my first Saturday morning Cardio Kettlebell class, feeling smug – and the burn – I returned to Frame a week later for a second round of Cardio Kettlebell, followed by a Frame Method class.

Cardio Kettlebell is an exceptionally effective complete body workout using every muscle you have. Participants pick from a range of Kettlebell weights and to the beat of a pumping soundtrack, use the weights to wrap figures of eights round their bodies, add intensity to lunges and squats and swing their arms thin! The combination of mid intensity cardio, fast footwork, body-weight-only press ups and your kettle bells means while you definitely wake up aching, ladies need not worry about bulking up. Expect a slimmer frame and lean limbs.


Unique to any other fitness classes I have experience, Cardio Kettlebell at Frame not only varies the cardio sequences each week, but the instructor as well; meaning this is a class your body won’t get used to and the results even more visible. Having braced myself for push-ups and to speed up my “figures of eight” after week one, the game was changed with a fast-paced lunge and squat heavy class, never without an 8kg kettle bell in hand, culminating in serious ab work.

What is consistent to Frame’s Cardio Kettlebell class, however, was the generous helping of pumping old-skool jungle, variety and attitude to keep you entertained and motivated. Lead by original instructors this class is designed to push you to your comfortable limit and generate results. That serious burn, lingering for two days post class, means that with such torn and healing muscles, calories will continue to burn in your biggest muscle group, toning your thighs for summer.


Aided by a combination of small equipment (the ballet barre, Pilates ball, Frame cushion and a yoga strap) and utilising your own body weight. This vigorous, energetic but low-impact class takes place at the barre and on the mat. Channel your inner ballerina and expect gruelling, lengthy periods of pliés, planks and lower ab work. All your muscle groups will be targeted individually with dynamic exercises to the point of fatigue, raising your heart rate and maximizing your hour.

Founded by Pip Black and Joan Murphy, Frame Shoreditch launched in 2009, the ethos being to create a fitness space that is fun, sociable and flexible enough to fit around a hectic lifestyle.


Forge & Co Restaurant Review, Shoreditch

Forge & Co is a truly unique workspace, bar, restaurant and gallery, housed inside a social enterprise space right on Shoreditch High Street.

This slick and social hybrid offers funky co-working offices and hot desks; a contemporary gallery space; with a destination-worthy restaurant with glamorous cocktail lounge, all over four floors on Shoreditch High Street.

Set in a 1950’s Modernist building the restaurant, which is open for all-day dining, Forge & Co provides the perfect respite from the daily grind, serving seasonal modern British cuisine, a great selection of contemporary cocktails, a friendly affordable wine list and local craft beers.

forge and co, shoreditch. www.picapicasytle.com

The bright, open dining room with a dramatic bar along one side serves Allpress Coffee and continental favourites such as croissants, pan au chocolat and cinnamon wheels (£2.5 – £3) from 8am, along with the likes of virtuous Elderflower Fresh Fruit Salad (£6)

The self-styled ‘canteen’ feels like a hip Scandi-style hangout with a modern menu featuring the Forge ox heart burger (£12), Caesar salad £6/£8) and black and white quinoa salad of rocket, orange segments, broad beans, goats cheese & lemon dressing (£8)

There are also various sharing boards on the menu adding to the Scandi, communal feel of the place like the Fish Board of King prawns, soused herring, salmon rillettes, pickled vegtables, caper berries, and fennel cress (£15)

We visited Forge & Co on a Thursday evening, and would recommend going between Thursday-Sunday when the resident DJ mixes soul classics and house in the dimly lit, lively space.

forge and co, shoreditch. www.picapicasytle.com

Starting at the art-deco inspired bar, we tried the “cocktail of the week;” a tasteful, boozy, angel delight for grownups made with fresh raspberries, Chambord and Philadelphia cream cheese.

If dining at Forge & Co you can opt to eat at a communal dining table or in a more intimate setting close to a large stone fireplace, which is what we did. Here we split two equally refreshing and innovative salads – the Roasted Beetroot, walnut & Ragstone goat’s cheese (£7) and a very light Tandoori Tofu Salad with coriander, baby gem, mint, and yoghurt (£8) with adventurous craft gin cocktails.

forge and co, shoreditch. www.picapicasytle.com

There are two sharing boards offered as main courses, and the only two that really matter in life: a 16oz Aberdeen Angus Cote de Boeuf with béarnaise sauce and chips (£34) and a whole lobster, béarnaise sauce, truffle emulsion and  chips (£34); making for a perfectly cooked Surf n Turf for two hungry chicks, dining-post-gym. The steak was tender and pink in the middle and the lobster sweet and meaty. – A winner!


Prolonging the indulgence we split a soul-warming poached Conference pear with red wine reduction and vanilla ice cream (£5) all enjoyed with Nieto Don Nicanor Malbec, Argentina 2011 (£43)

forge and co, shoreditch. www.picapicasytle.com

We were very well looked after by the fun, friendly staff, served good quality food in an opulent, yet chilled, atmosphere.

Forge & Co: 154 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6HD

Cool Yule: Nordic Yulefest Shorditch Pop-up

This December, ditch the busy crowds of Winter Wonderland (and dare I say, Winterville) in favour of Nordic Yulefest, an enchanted Scandi-themed, festive pop-up in the heart of Shoreditch.

The chicest and most authentic of London’s Christmas Nirvanas, Nordic Yulefest is a silver birch treelined fairyland with sheepskin laden nooks, marzipan pigs and of course, the charismatic “Tomte” (AKA Scandinavian Santa Claus).

For over 18’s only, this sophisticated approach to Noel is split into two parts: brunch and dinner and you can book tickets for either on six specially selected dates across December (Also available for private hire). Tickets for both can be booked here

Nordic Yulefest Shoreditch Pop-up www.picapicastyle.com

Both brunch and dinner feature a welcome Christmas cocktail, followed by a four-course Nordic-inspired festive feast from Scandi restaurateurs Fika, plus games, treats and after-grub grooving at the Dance of Candlelight.

(A four course brunch with welcome cocktail is £55 per head and a four course dinner with welcome cocktail is £75 per head)

Nordic Yulefest Shoreditch Pop-up www.picapicastyle.com

The feast of festive food on offer includes apple stuffed hams and glorious gravalax, all washed down with Nutty Sours cocktails and Gluehwein served in traditional boot-shaped glasses.

This Christmas wonderland was curated by award winning events agency Meredith Bespoke and if its good enough for Lulu Guinness’s Christmas party then it’s good enough for me!

Nordic Yulefest Shoreditch Pop-up www.picapicastyle.com


Nordic Yulefest

The Old Shoreditch Station, 1 Kingsland Rd, E2 8AA





The Skinny Bitch Collective Review

The Skinny Bitch Collective  is an elite, intense 50-minute circuits style class, championed by a commando squad of body con beauties including Millie Mackintosh and Suri Waterhouse. The classes involve whipping, crab walking and bear crawling and is spearheaded by personal trainer, Russell Bateman.

Bateman offers one-on-one and group sessions in Baker Street’s premium Fitness First and exclusive Chelsea gym KX, as well as leading pop-up workshops in New York, LA and Ibiza.

From January 2015, you too will be able to get in on the Skinny Bitch action as Russell launches a program of 360 online daily work out videos including signature moves from his classes (that’s crab crawling and upside down burpees) at an annual fee of £240.

Taking a holistic approach and fusing strength and metabolic conditioning with signature SBC moves, Bateman’s innovative workout programme is designed to help you upgrade not only your body but your life too.

“There’s nothing skinny about the Skinny Bitch Collective. We are plump with female empowerment and re-education in a world saturated with misconceptions about fitness and health.”

Skinny Bitch Collective classes will help you burn fat, get stronger, leaner and equip you with the tools to use in your own workouts, making training more effective and fun – sign up for the waiting list here

Sweaty Betty The Skinny Bitch Collective. www.picapicastyle.com

Although slightly contentious in name, the Skinny Bitch Collective shares many of the same principles as Sweaty Betty – “to empower women to feel great and look amazing through fitness;” who helped launch the work-out method to London’s community of “non-models,” with an engaging body sculpting collaboration held at The ACE Hotel, Shoreditch last Saturday morning and attended yours truly.

The exclusive preview saw class attendees carrying out upside down burpees against a wall, primitive movements like lunges and crab walks and crawling on all fours to challenge the body in ways you wouldn’t conventionally see. This, we were told, is not only great for your figures, but also your mind and emotions due to the continual change in blood rushing up and down the body.

photo 3

Bateman, has been a trainer for eight years and established the Skinny Bitch Collective project last year. Thanks to his celebrity clientele who can’t stop raving about him, Bateman’s Saturday classes already have a huge waiting list –and happen to be invite only. This very high demand means Bateman can be very selective about who he will train, so January’s online work out launch couldn’t come at a more anticipated time.

The class was challenging, but not intimidating – and for such an elite regime, Bateman himself is approachable and encouraging.

Sweaty Betty The Skinny Bitch Collective. www.picapicastyle.com

While a one-off fee of £240 may appear pricy, when you compare this to the average price of a monthly gym membership (£50 / month), this is not only incredibly good value for money, but a work out you can do in your own home, using your own body weight, discipline and determination.