This is your guide to an engaging London wellness weekend getaway!
Is there anything better than a weekend in London?
Well, perhaps one spent with friends relaxing, rebooting, and recharging. You know, a weekend trip that leaves you feeling better!
Recently, I met a good friend in London for a wellness weekend getaway.
We both needed a reboot.
Funnily enough, there were no spa visits on this trip. But there was artisan coffee, an organic wine bar, and cinematic yoga!
It was two old friends talking, laughing and taking in the city.
We found it surprisingly easy to recharge and wanted to share some of the unique & fun things we found to do.
Come along and see for yourself what a wellness weekend getaway in London can look like!
A Wellness Weekend In London
London is ideal for wellness inspired things to do because there’s so much to do.
This makes it easy to incorporate wellness elements into any length itinerary.
You can take a mindful photo walk just about anywhere, enjoy fresh cuisine from around the globe, quench your intellectual curiosity at one of the many museums, recharge in its green spaces, or visit a spa if you need some serious R & R.
Our 3-day wellness weekend getaway took us to Covent Garden, Soho, Marylebone, Paddington, Hyde Park, The City of London, & Shoreditch.
We’ve both been to London before and it’s actually a regular stop for me.
In fact, it’s one of my favorite weekend trips. To do photography, take walks, and explore all of the Georgian Architecture (it’s my thing).
While we didn’t stop by on this trip, I’m a fan of Relax Spa in Covent Garden. They have same-day appointment chair massages that are great for jet-lag!
I’m a firm believer in wellness travel, or intentionally traveling with attention to health & well-being. Wellness travel has something to offer everyone.
Certainly, we all use a few more opportunities to check in with ourselves, recharge & enrich our well-being these days!
There were a few key things we planned ahead of time, as planning wellness travels is key in their success. And we also left some time open.
We both have full lives, so this was meant to be a time not only governed by schedules. We both wanted time to wander without agenda, be curious, and share in the everyday experiences of travel.
My friend and I also share a philosophy of slow travel & gathering experiences over things. We’re just trying to live our best lives while keeping the distractions of the modern world at the door!
Here are some of the great ways we found to relax, reboot & recharge in London.
Savor Artisan Coffee
In my world, every good morning starts with a cappuccino!
Using this coffee map, we sussed out new coffee shops to get our daily fix.
I’ve been working my way through the map, and it was time to try some new places.
The unanimous new favorite was the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs in Carnaby. We stopped first thing after my friend arrived from America. Jet lag, meet coffee!
It definitely goes on the list for a return visit. Not only for the coffee but also for the luscious carrot cake muffins.
Take Scenic Walks for Well-Being
We both love to walk and believe it’s a great way to experience the local side of travel, as well as get some exercise.
So we worked in a few longer walks in scenic places, tech-free of course! In fact, I’m always in for digital free activities. They help keep me sane!
The first morning we walked the tranquil Regent’s Canal from Little Venice to Regents Park.
Later that night it was a more leisurely walk on The North Bank. It’s atmospheric to stroll past the iconic buildings of London when they are all a glow.
The last day, we meandered Hyde Park. It was peaceful & the fresh air was invigorating!
Try Cinematic Yoga to Reboot
FLY LDN is an immersive yoga & fitness studio. In 2019 it was voted Men’s Health Best Studio and is coined the non-yogi yoga studio. And they offer something rather unique in yoga, classes set to cinematic visuals.
We opted for the 75-minute immersive flow class. The room lights are turned off and the large cinema screen streams nature scenes & music during the class.
We both walked out feeling calmer & more centered. The surprising part was how much the low-light room really enhances your focus inward.
If you like yoga, this is a must-try experience. Book ahead of time at FLY LDN and the first class is only 10 pounds!
Refuel with Healthy Breakfasts
We both love healthy breakfasts. Yet during the busy work week, breakfast is typically a quick undertaking for both of us. So, it was a treat to take our time and enjoy freshly cooked meals.
By crazy chance, we frequented a few places that are a part of the Daisy Green collection. A group of 10 restaurants across that city that offer quirky, local and uplifting Australian dining experiences. Each one is a unique and fun space.
- Daisy Green
Located close to The Marble Arch, this restaurant has a quirky indoor/outdoor garden with an Alice in Wonderland Theme. It’s exactly the type of local place you hope to find when you travel. While they have a prosecco bottomless brunch, we opted for avocado toast, poached eggs, and salmon. We left happy & full.
- Beany Green
Right behind Paddington Station and next to Little Venice, is this open-spaced vibrant cafe. We went in for coffee and ended up having breakfast after we realized it was the same chain as Daisy Green. Talk about happy coincidences! Try the egg and avocado wrap with spinach & pesto, it’s good stuff!
- Darcie & Mae
And just for fun, stop by this barge on The Grand Union Canal. I’ve been here several times but never knew it had equally cool relatives close by. It’s the only place I know of where you can walk up to a barge window and order your cappuccino to go.😉
Refresh with Mid-Morning Smoothies
What’s better than a fresh juice smoothie for a mid-morning snack?
One morning we stopped at The Natural Kitchen for a mid-morning smoothie. It’s a chain of cafes and restaurants that offer freshly prepared healthy food & drinks.
With locations across the city, it’s an ideal stop for take-out.
There’s also one located in Waterloo station, just in case you need something before you head to the south coast or countryside.
Commune Over a Vegetarian Lunch
We took our time and enjoyed long lunches over great conversation. I was happy to introduce my friend to Dishoom, a well-known Indian restaurant with five locations in London (as well as one in both Edinburgh and another in Manchester).
They are popular locales and there’s often a line. But, it’s absolutely worth the wait. In the meantime, you can drink to your health in the Permit Room Bar 😉.
My favorite dish is their signature black dahl. Cooked for 24 hours, it’s not to be missed!
Weekends are made for long lunches, the kind you linger over and savor. You know, the polar opposite of the typical workday lunch breaks!
Gourmet Chocolates, Just Because
After lunch as Dishoom, it was a quick walk to the heart of Shoreditch, Brick Lane.
It’s a vibrant street full of vintage clothing, markets, street art, and independent shops.
Our destination was the artisan chocolate shop Dark Sugars. After all, what is a wellness weekend without some dark chocolate?
Just walking into this store will make your mouth water.
There are so many chocolates openly displayed, you can’t help but dive right in & choose a few.
The mango slices with chocolate are a treat and people cue for their hot chocolate. It’s sinfully good.
Have Some Tea Time Fun
If you are looking for a unique, fun, and immersive afternoon tea experience, this is for you.
And if you’re a Harry Potter fan, this will be right up your alley!
There’s some magic that happens in the basement potions room of this Soho bakery.
A potions tutor leads you through magical tasks, as you which your wand and say your spells.
It’s a fun take on afternoon tea, and for a few hours, you are transported out of your daily life and into a place of creative fun!
Their treats are made from scratch goodness you’d expect from a bakery.
The cheddar cheese sandwich was top-notch and the blood orange tea was surprisingly perfect.
Pause for Carrot Cake, Coffee, & Conversation
What’s a weekend reboot without some well-spent time in a cafe? You know the kind, one with a little pick-me-up treat!
The Petersham Deli is a perfect stop for a lazy afternoon such as this. It’s close to my go-to hotel (The Strand Palace) and they serve Organic Lavazza coffee as well as a tasty slice of carrot cake.
Here we passed the time talking and watching the daylight turn to dusk as the crowds went about their shopping.
We both felt grateful for the long pause to just relax and enjoy the time catching up.
Dine at Lady Of The Grapes Organic Wine Bar
This place is a find, and couldn’t believe my luck when I stumbled across it a few years ago.
It’s located on a side street in busy Covent Garden, but it feels more like a quaint wine bar in France.
Since both my friend and I LOVE wine, this was a planned stop.
We tried wines from Austria, Italy, and France. Not only did we enjoy the wines, but we soaked up the ambiance too.
The space is intimate and has an old school kind of charm. Oh, and if you are hungry there’s a selection of simple & seasonal food like tapas and charcuterie.
And there’s one last reason to put this on the list, they support female wine-makers. You won’t be disappointed! Since it’s small, you may want to book ahead of time.
Enjoy G & T at The City of London Distillery
Small batch artisan gin drinking while in London, you bet! And what better place to do it than a proper distillery?
The City of London Distillery is a combination of distillery and speakeasy cocktail bar. Making it the perfect place to pass the evening with a friend.
This gal is a gin lover and always has been!
So when in England, you know… I find a good gin bar to talk the night away. It’s much cheaper than therapy. 😂
Don’t Forget Your Self-Care Routine
There are so many ways to practice self-care on the road. Whether you are trying new and engaging ways to practice self-care or bringing your daily habits with you.
Being health-conscious, we both brought our self-care routines on the road with us.
We both are committed to healthy living. So on the road, we support our mind & body with things like yoga & meditation.
In fact, we shared a good laugh about this the first day at the hotel. After returning from hours of walking, I immediately sat down to stretch at the same time my friend grabbed her phone and asked if I wanted to do a Peleton yoga session.
Just two peas in a pod, trying to stay healthy & sane!
Relax at The Italian Gardens
On our last day, we visited the Italian Gardens in Hyde Park.
We wanted to spend some time outdoors before heading back to Italy and America.
We sat on a bench, listened to the water cascade out of the fountains and enjoyed the view.
We talked about life, family, work, grief, kids, dogs, and the state of the world.
We talked about the challenges of being intentional & mindful in daily life.
And the happiness we’ve both worked to find in the midst of it all.
Wishing you time well spent with good friends, no matter where you travel. Why not share this London wellness weekend getaway with a friend who could use some inspiration!
until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well
Share, Connect, & Inspire!