July has been a pretty crazy month having visited 5 different countries in just 30 days and partaking in an amazing unforeseen challenge.
First day back after Ibiza I kicked my ass into gear with a session at my favourite fitness class, Barry’s Bootcamp. Guys, if you want to feel like a super(wo)man, then you NEED to do this class!
I also found myself having agreed to cycle from London to Paris in aid of raising money for two very worthy charities, Dan’s Trust and The Danny Fulbrook Fearless Foundation, with 70 other participants made up of colleagues & clients over the course of 3 days, covering a distance of 380km in total. The only issue being that I had zero time to train, hadn’t been on a bike (genuinely) in about 2 years, and everyone else had been getting out on their bike every weekend for months on end in preparation.
Having borrowed a bike, bought some padded nappy shorts and cycling gloves, it was a serious case of #allthegearandnoidea, yet I jumped straight in the deep end and cycled 90km from Winchester to Dorset along with many of the other Paris participants a few days before the big ride, just to double check that the challenge wasn’t actually going to kill me.
We rode through the New Forest together with free roaming ponies and along the English coast and, other than a rather tender bottom, I had no complaints, particularly as we were rewarded with an unbelievable BBQ and this mega view:
Mini test complete, I gained faith that L2P might actually be possible, and am so super pleased to say that it was! Everyone completed the ride with almost no injuries, and with plenty of fun had along the way. Cycling through the French countryside was legitimately like being in a fairytale; the villages are unbelievably picturesque and the houses doll-like… unfortunately it’s quite hard to take photos on a moving bike, but here are a coupla action shots:
P.S. Massive thanks to those of you who sponsored me, I reached my personal fundraising target and am over the moon to have been able to support such great charities.
It seems that it was a month of fitness (entirely counteracted by all the feasting) with a colleague of mine & I also partaking in the JP Morgan 5.6km Corporate Challenge run around Battersea Park… on the hottest day of the year yet. It was a beautiful evening and a really well put together event, and I would encourage anyone to sign up next year if they fancy a little midweek fun run in the sun!
Finally, Hannah & I invested in ClassPass (they have a sale on at the minute of £19 for 5 classes in 1 month so go, go, go if you want to check out some of London’s hottest gyms for a fraction of their usual cost). We tried out GymClass in Shepherd’s Bush, which was really different to what both of us usually do and also meant that we earned ourselves a cheeky takeaway from Ottolenghi.
… and maybe a raw slice of chocolate torte from Nama Foods.
It was another month of feeding with plenty of meals had out, but mostly unbloggable due to the company that I was in or for enjoying me olidayz too much!
I did, however, review two relatively ‘fast-foody’ restaurants, both of which I was pleasantly surprised by. The first being BRGR.CO, whose signature rump steak burger includes a blend of premium beef fillet, prime rib and rump steak, and was one of the juiciest & most flavoursome burgers I’ve had in a while.
I had my southern fill at Bodean’s in Covent Garden, sampling burnt ends, brisket, pulled pork and ribs, all of which hit the spot entirely.
Things got more fancy at Ivy Chelsea Garden, to which Julia & I treated ourselves post our JP Morgan fun run.
All I can say is… PARMESAN TRUFFLE FRIES! The bomb.com.
Of course I couldn’t just cycle to Paris and jump on the next plane home, so a group of us made the most of a long weekend and visited some of my favourite hotspots, as well some newbies. We had an unreal dinner in the beautiful courtyard of Hotel Costes, followed by drowning ourselves in espresso martinis.
We ended our long weekend with lunch at one of my faves, La Societe, which, upon receiving the menu, I quickly realised is a sister restaurant to Hotel Costes as the items offered were identical, so it’s a good job that we loved their food!
Everything we had was fab, but I would particularly recommend the salmon bilinis and snails to start, and the steak tartare with shoestring fries for mains. Nom nom nom.
July was a BIG month for travel, with me returning from Ibiza and whizzing off to Denmark to visit the family for a long weekend just a few days later.
Hornbaek is definitely somewhere I consider home, and a real happy place for me.
Due to a last minute work trip, I flew home from Denmark Sunday evening, landed into Luton and took a taxi straight to Heathrow for a flight to Tel Aviv. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore Tel Aviv or Israel generally properly, but from what I saw of Herzliya it’s an amazing country with a lot to offer. Our hotel and the local food (especially the seafood) was tip top!
I will definitely be back on holibob.
A few days after my return from Israel it was time for the L2P bike ride so we saddled up and set off, soaking up everything that the experience had to offer along the way, including watching the finish of the Tour de France on the Champs Elysees!
And a night out at Paris’ hottest nightclub, Bagatelle.
Which may or may not have ended with a trip to the hospital.
Finally, the month ended with a super girlie trip to my friend Olivia’s villa in Port Andratx, Majorca, with our days revolving entirely around “mimosa?” and a lot of al fresco dining.
Highlights were our days out at Nikki Beach (if you go, BE SURE to have a meal there and order the tiger prawn tacos, they literally blew our mind) and Gran Folies, where the sea was crystal clear and you could watch (or participate) in people cliff jumping.
Oh, and our lighthouse sunset picnic of course.
I start August fat and brown, but very happy, and hoping to restore some balance in my life for my final month in the UK before the big move!