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Last June, my partner and I made the move from north London to Surrey. I love the slower pace of life, spending time in our new home and in nature. The air feels cleaner and you can see the stars at night. Friday evenings tend to be low-key these days, but if I do venture out, it’ll be to a local pub with a couple of friends.
I like to be outside as much as possible in the summer. I love being able to watch the sunset here over the Thames – it’s a lovely way to finish the day with a drink or picnic, and a great way to prime our circadian rhythms. If I end up finishing late with clients – Fridays tend to be my busiest day – I’ll head into the garden to enjoy the last of the day with a drink and some olives. Kombucha in a wine glass is my go-to – I’m currently loving the rhubarb flavour of the Equinox x River Cottage collaboration – but a new favourite is Botivo, a fermented, bitter botanical drink that’s great for gut health. If I feel like something alcoholic, I’ll have a glass of red wine.
Nothing beats a bowl of pasta carbonara for supper. We enjoy more treaty foods on a Friday, albeit healthier versions – think homemade burgers and baked fries, tacos or my partner’s killer carbonara. I’m in bed by 9.30pm and it’s lights out at 10pm – I’m a creature of habit.
Saturday morning starts with coffee and breakfast outside. I tend to have a few more client sessions over Zoom on a Saturday, so I’m up at 7am, ready to go by 8am. We’re coffee enthusiasts in our house and love making proper coffee. We also have a coffee cup addiction – I’m currently loving the range from Pophams Home. Breakfast is always eggs – usually a frittata – served with ferments. My go-to brands are The Korean Pantry, Eaten Alive, London Fermentary and Vadasz.
Brunch is just my favourite thing and I have a real ‘more is more’ attitude. I’m often disappointed when I go out for brunch, as I think it can be done so much better at home. The only exceptions to the rule are Friends of Ours in Dalston and Sunday in Islington. We love hosting people at ours – and now that we live in Surrey, we often host sleepovers. We pull out all the stops: einkorn pancakes with a selection of different toppings; herby courgette kuku; feta and sweetcorn pancakes with nitrate-free bacon; kedgeree; a full English with quality meats from Piper’s farm; or fresh sourdough with smoked salmon, cream cheese, herbs, capers and lemon wedges. I’m a firm believer that if you can have dessert at lunch and dinner, you can have it at breakfast too. I serve Greek yoghurt, Bio & Me granola and berries as a pudding, with coffee beans from Pact or Exhale.
One thing I miss about London is the choice of fitness studios. I used to love the variety of exercise classes I could access with ClassPass, so when I’m in town, I’ll book in for something – I love 1Rebel and Blok. We’re lucky enough to have a gym in our new home as James is also a PT. When we moved in, we knew wanted to convert our garage into a home gym. I primarily focus on weight training but like to vary how I exercise depending on where I am in my cycle. I use Alo Moves for yoga, Pilates and stretching.
Doing nothing is a lost art form. Busy-ness is glorified in our culture, and we’re made to feel that if we’re not busy, we’re not being productive. Doing absolutely nothing is one of my favourite weekend activities. When I’m doing nothing or just walking without a podcast, I have my best ideas for my business. ‘Boredom’ was on my mood board for 2023 and I can safely say I’m exceeding expectations on that front!
A Diana Henry recipe is often on the cards on Saturday night. I love her cookbooks – beautiful dishes using real, quality ingredients. I also get a Riverford veg box every other week, which comes with a recipe. I love that it challenges you to make new things. I also love how this encourages us to cook local, seasonal food – eating food from Riverford, farmers markets, good butchers and homegrown from my allotment makes me feel so much more grateful and connected to my food, which allows me to eat much slower and more mindfully. I also love a pudding – I make a great tiramisu or crumble with custard.
If we don’t have visitors, I’ll head into London to see friends for dinner. You can’t beat the London food scene – I’ll often go back to East London or Peckham to try new restaurants. During the summer, I’m a sucker for a good festival. I’ve just come back from Glastonbury, which was magical. Dance, laughter, human connection and being outdoors – it’s medicine. I find dancing particularly cathartic and, while my body can’t handle endless partying like it used to, the occasional rave (or sober ecstatic dances) is good for the soul.
Sunday mornings are made for lie-ins. During the week, I try to get outside every morning to prime my circadian rhythm, but on a Sunday, I just want to luxuriate in the comfiness of bed for a couple more hours. I’ll read an interiors magazine or a book or type up some client notes, whilst enjoying my first tea or coffee of the day in bed. I always have about five books on the go – there’s always so much I want to read. Some books I’ve enjoyed recently include Crying in H-Mart and The Body Keeps the Score.
A pastry is my weekend treat. Pophams is always worth the trip. Once I’ve had that, I’ll head home to do some batch cooking for the week ahead. I might whip up some chilli con carne, a green curry, a bolognese spiked with liver, sardine pate, or even pre-boil some eggs for quick breakfasts. I’m currently obsessed with my friend Grace Kingswell’s tahini banana muffins – but they don’t last long at all.
Taking time to mentally prepare for the week ahead is crucial for me. I’ll make some ceremonial cacao (I love Forever Cacao), put on some ceremonial music, light some candles, and get my journal and calendar out. I look at what’s coming up in my week, what’s left on my to-do list and start mapping out my week. Is my workload manageable? What can I delegate? Can I schedule in some more self-care? My calendar is obsessively colour coded. I have different colours for self-development, self-care, clinic work, freelance work, brand work, socialising and admin. It means I can look at an overview for my week and see, top level, if I have a good balance. I can also look at the analytics at the end of each week and see where I over-indexed and where I under-indexed. This might be too much for some, but I largely use it to make sure I’ve got the balance of work to play and relaxation nailed down.
A good night’s sleep is the ultimate self-care ritual. I try not to look at screens after sunset and keep any artificial lighting low for minimal disruption to my circadian rhythm. I’ll read one of my many books on the go before bed – currently it’s Wild Power by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer, which I’d highly recommend to any menstruating woman looking to understand their cycle better. When you learn about how our hormonal fluctuations affect our energy, creativity, concentration, mood and desire, you realise it’s totally nuts how we force ourselves to work the same way, exercise the same way and operate the same way throughout the month. Supplements also help me unwind – I take ashwagandha for stress, reishi for relaxation and magnesium glycinate to aid deep, undisturbed sleep.
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