February 13, 2023
The easiest lost habits to re-acquire are holiday habits – that descending spiral of listless days, late nights and lie-ins that we so eagerly rejoin during the first minutes of anything longer than a bank holiday. The winter holiday stretch of Christmas and New Year’s is of course the most insidious of all, appealing to our natural tendency toward indolence while practically begging us to ‘get in the spirit’ by binging on sugars, fats and things alcoholic.
It’s no wonder that when the twinkling lights and fireworks give way to the harsh daylight of January-February, we confront rather more of ourselves than we started with: more bloated and bilious, more exhausted, and struggling resentfully to get back into the swing of ‘normal life’.
If this scenario seems all too painfully familiar, take heart; there is a way to ease one’s way out of those holiday habits. You’ll probably even enjoy the process enough to extend it beyond ‘dry January’ and into the next 11 months of the year… or at least until the summer holiday.
Face it: you’d rather be impelled to change than forced. The basis of our ‘dry January’ (and beyond) scheme then, is to replace unhealthy, listless self-indulgence with healthy, interesting self-indulgence – new habits that you are keen to plunge into. To help you to make that break, you’ll first need a practical change of scenery.
For these purposes, a 4 star hotel in London can be ideal. But not just any of the luxury hotels in London England: choose your location carefully, and you will not only have health-boosting amenities like a first-class fitness room and day spa within easy reach but will be at the epicentre of a city full of sights, sounds, events and activities that are sure to get you on your feet and moving again.
Importantly, you’ll also be at the centre of one of the world’s leading cities for healthy eating and drinking. So creative and innovative are some of London’s vegetarian and vegan eateries that even frenzied carnivores will find nothing lacking in their cuisine; it can be satisfying, flavourful and even stunning on its terms.
A luxury hotel UK that ticks all the above boxes is Tower Suites, one of Blue Orchid Hotels' three prestigious establishments in central London. Located just steps away from the iconic Tower of London and a few minutes walk from Tower Bridge, its clean and modern architecture belies its resolutely old-fashioned definition of luxury.
That is, everything that can be done to make the guest’s stay as effortless and enjoyable as possible is done. Service is unobtrusive but personal and efficient; furnishings are stylish but practical and luxurious; rooms are spacious, immaculately kept and technologically up to date, yet warm and inviting. It all makes this Tower hotel London a superb place to come home to after a long day of healthy, habit-forming fun. But what makes this hotel exceptional is that you needn’t even leave the premises to enjoy much the same result.
The key is in Tower Suites’ pleasing range of in-house amenities. Open daily is London Fitness Studio, which boasts not only a full range of state-of-the-art equipment but the vital personal mentoring of award-winning fitness instructors. Personal training sessions are also available. Also, in-house is Adamo Spa, offering an acclaimed selection of restorative and energising treatments in an environment of absolute tranquillity.
Even Tower Suites’ eateries offer their share of sensational choices for those choosing to eat and drink healthily. The famous alfresco Skyline London, for example, complements its sweeping views across central London with a delicious selection of non-alcoholic wines, perfectly mixed mocktails like espresso martinis, edibles like veggie burgers and pizzas, and even vegan chocolate brownies. Many of the same choices are also available at Cento Alla Torre, Tower Suites’ elegant and highly regarded Italian restaurant.
Taking healthy food to a whole other level is another eatery, The Vegan Brasserie. Located just off Vincent Square near The Wellington and The Rochester – Blue Orchid’s two other UK luxury hotels – the emphasis here is not on ‘simulating’ meat-based dishes, but creating a whole separate veggie-based paradigm of sublime texture and flavour. Favourites from their diverse menu include samosas, smoky chipotle portobello tacos, Thai green curry, and cherry and chocolate cake – all vegan, and all ‘Naturally Good’.
As we said before, the comforts and amenities of Tower Suites, The Wellington and The Rochester only comprise half the recipe for a luxurious post-holiday transition from flab to fab. The other half is all about location; from any of these three hotels, many of London’s best and most intriguing events, sights and activities are within walking distance (or very nearly so). The possibilities are diverse enough that you’re sure to find something worth propelling you off the sofa every day of your stay:
1. Take a Royal walk
Buckingham Palace itself is a mere 15-minute stroll from The Wellington and The Rochester. Book in advance and you can continue your sightseeing with a two-hour walking tour of the nearby Royal Parks. There’s more than history and lush scenery on offer: tours also go behind the scenes to view Hyde Park’s bats, visit Duck Island in St James’s Park, and find the very site that inspired the creation of Peter Pan.
2. Discover the City
Take a few steps from Tower Suites and you’ll set foot in the City of London. What’s that, exactly? You can find out while enjoying a bracing walk by taking one of the City Information Centre’s self-guided tours of the famous ‘Square Mile’. They range from the historical epic of ’10 Centuries in 1 Day’ to the architecture-centric ‘Designs of the Times’, to ‘Plagues, Pestilence and Pathology’ and much more. Visit here for more information.
3. London at a run
Run, walk, limp or try a combination of all three for this 10km challenge on the streets of central London. Organised in partnership with Cancer Research UK, this year’s London Winter Run takes place on 5 February, starting at Trafalgar Square and taking in St Paul’s Cathedral, the Gherkin and much more on its way to a glorious finish in the shadow of Big Ben. Visit here for more information.
4. Follow a trail of art
If art doesn’t move you, nothing will. So pop out from Tower Suites, download a free app, and you’re off and running to find all 11 special public sculptures on display in the City of London as part of ‘Sculpture in the City’, find out more here.
5. Sensory delight
Venture 10 minutes across the city to ‘Evanescent’, an iridescent art installation consisting of a cluster of memorising gigantic bubbles. The enormous glistening bubbles by Atelier Sisu, are more than seven metres in height. Situated at the west entrance of the Leadenhall Building (also known as ‘The Cheese Grater,’ open between noon and 10 pm and free to visit. Until 10th February
6. Take a trip
Just 35 minutes away from The Wellington/The Rochester or 50 minutes from Tower Suites is St Martin-in-the-Fields, a jewel-like 18th-century church overlooking Trafalgar Square. While both it and the Square are well worth experiencing on any day of the year, we particularly recommend popping by between 6-9.30 pm on 31 January to 4 February for Space, The Universe, And Everything – a positively psychedelic son-et-Lumiere show by Luxmuralis.
7. Meet imaginary strangers
The walk from Vincent Square to Tate Britain is an unchallenging 10 minutes – but you’ll get plenty more paces in as you view ‘Fly in League with the Night’, an exhibition of around 70 enigmatic works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. At first glance, the paintings seem like straightforward portraits – until one realises that those portrayed are entirely imaginary.
8. Enjoy a harmless tipple
Venture northeast for 40 minutes or so from Vincent Square and you’ll arrive at Drury Lane. One of the most famous streets in the West End’s ‘Theatreland’ and home to the Theatre Royal, it’s also where you’ll find Club Soda, a characterful ‘space for mindful drinking’. Everything on the menu here is alcohol-free, on tap or freshly mixed by helpful and knowledgeable staff. Refreshment has never been so guiltless.
Start with a deal
What could make the post-holiday transformation even more painless? The added value of a special hotel package, of course. Tower Suites ‘Relax and Unwind’ is particularly tempting, offering everything from a one- or two-night stay to complimentary access to London Fitness Studio, a 30-minute Swedish massage, dinner for two at Cento Alla Torre, and a 20% discount on additional spa treatments. Or consider ‘Royal Time at the Tower’ – a one-night stay for two that includes a self-guided walking tour of local landmarks and tickets to the Tower of London, as well as a 20% discount on spa treatments and more.