SEASONAL: How to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions in London
With the frivolities of Christmas and NYE behind us it’s that time of the year where countless people jump on the bandwagon of New Year’s resolutions, and promptly fall of it by the end of the month. That’s understandable: after all, it takes time to build up new habits, and who has the time these days? But lucky for you, we here at KOMPAS are all for self-improvement, which is why we wanted to tell you about some of the awesome places and events around London that will help you keep your New Year’s resolutions.
Resolution: Cut down on Waste
Bean & Wheat
Nearest station: Old Street
“Food waste in this industry is a huge problem. Almost 200,000 tonnes of food waste is contributed by the UK restaurant industry each year. That is a staggering amount. More and more people are relying on food banks, the food banks themselves are struggling, and we’re wasting that much food? Restaurants tend to waste so much food on a day-to-day basis, and I feel like we have a responsibility to show people how you can get so much more out of what you have. That’s originally why I opened Bean & Wheat, to make use of these by-products and off-cuts rather than just throwing them away. So for example, I’ll take the livers from the whole ducks I use in my restaurant, and turn it into duck liver parfait to be sold in Bean & Wheat.”
Read the rest of our interview with chef Adam Handling here
Resolution: Be Charitable
Lifestyle brand Nissim started life as a stall in Greenwich market selling clothing catering towards the Yogi lifestyle, featuring prints by founder Emma Nissim (alongside her sister, Rachel.) Now their bricks and mortar shop on the Hackney Road not only sells their super soft active clothing – including the softest socks you’ll ever feel – the sisters organise print workshops where you can learn how to create your own designs to print onto bags, t-shirts, leggings… Both Emma and Rachel have loved the environment since childhood, and as such, a portion from the shop’s profits goes towards the World Land Trust; “This is our business and we have to make the right choices, this charity does the best environmental work and you can chose where your money goes.”
Keep an eye out for our upcoming interview and video with Nissim on this blog!
Resolution: Get Fit
Nearest station: Liverpool Street / Victoria / Blackfriars
If you hate gyms, you’ll love this one. No, it’s not because there’s free Prosecco every Friday (although that is definitely worth putting your trainers on for). It’s not because the benches in the changing rooms are heated, or even because it looks like a cool bachelor’s penthouse apartment… Ok it may be for the Prosecco, who are we kidding? Created by James Balfour, son of Mike “Fitness First” Balfour, this gym is a pay per session masterpiece. Split into two rooms you have the choice of either being screamed at during HIIT in their Reshape Room, or Spinning accompanied by live musicians (!) with a set list curated by Ministry of Sound’s Jon White. With a place this cool, you’ll actually want to spend time here. And if that’s not enough, they have a 100% organic juice bar too. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it.
Resolution: Eat Healthy
Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road
Christmas is that one time of year where it is acceptable to eat mince pies for breakfast, and continue in a similar vein throughout the day (chocolate cake at lunch? Hell yeah, it’s Christmas!) After a month of excess it’s time to rejig the diet and get back on track with a healthier routine. Healthy eating shouldn’t automatically equal boring, however. Bringing the sweet Cali vibe to London via the flavours of Hawaii, Ahi Poké is great for a grab and go healthy lunch choice. Named after the Hawaiian version of sushi (Poké is a traditional raw fish dish), you can either build your own bowl or go for something ready prepared such as the Oahu bowl with a base of Aki tuna. Fish is responsibly sourced and sustainably caught, with all the other ingredients from local suppliers. This is not only clean eating, this is good eating.
Resolution: Save Money
If saving more money is on the agenda for 2019, it can be easy to feel trapped in London without much to do. But there are hundreds of incredible things to do for free or very cheap. Start with the national museums, most of which are free. Our personal favourites are the V&A and the British Museum. Have a walk round one of London’s plethora of parks, such as Greenwich, fitting in a visit to the markets and Maritime Museum while you’re at it. And if you’re in the mood for something that feels luxurious but is actually totally free, head up to the Sky Garden on the 35th floor of 20 Fenchurch Street.
Resolution: Get Organized
Present & Correct
Nearest station: Angel
In 2018 you may have found yourself forgetting meetings, crumpling up important documents in your bag, or losing loose post-it notes. It’s time to turn all that around by investing in some organizational tools. One of London’s best stationery shops is Present & Correct. What a visual treat it is. Named after the age-old phrase usually uttered with disdain at morning registration, there is a certain school aesthetic to the place. Starting as a we-only store, Graphic Designer Neal Whittington and business partner Mark Smith curated a collection of their own designs, interspersed with stationary found all over the world. Since opening bricks and mortar in 2012, they continue to travel annually, sourcing beautiful items globally. The visual vocabulary of the shop is a true representation of both their tastes; subtle geometry mixed with pastels, vintage items interspersed with items fresh off the production line, there is certainly things to suit everyone’s tastes. Influenced by school-chic, the Post Office, and office stationary, Neal also brings to this aesthetic masterpiece a style once executed during his branding days, along with many graphic design elements.
Resolution: Read More
Nearest station: Whitechapel / Shoreditch High Street
If your New Year’s resolutions include reading more books, try a book subscription from Libreria where books tailored to your taste will be delivered to your door every month. Designed by Spanish architects SelgasCano, just shopping in Libreria is a gift in itself. Books fill every available space and cover every surface, presented in themed sections such as ‘Wanderlust’, ‘Enchantment for Disenchanted’, and ‘Mothers, Madonnas, and Whores’ to help discover the perfect title. Pick a pile and read the blurbs in one of the special reading nooks built into the shelving. This isn’t a typical East London bookshop filled with laptops and lattés; in fact, phones are banned (as is all tech) so focus remains fully on the books allowing for hours of perusing and peaceful wandering. For something a bit more special, there is a risograph printer in the basement where bespoke cards can be printed in one of their workshops, or bought alongside their books and machine printed ‘zines. Inspiration for the shop was taken from Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges who once quipped, “I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.” Libreria isn’t far off. Time your visit just right and you might find yourself at one of their Cultural Programme events.
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Also published on Medium.