The other day, a friend invited me to a Barre class at Equinox High Street Ken. As most of you know, I am not exactly what you would call a ‘gym bunny’, let alone a ‘ballet swan’ and I’d always imagined a Barre class as full of jetes, pas de deux, arabesques and demi pointes: full of complicated and difficult ballet moves. But when the class started, I realised that this was actually more Pilates than Royal Opera House. Phew. And here I thought I was going to be the ugly duckling stuck in the middle of a Swan Lake production. Barre is more about strengthening your core while using a barre, which I can just about handle.
It was a great class, working on everything from your gluteals (bum), triceps (bat wings) and abs (muffin top), so really all I need to go from an ugly duckling to Gisele (the ballet and the supermodel versions). Well not quite, but that’s what I kept telling myself when I reached 45 minutes into the class and all I wanted to do was lie down in Child’s pose for a little nap. But hey, I made it! I survived 1h05 of the barre class, which was actually really quite enjoyable and even though I can barely walk now, I have happily checked off my once-a-month-workout.
After the class, three of us headed across the street for breakfast at Dishoom, which just opened in High Street Ken. I never thought about Indian food for breakfast, but our barre teacher swore by it and we were convinced. This is Dishoom’s sixth outpost, which are restaurants based on Irani cafes in Bombay that opened their doors to everyone: from businessmen and families, to taxi drivers and writers. This one has an art deco, opulent feel to it, but with cafe tables and chairs, so a mix of elegance and casualness.
We had chai lattes to start with: I mean the real kind, not the Starbucks kind which is all- milk-and-a-little-bit-of-spice. This was rich black tea, milk, massala, cinnamon, cardamon and other spices, which the waitress kept pouring into our glasses. She also suggested the naan and eggs which combines an English breakfast and naan with a sweet Indian sauce. It was delicious… We sat for a few hours chatting and discussing everything from spies, country weekends, and competitive sports. For a while we forgot that we had children in school and went back to the idleness of lazy, all-day-long-brunches pre-kids. We all had things to do, but for once, decided to forget about our kilometre-long to-do lists. A few hours later and it was pick-up time. Time to get back to reality, to coughing children, to post-school activities, and planning Easter egg bonnets. But just for a while, I remembered what it was like to have time for myself, right in the middle of London.