If the thought of a member’s club conjures up images of overpriced picantes and overly crowded rooftop pools, you will likely be glad to hear of an altogether new concept on the scene. A place in which there is ample greenery, fresh air and space; the antithesis of London clubs as you know them. Meet: Birch Community.
Opened up in 2020, Birch is quietly making a name for itself as a wellness hotspot in the heart of London offering stressed-out, cooped-up city dwellers a little respite – all in the form of bread baking, pottery making, wild yoga and wellness.
A place to switch off – that takes little more than 30 minutes to reach by train – I stopped by for 24 hours to discover its latest partnership with wellness therapy brand, The Tides.
A wide range of yoga classes, a sauna and gym are all ready and waiting for you at the wellness centre.
Then there are the treatments – Netherlands wellness brand, The Tides, has created practices to directly address the pressures of modern life, with a range of therapies that combat stress and allow you to reconnect with your body and mind.
I opted for the Brainbody Stretch, a full body treatment to release built-up muscle tension, which reduces recovery time after intense workouts. Expect a deep tissue massage to help you switch off and correct posture.
Whether you're after a country-esque retreat or co-working space, Birch delivers on both accounts. Set in the 55-acre Georgian Theobalds Estate in Cheshunt - just 30 minutes north of London - guests can stay the night in the cute and quirky rooms while members can set up a work station before dipping in the lido for a lunchtime swim.
Expect a whole host of cultural activities which include sourdough making classes, two hours of pottery making which, as I found out, is just the ticket to calm an anxious mind.
There’s also a monthly gallery, on-site farm and makeshift cinema complete with striped beach-vibe deckchairs. Not to be missed is a meal at the Zebra Riding Club led by Robin Gill. Best known for his farm-to-table cooking, expect a tasting menu that is unique and fresh, favouring seasonal and home-grown produce. You won't find an avocado in sight.
Picture a festival site and country manor; equally luxurious and paired-back. This contrast, however, is what makes it so unique. No stuffiness. Or fluffed-up pillows. Just great food, a focus on wellness and fresh air that feels far from London.
When London is starting to feeling a little, well, sweaty, this is where to run to. Hop on the tube and race to the refreshing embrace of the outdoor lido and The Tides' impressive range of holistic wellness treatments.
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