Curiolympics: Distinctly unsporting events for Londoners
Photo: Loz Flowers
If you’ve attempted either the Fry-athlon or the Cine-marathon, you’ll be aware that the Curiolympics have tended towards sedentary, artery-blocking experiences. But don’t worry- we know that sometimes even serious athletes need to take some time off to detox. So for that reason we’re introducing our final event: Synchronised Slimming. Four hyper-pure London experiences to restore body, mind and soul.
What better way to begin than by ejecting the toxins from your Londonised body in a Turkish Bath? Travel to the Porchester Spa, a fine old place in Bayswater housed in a 1920s building. It’s more affordable than many spas and you can get on with the gritty business of purifying yourself without being pampered. Book in for a three hour session and alternate between the hot rooms and the sauna, shocking yourself sporadically by jumping into the freezing plunge pool. Immerse yourself in this silent ritual and squeeze out as many toxins as you can. Once you’ve wound down completely, towel off and brace yourself for a return to the street.
Make sure you’re wearing your Sunday best and head south to Claridges in the glittering heart of Mayfair. Are you in the mood for tea and scones? Well, snap out of it. You’re here to sample their famous Water Menu, which features a choice of thirty of the most exotic bottled varieties you can find anywhere. Try them all and enjoy being the confluence of a network of global waters.
Your pores are open, your system is thoroughly flushed and you’re half way through the Synchronised Slimming. Now it’s time to clear out your lungs. Change into your disco pants and walk across Soho to Oxygen Bar near Leicester Square. Avoid the dancefloor and the cocktails, you’re here for one thing only: a healthy slug of pure oxygen. This is the only licensed retailer of the gas in London so order yourself a canister or two, close your eyes and take some deep cleansing breaths. Once you’ve imbibed as much as you want, prepare yourself for one more round of purification.
Spas, exotic waters and gas canisters all make a bit of a dent in the wallet, so the last stage of our Synchronised Slimming event has been chosen to offer a more humble, affordable finale. Cross the Thames and head to the Bonnington Cafe in Vauxhall. Formerly the communal kitchen for squats in the 1980s, the cafe retains its open, bohemian vibe. The chefs are enthusiastic locals who operate on a rota and the meals are cheap, wholesome and vegetarian. Come on Vegan Thursdays to go one step purer. Alternatively, visit on the 2nd, 4th or 5th Sundays of the month if you like things raw.
After nourishing your body walk into Bonnington Square and enter the garden at the centre. The gate is guarded by a gigantic hand- its fingers pointed upwards like the legs of synchronised swimmers. Choose a bench, or sit on the swing, and meditate silently on your new state of purity and enlightenment.