Category Archives: Giveaway

londoncocktailweek2012

Giveaway – London cocktail week

I love a cocktail, you love a cocktail – why not have some cocktails on me (well, sort of). It’s London Cocktail Week after all.

I’ve teamed up with the good people at Zomato to give away four wristbands to four of my lucky followers on Twitter. Zomato is a fabulous online and mobile directory with reviews by some of the best writers in the business (and also yours truly – distinctly not one of the best writers in the business).

The wristbands will get you the following:

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a wristband is RT a tweet I’m going to be posting on my account today. You must also be following me (the link is above).

I’m kind of jealous of whoever wins these, to be honest. If I won I’ve put a little list of the top five places I’d go:

1. Hoxley & Porter on Upper Street, Islington – this place is basically my local, so it’d be rude not to. Also, I love their decor and I’ve been meaning to go for ages.
2. The Riding House Cafe in Fitzrovia – I walked past this place recently and it looked amazing. I’ve also heard good things. It seems like a classy joint I don’t belong in, so I’d be all up for trying it.
3. Worship Street Whistling Stop in Shoreditch – this is right by where I work, but I’ve only been once. It’s a great speakeasy with some very impressive cocktails. I need to go back.
4. Kettner’s in Soho – a Soho institution. I have spent a number of nights getting slowly tipsy in their Champagne bar (weirdly, mostly with my brother and his wife). I love it in there, so would head back for a dose on nostalgia.
5. Village East in Bermondsey – I love everything on Bermondsey Street. Big fan. Any excuse to go here.

Best of luck to you all with the giveaway. I’ll be announcing the winner on Sunday.

coreandcardioblitzflyer

My Penance and a Giveaway – Islington Bootcamp Classes

So with all the eating I do, it’s time to get serious about burning off some of those calories (boo!).

I started doing Free Form Fitness‘ bootcamps about three years ago, when I lived in Highbury. Over the past year I haven’t been living there, so have fallen off the bandwagon somewhat. But that’s all about to change as we’ve just bought a flat back in Highbs, so there’s no more getting out of it… It’s time to hit the deck and pump some, err, iron?

Free Form Fitness owner, Sybille, talking a class through their next exercise
Free Form Fitness owner, Sybille, talking a class through their next exercise

When I started at bootcamps I was kind of nervous. I admit I feel a little intimidated by fitness classes (I won’t know anyone, everyone else will be better than me, I’ll be wearing the wrong thing…), but as soon as I got in touch with Free Form’s owner, Sybille, she immediately put me at my ease. She was knowledgable and encouraging, telling me more about an injury I had than even I knew, and started me off gently. As everyone in the classes are at different fitness levels – some are marathon runners, some are new mums trying to lose some baby weight, some are flabby food bloggers (OK, just me in that group) – Sybille has different levels of exercises to suit everyone.

Andrew ended up doing extreme press ups. I... did not graduate to this level.
Andrew ended up doing extreme press ups. I… did not graduate to this level.

The first session I went to was just the right level of hard. Then I woke up the next morning and couldn’t actually move. I have never experienced anything like that – my muscles were in shock. BUT in a good way – I was just using muscles I’d not used since I was a kid.

Classes weren’t something I looked forward to, but once I got there they were enjoyable and everyone in the class was really friendly. I’ve made friends at bootcamp that I still see now and count as very good friends indeed (hi Simon and George!). It’s a really nice community event, as everyone lives around Highbury Fields who comes to my class. A happy result was I toned up, lost weight and improved my posture without really – I wouldn’t say trying, because a lot of sweat went into it, but perhaps without really much thought. Sybille does the thinking, I just do what she very gently instructs!

This is my worst exercise - rotational press ups. Unfortunately they're amazing for core strength.
This is my worst exercise – rotational press ups. Unfortunately they’re amazing for core strength.

As I say, I’ve now moved away but am coming back! And just in time for a new class Sybille has devised called “Cardio and Core Blitz”. This is a 30 minutes high intensity workout, focusing on fat burning and core work.

Sybille says of the class, “By using a class format comprised of HIIT (high intensity interval training) and functional core work we have created a workout that will help increase the body’s ability to burn body fat without putting it through the strains and risk of overuse injuries associated with traditional boot camps or high impact cardio workouts. You will be working hard for 30 minutes but you will leave feeling super energised and de-stressed!”

coreandcardioblitzflyer

Sessions are £5/class or you can buy 11 for £50. The classes run in Highbury Fields at the moment, but will soon be running in Liverpool street, Green Park, London Fields and Tower Bridge in the mornings, at lunch times and in the evenings.

Free Form Fitness have teamed up with me and are offering Z Factor readers a free first session. All you need to do is email booking@freeformfitness.co.uk with the subject line “The Z Factor”.

Hope to see you all down there!

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