On a dull and rainy Sunday afternoon in London, my boyfriend and I headed for The Chelsea Club at Stamford Bridge in South West London. Having cancelled our gym membership in 2012, we wanted to take full advantage of a complimentary day pass and lunch that we had previously obtained, particularly with 2013 bringing a host of travel plans and a desired shake-up of our routine.
In general we both love to use the gym and regularly try new forms of exercise like Qigong, as well as maintaining and improving our diets with recipes and foods that we have tried from around the world. With this in mind, it made sense that we would be keen to try a gym that is regarded as one of the finest in London offering first class facilities and equipment.
Upon entering the club, we were warmly greeted by the receptionist, who handled our enquiry and led us through to the club. Here, we entered the swanky changing rooms (where sadly, no photos are allowed) to lock away our belongings before heading straight to the gym on the top floor of the club.
Now, the gym itself is moderately sized. It houses a cardio and free-weights section where we endured a two and a half hour intense workout, in addition to the spinning studio and additional cardio area, all of which is home to the latest Technogym equipment. It offers a fantastic range of space and equipment for just about any form of exercise, exactly as would be expected from a gym of this calibre.
Following our calorie-burning workout, we headed straight for lunch as it was already approaching 3pm and the restaurant closes at 4pm on Sundays. We needed a healthy but filling meal for an energy boost, with the intention to then power through the rest of our afternoon.
The lunch menu offers a fantastic variety of dishes, each of which the staff are happy to run through and amend to suit any preferences. With this being home to one of the world’s most valuable football clubs, the staff seem more than appreciative to dietary needs; a focus upon health and replenishment is the priority here. The menu offers a range of salads, hot food and smoothies and from observing their service with other visitors to the club, it was clear that your satisfaction is a priority. I opted for a chicken salad whilst my boyfriend chose a pesto pasta dish, both of which tasted great. Using quality and tasty ingredients that were well prepared, we weren’t disappointed as we flicked through the newspapers to digest our food before heading to the pool.
The indoor, heated pool at The Chelsea Club is one that I could truly appreciate. As a non-swimmer (I’m learning but it’s been a slow process!) I enjoyed the fact that it was all of one depth – I didn’t have to worry about straying into the deep end resulting in a comfortable, happy paddle, burning an extra few calories with a float to use for support. My boyfriend did comment that he found the shallower depth to be a hindrance to his swimming ability as he kept hitting the bottom of the pool, however other swimmers in the pool seemed to be OK.
After completing a few laps of swimming in the pool we switched from exercise to relaxation mode, heading straight to the freshly refilled jacuzzi to be gently massaged across every inch of our bodies by the pressure jets. I had nothing but admiration for the attentive approach of the staff at the pool. The jacuzzi and pool all appeared to be regularly cleaned, we had no complaints whatsoever.
The jacuzzi is in the communal pool area, however it wasn’t too busy at this time of the day and we were able to relax, undisturbed before heading to our individual changing areas to use the remaining facilities.
Each changing area features a single-sex sauna, steam room and plunge pool with rainfall showers and fully equipped toiletries branded by Molton Brown. The ladies’ changing room featured shower caps, shower gel and conditioner, hand lotion, hair dryers and GHD straighteners. Not only this, but towels of both full and hand size are provided (saving a bit of space in your own bag) and are kept fully stocked in the changing rooms and around the gym area.
With a plethora of facilities at our disposal, we each ensured that we spent some time in the steam room to further relieve the ache that was setting into our muscles before meeting for drinks ahead of the trip home.
Overall, we spent a total of seven hours at the club in a complete haze of exercise and relaxation but importantly feeling at our leisure to do exactly as we wished. The staff were friendly yet unobtrusive with cleanliness and hygiene seeming to be highly regarded; we really enjoyed every aspect of the club.
Day-passes for The Chelsea Club are available at a cost of around £25 per day. Please note that the Antara Spa facilities are chargeable in addition to this.
Have you visited The Chelsea Club previously or any others around the London area that I could visit for the #2013Body workout?