Tri-Life Summer Workshop 
Sunday 17th May, Wakeman Road, London NW10 

Come and join our inspiring, one-day summer workshop - a fabulous day of activities to help you stay cool, calm and prepare you for the summer months. Includes:

  • Invigorating yoga
  • Renewing & relaxing meditation
  • Fun, group activities to expand the mind & cool down the body
  • Nutritious summer lunch with easy-to-use recipes to take away
  • Handy tips & tools to keep you cool throughout the summer

WhereWakeman Road, London NW10 (parking available or easy to reach by train or tube)
When: 10.30am–5pm, Sunday 17 May
Price: £150 for the day including a delicious lunch and juices


We have a very special health-improving retreat right in our midst that many of you probably don’t even know about. Wakeman Road was opened by Emma Sinclair and Richard Lamballe in 2013 with the mission of making us all healthier. As autumn is upon us, it’s the most important time of year to invest in our wellbeing, and this is the first in a series of posts about how to make the most of this little salubrious little members club on our doorstep…

Wakeman Rd

Thought I’d experience something I’d never tried before – Reiki. Without completely oversharing we’d had a sad family situation, which was fantastically draining. One session at Wakeman Road with Katie Light and I felt better, and the stomach and throat condition I’d developed from the stress started to get better. Lying on her treatment bed for an hour felt tantamount to a micro holiday on the Indian Ocean. Don’t expect me to give you a scientific explanation about why and how it worked – just believe me, after being prescribed various prescriptive medicines, it was Katie’s positive healing hands hovering over my body that seemed to somehow do the trick.

Reiki dictionary

katie-light-c‘Reiki is such a tonic for rebooting your energy – you can step out of reality for an hour, allow your body and mind to tap in, and recharge your batteries,’ says Katie Light. ‘The first time you experience Reiki, the body and mind accepts the energy flow and realigns; the second time it remembers, feeling safe to rest and recharge, and then it becomes naturally addictive. To feel calm, relaxed and to reboot with renewed energy is amazing – who wouldn’t want to feel like that all the time?’

 It’s a bit like plugging in your phone, recharging up to 100%, and then having enough energy to function properly. As Katie acknowledges, we only show 20 per cent of what is going on for us emotionally, so that 80 per cent needs some assistance for us to function. Don’t just listen to me, read the testimonials from all the other shiny, happy people touched by Katie’s positive energy.

Wakeman Road, 4 Wakeman Road, London, NW10 5BN (020 8964 6740). On Twitter, follow @WakemanRoad and @LightTechnique A 60-minute therapy costs £85. Membership is £417 a year or £29 a month and this can be redeemed against any of the health or beauty services (which makes membership free if you take full advantage). We love the NHS for being free, but this reaches the spot your GP might not be able to access – and what more worthy investment than your overall wellbeing?


wakemen road club




If not. Why not? You’re missing out. Café Zest coming to Kensal Rise has Karen Proctor overjoyed – fabulous breakfasts, delicious lunches, first-class breads and pastries and take-home dinners to suit every taste or mood. Friendly and efficient service, warm atmosphere and reasonable prices – it’s cheery in decor, and uplifting with its menu…

Zest 2The vibrant food and drinks are healthy and of the highest quality: from the just-baked bread, delicious pancakes with fresh fruit to the inspired flavoursome salads and aubergine stuffed with lamb we had for dinner the other night, it’s a cut above anywhere else.

Any of my friends who I’ve gone there with have been blown away too – I notice that the customer base is very diverse and is coming in from way beyond Kensal, thanks to them already having such a strong reputation. I have found myself eating at  Zest about 10 times a fortnight (sometimes I can’t resist popping in just for a pecan slice). How can you not when you know that you’ll get the consistency and the quality in food in terms of locally sourced produce and organic meat when you’re too busy to cook? Even my daughter has given it the seal of approval.

ZestRaj Rathod has over 20 years of experience in some of the top café, bakeries, and delis as well high-end restaurants which is probably why Zest delivers on so many levels in terms of tastes, atmosphere and service. He is also a local Queens Park resident, an avid fan of yoga and health food and someone not prepared to compromise on what he believes in. I wish Zest every success and I am just hoping I’ll still be able to get a table in a few months – but at least if you can’t, you can always take the food home… Cheesecake brownie, anyone? (pictured)

Café Zest, 59 Chamberlayne Rd, Kensal Rise, London NW10 3ND (020 8968 8321)



Portobello Road’s history stretches back to the creation of Smithfield Market in the Middle Ages; here is an extract from Galleries, Palaces & Tea: An Illustrated Guide To London (£9.99; author, David Backhouse) by Curll Press which can be ordered from all good bookstores…

PORTOBELLOROAD - BITMAPOne of the great pleasures of London life is moseying through her street markets. Those whom you pass may be fashion industry trend spotters, dressed-down gazillionaires, or frugally minded souls who suspect that parsnips may be 5p cheaper a kilo at that veg stall along the way. Portobello Road and her North London counterpart Camden Market are both integral parts of metropolitan life as well as being must-see attractions for visitors from across the globe. The stallholders of both have prompted books – Caitlin Davies’s Camden Lock and The Market and Blanche Girouard’s Portobello Voices. However, this does not mean that the two souks are of one hue. Almost all of Camden is controlled by a single privately owned company. It is located in a borough that has been run by the political left for decades. By contrast, Portobello is a publicly owned market that is run by the most staunchly Tory council in Britain.

  • In 1739 Admiral Edward Vernon defeated a Spanish force at Puerto Bello in the Caribbean.[1] To mark the victory, a farmstead, in what is now Notting Hill, was named after it. Portobello Road derived its appellation from the property.
  • A local market existed in the late 1830s. This was dominated by Gypsy horse-traders who had been drawn to the area by the nearby Notting Hill Hippodrome racecourse. In 1841 the track was closed. The repository faded away.
  • In the 1880s an informal street market grew up. Following the First World War many of the stallholders were ex-servicemen. This factor prompted the authorities to hold back from suppressing it. The London County Council finally licensed the mart in 1927. During the 1930s antiques dealers began to do business in it. After the Second World War the general market of the Caledonian Market in Islington was closed down. Portobello Road received many of the traders who had been working there.
  • There is a daily street market. On Saturdays the northern section of the road becomes geared to the young and international visitors, while the southern portion tends to be more weighted towards the antiques trade. During the market’s first couple of hours, the dealers sell items to one another. At around breakfast time antique collectors begin to appear and as the morning progresses so the ordinary public come to predominate.

Further reading: Blanche Girouard’s Portobello Voices (2013).

[1] ‘Old Grog’s’ participation in the major British setback at Cartagena de las Indias, on the northern coast of South America, two years later is not commemorated. Indeed, to most Britons it is completely unknown. The admiral’s popularity survived the débâcle untarnished. (There had been other British naval successes at Portobello in 1707 and 1726. These too are little known.)

London Stories, London Lives (£9.99) is the latest in the series. Currently downloadable is the mini-guide Galleries, Palaces & Tea: An Illustrated E-Guide To London (£1.29 e-book). Future titles in the London series include: Beans, Bears & Piracy and Art, Guns & Snuff.



Introducing the #RealFamilyPortrait

March 8, 2015

‘The most difficult thing for me is a portrait. You have to try and put your camera between the skin of a person and his shirt.’ – Henri Cartier-Bresson Kensal Rise’s Rowan Williams loves her family’s photos: ‘I’ve collected portraits of family through the generations. The oldest one dates back to just before 1900. It’s lovely looking through them [...]

More life in the park

Who is Born & Bred Studio?

January 23, 2015

Lisa started Born & Bred Studio as she felt there was a gap in the service industry for lived-in ‘homey’ design inspired by London living… Why the name? ‘Our name was inspired by the amount of friends who are genuinely shocked when they meet a genuine born-and-bred Londoner. The saying also resonates with a feeling of home [...]

More life in the park

Personal trainer – Maciej Gross from Locomotive

January 17, 2015

It’s still only January – you have plenty of time to action that new year resolution to get fit. But if you really want to be the best version of you, sometimes you need to invest in time and professional help of a personal trainer. All the better if they’re someone you enjoy hanging out [...]

More life in the park

Golborne Road’s got it going ON

December 23, 2014

Jam packed with potential and well loved by locals for its village vibe and distinct atmosphere, the Golborne Road is experiencing a new lease of life and a shot at London-wide fame with the arrival of no less than four fabulous restaurants in only a few months – here Jodie Tice tells all… Already a [...]

More life in the park

Open sesame

October 17, 2014

Pop-up brunch restaurant Tahini opens this weekend at The Shop, 75 Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3ND and will be in residence until the end of October… Local boy, Josh Talmud, will be debuting his travel-inspired food business with a two-week pop-up at The Shop. After eight years of managing high-end foodie heaven Melrose & Morgan in Primrose Hill, [...]

More life in the park

The storytellers

September 19, 2014

Wondering if you should be capturing and documenting your family’s life stories from ageing loved ones, before it’s too late? It’s hard to know where to start or how to do it. A locally launched innovative new service is here to help immortalise those tales… Love Your Stories, a Kensal Rise-based start-up, has assembled a crack [...]

More life in the park

Charlotte Packe lights up our lives

September 16, 2014

In Queen’s Park Design District during London Design Festival, Charlotte will be showing her lights at 9 Lonsdale Road NW6… Lighting designer Charlotte Packe lives in Queens Park and and runs her lighting studio here. Her long-term collaborations are with our favourite stylish places to stay, Firmdale Hotels has seen her designing and fabricating custom lights [...]

More life in the park