Best boutique fitness: Core Collective gym review
From serene stretching to gruelling cardio, Kensington's Core Collective gym offers the full spectrum of fitness classes in a sleek setting
Create a bespoke fitness programme on your own terms by mixing and matching Core Collective's selection of seven different exercise classes. The boutique High Street Kensington gym offers pay as you go or package deals for 45 minute workouts ranging from a mindful stretching to intense cardio. It's £22 for a single class and the price decreases to around £16.50 if you purchase a package. The credits you purchase can be used for any of the classes.
Each workout is structured to push you - whether that's finally feeling flexible enough to do the splits or smashing your personal best on the rowing machine. For motivational cardo, we love Lift + Row. Thanks to the small class size, the instructor is able to properly assist with stroke technique and to call out personal encouragement and tips. To keep tired muscles suppple, it's well worth making the occasional Stretch class part of your routine and we love Mat Pilates for gentler weekends and serious core muscle toning.
Tucked away behind High Street Kensington and beside Holland Park, the sleek interiors and state of the art equipment make Core Collective a gym worth travelling for - especially if you top off the class with a stroll through the park. But if Kensington is too far, keep an eye out for new studios Core Collective opening in Knightsbridge in December 2018 and then St John's Wood in March 2019.
Culture Whisper Gold Members can claim a fee credit to try any class at Another Space in Covent Garden or Bank. Click here for more information.
There's something quite Manhattan about the mixture of leggy women in Lululemon, and beardy men in baseball caps tapping on their macbooks in the cafe. Early mornings bring a hip young crowd, while there's a definite yummy mummy feel around the afternoon. Though the standard of fitness was pretty impressive in all the classes we tried, it's beginners-friendly thanks to relaxed atmosphere and hands-on instructors.
The Changing Rooms
With the poured concrete counter tops, copper piping and warm, muted lighting the Core Collective changing rooms almost feel like you're in a cool Copenhagen cafe. The wall to wall lockers are easy to use with just a short code and no need for padlocks. You're given a large white towel when you check in for a class, and can help yourself to smaller sweat towels. The white-tiled showers are ultra-spacious and kitted out with Malin + Goetz products (the tingly peppermint shampoo is a particularly highlight).
Usually a gym cafe or smoothie bar is a perfunctory 'grab and go' affair, but the Core Collective Kitchen is somewhere you'll want to stay all day. Join the chic freelance set and whizz through some emails while enjoying some post-workout protein. We also like how there are jugs of water and cups in all the studios so you don't have to feel guilty about buying single use plastic every time your forget to bring water.
Tips from a regular
Book a class beyond your comfort zone; the variety of classes on offer make Core Collective a great way to keep your exercise routine interesting and fresh. If you're a committed yogi, test out some weights and rowing. And if you're used to high intensity sessions, switch the tempo with some floor-based pilates.