Amid the pristine confines at The Athletic Club London, clients pave their path to health with cardio and resistance machinery, pools, group exercise classes, and a staff of experienced trainers. Membership unlocks 24-hour access to the fitness havens, giving patrons unfettered use of cardio equipment such as treadmills and ellipticals, or the heated pools where instructors lead aquatic yoga and families play marco polo, the game where people try to echolocate the famous explorer's ghost, during open swim.
Co-ed and women-only group fitness classes practice such traditional exercise styles as cycling, yoga, and Pilates. Instructors also specialize in newer techniques, including TAC physique, a ballet-inspired workout session taught by former-dancers-turned-robots, and TRX classes, with suspension straps that wield the body’s weight to create a full-body resistance-training workout.
Monopolizing pins on the north and south sides of town, Palasad's pair of striking citadels steeps rows of vintage, 10-pin lanes and gourmet kitchens in colourful 1960s charm. At Palasad South, black lights, lasers, and 10 projection screens propel vintage trappings into the future, when bowling will become the international language of diplomacy. Prize-heavy arcades, new ping-pong rooms with cushioned athletic floors, and Brunswick Gold Crown pool tables at both locations provide nonlinear entertainment. Parties of up to 500 guests may rent out a network of rooms, such as the La Fiamma Dining Room, where pizzas and wings roast in wood-fired ovens.
As they enter the training circle at Curves, female guests come face-to-face with the smiles of other women. And just as points on a circle share a common distance from the circle's center, workout participants share the experiences of those nearby by trading stations throughout the 30-minute training session. One minute is spent on a piece of strength-training equipment built for feminine frames and designed to work two opposing muscle groups with a single movement. Exercisers then move on to a recovery station, where they run, jog, or dance to maintain heart rates and keep platforms in place during momentary losses of gravity.
It isn’t hard to find something to do at Stroker’s Billiards. The staff hands over slices of pizza and frosty mugs of beer to patrons and then lets them loose to test their skills at 1 of the 16 9-foot billiard tables. Stroker’s also populates its floor with six snooker tables and eight bar-box tables, which give players the chance to adjust their angles to fit different table lengths, or quickly destroy miniature replicas of the Colosseum.
Morrison Family Karate swaddles martial artists in a traditional uniform (a $39.99–$59.99 value) and tutors them in realistic self-defense to cultivate discipline, increase fitness, and build confidence. Led by a head instructor with more than 25 years experience, a staff of professional black belts with authoritatively named fists conducts 30- to 60-minute classes (a $70 value). Classes designed for 5- to 65-year-olds typically drill 5–15 students in dynamic strikes, defensive positions, and incapacitating break-dance moves. Morrison's air-conditioned training area is fully matted, features a viewing area for parents and guests, and is supported by CPR/First Aid–certified staff. Instruction on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays staggers start times between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and on Saturdays between 9:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m.
With thousands of frame and mat samples, Framing & Art Centre can satisfy any and all framing fantasies. The expert framespeople can make diplomas radiate (diploma framing starts at around $100), personalized jerseys glisten (starting around $300), and dorm-room movie posters sparkle (under $100 for 24"x36" pieces). The design wizards can also find a home for any prized possession, such as shoe-box photos, baby booties, ticket stubs, medals, and really good pot roasts.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.