Hashtag Life sent writer Paula Galea to Coq D’argent’s Pilates and Brunch afternoon in the sky, as part of our Blogger’s Membership Program
A calm mindful oasis in the middle of the City of London, Exercise in the City’s Saturday session at Coq d’ Argent, featuring a class of Pilates followed by brunch in the restaurant is the perfect way to start any weekend.
After making our way through the city, deserted of suits and city workers on a slightly drizzly Saturday morning, we arrived and were whisked by a lift to the rooftop of 1 Poultry where we were warmly welcomed by Exercise in the City’s founder and lead Pilates instructor, Julia Scodie. The Pilates class was to be held in Coq d’Argent’s panoramic garden with the city’s stunning eastern skyline as a backdrop, however, in typical London fashion, the weather can never be relied on and the drizzle turned into a downpour so we were reluctantly relocated to a heated undercover terrace. As a bit of a Pilates novice, I was instantly put at ease by Julia’s easy going nature and explanation of the structure of the class. Julia lead us expertly through the hour long class, correcting posture and offering more advanced options for those who actually have a clue about hundreds and bridges.
After a completely optional quick change of outfit and feeling mentally and physically realigned, we made our way past the bright, enticingly well stocked copper clad bar to the restaurant for brunch. The Pilates Brunch menu consisted of a main course accompanied by either a mocktail, fresh juice, tea or coffee. The coffee snob in me balked at ordering somewhere that I hadn’t previously researched and reviewed thoroughly, ensuring that the coffee would be up to my strict standards. However my need for caffeine took over and I ordered a flat white along with a spicy Virgin Bloody Mary for my companion. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the coffee tasted and the fresh warm bread rolls that accompanied our drinks were welcomed by our post exercise grumbling stomachs. The food was a much more difficult decision to make, having to decide between the smoked salmon Benedict or the Croque Madame with roasted ham, Emmental cheese, béchamel and fried egg. My companion had immediately decided on the Mushroom Pancake which was actually a crepe wrapped around seasonal wild mushrooms that had been well seasoned and cooked in a light creamy sauce with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. I eventually settled on the Eggs Benedict; richly smoked salmon perched atop a nest of warm sautéed spinach, all gently grilled making the hollandaise sauce smothering the poached eggs warm and golden. It was thoroughly relaxing sitting by the big bright window enjoying brunch completely guilt free having just exercised. The restaurant has a pleasantly different vibe at the weekends, the bustling weekday business lunches and dinners give way to groups in high spirits with something to celebrate, family lunches and friends animatedly catching up over brunch and bubbles.
By the end of brunch, again, in typical London fashion, the rain had cleared and the clouds had mostly blown over to reveal patches of blue sky and sunshine so we ventured out past the grape vine covered canopy of the outdoor bar and into the now sunny garden for an amble to take in the stunning city views. A beautiful way to end brunch and great start to the weekend.