With new yoga brunches, fashion showcases and food pop-ups appearing almost daily in London, choosing a few events to spend your pennies on can feel a little overwhelming. I love experimenting with flavours so cooking classes are a natural fit for me (Jamie Oliver’s Recipease is my favourite to date – you’re introduced to the techniques over a complimentary drink and eat the meal you create which is always a bonus!), but sometimes after a long day at work you just want to relax whilst someone else does the hard work.
I’ve been baking from Zanna van Dijk‘s recipe ebooks for a few months now, devouring heavenly chickpea blondies and protein-packed pancakes, so when she and Natalie Glaze announced their first supperclub date I booked my ticket before even thinking to check my diary.
Healthy food events can often be a little underwhelming with high prices paid for small portions of “superfood”-packed recipes that you could never recreate at home, but Zanna and Natalie’s genuine love for food and fitness shone through all evening. The night started with an awe-inspiring acrobatics from That Girl London‘s installation (I made a mental note to book into a beginners’ handstand class asap!) which set the tone for an evening full of surprises.
With most ladies (it wasn’t a women’s event but as so often happens, no guys came except the speakers!) arriving alone, it was lovely to have time to mingle over refreshing health(ish) cocktails before sitting down for the main event. I caught up with Georgina from Fitcetera and it’s fair to say a few of us were pleasantly surprised by Zanna and Natalie’s decision to offer real cocktails – alcohol, sugar and all (it’s all too rare to see true commitment to balanced lifestyles at fitness events) but the pineapple and lychee-based drinks were perfect for low-sugar palates.
Of course, the food was what we’d really all been waiting for. The menu was a healthy take on American diner food: courgette fritters and maca milkshakes followed by halloumi-topped beef burgers (what else at an American dinner?!) with sweet potato wedges and guacamole, and finally the most divine brownie I’ve ever tasted.
Having tried a fair few brownies in my time, I don’t say that lightly but the combination of salted caramel, satisfyingly crisp brownie crust, rich dark chocolate flavours and caramelised peanuts were absolutely heavenly and I’ll be stalking Zanna’s website regularly to be the first to get the recipe!
After an hour of swapping stories about falling in love with fitness with new-found friends we heard from Enhance Nutrition‘s founders, Ashton and David. A quick-fire quiz was interspersed with reflective questions about our diets (it didn’t go unnoticed that the burgers came bun-free!). If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I love good old myth-busting, particularly around low carb and “detox” diets, and the guys’ presentation was honest yet non-judgemental, perfect for the audience.
The night finished with a fascinating insight into launching a fitness fashion business from Charli Cohen, pop-ups from Active in Style and Every Second Counts as well as a chance to see Charli’s latest collection, and finally a surprise goodie bag filled with gifts from some extremely generous brands including the indescribably delicious Pip & Nut butter.
There was a fantastic mix of bloggers, PTs, industry insiders and ladies who just love delicious healthy food. Combining these brilliant people with huge portions of food, a little bit of learning and discounts on the clothing I’ve been coveting for weeks was great value and a sure-fire success, so thanks Zanna and Natalie for hosting the #FFFevening and please put my name on the list for the next one!