Categories GuidePosted on

Blok London: Futuregym

The great thing about reporting for SEEN is that I get to go all over this fair city. I almost missed the entrance to the Tram Depot that Blok calls home, just a step away from Clapton Overground. You enter the old Tram Depot yard, and instantly you’re transported from the hustle and bustle of London.

The great thing about reporting for SEEN is that I get to go all over this fair city. I almost missed the entrance to the Tram Depot that Blok calls home, just a step away from Clapton Overground. You enter the old Tram Depot yard, and instantly you’re transported from the hustle and bustle of London.

seenlondon_blok-5

I walked into a calm, laid-back, and friendly environment, the very antithesis of traditional gyms, which can be bright, loud and tense places. The vaulted concrete ceilings, brick walls and cast iron pillars reflect an urban aesthetic that’s here to stay, heightened by the Blok logo and art.

seenlondon_blok-3

There are two studios; one for high-energy cardio exercise, and another studio for yoga and more contemplative activities. The décor is grey and uncluttered, the café is a communal table and the food and drinks are delightfully healthy. SEEN had a flat white (strong), bone broth (think Miso) and a very filling smoothie with raspberries, that was naturally sweet enough. Co-owner Reema has a serious interest in nutritious food that doesn’t lack for taste or texture. ‘Blokrooted’ promotes sustainably-sourced breakfast and protein pots, plus salads that looked delicious. She looked the very picture of health and was an excellent advertisement for the gym. It’s the details at Blok that impress; SEEN was pleased to note the many hairdryers in the Ladies’ changing room.

seenlondon_blok-11

Architecturally, the building is a huge tram warehouse (with tram lines still running through the floor) that has been divided into the two studios, café, changing rooms and living quarters for Reema and her family. There are 140 classes a week and while you can become a member, Reema was keen to emphasise that Blok isn’t there to be prescriptive to its clientele; it’s very much customer-led, relaxed and very sensibly lets its activities, food, drink and general vibe speak for themselves, with a refreshingly low-key attitude to marketing.

seenlondon_blok-16

There is a black, dog-shaped 2D sculpture ‘Sprint’ by artist Arran Gregory in the café that has the feel of a mascot, whilst evoking the idea of ‘raw, primal movement’ that takes place at Blok. A gym may seem a strange venue in which to see art, but as Gregory himself admitted, it seems to fit. Reema anticipates that the art will rotate from time to time but that ‘Sprint’ will stay.

seenlondon_blok-10

blok-14

Drawing their clients from Clapton and East London on a very regular basis, Blok also welcomes gym enthusiasts from West London and has even had visitors from New York, keen to see the Blok brand for themselves. SEEN can attest to the friendliness of the staff and the relaxed atmosphere. Could this be the future of gyms in the 21st century? SEEN certainly hopes so.

https://www.bloklondon.com/

The Tram Depot
38-40 Upper Clapton Road
London
E4 8BQ

Seen this week

Categories FashionPosted on

AVANTgarden: Be You, Be Proud

SEEN is intrigued to hear about AVANTgarden from FKA Twigs, a new digizine dedicated to self-care, beauty and the art of braids within the black community. Certainly on my voyaging around London, I’m struck, as an observer, by the beauty and complexity of the braids I see.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Halloween at Sexy Fish

In London, you don’t go on a night out so much as partake of a new experience. Leave it to the gloriously named Sexy Fish in Mayfair to add a unique event to this year’s Halloween calendar.

Categories ArtPosted on

Ladies of the Press at Sluice Biennial

SEEN headed up to Hackney recently, there to peruse this year’s Sluice Biennial. A large and airy building at Morning Lane housed fascinating creative projects by artists and creators who have come together under the Sluice banner. What SEEN particularly liked was the variety of work on display and the informal atmosphere in which it …

Categories EntertainmentPosted on

The Castle at the Space: SEEN Reviews

SEEN was not that familiar with the work of Howard Barker prior to seeing ‘The Castle’ but feels she must rectify that situation. A powerful piece on the nature of masculinity, war, gender roles and the essential unreliability of religious faith, ‘The Castle’ benefits from a powerhouse cast and a stripped-back set, making the most of the Space’s environment.

Categories MusicPosted on

Original Swimming Party Release ‘Biggest Curse’

Electronic experimental duo Original Swimming Party, have announced the release of their new single  ‘Biggest Curse’ featuring vocalist Moonchild Sanelly. Taken from their forthcoming remix EP, the single is now available to stream from October 6th.

Categories Food&DrinkPosted on

Heist Bank Beer Festival

Beer connoisseurs would do well to get themselves along to the Heist Bank Beer Festival this weekend, the 14th and 15th October. The bar in Paddington will be celebrating the finest keg and cask beers known to humanity, from UK brewers, Fourpure, Beavertown, Thornbridge and Wild Beer Co., who will headline, launching special seasonal releases …