Kate Percival’s Grace Belgravia is a women-only health club for members of all ages, advising on everything from nutrition and anti-ageing through to life coaching and prenatal care. She explains why London will always be home.
How has your relationship with London developed over the years?
I fell in love with London at the age of 15 when my parents moved from Ealing to Somerset and it made me realise how important the energy of the city was for me. After that I returned every school holiday I could and started working here in 1977.
What attracted you to building your business in London?
It is the most cosmopolitan city in the world, standing at the forefront of new ideas and trends. London is also a hub for world travellers and because I have lived here for almost 40 years, it is where I have the most contacts and friends. There was no other choice, really.
Do you have any favourite spots in the city for gathering your thoughts or enjoying a moment of calm?
I love Hyde Park. My two daughters and I speed-walk every Thursday morning, as well as run and chat. It’s very cathartic.
Do you have any advice for people visiting the city?
If you have friends here, or even just acquaintances, make contact with them. Every major city has special places that are not on the tourist trail and you will get so much more enjoyment from feeling like a resident rather than just a visitor.
What do you particularly love about the Belgravia area?
I love the shops around Motcomb Street and Elizabeth Street, near where I live. Contrary to popular belief, Belgravia is in fact a very friendly village – shopkeepers will recognise you and because so many of our members live in the area, it is difficult to walk far without bumping into someone I know. It makes one feel loved and a real part of the community. For food, I particularly love Amaya, Zafferano and Mosimann’s, as well as Olivomare and Santini which also serve delicious cuisine.
What trends in holistic health and beauty do you see developing in 2016 and beyond?
Eating well and healthily is still at the top of my must-adhere-to list on a daily basis – from feeling energised to having good skin to keeping slim, it is the best anti-ageing treatment of them all. I am very lucky that I can eat every day at the Grace restaurant and Grace-to-Go is available to non-members. I top this up with varied exercise in the gym, Pilates and circuit training, as well as a regular meso-peel from our resident cosmetic doctor Rabia Malik. She uses Dr Julia T. Hunter skincare products available through our medical clinic, which is also open to men and non-members.
11c West Halkin Street, SW1X 8JL.
020 7235 8900.