France has built many exquisite ‘Palace hotels’ over the past hundred years, but this article concerns the grande dame of them all; occupying the entire tip of the St-Jean Cap Ferrat peninsula, the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat (henceforth GHCF) was amongst the first of its kind, and is *the* destination to experience French health and vitality along this gleaming stretch of the coast. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, it stands peerless as an enduring icon of quiet French sophistication, unchanged by the passage of time and yet overflowing with contemporary relevance; the very expression of both heritage and modernity. Inside its pristine white walls can be found the standards by which world-class hospitality should be measured, with the Four Seasons group who now operate this treasure having sympathetically continued its traditions with their unique brand of attention to detail. GHCF is also the most glamorous, most beautiful, and most immersive venue for a wellness escape on this rarefied stretch of the Côte D’Azur – and I don’t bestow that title lightly, as they’re up against competition that’s been bringing their A-game to the Riviera for decades. I’ve visited here for the past 5 years, and never do I leave this sanctuary feeling anything less than supremely recharged, emotionally contented and totally compelled to return. I booked in this year with the express intention of unveiling the wellbeing treasures of this timeless institution on FitnessOnToast.com. Click MORE to discover them all…
As part of my ‘Active Escapes’ series, I recently stayed at a destination so heavenly that it completely inspired and enthused me to author this full review. The historic and beautiful Chateau de la Chèvre D’Or, nestled amidst the medieval village of Eze, on France’s exquisite Cote D’Azur, enjoys what must be the most magical, celestial view of the French Riviera, and hosts an armory of active ventures for the healthiest of holiday-goers to enjoy. The hotel itself, Relais & Chateaux affiliated, is relaxed, quirky, charming, classic and respectfully staffed by masterful hoteliers. It was perfect for my 3-day European escape, from which I returned energised, focused and relaxed. Click MORE to see my extensive review of the epic grounds, broad facilities, the sumptuous food and impeccable service 🙂
Recently, the team at Head sent me a gorgeous little retro pressie which seemed like the perfect companion for my trip to the South of France. It’s a brilliant white, leather look-and-feel gym holdall called the ‘1989 St. Moritz’, with perforated detailing, leather-grain texturing and chromed hardware which add to the overall feel of quality. As an extra bit of customisation, the tag can be monogrammed (mine has ‘F.O.T’, the initials the blog 🙂 ) – If you want one, it won’t set you back an arm and a leg either, priced at £45.00 over on Asos, here. Click MORE to get the details and see my delicious breakfast after the stroll!
Winter has well-and-truly hit in London – brrrr! – and now that Halloween is out of the way, the long run into Christmas is underway! I’m going to be posting plenty of ideas to help you stay on the seasonal ‘straight-and-narrow’, but in the meantime, it’s just about cold enough to get me thinking back to the summer.
In these pictures, I’m wearing another great tennis affair from my friends at Monreal London; I love the simplicity of the block white dress with the subtle blue detailing, and the elasticated rouching at the waist – comfortable, flexible and great for tennis. They were shot on the beach at Pamplonne, and Club 55 St. Tropez; to get there I stepped aboard a gorgeous specimen of a Riva ‘Super Aquarama’, and was motoring towards the restaurant at 55 knots! Once there, fresh grilled sea-bass and some fresh greens.
On this chilly London day, I REALLY miss the toasty sun of holiday, but luckily it’s only c.250 sleeps until the next dose of summer comes along 🙂
See MORE PICTURES from the day here. Faya x
Another gorgeous fitness outfit crafted by the talented Caroline Greenslade, founder of British activewear brand Vevie, who I mentioned in my previous post, ‘Vevie La Revolution’. The outfit I’m wearing here, with it’s cute pink polka dots and fitted form, evokes a touch of ‘old world’ glamour. It’s very feminine and fun to wear, even for a bit of a ‘tom boy’ like me 🙂 I couldn’t imagine a more fitting place to go for a morning jog sporting this ‘retro-chic’ look than along the famous Cannes beachfront of La Croisette, where all sorts of timeless & classic ‘movie premiere’ glamour has unfolded at the Film Festival!
After my morning jog, I’d earned a well deserved breakfast at the Carlton Cannes. Breakfast is literally a time to ‘break the fast’ after a long nights sleep, so I always aim for a substantial meal to start the day right! On this occasion? Scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, mushrooms and skinny latte. And to top it off a delicious fruit salad. Bon ap! 🙂 Faya.
Wearing: Vevie’s Hertford Dotty Polka Flash Jacket, the Hertford Dotty Polka Racer top and the Hertford Dotty Polka Flash leggings. I particularly like the functional details of this jacket – the two front zipped pockets, the polka dot thumb loops and the inner dotted collar for a fabric contrast. The fitted leggings have a comfortable waist and two waistband pockets to store keys/phone/snack! All garments are UV protected – 50+ and are made from a breathable, technical fabric. Plus they’re cute 🙂
Click MORE to see all the pictures from the shoot, then maybe go for a run too?!
If, like me, you’re passionate about a healthy lifestyle and you love to read to indulge the habit, then stay tuned; from now on I’ll be impartially reviewing fitness books which have struck a chord with me for some reason or another. I love discovering new and exciting fitness / health ideas – whether it’s a different system of eating, training or thinking, there’s always something new to consider. However, there’s far too much ‘ego’ in the fitness industry and whilst some might claim otherwise, I do think that you never stop learning, even if you already know alot, as perhaps somebody’s story can inspire and motivate you to try something different & get off your bum! Pick and choose the bits you do agree with, and leave the rest, like a little pick-n-mix bag of fitness ideas (yum, sweets!).
Click MORE below to read about the radical change methodology I’ve got in the picture above, written by one of the world’s foremost body composition experts – a very good read!
Just a quick fitness fashion post; you might remember that I promised in my earlier post Unreal Monreal to showcase some more of Monreal London‘s fabulous tennis-wear… Voila! Here are some pictures from a shoot at the Byblos Hotel in St. Tropez wearing their signature short tennis dress (which, according to WWD magazine, Victoria Beckham was the first to pick up!). This is my favourite dress of their collection! It’s all part of the continuing revolution which I think ends with sport and high fashion crossing over & it’s all for the better when it comes to our workouts!
Click MORE below to see the rest of the photos. Faya x
It’s almost 35 degrees out – uncomfortable & sweaty, but I’m not complaining; it serves as a great reminder of just how important it is to stay hydrated especially in heat like this. I normally drink about 2 litres of water a day (we lose 2.5 litres during the average day, regain 1 litre through food, and the remaining 1.5 litres is supposed to be your drinking water… but I like to build in some extra!). In these pictures shot in Saint Tropez, en-route to Pamplonne, it’s more like 3-4 litres a day – I literally got through 8 of these 50cl bottles in the 24 hours. Water must be the most important ingredient we can give our bodies, which are 60% water anyway – it’s critically involved in pretty much every bodily function we humans are capable of. It improves overall well-being and quality of life in so many ways and will certainly improve your ability to achieve your training goals.
Click MORE below to read my 8 reasons for staying optimally hydrated, and a couple of tips to spice up the bland taste 🙂
Time for some Fitness On Toast ‘ethos’ 🙂 … I’ve always believed that there should be very little difference in how men and women train themselves. Women, like most men, hope to achieve the same aesthetic end-point; a lean physique (drop body fat percentage and in so doing, ‘tone’/sculpt the musculature), as well as wanting to build strength, endurance, flexibility etc.
Why is it then, that so often I see women performing simpler, less effective (and perhaps less ‘intimidating’) exercises than men in the gym? Take the deadlift – a phenomenal compound exercise, yet 80%+ of the time men dominate the freeweight area with not a single woman in sight! Women should squat, dead lift, bench press, sweat and work hard! Go heavy and work to the maximum – THAT gets results much faster, which is of course the key reason we seek progress at the gym in the first place – to see results, and preferably quicker!
The popular misconception that ‘wafer-skinny’ is the ultimate reward for sacrificing hours on end at the gym, is misguided and unhealthy. That’s just so ’80s. These days ‘strong is the new sexy’; people want to FEEL strong and BE healthy, not just LOOK thin at the cost of feeling malnourished. That’s not to say we should all end up looking like Muscle Mary’s either, by the way, but it is far tougher for women to gain physical mass than for men.
Muscles constantly burn fat, which combined with a healthy diet, can help to yield the ‘lean’ look. However, female bodies have a different hormonal set-up. Men naturally have higher testosterone levels (a ‘muscle-building’ growth & repair hormone) and because women have significantly less of this, it’s harder for us to gain muscle mass. Those few women you may see in the gym who look huge have most likely worked incredibly long & hard for that look! So stop worrying about ‘bulking up’. You just wont wake up one morning and split your blouse sleeves because you lifted heavy weights the night before!
There are certain muscle groups (& therefore certain exercises) that women should probably de-emphasise, relative to men. The Trapezius (neck & surround) muscle is a good example – something most women don’t care to develop. Likewise, few mademoiselles want comically-pronounced quadriceps – but what woman doesn’t want a perky, round firm ass – which by the way, is the gift you get from almighty squats and thunderous dead lifts! Or toned arms and defined shoulders? So start benching, or keep lifting heavier – I don’t want to come across all feminist, but ‘Go take over the weights area, Bitches !!!‘
(click MORE below to see all the photos from my workout at the very well equipped gym in the Hotel Byblos, Saint Tropez).
As I mentioned in this post a couple of weeks ago, sport and fashion continue to converge. I discovered the next leg of that trend in this Notting Hill-based sportswear brand called Vevie. The two key things that seem to be changing are 1) the use of luxurious fabrics and 2) the attention to super-cute detailing.
Where previously I had to rely on a megabrand like Nike or Adidas for a pair of utilitarian (i.e. plain & boring) rough nylon tracksuit trousers, I can now spoil myself with breathable, moisture wicking fabrics which look and feel like satin. As in these pictures – which I shot in the harbour at the breathtaking ‘Beaulieu sur mer‘ (just by Cap Ferrat, on the Cote D’Azur) – the form of these clothes is perfectly fitted and feels as light as a feather to wear. The light plays wonderfully off the silky material. Also the subtle rouching on the chest, wrists and legs, combined with the elegant silver zip detailing, means I could actually wear it all day long, both for training and NOT for training! It’s a look that’s smart enough to feel good about everywhere, and is cute enough to fit in almost anywhere.
I think there’s plenty more to come from this brand; they make swimwear and more traditional training wear too, with some very unique and quirky design motifs. I’m looking forward to posting some more of Vevie’s finest soon, but in the meantime, you can see all the pics from this shoot by clicking MORE below…
Faya 🙂 x