Fitness / Reviews


Yoga Brunch Club X Tsukemono.

Feast and flow your way into the weekend with Yoga Brunch Club.

Arriving on a glooming and rainy Saturday morning, I was warmly greeted by Clem Balfour – the wonder woman behind YBC. Clem founded YBC with the dream of making yoga accessible to everyone and anyone. Then, bringing everyone together post-yoga, over food and conversation.

Food and exercise can affect both our body and our mind in positive ways. Yoga is specifically designed to focus on building our mental strength as well as our physical.

The food that we put into our bodies can impact us in so many ways that pairing the two was a no brainer. It’s double body nourishment. My love for yoga surfaced in 2016 and since then, I’ve tried to immerse myself in as many yogi-events as possible – this was high up on my list to try so it was almost as though it was meant to be when Clem reached out!

Picture this. Exposed wooden floors, bricks, beams and large windows, The Forge is a beautifully old space that is quirky yet charming. It can be found in a courtyard down a small alley just off Colston Street. With views of urban Bristol, it’s the perfect setting for a morning of peaceful yoga and delicious food.

Yoga can be intimidating for anyone who is new the practice especially with all the photos and videos circulating on social media. Clem however, does an amazing job of tailoring the class to all needs, whilst employing fun and teamwork. Yoga is a journey and it’s different for everyone, which Clem fully acknowledges. She encourages you not to take yourself too seriously and let go of your inhibitions which was really nice. We flowed, danced and laughed.

The morning began at 10am, with our 75-minute practice starting at 10:30am. Clem led the class in the middle of the room explaining our practice would be a combination of Yin and Yang Yoga.

For those who aren’t sure, Yin is a more internal, passive practice whilst Yang, is more external and dynamic. By combining the two, Yin Yang Yoga is a slower flow where poses are held for longer, working on opening up the muscles and joints in the body.

The music starts, and we start. Beginning in shavasana we let the music build and feel the energy in the room. The class breathes under one with Clem’s calming voice and instruction before moving into partner work.

Usually I’m quite reserved when it comes to partner work, but this was a welcome change. I’ve talked about event nerves before and I was definitely nervous, but this helped that.

Clem constantly offers options to make it easier using blocks and straps. We were also assisted by the lovely Liv who provided advice on alignment and helped to deepen positions for those who can bend a bit more.

75 minutes was over in a flash and before we knew it, we were back in our final pose, being anointed with essential oils. Using essential oils during shavasana really helps boost the calming power of the restorative pose. Plus it smells divine and feels oh so indulgent.

Audible exhailiations and some rumbling stomachs (mainly mine!!) – we were certainly ready for our brunch! Clearing away the mats, we rehydrated with Vita Coco Coconut Water and set the tables for our Japanese style brunch served by Tsukemono.

Tsukemono is the manifestation of Iris Hable and Adam Hartshorne’s appreciation for Japanese culture. The menu was exquisite and catered for vegans, vegetarians and everyone in between. Think picked vegetables, pink eggs and tofu!

We took to the long wooden tables, neatly decorated and dressed and patiently awaited the first course.

Up first, Onigiri also known as Japanese Rice Balls. These were delicious and set the bar for what was to come!

Our main course was Shippoku Soba aka, Hot Soba Noodles topped with tofu, vegetables and a pink shoyu egg. A bowl of colour, flavor and texture. The tofu was slightly sweet which complimented the veggies and egg perfectly. I’m dying to try re-create it for my family!

And last but not least, dessert. Vegan Miso Ginger ice cream. Heavenly! I can’t even begin to describe how amazing that ice cream was. A very un-traditional flavour that I’d have previously been hesitant to try, but if I ever see it in an ice cream parlour I can assure you I’ll be having it!

The Tsukemono brunch totally exceeded all of my expectations – I really enjoyed every single course. The food was both beautiful to look at and full of flavour. Idris and Adam have created something so wonderful. The passion and care that goes into their food doesn’t go unnoticed.

It really was a 3-course brunch of dreams!!

YBC brings such a sense of connection and companionship under one roof that feels like a safe space. You can open up to others at the brunch. Moving, breathing and working together, it’s a completely different experience to attending a yoga class or doing it on your own mat in your home.

It’s also a really enjoyable social event that doesn’t involve alcohol!

With various pop-up Yoga Brunches in both Bristol and London, Clem helps busy people stretch out their stress, worries and re-energise for the week ahead. I can guarantee you’ll leave feeling revived, zen and full of energy (and delicious food!)

The next YBC Bristol event is being held on Sunday 17 February. To book your tickets, click here!

And be sure to follow @yogabrunchclub for the latest news and event updates.

{ Photographs by Kasia Kiliszek: }

Amy xo.

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