• What to do

    There are very few things I blame my mother for, but my legs are one of them. Unlike my ballet-schooled little sisters who have hand-drawn calves and pretty little ankles, I was sent to judo.  And got legs to match.

    So with adulthood came an unrelenting quest for delectable pins. I've endured both pain and pleasure; from dry skin brushing to endermologie, runs with super trainer and psyclelondon.com guru Tim Weeks, and regular sessions at Ten Pilates with a brilliant gang of trainers including Rob Carruthers, Luke Meessmann and Adam Ridler.


    But as fabulously lean as these lads are, it helps to have a same gender role model.  So to the new Ten Barre class at Ten Pilates, which as a ballet virgin I anxiously joined.  I didn't even know how to do first position for chrissakes. But there wasn't time to be self conscious. The fast-paced class is a clever combination of ballet, pilates, yoga and conditioning, which has been set up to complement the reformer pilates class.  Thankfully teacher Esme Benjamin was unpatronisingly attentive when I needed, and turned a blind eye and deaf ear, when my 'lightly land on your feet' moment, was more elephantine thud. 

    Esme Benjamin, with the dream dancer's body (not too thin, not too fat, not too muscly, just right) that will keep me coming back to this aching-in-all-the-right-places barre class, in the hope that one day, just maybe, the dancer in me (and her legs) will finally emerge.

    www.tenpilates.com

    Ten Pilates offers all Vanity Fair A-List subscribers the chance to win one of ten, Ten Barre classes (worth £28 each).  To enter this prize draw, send your details (name, address, email, telephone number) to win@tenpilates.com  by 12pm on Friday 11th July.  Terms and conditions apply.

  • What to do

    Once upon a time, going on safari was a months-long affair that required a fitting with your tailor for a full and appropriate wardrobe that would be shipped on ahead, ready for your arrival in Africa. 

    It's this old-school approach to tailoring, combined with the needs of the modern traveller, that formed the starting point for fomer-milliner and costume designer Caroline Hickman, when starting her safari outfitters company Hickman & Bousfield.

    Hickman had recently moved to Botswana, where her boyfriend Ralph Bousfield has several safari camps including Jack's Camp.  Visitors to the camp sometimes arrived without the right gear or hadn't factored in the chilly evenings.  Or sometimes they just wanted to look as safari smart as Ralph himself.  So Caroline designed a slick capsule collection for both men and women that launched last year, including cotton canvas safari jackets, chambray shirtdresses, zebra print kaftans, cotton drill culottes and of course… linen shirts. 

    Hickman & Bousfield wares are just the ticket for exploring the bush, relaxing in the mess tent or generally looking chic when travelling the world.  Cause let's not forget, the word 'safari' originates from the Arabic word 'safara' - meaning 'to travel'. 

    www.hickmanandbousfield.com

  • What to know

    It could be Bradley, or it could be Boris.  The fact is, right now biking in Britain is huge.  Which raises the tape for a slew of slick bike brands, the latest being Bamford Cycle Department.

    Created by George Bamford, the man who brought military-grade PVD coated and personalised watches to the wrist, and who's now doing the same for the rear.  Bamford Cycle Department, which launches next week, will create one-off, high performance, customized bikes for the serious and seriously stylish rider.

    Geeks will delight in the carbon composite tubing, each tube created around the individual owner ensuring a spot-on fit, decorated to spec, with customized (and comfy - phew) saddles.

    "I moved from the city to the countryside, bought my first bike and loved the sense of freedom and the feeling of being one with nature," says George.  "The goal with BCD is to marry up what we do at the Bamford Watch Department with my passion for cycling, by creating unique and personalised high-performances bikes."  Bradley, Boris and now… Bamford.

    Bamford Cycle Department bikes from £8,500

    www.bamfordcycledepartment.com