The Hogarth Club is tucked away off the High Rd in Airedale Avenue. When it opened nearly 40 years ago the concept of health clubs was new to Britain, so the Hogarth was one of the first, if not the first such club in the UK. Well-known in Chiswick and well-loved by its long term patrons, the Hogarth has a homely feel to it, but also competes with the huge chains which now dominate the fitness market, attracting people who want to go to the gym at hours to suit their work life. This being Chiswick, there’s also a sprinkling of TV, film and sports personalities who, even with a towel wrapped round their head and no makeup, you may recognize. But this being Chiswick, you wouldn’t of course let on!
As you walk in, the first place you come to is the Crucial Café, a spacious bar which offers healthy yet tasty sounding options such as avocado with chili, mint, lime and a poached egg on sourdough toast or salads with chicken, mackerel or halloumi. Often the work of local artists is exhibited on the walls and the space gives on to an outside garden area with its own separate bar and barbecue, which is available to hire for private parties.
Your own personal trainer
In keeping with the ethos of a family run firm, the Hogarth is big on customer care. When you first join you have access to a personal trainer for five one hour sessions in the first month. Like all gyms they will do a physical assessment. They will hook you up to a Tanita machine and see what you’re made of in terms of fat, muscle and water and work out a programme to suit your requirements. You may say ‘leave me alone!’ You may want to be left in peace while you get to know the club, go for the odd swim and acclimatize. You may want help building muscle tone or preparing for a triathlon. Wherever you come in the spectrum of fitness, whether your goals are modest or you’re driven to meet ever harder targets, they will design a programme for you which you can then follow. Attuned to your requirements after the first month’s full-on attention, your personal trainer will then check in with you for a session once a month to see how you’re getting on and adjust your schedule accordingly.
Fitness and relaxation
There are a range of fitness classes offering body conditioning and aerobics – from the yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates and stretch class end of things, through Core Conditioning and Danceworks, incorporating jazz and ballet, to Funky Step, Body Pump, Circuit training and SHA’BAM – ‘a fun-loving, insanely addictive dance workout’ at the other. The gym boasts Technogym ARTIS machines, whose slick Italian design and state of the art biomechanical engineering enable users to access their personalized fitness programme with a key, read a book, watch TV or Skype a mate while exercising.
Beauty and health treatments
The club has two clinics – one a beauty and one a health clinic. Medispa, which offers an extensive range of beauty treatments – facials, waxing, tanning, brows and lashes, feet and hands and non-surgical aesthetic treatments, won the International Institute of Anti-Ageing 2018 Salon of the Year award. The Hogarth Clinic boasts an osteopath, a chiropractor and three physiotherapists as well as the London Acupuncture Clinic. The therapists help restore physical function and promote mental wellbeing ‘by helping clients improve and re-balance the stresses of everyday living’. Both are clinics you can walk into off the street, but membership offers a range of perks available only to members.
The club is set in two acres of grounds. You can enjoy the gardens, relax or exercise in the pool, play tennis, squash or join the running club. There are his & hers saunas and a poolside jacuzzi. You can also sign up for entertainments such as sporting challenges, wine tasting, Gala Dinners, themed food nights and quizzes. The Crucial Café is open to all, so you can saunter in and pretend to be a member or you might be a member who wants to invite non-members for lunch or a meeting. If you’re tempted to try it out, see The Chiswick Calendar’s exclusive membership deal for Club Card holders here.