Category Archives: Travel

Lose Baby Weight the 5* Way at a Matt Roberts Retreat

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Celebrity trainer and gym empire owner Matt Roberts told us about his luxe retreats – and some of them are family friendly!

Slick Mummy: At first glance your Retreats look like the chance to top up my tan or snoop on a celeb wedding… Will I actually get fit?

Matt Roberts: There are between 4 and 5 hours of structured training every day, so getting fitter is a guarantee. In fact, for some this might sound like a lot of exercise to get through each day, however the way each day is planned and orchestrated means that your body is being tested in different ways and different intensities throughout, making sure that you are stretching your ability but staying within the realms of possibility!

Slick Mummy: What made you decide to include the Retreats as part of your brand?

Matt Roberts: The demand and trend for fitness and activity based holidays is one that is growing rapidly. Clients have asked me to do these for years but I only wanted to do them when the time was right and I had the best venues available for the Retreats programme. This isn’t slumming it and eating basic food, this is being pushed physically, staying in a luxury surrounding, having first class service throughout and some incredible food. Only when it was a perfect offering was I keen to get the service out there, and now it is ready so we are pushing ahead at full speed.

Slick Mummy: How did you choose the locations?

Matt Roberts: They are places that I personally like to go to and that I have tried out many times. Whenever I travel I exercise hard, and wherever I am I am always thinking how great the venue might work for a group. So I have picked the places that I know work well, and there are more to come too!

Slick Mummy: Are the fitness programmes tailored to the venues…? How does working out on a Retreat differ to in one of your clubs?

Matt Roberts: The programmes vary venue to venue based upon the setting, facility, environment and climate, however the basic structure of each day remains similar in format, with the same approach to the overall timing and scheduling of the day. The Training itself is comprised of many of the approaches that you would get in my clubs, it simply provides us with an extended time each day with each client in which to get even more work done. This concentration allows us to get some great results in the Retreat and gives the client a massive boost in their programme once they are back home again. Clients all say that the effect on their body when they had returned home was amazing and that the results just keep on coming!

Slick Mummy: You’ve been quite vocal about parents setting a fitness example to reduce child obesity. Are your Retreats family friendly?

Matt Roberts: Our retreat at Forte Village is certainly family friendly, there is a great kids programme of sports and exercise at the resort and the service is set up to allow parents to do the Training programmes and kids to do the sports and then meet up during the day at various points along the way.

Slick Mummy: You’ve trained the likes of Tom Ford and John Galliano, did they teach you anything about fashion in return..?

Matt Roberts: I’m sure some of what they said rubbed off!

Slick Mummy:  We hear you’re a fan of photography/arts. Has anything caught your eye recently?

Matt Roberts: Yes, but unfortunately they weren’t for sale and even if they were I’m afraid the price might be prohibitive. The Picasso Museum in Barcelona has some amazing pieces and I’m particularly keen on the Blue period. Most people describe it as melancholic but I personally just saw a great deal of calm in them (probably something Freudian!)

Slick Mummy: And finally, do you have any vices..?

Matt Roberts: I always get asked this! I guess people would love to hear that I’m a secret choco/alcoholic!

No, sorry, I don’t! my answer used to be that I love a really great glass of Bordeaux or Barolo, however I stopped drinking completely a year ago, so even that’s gone! sorry to disappoint!

Visit www.mattroberts.co.uk/retreats for more information.

Kids on Planes

If you were one of those watching the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take Prince George on a 31 hour flight to NZ thinking ‘the horror!’, you have probably at one time or another been ‘that person on the flight with the screaming baby’.

As we all know, certain budget airlines go out of their way to make life difficult for traveling parents, but the following have at least tried to make an effort:

  • Virgin Atlantic: kids all get an unsurprisingly Branson-branded backpack with branded toys, plus special kids’ meals including cheese strings and pizza. Babies are offered cots and complimentary nappies, plus there are bottle warming and changing facilities on all flights.
  • British Airways: BA do offer a couple of useful services (you have to ask tho!). One is a free actual seat for under 2’s as long as you bring an approved car seat. The other is serving the kids’ meals first to avoid tears as the trolley moves up the aisle.
  • Emirates: keen to snare their travelers young, Emirates offer tots the chance to rack up their own frequent flyer points, to exchange at theme parks. They also provide complimentary strollers in the airport and cots on board the flight, plus free formula for babies and kid friendly movie choices.
  • Gulf Air: with their ‘Sky Nanny’ programme, this airline is a cut above when it comes to being child friendly. Sky Nanny can watch the kids, change the baby, play games, sing lullabies – a veritable Mile High Mary Poppins.

Traveling on a low cost airline? It’s often actually cheaper to book another seat for a child than it is to struggle with the excess baggage costs – although most do offer a discount for baby items such as travel cots, carseats and strollers.

A few lifesavers we’ve discovered:

  • Banz Ear Protectors: great for blocking out loud runway noises. Possibly worth offering to your fellow passengers also!

  • Babasling or Moby wrap: handy if the little one needs to sit on your lap and you’d like both hands free to drink in-flight wine.
  • Mothercare ‘My Move’ stroller: at just £20 and in a range of colours, this is super light, super easy to fold and brilliant value as a holiday stroller if the weight of your regular one threatens to ground the plane …

  • Poncho: as we know, in some countries keeping our boobies under wraps is more than modesty, it’s the law. Play it safe if you’re planning to breastfeed on a flight. This one from Etsy comes in vibrant holiday colours and doubles as a blanket.

  • Ready Mixed Milk: either in cartons for tots or disposible bottles for babies, avoids having to taste it at check in to prove you’re not disguising liquid nitrogen as infant formula on a flight you’re taking your actual child on (as airport officials seem to suggest!) Aptamil and SMA make both in their range.

  • Pacapod Firenze Bag: holds 40 litres, includes internal storage sections big enough for feeding/changing items, child’s hand luggage, laptop and Duty Free.