THE VEGAN RESTAURATEUR
The owner of haute-vegan restaurant Farmacy on DIY beauty and head-clearing yoga
Camilla Fayed on beauty, yoga and city life
I know some people get excited about exercise, but I’m not one of them. I never even thought about working out until I had my first child at 23; I wasn’t ready for the physical changes – I suddenly had hips. Luckily,
I’ve found a routine that works for my body and mind: a run in Hyde Park most mornings, then Pilates once a week and two Kundalini yoga sessions. Yoga has made me stand taller and I love the way it helps me access my spiritual side. I prefer to wear a 100% cotton fitness kit – but I can’t resist a statement piece from my friend Stella Mccartney’s adidas line. If I don’t fancy doing a class, I’ll go for a walk; my favourite route is from my home in Notting Hill to Camden – when I’m passing through Little Venice, with its canal and bridges, it feels like I’m transported out of the city.
I pushed my body to the limit in my teens and early twenties, staying up all night and eating badly – but pregnancy brought me back down to earth and made me act responsibly. My days now start with a shot of apple cider vinegar, hot water and lemon. Then I’ll make some raw porridge with almond milk, buckwheat and cinnamon, blended in my Vitamix. I’m constantly inspired by the Egyptian food I’ve grown up around – but I give it a lighter, plant-based twist. Dinner is family time, and I’ll make a comforting bowl of soup to eat with my husband, Mohamed Esreb, and our two children, Luna, seven, and Numair, three. I don’t have a sweet tooth so when I want a treat, I’ll reach for a bag of good-quality salted crisps.
My formative beauty lessons were the opposite of the gilded glamour I saw in the beauty hall of Harrods, which my father, Mohamed Al Fayed, owned at the time. My Norwegian mother, Heini Wathén, taught me how to make my own skin tonics and perfumes; now when I do buy skincare, I’ll look for organic over fancy packaging. My favourite buy is RMS Beauty mineral powder – it gives my skin a natural sheen and helps protect it from dirt and pollution. I still create my own products, though; mixing coconut oil with lavender to make a moisturiser, or adding organic coffee grounds to make an energising body scrub. That’s always been my playtime, and now Luna loves making ‘lotions and potions’ with me, too.
Discovering ayurveda opened my eyes to the idea of taking pleasure in self-care. Turning my phone off for a few hours in the evening helps me connect with what’s going on right now, not what has happened that day, or might happen later. Weekends spent breathing clean country air with my family also help me balance the stresses of city living. My favourite everyday remedy is
Chi Nei Tsang, an ancient Asian stomach massage that soothes my digestion and mind. Daily 6am meditations help, too. My father’s work ethic has definitely been ingrained in me, but I’ve learned that, by taking time to do these little things,
I’m able to be more connected and creative in everything I do.
Spiritual yoga Wind-down secret: A switched-off phone Getting Fayed up