We chat with Rosie Akenhead of Time Out & Slimming World Recipes!
ZAKTI: Tell us about your role at Time Out, how do you become a Tastemaker?
I lead global community at Time Out, which means I find ways to help people engage with the brand and for us to engage with consumers too. Our community here are called the Tastemakers, which is a curated group of amazing people who love their cities and have real passions for food, drink, theatre, sports, film and more. They write reviews on our ‘users say’ section and provide amazing tips for the public about where is good to go.
ZAKTI: As chief Time Out Tastemaker, you must know the best places to be – what London hot spots do you recommend? Bars/restaurants (rather than shops!)
Ooh that’s tough! At any one time I’m usually obsessed with about 400 places so I’ll talk here about my permanent favourites. I love climbing, so The Arch in Bermondsey is a place I go to almost every week. Climbing is such a good stress-buster and I love the chilled out atmosphere there.
One of my all-time favourite bars in London is The Dragon Bar. There’s nothing super special about it but it’s like the old-school Shoreditch, before it got overrun with a lot of six-inch high white stilettos! For that reason, along with the sterling rum selection and excellent DJs, I love it dearly. It’s my hidden gem in an area that’s got pretty touristy.
ZAKTI: What inspired you to start SlimmingWorldRecipes?
I started it over 3 years ago now, when I was at the height of trying to lose weight. I’ve always loved to eat and drink (therein perhaps lied the problem, thinking about it) so snapping photos of my healthy recipes was simply a good way to keep myself motivated.
ZAKTI: How do you like to keep active?
I’ve loved sports all my life so weight-wise that’s never been the issue. I love climbing, snowboarding, watersports, swimming, cycling, running and I’ve been playing netball in Shoreditch every week for about six years with some mates. I m actually a pretty useless player but I love the team I play with, they are just great ladies, so they let me continue to be involved! I also exercise at Another Space sometimes for yoga, spin class and HIIT, it’s a fantastic studio and the staff are so knowledgeable and friendly.
ZAKTI: What’s your weekend style?
My friends joke about my ability to wear ath-leisure in all circumstances, whether exercising or not. If not in sportswear, then I’m a pretty casual dresser. You’ll usually find me in jeans and a top with trainers and wayfarers.
ZAKTI: We spotted you were in our Zakti gear, what do you like about it?
Comfort is pretty much key when you’re doing sports, and those Zakti leggings are honestly the most comfortable ones I’ve found. They’re quite slimming too, always a bonus.
ZAKTI: How do you stay balanced?
I do either yoga or swimming at least once a week as it clears my head. Food and drink wise, my day job at Time Out is centered around being out and about, eating and drinking. It’s probably a surprise to most people that I rarely drink alcohol or eat bad food during the week. I save my calories for the weekend and limit what I eat and drink at work events. This also saves me the ‘oh god, what did I say/do last night?’ scenario!
ZAKTI: What are your top tips for taking Instagram friendly snaps of food?
I actually used to be pretty bad at taking food pictures (just scroll back through my account for evidence) but then I met the wonderful Michael of @Symmetrybreakfast, whose photos are amazing. We got talking and he gave me some tips which I’ll pass on again here: height and light. Take your pictures from high up where you can and try using a prop, bowl or background object to help give it focus. On top of that, whatever you’re doing, add extra lights. Turn on the lamps, the main lights, open the windows, as many lights as possible. From there you can tweak it into something great.
ZAKTI: What’s next for SlimmingWorldRecipes?
I’m actually working hard towards getting a little leaner for my best friend’s wedding so the posts are going to be a bit more frequent than they have been the last few months! On top of that, I’m working on a recipe book of my favourite dishes, with a focus on easy, simple cooking that’s low fat but good for non-dieting guests too.