Over the weekend, hundreds of men and women gathered in West London, to sport lycra leggings and down ginger shots together. Why? Naturally they were preparing for the UK’s first Goop wellness summit. With tickets starting at £1000 each and going up to £4500 for a VIP weekend stay (including two nights in a hotel and a personal training class), it wasn’t for the faint of heart, but with their Goop-branded athleisure wear and goody bags packed with menstrual cups and digestive tea at the ready, the guests were well primed for a weekend of wellness.
Across the two days, guests took part in classes including yoga and Reiki, as well as breathwork with Stuart Sandeman; a skincare master class with Gwyneth Paltrow’s facialist, Anastasia Achilleos; and nutritionist Stephanie Moore – author of a book interestingly titled “Why Eating Less and Exercising More Makes You Fat.” Dr Barbara Sturm, skin expert and inventor of the vampire facial, was also on hand as was Tracy Anderson, personal trainer and Paltrow’s business partner, who gave personal training sessions to the VIPers.
Paltrow herself was present throughout the weekend, presenting “fireside chats” which saw her interview psychotherapist Barry Michels; Twiggy, during which Twiggy spoke of a journalist who once described her as looking like a “chewed up chicken legs posted through a letter box,” to which Paltrow responded “What a cunt!’; and Penelope Cruz who spoke about hormones, menopause and periods, as well as being gluten, dairy, sugar and alcohol free.
Also available to the guests were uber-healthy, vegan (natch) lunches, an onsite Goop store which was stocked with everything from sex toys and organic lubricant to skincare and books, and a flower-adorned wall for the perfect Instagram snap.
Since starting out life as a newsletter over ten years ago, Goop has grown into a $250 million lifestyle brand (although not without its controversies), tapping into the growing health and wellness market which is predicted to reach £632bn by 2021, according to Euromonitor International. Earlier this year, it was announced that Paltrow had signed a deal with Netflix for a new documentary series. Due to start streaming later this year, the 30-minute episodes will be hosted by Paltrow and Goop’s chief content officer Elise Loehnen and will reportedly feature doctors, researchers and alternative health practitioners.