Sala studio founder and yoga teacher Sarah Lindsay immigrated to Aotearoa from the UK in 2017, before opening her dream fitness studio a year later. The gym has quickly built a following amongst fitness fanatics who share her vision of an all-encompassing approach to health and wellbeing, and an offering that incorporates yoga through to HIIT. The opening of a second room in late-May saw them also adding barre class to an extensive lineup. Members are encouraged to think and to feel as much as to move - and Sarah’s favourite places are an extension of that manifesto.
Where do you live?
I live in Ponsonby, just a couple of streets away from Sala. We moved here eight months ago, a month before Baby O arrived. I knew life was about to get hectic running a business and being a mum so I removed as many obstacles as possible - this one being distance. I love that I can literally see the yellow brick façade from my doorstep.
Favourite place for a drink?
Deadshot. They don’t have a menu but you tell them the flavours you like and they design you a drink. Pre-baby I drank a Negroni, but I’m not sure I could handle a Negroni hangover with Baby O, so maybe it’ll be a gin and tonic in future.
Best place for breakfast?
Williams Eatery. It’s such a nice weekend walk from my house, via Victoria Park with its beautiful big oak trees, to the waterfront. I like sitting outside and it’s always busy, so it’s a good atmosphere.
Where do you get your morning coffee?
Ripe, it’s less than two minutes from both my house and my studio, so that’s my spot. I drink a long black with oat milk. I’m really good at talking myself into the salted chocolate cookies too, they’re so good!
The restaurant you’ve been going to for years?
Well I’ve only lived here almost three years, but I do always find my way back to Azabu. Everything feels so light and fresh! Last time my friend Monica and I went, we ended up taking so long that we didn’t notice that they’d actually closed and they were stacking the chairs on the tables around us. Very polite of them not to throw us out LOL.
Favourite restaurant to visit with friends?
I like Ramen Takara, as the ramen is delicious, cheap, and quick to arrive. Because it’s a specialty - ramen - it’s really easy and quick to order in big groups, rather than over-ordering heaps of small dishes (I really hate wasted food). This place has a really cute outdoor bit with a combination of long tables and booths, which really reminds me of eating Japanese in Soho. It always has a diverse crowd, which gives it a really nice atmosphere.
For something fancy?
Ponsonby Road Bistro. The first time I went was on a stranger’s recommendation, when all my friends were coming over from London. Now it’s my go-to celebration spot. I love the dark interiors, which feel both warm and sophisticated. It really reminds me of Soho House Hong Kong. It’s definitely a treat…
Best ‘cheap eat’?
Ockhee. Maybe it’s the English in me, but I love one-pot meals. This place has such a laid-back street food vibe, and the food is cheap and delicious. I love the guy who owns it; last time I was there, he was wearing the double denim ensemble of dreams.
Brunch on a Sunday: where would we find you?
Ozone. They have a really good menu and do a great veggie breakfast when you just feel like something basic.
Favourite place for date night?
Getting fish and chips from Jervois Road, and eating them at Sentinel Beach before walking around all the beautiful streets of houses in Herne Bay.
Your regular supermarket?
Harvest, it has all the potions that I like! One in particular is tart cherry concentrate which contains high levels of melatonin, the sleep hormone that helps you fall asleep. A friend bought it for me when Baby O was six weeks old and I was slowly descending into sleep deprived madness and it’s so amazing.
I also take BePure religiously. I love the super boost C powder which I just mix with water as a breakfast shot and I’m currently taking the immune action because since Baby O started daycare, I seem to have this forever underlying lingering cold feeling.
Where do you go for ‘special’, non-supermarket food or drink?
My current favourite new potion is Mother Made AM (which you can buy online), a blend of medicinal mushrooms. I tried to replace my coffee with it for a week to see if I could cut my dependency, after two days decided to compromise with a shot of mushroom powder in a single shot. I still claim it as a win.
Favourite place for live music?
Well I don’t manage to get to live music these days but I do like that often at Frieda’s, someone will get up and play the piano. That place truly is a portal to another time. I really like that whole area, it's got a French quarter feel to it.
Favourite gallery or museum?
Te Uru Waitakere contemporary gallery. I think the curators do a really good job here at changing the exhibitions often and offering a diverse range of artists. I always feel so inspired here and I love the modernist feel of the building itself. It’s definitely got a mini Tate Modern vibe.
Where do you go for some relaxation or a beauty treatment?
I love Hana. Sara, who owns it, has done such a beautiful job at creating an inner-city sanctuary. As soon as you enter, you feel as though you’ve been transported far away. I started using the infrared saunas postpartum to help with my C-section recovery, and try to make it back whenever possible now.
Best kept shopping secret?
Hmm I don’t know if you can have any secrets in Auckland, but I love Fourth Street for homeware. The woman who owns it has such an incredible eye for homeware that feels like art. I recently bought a huge, gold egg object from there. What's its purpose? I don't know but it looks good, and it makes me happy when I look at it.
Favourite clothing store that never lets you down?
Kristine Crabb. She makes these incredible floating, sheer dresses which took me from pre-baby, all the way through to post baby. She has a new brand Gloria - an ode to her grandmother - and I just think everything she does and makes is full of intense, authentic passion and wearing something made from that thread invokes the same sort of feminine, get shit done energy in me when I wear it.
Where do you go for a workout?
SALA, of course! My favourite classes are Monica’s yoga and strength with Sam. I’m really looking forward to launching our barre studio so I can start moving my body that way again.
Where do you go when you’re after local art or design?
I’m really passionate about supporting local artists. I believe if you want to live in a city full of creative people, you have to support those creative people financially.
I’m so lucky to have so many amazing artist friends who support me, and whom I support. I recommend going straight to the artist and buying from them directly or commissioning pieces.
My partner Josh and I decided last year to stop buying one another gifts and instead to pool our money and buy art from our favourite local artists instead. I love Grace Bader, Holly Schroder, Nikau Hindin and Joseph Nerney.
If someone was visiting your neighbourhood/city for the first time, what’s the one place you would recommend they visit?
I would recommend that they just walk around the streets and take in the neighbourhood. When I first moved here I fell in love with the quaint white wooden houses around Ponsonby. I love how all of the houses on a street can be entirely different, which isn’t something you see in London.
I just love that each house represents a person, and their own individual style and taste is just spilling out. I still love walking around these streets, daydreaming about who lives inside my favourite houses.