It’s been a bitch of a week, to be frank – from general exhaustion and unnecessary (although, I must admit, self-inflicted) stress to being reduced to tears in the office by a colleague, I’m quite happy to chalk this one down to experience and draw a very large line under it.
Given the above, coupled with the fact I put in an epic writing stint last night and managed to complete my NaNowrimo novel two days early, today’s spa day in Windsor with three of my best girl friends really couldn’t have come at a better time.
We four first had a night away together back in April, when we went to Brighton and spent the day on the beach and the night in a questionable club on the sea front (where we were about ten years older than the rest of the, er, ‘clientele’ – and that’s putting it nicely). This time, however, we are opting for a more relaxed affair, consisting of two hours in the spa, manicures and facials and a champagne afternoon tea at the Harte and Garter hotel in Windsor. Once pampered we will hit the town for cocktails at Browns and then dinner, after which we will retire to the hotel for a restful sleep. Bliss.
Everyone has a ‘thing’ that helps them to achieve ultimate relaxation. For some it might be listening to music, for others reading a book or meditating. Whilst I do love all those past times, my ‘thing’ would have to be, absolutely and unequivocally, massage. Why? Because not only does the feeling of another person’s fingers connecting with your skin feel toe-curlingly sensual, it’s also recognition that you need – and more importantly deserve – time out from your normal routine. It’s decadent, extravagant and too expensive (for most of us mere mortals) to be a regular occurrence, which makes it all the more enjoyable. As an ardent traveller it also takes me back to exotic places I’ve visited like Bali, conjuring up the many sights, sounds and smells I experienced there.
Today I had my first massage in a depressingly long time at the Tantalizing Spa in Pimlico. I’d bought it as a Wowcher deal last month for a paltry £14, so in truth I didn’t have the highest of hopes for its quality. How wrong I was. The spa doesn’t look much from the outside but the room I was led into was cosy and beautifully decorated. The massage table was so comfortable it felt like lying on a cloud. And the massage itself was just…Wow. This lady clearly knew her stuff, as an hour later her finger tips had melted my rubbish day away and left me feeling fantastic. I floated out of the salon and down the road to the tube station without once feeling the need to check my phone or my watch. I also noticed that my walking pace had slowed compared to normal, which for me is a sure sign relaxation has set in.
But the real treat came as I was heading for the door and my masseuse offered me a second massage for half the normal price if I came back within a month. With such positive benefits to both mind and body, it would have been rude to turn her down…