Style | Diary of a Somebody

Susan Harmsworth

The spa maven has a long-haul board meeting and a short-but-sweet dinner with old friends

Susan Harmsworth

July 21 2011
Susan Harmsworth

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

6am. I start the day with hot water and lemon (I’m endeavouring to do so every morning – and to cut down on wine the night before – in preparation for my annual detox in August) and a training session with Chris, my personal trainer. Chris is one of Stephen Price’s fantastic team who look after the fitness side of Espa Life at The Corinthia Hotel. I’m lucky to find time to see him twice a week; unlike most personal trainers, Stephen Price’s team not only train people who want to be fit, but look after those with pain management issues and health challenges with a physical and psychological approach.

After a quick shower and a not-so-quick beauty routine (naturally taking advantage of our products), I arrive in the office to prep for our board meeting, which we hold every three months. I catch up with the team to make sure everyone is fully briefed and prepared. While the boardroom is set up for the meeting, I take the opportunity to meet with the Spa team around the corner at Prêt a Manger, to discuss an upcoming press trip to one of our newer hotel spas at the The Edition, Istanbul. We’re excited about showing off the design to the press – we worked closely with Inge Moore and her team to create a contemporary spa inspired by tradition, and the design beautifully echoes the hammam custom. Then there’s just enough time for a quick catch-up pre-meeting with Melanie from our Spa team (who is project managing the development of our new spa at Ritz Carlton Bangalore) to discuss the heat-experience element of the spa. The heat experiences at Espa spas are crucial to us, as they ensure that the body is fully prepared and as relaxed as possible prior to treatments, so clients are “optimised” to get the best results possible.

Around 9.30 people begin to arrive for the board meeting which isn’t due to start until 11am. I leave the team to get on without me, and take advantage of the free time to catch up on e-mails and telephone calls.

At 11 the board meeting begins, and we’re in for the long haul. We don’t break for lunch, instead ordering in sushi and fruit (again, trying to be healthy!) and then work right through until 4pm.

I manage to leave work at 6.30, more or less on time, to meet some old friends back home in Guildford. We’ve known each other for 30 years, and they now live in Spain, so it’s always a bit of an occasion when we can make it happen. We have supper at Côte and catch up on each other’s news. There are a few fantastic restaurants in Guildford – another favourite is The Rumwong, a fabulous Thai place that people travel to from all over the country. As it is practically on my doorstep, it’s my go-to take-out restaurant for when I want to eat in the comfort of my own home, but don’t fancy cooking.

I hit the sack at 11 after a long but very productive day, to make sure I get a good night’s sleep in preparation for another busy one tomorrow.

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