For many years, the names Chris Corbin and Jeremy King have been synonymous with glamorous dining and, on a more personal level, some of the better date nights I have been on. The restaurateurs are behind such hotspots as The Wolseley and The Delaunay, whose art-deco-inspired rooms create a buzz, whose menus tantalise the palate and whose perfectly shaken martinis can help you forget – or remember – it all. How would these two approach my number-one stomping ground, though: the spa?
A stone’s throw from Selfridges lies their newest venture, The Beaumont hotel. As I hop out of the cab I’m greeted by a chic façade whose classic elegance is wonderfully punctuated by a giant Antony Gormley robot, which juts out on one side.
Inside, I glide over the freshly polished black and white check tiles, past the reception and down the stairs to the spa, which may be small but is perfectly formed – the hammam is complete with dry-heat room, steam room, ice bar, plunge pool and two treatment rooms, and there’s also a bijou but well-equipped gym and a barber.
I opt for the 30-minute signature hammam treatment and a female therapist leads me into a small room with hot-marble bed. Using a soft mitt, she slathers and lathers me with traditional Moroccan Savon Noir soap, a sticky brown putty that is packed with healing argan and which is used to cleanse the skin and remove dead cells. In Morocco, this soaping up can often be done with uncompromising vigour – but here you can request the level of intensity.
Next, I am washed down and it’s time for the Rhassoul Clay body mask to hydrate the skin. After it is rubbed all over me, I’m cocooned in a wrap and left to simmer gently. As I sweat, my therapist gives me an amazingly relaxing head massage. Unwrapped and washed down, I emerge from the treatment room with glowing, super-soft skin.
After this, it’s a 30-minute shiatsu facial. The techniques used for this were said to be the secret to geishas’ beauty – they practised them every day to keep the lines away.
My therapist gets to work immediately, using a skin-refining Aromatherapy Associates rose serum. Shiatsu means “finger pressure” and she begins by using two fingers on each hand to apply intense pressure around my face, especially, it feels, in the gap between my brows. She then pinches my brows for a little while before using four fingers to knead a path down my face – across my eyelids, below my eyes, over my cheekbones and back towards my jaw and ears for lymphatic drainage. As she applies pressure, it’s a little uncomfortable, but at the same time relaxing and stress-relieving, as she kneads the tension from my muscles – especially around my jaw.
The Bottom Line
The spa at The Beaumont is a chicly understated oasis of calm in the bustling city centre that’s bijou and relatively free of bells and whistles. The treatments I had were quick hits of pampering – 30 minutes each – but this was more than enough time to do the trick. My skin was left with a healthy glow all over. My face was plump and the lines of tension had eased, while my body was buffed to a healthy shine.
Spa Junkie is the founder of FaceGym. She pays for all her own travel, accommodation and therapies.