The Loneliness of the Long Distance Spa Girl
Certainly, I would say monogamy is the way forward in any other circumstance, but I’m justifying this on the grounds that everything is above board. We have no secrets: I’ve left Roger. But why, I hear you ask? There are a number of reasons – his refusal to help remortgage Mummy and Daddy out of impending homelessness, whilst spending a King’s ransom on a new hull for his ghastly yacht; his insistance on dragging me to boring business functions to play the happy couple; his tendency to yell ‘Da, da, Svanka, da!’ during our monthly conjugals. But mainly, the bastard kept calling my precious spa sessions ‘profligate rub downs’.
Anyway, after visiting the Agua Spa in Philippe Starck’s Sanderson Hotel, I was far too relaxed to be bothered by singledom, taxonomy or Russian escorts. Entering the 10,000 square-foot spa is like stepping into the clouds. There are no walls, just floaty white curtains which stretch double the height of a normal ceiling. You wander through rooms and corridors, feeling for doorways like looking for the Secret Garden. This amount of white-on-white isn’t usually found in the land of mortals, but is reserved for the gods (and Gap adverts, of course). Harp music even strums overhead.
On arrival I was given a glass of water with lemon to sip whilst filling out the questionnaire. Already feeling healthier, I whizzed through the standard health-related questions, hurrying on to more interesting ones like my favourite scent and colour. Rose and pink, of course.
I opted to try the new ‘Inside Out’ treatment, which pairs the massage table with the dinner table. First you have a couple of treatments, then you eat special food from the spa menu. My ‘antioxidant’ treatment started with a citrus body scrub in one of the 14 all-white treatment rooms. The scrub was thorough, and smelt of marmalade and Berocca which was oddly soothing. To rinse off, I had a power shower with four jets in each corner.
After showering, I slathered myself in basil-scented lotion and climbed back onto the massage table for my facial. It was citrus again but this time the Vitamin C smell was interspersed with witch-hazel and papaya. The witch hazel stung a little in that way that makes you feel like it’s doing you good. ‘Pain is beauty’, so the old cliché goes.
As always, the treatment finished too quickly and it was time to snap out of my semi-conscious massage mode. I came round with the help of an iced flannel and was led downstairs to one of the relaxation booths where I ensconced myself in a large white chair, wrapped my white bathrobe round me and lay back in a white curtained cocoon. The bathrobes are made from fine, if somewhat see-through, material – much nicer than the usual oversized offerings.
I flicked through magazines and TV channels (the cacoon has a television, similar to the ones on an airplane) until my food was wheeled in. The antioxidant menu started with grape and cucumber gazpacho, and was followed by broccoli, steamed brown rice and a bowl of mung beans. All washed down with an avocado and papaya smoothie; an unusual, but successful combination with the tangy fruit cutting through the oily avocado.
Pampered and fed to my hearts content, I lay back and two hours passed me by – not something that happens very often in London, but I did tell you – this is a haven with an uncanny resemblance to heaven. All I need to do now is find a legitimate way to get Roger into the real heaven. He hasn’t changed his will as far as I know and there’s a Gloucs manor that needs saving. Maybe Svanka knows someone? SPA GIRL