Spas are for girls, right? With the robes and slippers and things that smell like flowers and all that jazz. And even more so with Lush’s strong fragrances, pink bath bombs and all manner of lotions and potions with quirky names and quirkier ingredients. Well, we decided to drop a man in the middle of Lush Spa’s country kitchen for an hour to see how he got on…
When I agreed to go for a spa treatment, I found myself asking this question – how many girls will get their blokes, brothers or dads a spa day for a special occasion? I expect very few. However, metrosexuality is on the rise, and us men are indulging in spoiling ourselves. Those creams that were once reserved for girls are now finding their way into our bathroom cabinets and washbags. I for one have five different kinds of moisturiser for my face alone. My point? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with looking after your skin and body. And a pamper every now and then.
Based on the famous King’s Road in swanky Kensington and Chelsea, Lush Spa is a whole new kind of relaxation. It’s downstairs off the main high street, so there’s no passing traffic to disturb you.
We arrived through the main doors, and spoke to a few of the staff. One of the girls, we didn’t get her name, asked what we were having. When I mentioned I’d like Lush’s signature treatment, Synaesthesia, her face lit up. “My friends and I had it four years ago, and we were so chilled after, getting the tube home has never been more relaxed!”
We headed down the winding stairs to to basement, and chatted to the therapists Holly and Chloe. Holly explained Synaesthesia is totally unique to what you want and how you feel at that moment in time. It involves all the senses, from the colour of the room to the sounds that will take you out on a day-long journey. All of this is tailored to how you feel, which means no two massages will ever be the same.
So, you’re sat in the basement, styled as a country kitchen, and asked to read a list of words before picking the one that jumped out at you. After embarrassingly admitting I struggle to read Lush’s typography (does anyone else have this problem, btw?), I settled on wanting to be uninhibited. Next, you pick a bottle, again, the one that drew you to it above everything else. I chose muscle as my scent. It would work on my shoulders, pinning me back ready to face the world.
What happened next is a bit of a sleepy blur, but I do remember it was the most relaxing 80 minutes of my life. I had my head, neck, shoulders, back, arms and legs massaged, with hot stones placed at different points on my stomach. I honestly thought Holly had three hands massaging me. The trick is to let the experience take you. It’s more of a meditative experience, than a standard full body massage. Yeah, the massage will relax your body from from head to toe (literally). But close your eyes and drift away with the sounds. Take in the smell, and totally transform yourself.
I did this. And it was amazing. So much so I struggled to walk and speak in the hours following the massage. Nothing was going on between the ears. Lights were on, but not only was nobody home, they’d long left the country.
After the session was over, I sat and relaxed with a cup of tea blended with the same scents I’d chosen earlier. It brought together the massage, the smell and now the taste of what I’d just gone through. Lush also sent me home with the same uninhibited massage and a muscle stone bar for the bath to recreate the experience.
So girls. If your boyfriend, partner, dad or brother is open-minded enough not to be ‘I am man bring me my spear and I will go and hunt’, this is a perfect way to get him in a great mood for a long, long time. Because boys deserve to be pampered, too.
Synaesthesia costs £125 for an 80 minute massage, including teas, and your take home goodies. If you’re interested in giving it a go, you’ll find more details at www.lush.co.uk