Who went: Cara Lavocah, 38, from Surrey, mum to Martha, four, Connie and Rose, both one.
As a mum of three children under five, the closest I get to ‘spa time’ is my nightly soak in the bath. So when I was asked to test out the new offering from Spa London in Wimbledon, I was pretty excited. It was fairly local to me (a mere six miles away), and I couldn’t wait for some feet-up, pamper time. Not only that, but I didn't need to beg a babysitter to look after my girls. On weekdays it offers a crèche for under fives from 10am until midday, so you can drop your kids off to have fun, while you have some of the pampering kind. Genius!
The only thing that slightly worried me was that the spa was in a council-run leisure centre. But I needn’t have fretted. Wimbledon Leisure Centre has just had a million-pound facelift and Spa London has opened a new branch inside. From the moment you walk through the heavyset dark wood doors, you feel as though you are in a top-end day spa. It was a calm haven from the moment I sat down to drink my welcome juice from a chilled shotglass (nice touch!).
Ready to relax
The real centerpiece of the spa is the Thermal Spa Experience set within the historic converted bathhouse. It’s like an Aladdin’s cave of bodily treats – from the aroma steam room and hammam footbaths, to the monsoon shower and relaxation lounge. I hot-footed it into the sauna and emerged flushed and free of toxins, ready to rub freezing flakes into my skin from the ice fountain (yes, really – and it felt amazing.) After a lengthy wallow in the hydrotherapy pool, complete with back-pummeling massage jets, I had a lie-down (and a little kip) in the peaceful relaxation room before it was time for my treatments.
There’s an extensive menu of more than 50 treatments, with a great selection of prenatal offerings if you’re with bump. I plumped for the Gym and Tonic, which is really designed for the post-workout body (I race around after three kids, and constantly lift up my weighty twins, so it’s almost the same, right?!). I had a deep massage followed by mineral mud smoothed over me. I fell asleep twice more during the treatment – a testament to just how blissfully relaxing it was. After my massage I finished off with a 30-minute Elemis Clarity Facial to pep up my tired-looking skin.
A three-hour visit to the thermal suite costs just £15 for concessions and £18 for non-members. The Spa London Gym & Tonic costs £59, the Elemis Clarity Facial is £38. The crèche costs from £2.20 for one hour for members; £2.30 for one hour, £2.30 for non-members. For more info and to book, see spa-london.org/wimbledon or call 020 8540 9419.
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