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If there were ever a season made for self-care it would be autumn. After weeks of lazing in sunshine and Picante cocktails, our skin is likely dehydrated and a little mad at us. For those that aren’t able to get away from London for rest and TLC, there’s an escape within the city, in the chic neighbourhood of South Kensington. The Bamford spa is unassuming and very unlike the others you may have frequented. It’s bright, airy and comforting – not that far off from that feeling of walking into your home after it’s been professionally cleaned. And there’s not an inappropriate use of the Buddha statue in sight.
Despite the quaint exterior, the facilities are ample – there’s a yoga studio upstairs and a retail space scattered with glass bottles of product, cashmere and an abundance of crystals on the ground. Descend the stairs to find a refreshingly minimal corridor that opens into treatment rooms, fully kitted out with its own changing room and bathroom. Where most luxury spas in the city nestle in grand hotels, the privacy of this space makes it feel even more decadent. In a time where we’re sharing transport, cars, homes and even hand sanitiser, there’s nothing better than the feeling of serene solitude.
One thing I’ve always noticed is as wonderful as it is to have a deeply relaxing massage to doze off to, the jarring contrast of traffic on the way home or the stench of cigarettes on the street outside, almost unravels the hour or so of hardworking hands and citrus scented oils. If you’d like to feel like you’ve actually been sleeping your eight hours a night, book in for the Jade Hot and Cold Stones Massage (£170). Lasting a blissful 90 minutes, the therapist begins with a selection from three jojoba-based essential oils. The treatment involves heat and coolness to encourage lymphatic fluid drainage and increase blood circulation. This stands out remarkably as it calms the body and mind but gives that much needed revitalisation. It feels more like coffee for the spirit than a Xanax.
If you’re looking to recreate the magic at home, invest in a willow reed diffuser (£100 for 500ml). Not only will your home smell like a five star spa in the Cotswolds but it’s a statement decor piece that’s the right amount of Scandi minimalism. Another product that’ll bring you back to that cozy, heated treatment bed is the lavish, thick Moisturising Cream (£80). Made of 98% natural ingredients, the practically odourless (yay) formula contains a lot of the good stuff: glycerin, shea butter, squalane and strawberry seed oil – an anti-oxidant that’s packed with Vitamin E.
I love the B Silent organic body oil (£42), which I use instead of a moisturiser, day and night. I’m not a tights kind of girl and use it to protect my bare legs from the cold and wind. It contains cannabis sativa, which is known for its anti-inflammatory and calming properties. Combined with chamomile and lavender, you’ve never met a body nourishment more serious about soothing irritated skin. I was adding this to my bath too, until I tried the B Silent Night Time Bath Concentrate (£70). The majority of Bamford products are accredited with Soil Association’s COSMOS Organic badge, which ensures no synthetic dyes, colours or fragrances and nasties like parabens. Instead, packaging is almost entirely recyclable and ingredients are sustainably sourced, biodegradable and organic.
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