I tried to think of all sorts of clever titles for this post, but they just started getting a bit steamy. By modern standards I was probably late experiencing my first ever salon beauty treatment. I was at University, working as a sales assistant at the weekends and about to go on a date with the man that would become my husband. It was a basic Clarins facial in Selfridges, London. In just two short years I was working at Selfridges, responsible for recruiting the beauty hall staff and that’s when my spa and treatment fixation really took hold. In fact I was hooked.
The idea of medicinal bathing has been around since Roman times, it is thought that the term 'spa' is an acronym of the Latin phrase 'sanitas per aquas' or health through water. Whatever the original meaning, today the word spa suggests a way to indulge yourself while improving your health. I can remember my first ever thermal spa experience at the now defunct Sanctuary in Covent Garden. At the time I thought it was quite good (although a bit grotty in the corners, if you know what I mean). But that was before I experienced the lovely C-Side at Cowley Manor. Then I realized what spas were meant to be like. C-side is a completely laid-back wellness space with slate-lined pools and Cotswolds stone walls and herb-based products. It was a blissful two-night stay not long after Cowley Manor had opened. I still think back to it fondly.