Posted by: MummyTravels | May 21, 2012

Make mine a Moroccan

It’s always the sign of a good spa when you’re so relaxed you drift off to sleep during your treatment – and then after gently waking you, your therapist leads you to a cushion-strewn sofa, brings you mint tea and encourages you to continue your nap. So top marks to the Spa at Dolphin Square in London’s Pimlico, for a touch of TLC not far from the Tate and the Thames.

I’d apparently skipped the normal four-hour flight to Morocco, as I stepped from rainy south-west London into a mood-lit entrance with intricate wooden doors, brass lamps, deep jewel-coloured rugs and cushions (even if the music seemed to owe more to India than the Mahgreb).

Sadly, the bump meant I couldn’t explore the spa’s stand-out feature, the traditional Moroccan hammam, although it was probably a good thing, having been scrubbed to within an inch of my life in several hammams across North Africa (leaving me squeaky clean and pampered at the same time). The rituals, using olive and eucalyptus soap, rhassoul clay and argan oils, sounded wonderful though.

Instead, I went for their mum-to-be treatment, the Ultimate Rose Pregnancy Massage (£70 for 55 minutes) – although despite the name, you actually get to choose from three different pregnancy-safe oil blends, only one of which was rose. My therapist offered me three small vials to sniff in turn, as the one which appealed most would apparently be the one I needed – after turning down the rose, and another one which made me want to sneeze, I chose an option with geranium, ylang ylang, vanilla, nut oils and evening primrose oil.

To begin the full-body treatment, the spa has come up with an ingenious way to give a proper back massage – each of the three treatments I’ve tried during pregnancy has had a different method, but this saw me sitting on a comfy chair next to the couch, leaning forward onto a pillow. Still comfy enough at around seven months, it might depend how big your bump is, but it let me relax as my therapist smoothed all the knots out.

Then I moved onto the couch, slightly propped up rather than completely flat, as she worked her way along my entire body – you can ask to avoid the bump if you want – as well as a facial and head massage. I’d love to describe it in more detail, but it’s all something of a blissed-out haze, ending in me dozing off completely before being gently awoken feeling as if I’d slept for 10 hours rather than (probably) 10 minutes.

And my visit finished in the deep relaxation room – sofas with strategic piles of cushions to lounge on, as I sipped mint tea, nibbled fruit and nuts, and tried to put off venturing back to the real world for just a little bit longer.

Disclaimer: My treatment was courtesy of the spa


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