Search

Abandon yourself to pleasure and indulgence

17:14 12 April 2012

Thhe Moroccan style spa

Thhe Moroccan style spa

Archant

»It’s 2012 and things have changed a lot since my father’s day.

Info

Dolphin House

Dolphin Square

London

SW1V 3LX

Tel: 020 7798 8000

e: dh@dolphinsquare.co.uk

Prices: from £65 to £152 per night

Dolphin Spa

Treatments range from £15 to £225.

Jon had a Moroccan cleansing ritual for him

Footballers are overpaid prima donnas, folk drink alcopops rather than ale and being a house husband is a viable career path.

Against this background, I am pretty sure it’s fine for a chap to go for a spa weekend.

At least, I certainly assured myself it was as I headed down to the new Moroccan-inspired facility at Dolphin House for a treatment with all the trimmings.

Dolphin House is a development of flats, shops, a fitness centre and now a spa set just north of the river.

Many of the apartments can be rented for just one or two nights, as an alternative to a hotel.

The Pimlico complex is set around a very pleasant private garden, which belies its central location, and staying there had the feel of a trip away, without actually leaving London.

All the facilities are good, rumour has it Gordon Ramsey is a gym member, but the new Moroccan spa really steals the show.

As you descend from the modern reception, lamps, drapes, cushions and exotic scents transport you to the land of the souk.

As a regular visitor to north Africa, I feel qualified to say the experience was pretty authentic – right down to the outfits, the mint tea and the riad-style courtyards.

Assuming that, if I was going to get in touch with my feminine side, I may as well do it properly, I had booked a Moroccan cleansing ritual – fully four hours of spa pleasure including massages, oils, facials and more.

Steamy room

It all started with a trip to the hammam – a steamy room in which you are rinsed, washed, in black soap, then scrubbed to within an inch of your life.

Feeling vitalised, and looking rather pink, I was then led to a peaceful room where I lay on a curved, heated slab, surrounded by muslin and ate dried fruit and drank tea.

After a few minutes of this I was taken to yet another room – this one with soft lighting and relaxing, vaguely Arabic, music wafting from the speakers – to begin my treatment proper.

First up was a full body massage – starting with my back.

When my therapist Sinead asked me what kind of pressure I was after, I put on my deepest possible voice and told her “firm” and asked her to go to town on any knots she found.

This boldness came back to bite me somewhat when she discovered a gnarled muscle in my shoulder and I had to bite the pillow as she went to work on it.

In general, though, the massage was was an unalloyed delight – legs, arms and neck were all rubbed to perfection causing me to lapse into a vegetative state.

Then came my facial – and let me make this quite clear; there is nothing more masculine than a facial.

It was pretty indulgent I have to say – a series of soothing creams were applied, then softly removed before an extremely relaxing scalp massage.

I really hope I wasn’t snoring, or indeed drooling, because I am fairly sure I nodded off and only awoke as the electric bed moved me to a sitting position in readiness for my wet shave.

Sinead seemed quite calm about the whole affair and began to apply a liberal amount of foam.

I have to confess for something of a penchant for having someone do my shaving for me – which I appreciate makes me sound like I am some kind of prince – but this was the first time I had been shaved by a lady.

I came away with a beautifully smooth visage and not a red mark in sight.

Best of all, after this most relaxing of treatments, I just had to float upstairs to my apartment, rather than negotiate a night Tube busy with drunken revellers.

The Spa at Dolphin Square is a cracking fusion of old- world Moroccan relaxation techniques that have been around for donkey’s years set in the heart some modern city living.

And with tennis courts, croquet lawns, gardens and the full gym facilities all in the grounds, a stay there is like a weekend in a country club, despite being no further than Zone One.

Latest Islington Stories

A scene from God's Not Dead 2

This courtroom drama is a testament to humanity’s unlimited desire to feel put upon and hard done by.

Frightened Rabbit album cover

Anyone unfamiliar with Frightened Rabbit’s output would be wise to heed the glowering grey skies, bleak landscape and anonymous industrial outpost of the cover art; this is no fanciful flutter through the lighter musings of heart and mind.

Yesterday, 19:55
Jeremy Corbyn addresses the crowd in Clerkenwell Green to mark the May Day rally. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

Jeremy Corbyn today became the first Labour leader in 50 years to address the May Day rally in Clerkenwell Green.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista celebrates Danny Welbeck's winner against Norwich

Arsenal 1 Norwich City 0

Friday, April 29, 2016
The Caretaker at the Old Vic. Picture: Manuel Harlan

Of all the shows that Harold Pinter has influenced, Steptoe and Son wouldn’t spring to mind, yet the first half hour of The Caretaker is almost exactly that; a generational odd couple skirting round each other’s anxieties in a filthy, ramshackle apartment.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Sam Parrington of the Pilion Trust at the exhibition in Caledonian Road on Wednesday. Picture: Andy Commons (andycommonsimages.com)

It isn’t just older people who fall on hard times. James Morris finds out about the sad reality of homeless young people in the capital – and how charities like The Pilion Trust and Project One Zero are working in Islington to give them a creative outlet.

Friday, April 29, 2016
captain america

One of Marvel’s cleverest achievements was the sly way they brought their most problematic figure, Captain America, to the screen by turning the jingoistic flag waver into a representative of the country’s lost ideals.

Friday, April 29, 2016
Field Day in Victoria Park

Bringing politics into music can be a dangerous game. As much as the likes of Billy Bragg and The Killing Joke have found enduring success, there is an equal risk in becoming known as a rent-a-gob, and descending into caricature.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe