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

Tracey Palmer, Macmillan information and support manager at The Whittington Hospital, and Angel Bellot, the hospital's PALS and complaints manager (Picture: Eve Harris)

Two brave Whittington workers will swap the wards for the sky (and then, hopefully, the ground) when they jump out of a plane for charity this weekend.

Yesterday, 18:39
MP Andy Burnham visited the New River Green Childrens Centre, in Ramsey Walk in 2013

Parents have just hours left to respond to Islington Council’s cost-cutting plans for its early childhood service, which many fear could have a damaging effect.

Yesterday, 17:00
FK Alexander writes Samuel Becket script in her own blood

Richard Herrins in on the bill at a festival where artists and audiences are encouraged to take risks

Yesterday, 12:00
Dum Dum Donutterie's Crone

Foodies are invited to eat their way around the world at a new outdoor festival hosted by takeaway service Just Eat.

Yesterday, 12:00
Cargo at The Arcola Theatre 
by
Tess Berry-Hart

. Picture: Mark Douet.

Berry-Hart’s contribution to the genre is to set her scenario in a violent, filthy dystopian future. The results are hit and miss.

Yesterday, 10:05
Service user Anna (L) with Celia from St Martin of Tours Islington (Picture: Islington Council)

What better way to enjoy the glorious sunshine than with a spot of gardening?

Yesterday, 07:45
Dominic Ogbechie was given the Outstanding Individual Boy award at last weeks Camden Sport and Physical Activity Celebration night. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Already standing 6ft 1in tall at the tender age of 14, Highgate Harriers’ Dominic Ogbechie clearly has a knack for defying gravity – and the sky is the limit for the prodigious teenager.

Thu, 21:18
Eoin Morgan batting for Middlesex

Middlesex overcame Surrey in front of a record crowd at Lord’s to strengthen their hopes of reaching the NatWest T20 Blast quarter-finals.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All entrants can get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now