I think I’ve been converted. Into home spas I mean. Last weekend Urban Retreat at Home paid me a visit. I’d met beauty therapist Charlie McCorry at a press event earlier this year and she told me all about the Urban Retreat Franchise based at Harrods, and how it was making its mark in the home spa world.
The home spa business is huge, it turns out. Urban Retreat has been based at Harrods for 12 years. And after buying a franchise into the business two years ago, Charlie has now built up a network of clients across London (and beyond).
I know this isn’t a new thing. But getting a massage, facial, wax treatment, manicure, or even a fake tan treatment without stepping outside your front door, seems to be more popular than ever.
Charlie turned up in her Urban Retreat car and set up the beauty bed in my front room. She also set up some relaxing music, an electric candle underneath the bed to let off a glow and laid out perfectly folded layers of towels and blankets. She also offered me an electric blanket. But as it was in the mid 20s outside, and 30 degrees in my front room (or so it felt) I declined the electric blanket. Had it not been a red hot summers day though this would have been amazing.
Urban Retreat at Home don’t charge according to treatment. They actually charge per hour according to where you’re based in London (around £70 within the M25, £55 outside it). So you could opt for some mini massages on your hands, scalp and feet for an hour. Or, as I did, you could go for a full hour’s body massage.
What I like about the Urban Retreat Massage is it’s customised to your needs. You can’t for example say ‘I’d like a Swedish massage’ or ‘I’d like a deep tissue massage’. But you can explain the kind of treatment you’d like and what you want to achieve.
After telling Charlie about my problem areas in my shoulders and tension in my legs from training for my half marathon, she understood the areas she needed to focus on. I also explained that I got the best results out of deep tissue massages.
In terms of how I wanted to feel. I of course gave her the biggest demands!
I told her I wanted to be relaxed, stress-free, tension-free, and energised, all in one. But I was also going out later that night so I did’t want to feel like a complete zombie.
She was up for the challenge.
Charlie seemed to spend the first part of the massage gently relaxing my body. She gently pressed over my back and limbs at several pressure points through the towel to encourage me to relax. She then used quite long, sweeping movements with the oil before homing in on my knots.
Charlie used an aromatherapy blend that consisted of Lavender and Roman Chamomile with a Sweet Almond carrier oil. For my legs, she added Rosemary to warm the muscles & joints. She also added a few drops of lime oil when she massaged my feet.
Like I said, Charlie rarely focuses on one particular massage technique. And during my treatment, she used a combination of Swedish-like and deep tissue techniques for a deeper focus on my muscles and connective tissues.
I’ve got to say, this was one of the most polished and relaxing spa treatments I’ve had.
There’s no denying, there’s something oh so special about walking into a lovely spa where there are candles, super luxe interiors and you feel the ultimate level of relaxation.
I have to admit, my treatment was also slightly interrupted by the noise of a few kids through my balcony doors and the sound of the washing machine (oops, silly me!)
But if you make sure there are no such distractions, (pull the phone out the socket for an hour and turn the washing machine off!) this is the most comfortable way to feel pampered.
After a wonderful, relaxing treatment Charlie made me a lovely cup of chamomile tea in a lovely little cup you get to keep!
She also gave me these lovely slippers.
After a quick chat and advice on how to treat my muscles while training for my half marathon, Charlie packed up her nifty spa bed and put it back in her spa car with no problems at all.
Meanwhile, I put my feet up, enjoyed my tea. And I didn’t have to get redressed and get on a tube or bus home. Bliss.
Addicted, moi? Quite possibly. Charlie was friendly, professional and amazingly good at delivering a tailored service.
Nails, tan and a range of pamper-me treatments, Urban Retreat At Home does it. They even cater for groups if you fancy getting the girls around.
I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for some convenient and super indulgent pamper time. I’m already looking forward to trying their new facial range. Just make sure you turn the washing machine off!
Until next time x
Urban Retreat At Home, 0844 793 8344, firstname.lastname@example.org