As a medium sized child, when the endless pre-Christmas caroling finally became too much, your only respite came in the eighth verse of the 12 days of Christmas. The sheer catharsis of being able to bellow “FIVE GOLDENNNN RINGGGGSSSSSSS” as loud as your immature lungs could manage almost made up for having to sing Silent Night in maddeningly high pitch.
And because I am neither a King nor a dragon, I do not possess five actual golden rings, but I knew it would be easy enough to find a place where people have golden rings bestowed upon them; a beauty therapy business.
Before you clench up at the thought of what I was will to put myself through for the sake of this little known blog, no I did not get my arsehole bleached. I did however chose to spend a day at a place where people may chose to have that procedure done if they so wished.
Oh the things I put myself through. I had to endure a full hour of back massage and reflexology followed by two hours of steams, spas and swimming. It was hard work.
I did experience something for the first time whilst having my chakras “realigned”. It was the first time I have talked openly about suffering with anxiety while sitting nude in the presence of a total stranger. The irony of explaining my extreme social and physical anxiety at a time when I was the most exposed I could be, made me chuckle a little. Is that irony or is it Alanis Morrisette irony? Knifey spoony anyone?
I chose The Old Hammam and Spa because I thought that I’d kill two birds and try out something traditional as well as going to a spa for the first time.
Unfortunately, they had a strict no electronic devices rule beyond the reception area, so I only captured the front toilet for review. It would have made little difference had I tried to surreptitiously take pictures inside the spa as it was so steamy and damp everywhere I would have come out with some pretty terrible, shots, taken as thought I were trapped in the armpit of a morbidly obese woman on a 40° day.
Through the right hand door was the spa proper, with steam room, sauna (dry steam), ice room, spa pool, cold bucket (which Josh LOVED so much that we will have to get one for any house we have in the future), swimming pool and hammam where they scrub you with foam in a hot tiled room.
The design aesthetic of the reception/bar/cafe area was followed through in the spa but with less distracting sparkles and more water. The whole place had more tiles and marble than a Victorian mental hospital which made me very happy.
The toilet in the public bathroom in the reception was a good example of the quality and cleanliness of the rest of the facility. It was gorgeously clean and well appointed.
Cleanliness : 9.5/10 Because I don’t believe in a perfect 10. You can never see all the possible germs without a CSI blue light.
Interior : 8/10 The toilet conatined all the things you would need while you were waiting in the reception to be called for your treatment or while you got your papers sorted for the spa (you had to sign a form saying you didn’t have herpes. I wonder if that is standard or there have been issues in the past….?)
Exterior : 9/10 The building is close to the train station and very easy to find. The whole business was well put together and to a high standard. It felt properly luxurious and not in a ignoring the cracks in the plaster kind of way. On top of that, the staff were so sweet and attentive, always offering you ice water, towels or advice.
Safety : 8/10 Inside the spa felt very safe, like being in a Turkish Goddess’s blousey moist toga. But once we’d finished having all our toxins drained we thought it best that we go over the road and refill them at the pub. While there, Josh got talked at in the bathroom by a strange old man (read: quite drunk with scant teeth) waxing lyrical about the changes in the area. He bemoaned the loss of a second pub across the road which had since become “that naughty place”. Josh didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t that kind of massage parlour.
Snugglitude : 8/10 Even during the times I felt a bit exposed and anxious, the toilets, rooms, pools and all the facilities at The Old Hammam and Spa were splendid. Would spa again.
Total : 42.5/50