When I was younger, my mum took me on my first spa day at The Sanctuary in Covent Garden. It was so glamorous. I remember jumping from a huge swing over the pool and relaxing on day beds next to pools of giant Koi Carp. I also remember emerging from my facial feeling rather gorgeous and grownup. I love the idea of passing the spa tradition on through generations. So, this is how we celebrate Mothers’ Day Spa Spy-style: a spa day for me, my daughter Daisy and my mum.
Hopefully, in years to come, Daisy will do the same with her daughter - and take me along, too. You reap what you sow...
Although I’d love my teenager to be comfortable in her own skin, adolescent brains aren’t wired that way. MRI scans have shown the area of the brain responsible for self-consciousness is enlarged in teenagers, so exposure to awkward situations will not cure them.
Daisy has tried a massage – with me in the room – but says she is just not comfortable with strangers touching her body. Facials, on the other hand, are her dream come true. If in doubt, teens of all ages love a manicure and pedicure.
For her 18th Birthday, she is going to an Aqua Sana Spa with her closest friends, male and female. There are large relaxation spaces for them to hang out together and plenty of entertaining spa experiences for them to gambol around. Treatments are bottom of their spa bucket list, but Aqua Sana does product demonstrations, so they can hone their millennial skincare knowledge.
The Nana – 71
When it comes to picking the ideal spa for our spa day, my mum is a water-baby, so a large swimming pool is a must: preferably outdoors as she swims in the sea every day. (The North Sea. Yes, even in winter...)
Like my daughter, my mum is clued up to the classiest skincare products, something we all enjoy talking about. Marine-based products are ideal for her, as the emollient produced by seaweed is fantastic for her dry skin. She is a fan of ishga, especially their face serum. She has lovely smooth skin and taught me everything she knows about the importance of hydration and sun protection: vital info to pass on to Daisy.
Once, mum and I went to Sri Lanka and had a traditional Ayurveda massage in a tent deep in the jungle. Ayurveda oils can be profoundly balancing if you’re going through an emotional or stressful period. You are supposed to switch off after a treatment, but mum is a ball of energy – maybe not your typical 70-year-old. I have learned, through her, that you really are only as young as you feel.
The Spa Spy – 49
Everything has started to slow down at this age, including my collagen production, so I am drawn to any facial that will plump and smooth and defy gravity. It is possible; even if only for a few hours after the treatment. Although I have not yet had a hot flush, I’ve noticed that I’m not as into steam rooms as I used to be. I like a sauna followed by an icy cold plunge pool, which is good for a sluggish circulation.
It’s great that more people are talking realistically, as well as positively, about menopause now, and I love Natural Spa Factory’s product range for women going through ‘The Change’. I’m rather taken by their Resurrection Face Wrap Collagen Moisturising Tissue Mask (£29 for 3) as it basically gives you a face lift before you head out for the evening. If you are heading for a Halloween party, you can just leave it on...
Three Perfect Spas for Three Generations:
ESPA at Lucknam Park, Witshire – has a Little Miss Collection with treatments for 8-16 year olds, Carita treatments for nana and an outdoor plunge pool for me. Also, single sex facilities for self-conscious teens.
The Runnymede on Thames, Surrey – has a Mum and Teen Package for me and Daisy, and a massive outdoor pool to keep the mer-nana happy.
Stobo Castle, Scotland – is open to 14-year-olds and up, has a 25-metre ozone treated pool with stunning views, and single sex facilities.