Lucky Salubrious Spy and Sassy Spy were invited to sample the delights of Grayshott's brand new treatments. Sassy was left raring to go, but Salubrious is still on a cloud somewhere, refusing to return. We did, however, manage to bring her back to earth for a brief moment to write about it...
Total De-stress experience (95 minutes, £115)
Salubrious Spy selflessly volunteered to check out Grayshott's Total De-stress Experience: a scrub, massage and wrap in one. This treatment uses one of the Spa Spies' fave brands: Aromatherapy Associates. So far, so good. She reports...
My suitably chilled therapist, Debra, collected me from reception and led me through to the calm, candle-lit treatment room to deliver my relaxing trio.
First up was the scrub. Being rubbed from head to toe with crushed olive stones might not be everyone's idea of R&R but I loved it; the scrub left my skin feeling tingly and awake. I'm someone who's been known to drift off to sleep in most types of treatments, but I was awake enough post-scrub to make my way to the shower in the corner of the room to rinse off the olive stones, in preparation for part two.
Next up was the Swedish massage. I re-ensconced myself on the couch to find the surface was a little crinklier than it had been previously, as Debra had cunningly lined it with plastic ready for the wrap. The massage, which included a few deep breathing exercises, quickly lulled me into a state of soothed relaxation. The only interrruption was the occasional sound of real bird song penetrating the Sounds of the Andes
The Total De-stress treatment certainly lived up to its name. Heavy breathing (OK, light snoring) signalled that I had succumbed to sleep. Not wanting to waste the pleasure of the massage, or have a big blank in my blog piece, I valiantly fought the urge to drift away. A few lip bites later, I was ready for the wrap.
Time to 'fess up. I'm not the greatest wrap fan. There's something about the crinkly plastic on my skin that says pre-wrapped chicken breasts rather than R&R. But it had been ages since I last got enveloped in cellophane, so I was up for giving it another go. Debra efficiently soothed scented frankincense and rosemary-infused lotion onto my skin, then quickly covered me in wrapping as she worked around my body. The lotion felt momentarily cool, but quickly warmed to my body temperature. I soon became oblivious to my enveloped state and found myself supremely relaxed once again. It's a tough job...
Debra then added a divine head massage to the treatment. This was probably my favourite part, as it really was the icing on the relaxation cake, Debra left for the last ten minutes while the lotion sank in and the wrap delivered its softening magic. Mmmm. Debra peeled away my plastic cocoon to reveal the new silky me. She instructed me to drink lots of water and not to shower off, as the treatment and products would keep working for a few hours. There went my plans to try out the inviting sunny outdoor pool, but I was feeling so happily spaced, that was probably for the best.
Verdict: Does what it says on the tin.
Sassy Spy jumped at the offer of trying a new treatment with an appealing title.
Slim & Sculpt massage (50 minutes, £70)
They said this was not going to be a "relaxing" massage. But, in my ongoing quest for shaping up, that was not going to stop me. The aims of this new massage, recently created for Grayshott by Thalgo, are to slim, tone and firm. The treatment uses French massage techniques to accelerate toning and weight-loss, by positioning muscles and massaging them whilst holding a contraction.
Hayley, my therapist, explained that I would feel like I'd had a work out after the massage. She worked various muscles in my calves, thighs, glutes, sides, stomach, chest area and my bingo wings (triceps). Hayley used different Thalgo creams for different parts of the body, from the Slim & Sculpt range. They each smelled fresh and yummy.
When Hayley massaged my calves, she started quite firmly with flowing movements. She made me flex my foot, so that the muscle became taut, and then really worked hard in to the muscle, like she was determined to reshape it. This technique continued over the rest of my bod. Throughout the massage, I could tell that this was a tough treatment to perform. Hayley had flushed cheeks and was a little out of breath, having used all parts of her hands, fingers and even knuckles, working each muscle group with vigour.
Afterwards, I felt a sense of energy and increased blood flow to my pummelled muscles, and quite mentally alert. The following day, I felt like I had been put through my paces, and a little tender on the backs of my thighs and arms.
Overall, the Slim & Sculpt massage was quite an intense treatment. If you have a low pain threshold, then this treatment is not necessarily for you. If you like firm pressure, go for it. You'll feel spirited and sculpted! A thorough treatment which is part of a programme intended for assisting a kick-start to lifestyle change.