Last week, I was invited to the Thai Square Spa in Covent Garden. Located on Shelton Street, in the Seven Dials area – one of my favourite parts of London, this was a true hidden gem, in all senses of the words.
The Jasmine-scented haven is like an oasis from the thumping city outside and its ‘Thai-temple-esque’ decor transports you to a different – more exotic – world. I was to experience the decadent-sounding Golden Maharani Gold Leaf Facial (£125), which uses a gold leaf mask to give the skin a gorgeous glow.
After starting off with the spa’s signature Beal Fruit Tea drink (which was once used in ancient rituals and is surprisingly refreshing), you are taken through to your candle-lit treatment room. The therapy starts with a soothing foot wash (my favourite way of starting any treatment). Then you are cocooned on a warm bed for a thorough, yet gentle, skin cleanse. A jasmine-based exfoliation gets rid of dead skin and debris and also aids relaxation. A Thai herbal compress is used on the face which firms up the skin ready for the gold mask. It’s all very gentle and soothing with massage like gestures to calm and send you drifting off.
Awakening the senses is a full body scrub and massage. After rinsing off by hopping in the shower, the treatment continues as the body is then dried and cocooned in a mask containing tumeric. Being naturally high in Vitamin C, this leaves the skin restored and glowing.
The piece de resistance is the 24 carat Pure Gold Collagen Mask, which is then applied. While it gets to work, the therapist gives a mini head and shoulder massage for total zone-out time and I must admit I did nod off (a sure sign of a good therapist).
The use of gold in beauty, is, of course, not a new thing – although it has always been a luxurious one. For hundreds of years gold has played an important part in Thai history, used in the beauty rituals of royals, noblewomen and brides before their big day. Many wealthy women used to enshrine their bodies and faces with gold before royal ceremonies. While you may be short on a royal ceremony to attend, this is the perfect treat for the party season or before any big event. Not only does it give seriously good results, but it is incredibly pampering and restorative, too.
Towards the end of the one and a half hour session, the gold mask is removed and skin is primed and moisturised for your re-entry into the world. The results give a deeply hydrated, velvety complexion. The gold works to rebuild collagen giving your skin a firm, taut feeling. Mine was left glowing.
The spa itself is a wonderful hideaway, it’s housed inside a converted Victorian warehouse and has a gloriously decadent interior. It’s hard to believe it’s in the centre of London, just steps away from the buzz of Covent Garden. Fabulous for girlie days together or just for getting away yourself for a few hours. And if the thought of ‘royal’ therapy is of interest – check out the two latest additions to the spa’s mega line-up. The Mother-of-Pearl Body Scrub regenerates the skin and leaves you radiant, while the Jade Facial uses a cooling jade stone to help a specially formulated collagen mask soak into the skin. The Thai Square Spa is a real gem.