With work being somewhat manic over the past few weeks, and numerous late nights being spent at my desk, there was little hesitation when my friend Anna suggested a relaxing, girly afternoon at the Four Seasons Hotel on Park Lane.
I have visited the hotel several times before for events, and am always overwhelmed by the abundance of beautiful flowers in the lobby, but this was my first time really experiencing the facilities.
First on the agenda for our afternoon of indulgence was a treatment at the spa. Situated on the 10th floor of the hotel, with stunning views across the city, the spa has nine treatment rooms, as well as a pool, steam room, sauna and plenty of chill out areas for relaxation between treatments.
I have to admit that ordinarily I do not enjoy massages and being quite self-conscious, the prospect of being prodded and pummelled by a male therapist would usually send me into an uneasy panic; however all of my concerns were allayed within moments of meeting my masseuse, Pau.
Sensing my reservations, Pau immediately made me feel at ease as we discussed his recommendations and chose the oils together; discussing any problem areas I wanted to tackle. As I had dinner straight after, I wanted to feel relaxed but without falling asleep, so we selected an energising Espa oil and agreed to focus on the upper back and shoulders, as this was where I was most tense, being a regular desk user.
The massage began with some breathing exercises and combined numerous different techniques, from Swedish through to deep tissue. The 60 min prescriptive massage wasn’t the most relaxing experience, as I had quite a lot of knots and tension, however writing this a couple of days later, I am glad I bared the pain, as all of my muscles feel a less rigid than they have for months, if not years!
After an hour or so of gossiping, steaming and basking, in what I think must be London’s only sauna with a view, it was time to hit the changing rooms and get ready for dinner. There’s usually not much to be said about changing rooms; however the changing rooms here are pretty special. Beauty supplies are in abundance; with everything you could possibly wish for found in the brimming vanity tables, making getting ready again less of a chore.
Having made the most of all the amenities on offer and feeling refreshed we headed down to the hotel bar for pre-dinner cocktails. Amaranto is the main dining experience at the Four Seasons, with a bar, lounge and restaurant all housed within one glamorous venue.
The zebra covered bar menu offers an extensive cocktail selection, including something new for every season. Our ‘Spring’ cocktail and a Blackberry & Basil Cobbler arrived accompanied by a slate filled with some delicious canapés to alleviate our spa-induced hunger.
Both of us had opted for rosemary- roasted suckling pig for our second course which was served on a bed of polenta, which provided the perfect combination of contrasting textures and flavour. It was so delicious there wasn’t a scrap left on either of our plates, and we made a convincing attempt at the accompanying zucchini fries and chilli broccoli too!
The service we received throughout our dinner was definitely of note, as the waiters were very friendly without being overpowering and even shared a laugh with us when we demonstrated a poor grasp of the Italian language on the menu. I got up to use the bathroom at one point and when I returned my place had been reset and my cushions plumped; the attention to detail was stand-out.
Having a sweet tooth, there was no way I was going to miss dessert, despite being full almost to the brim, and the second I laid my eyes on ‘Sei Piccoli Peccati al Cioccolato’ – or six deadly sins, my mind was made up.
Our waiter warned us we were in for both a visual and taste delight and we were not disappointed. Six different types of chocolate were presented in various guises, including a decadent chocolate fondant and a chocolate globe that melted to reveal a ganache and mixed berry centre – possibly one of the best desserts I have ever eaten and a deserved recipient of the envious glances from other diners.
A mint tea and a few petit fours for good measure later and we were both ready to be rolled out the door and straight home to bed.
I haven’t had such an enjoyable Monday for as long as I can remember and it proved to be the perfect antidote for my recent work stress. The only downside now, is that the Four Seasons is a little too close to my office for my liking and frequenting it could become an indulgent habit…….
For more details visit the Four Seasons website here >
*We were guests of the Four Seasons, London