Ushvani Spa, Sloane Square

I don’t visit London spas very often, usually they are tucked away at the back of hotels and feel like a bit of an afterthought. But a few weeks ago I visited a special spa that I am still dreaming about.

Ushvani Spa is a serene and luxurious day spa located minutes away from Sloane Square station, concealed within a beautiful Georgian building on Cadogan Gardens. Ushvani’s philosophy is based on ancient Asian culture and the team take a holistic approach to treat the mind, body and spirit.

Ushvani Spa

Owner and Founder Usha Arumugam has created a blissfully relaxing retreat, and from the moment you step through the door busy city life is a forgotten memory. The warm and luxe decor is Malaysian inspired throughout; an intimate spa with dark wood panelling, carved sculptures, and a fish tank displaying clown fish, a symbol of good luck.

The softly spoken therapist who greeted me at the door immediately made me feel at ease, replacing my worn-out trainers for slippers and placing a refreshing hibiscus-infused towel in my hands. She then took me on a brief tour of the spa, which features a plunge pool, steam room, relaxation room, Sentosa studio (for yoga and meditation classes) and male and female changing rooms.

Ushvani Spa

There is also the Asmara Suite… a specially designed room for couples treatments. The cosy and inviting suite is ideal for any of the two hour treatments and guests can enjoy the private facilities after the joint treatment. I noticed a lovely deep sunken stone bath where I was told that the water is infused with Ushvani’s signature Nutmeg Flower Bath oil. It sounded divine.

Ushvani Spa

After a quick trip to the changing rooms to change into my bathrobe, I was taken by my therapist to a treatment room for the Malay Massage. This signature treatment is one of the most popular at Ushvani, and is renowned for its contouring and toning benefits.

My legs were elevated and I was told to take in a few deep breaths, the fresh smell of eucalyptus filled the air. My therapist was brilliant at responding to my body’s aches and pains. She used long kneading strokes and plenty of nourishing oil to relieve and soothe the spots of tension and stretched out my tight muscles. Without my guidance she knew exactly where to apply pressure and where to be more gentle, and after a few minutes I felt my breathing slow and my body let go.

Ushvani Spa

I didn’t want the massage to end. Afterwards, while hydrating with a nutmeg and ginger tea I realised that this Ushvani treatment had been without a doubt one of the best spa experiences of my life. I felt a deep sense of calm and relaxation… the earlier stresses of the day were now a distant memory.

More information and book a treatment at Ushvani Spa here.

Matthew Curtis Hair Salon, Rosewood Hotel

Most hairdressers will tell you to get your hair cut every 6-8 weeks, or more regularly for short hair. Laziness and a busy diary means I usually get my hairstyle refreshed twice a year, or every season at best.

As the cooler Autumnal days arrive I decided it was time for my bi-annual hair cut and colour. I headed to one of the smallest boutique hairdressers in London for a makeover with Jason.

Matthew Curtis Hair Salon

Matthew Curtis is located within the Rosewood Hotel in Holborn, next door to the luxury spa. The salon is inspired by the Orient Express, decorated in a glamorous retro style. Celebrity hairdresser Matthew Curtis and his team are skilled hairdressers and professional colourists, well-rehearsed in creating fashion looks for the catwalk and shoots.

Matthew Curtis Hair Salon

Stylist Jason worked wonders with my hair. We chatted briefly about what I liked and disliked about the length and colour of my current hair and decided on a shorter darker hairstyle, more natural and striking for winter. He was quick and efficient painting my hair with a darker tone, whilst we gossiped and I drank tea! After throughly washing my hair with delicious smelling products he chopped away, leaving my hair feeling thicker and glossier. Jason gave my hair a quick wavy blow dry to create a stylish but natural tousled look.

Matthew Curtis Hair Salon

Whether you are staying at the Rosewood Hotel or not, the Matthew Curtis salon is the perfect little venue for a full makeover or a quick wash and blow-dry. The team here also take care of men’s styling and beard trimming.

More information and book an appointment at Matthew Curtis at The Rosewood Hotel here.

Le Mas Candille Hotel, Mougins

Every summer thousands of brits flock to the seaside resorts of the Cote D’Azur, but in my opinion the truly magical parts of Provence are the inland hills and forests where you can hear the crickets purr and the air has a woody honey-tinted fragrance.

Mougins is the perfect example of a quaint Provencal town, small and artistic with little to do but wander and admire. If this sounds like your ideal holiday spot then you would enjoy Le Mas Candille, a five star Relais & Chateaux hotel, restaurant and spa on the outskirts of Mougins. Utterly removed from the bustle of town yet just 20 minutes drive from Nice airport, it is blissfully isolated but thankfully convenient.

Le Mas CandilleLe Mas CandilleLe Mas CandilleLe Mas Candille

The hotel blends traditional and modern architecture and the rooms follow suit dependant on the building they are found in. There are 46 bedrooms in total; authentic French-style rooms in the 18th century converted farmhouse Le Mas and more modern spacious rooms in La Bastide, the newer part of the hotel. In 2009 La Villa Candille opened offering six new contemporary suites, an even more luxurious and exclusive option.

We were very at home in our La Bastide bedroom which was decorated in muted shades of beige and blue. The decor, though slightly dated, felt smart but not fussy, with antique furniture adding character. The huge bed was very comfortable and the big bathroom was equipped with a bath, shower and marble sinks, with toiletries all by ESPA.

Le Mas CandilleLe Mas CandilleLe Mas Candille

When it comes to dining Le Mas Candille are the proud recipients of a Michelin star restaurant, where the chef produces beautiful plates of food, inspired by the flavours of the area. Highlights of our meal included rich and velvety Pressed foie gras with forest fruits and peanuts, and a summery Clafoutis dessert with pistachios and cherries. The meal was accompanied with a glass of refreshingly cold Provencal rose wine.

For something a little more informal, guests can also dine at La Pergola which offers a range of lovingly prepared Mediterranean dishes including fresh fish and light salads.

Le Mas Candille

We couldn’t resist ordering breakfast to the room, eager to eat whilst enjoying the panoramic view from our balcony. It was a feast of flavours and fresh produce. The sweetest orange juice and most vibrant fruit salad provided a healthy kick, whilst buttery croissants and eggs on toast were a bit more decadent. It was lovely to have a leisurely breakfast overlooking the hillside below.

Le Mas CandilleLe Mas Candille

Many visit Le Mas Candille just to experience the heavenly spa. Complete with hydrotherapy pool, outdoor relaxation area and ESPA treatments, it really is the type of spa you could rest and recuperate in all day.

I felt very lucky to be sampling a 60 minute bespoke spa treatment, half facial, half back massage. My therapist carefully tended to the areas of my back and neck which had deep tension, and patiently massaged with nourishing ESPA oils to relieve the knots. On my face she used replenishing moisturisers and a herbal spritzer to balance my skin and add moisture to my pores. It was the most perfect hour to ensure I left Le Mas Candille feeling much more calm and relaxed than when I had arrived 24 hours before!

More information and book a stay at Le Mas Candille here.