Spa Satori, Manchester

Follow the High Street into the Northern Quarter and eventually you will reach Spa Satori, Manchester’s favourite holistic health and beauty retreat. Established in 2002, this independent spa has built a reputation for providing the highest standard of healthcare and wellbeing treatments. Offering a wide variety of spa and beauty therapies for both men and women, the experienced and passionate therapists strive to offer you the most rewarding spa experience.

With an extensive list of treatments including the ‘Ultimate Stress Relief’ Massage, Hot Volcanic Stones, balancing Reflexology, detoxing Colonic Hydrotherapy, 100% Organic Eminence Facials, Shellac nails, Waxing and many more, Satori will remedy and relieve any stress and strain and beautify you from head to toe.

When we arrived the spa was blissfully silent, we slumped down onto the plush sofas and enjoyed a few minutes relaxing whilst heated lavender cushions were placed around our shoulders. Before long we were in one of the rooms lying on gloriously soft warm beds, ready to be pampered. Two dedicated therapists talked us through which treatments would suit us best. I had a 1 hour Eminence Organic facial and my friend opted for the lava shell body massage and we both completed our sessions with the specialist Hopi Ear Candle Therapy.

My facial soothed and refreshed my skin removing dead skin, extracting dirt and alleviating blocked pores. The massage was gentle but worked deep into the muscles to remove all tension. Spa Satori offer an unrivalled list of treatments and the Hopi Ear Candle treatment is just one of the more specialist therapies you can experience here. We both found it very interesting to try this, lying still whilst a candle burns down sucking wax from your ear and clearing your sinuses. I’m not sure how different I felt afterwards but I definitely felt healthier.

This luxurious retreat left me feeling revived, rejuvenated and refreshed before boarding the train back to London. A lovely place to spend the whole day or just pop in for a quick treatment whilst in town.

More information here:

Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with Virgin Trains.

Typical journey time between London and Manchester is just 2h 7m on one of the state-of-the-art tilting trains, six days a week. Engineering works slow things down a little on Sunday mornings, but by lunchtime they’re operating services – at 2h15m – just a shade slower than Monday to Saturday. Trains every 20 minutes, six and a half days a week.

Booking in advance and travelling off-peak is the best way to get great deals – including some fantastic First Class bargains. Single fares start at: Advance Standard £12.50  and Advance First £38.00, book here.

Browhaus, Lash Extensions, Covent Garden

How did I not find out about Browhaus sooner? …a super fun salon offering numerous services to plump, primp and perfect lashes and brows. With many branches, this brand is popular across the globe and seems to be growing speedily. The Covent Garden branch is petite and stylish, a boutiquey little venue in the heart of London.
Bored of messing about with eyebrow shapes, I decided to try the individual lash extensions, the perfect way to obtain longer natural lashes.

I went down to the plush cushioned sofa beds with Priya, my therapist for the morning. She carefully explained the method and effect of the lashes… each strand is immaculately attached with glue to my own individual lashes. This makes the overall look subtle and realistic, with no clumps, basically you look like you’ve been born with the perfect set of lashes. I was given the choice of ‘Barbie style’ (longer in the centre) or ‘cat’s eye’ (longer at the end with a flick). Apparently the second option is more popular and as an ignorant first-timer I took Priya’s advice and chose cat’s eye. My lower lashes were taped down to avoid sticking and I was told to close my eyes. My eyes remained closed for the next sixty minutes and I can’t say it felt pleasant, it is weirdly uncomfortable losing the freedom of your lower lashes, although the application of the single strands wasn’t painful. The set of lashes lasts four to six weeks, and you are advised to come in every two weeks to have them perfected and additional strands applied. Opening my eyes was a revelation, my eyes looked bigger and better, fuller and far more fabulous. A week on and I am still enjoying the effects… no mascara is allowed (or needed) and oil based products are a no-go. I have had numerous compliments and I can’t imagine life without my fake lashes now!

Browhaus have also just begun offering the miraculous Brow Resurrection treatment. This is a semi permanent brow embroidery to thicken, shape and define the eyebrow lasting up to eighteen months. Although expensive, this method of implanting is more natural and painless than ever before and offers a life changing option to men and woman dreaming of better brows.

I’m sold on Browhaus, and cannot wait to return to try the other treatments, I think cluster extensions and brow tinting are next on the list for me.

Visit the Browhaus website here for more information.


Champneys, Forest Mere

Champneys is a haven of tranquillity and luxury and the Forest Mere branch provided the perfect sanctuary for my best friend and I on our weekend away from the city.

Located just an hour from busy London, this beautiful location provides instant relief for the mind, body and soul. On a sunny Friday morning the drive to Forest Mere filled us with excitement, the entrance stuns with a dazzling lake view and fresh green countryside all around you, it is refreshing and invigorating. We were welcomed and well looked after, exemplary service that continued throughout our stay.

We spent a heavenly 24 hours in the resort, enjoying nutritious delicious food, thoughtful and enjoyable classes and indulgent treatments. Meals are served in various dining areas, a selection of salads and healthy dishes are available, and in one corner a chef makes personalised specialities… we tried noodle stir fry and tortilla wraps. The food is good though fat and salt are obviously limited, I struggled a bit with the lack of salt on the table and felt very naughty specially requesting it!

All the facilities at Forest Mere are conveniently close and after our lunch we went straight to the changing room to try out the swimming pool. Aside from lengths, the huge sparkling blue pool is used for water exercise groups, a class we thoroughly enjoyed. Whilst moving to the music you are instructed to push through various routines and drills, good exercise but more importantly great fun! The Ballet core strength class and hula-hooping were equally enjoyable and hilarious at times; the teachers are all encouraging and motivating with a good sense of humour.

The treatment rooms provide ultimate seclusion and a blissful sense of calm. I was lucky enough to try the Bamboo massage and personalised facial. Both were performed with expertise by the therapists, the massage was energising while the facial pampered my skin and deep cleansed and moisturised leaving my complexion bright and awake.

After changing and refreshing in our attractive Premier Suite, we went down for supper. Three courses are offered with a surprising range of options. The food was exceptional – starving hungry from the day of exercise and relaxation we scoffed it down with great appreciation. The menu is designed to nurture the body providing you with essential nutrients whilst avoiding any unnecessary nasties! That night we slept like exhausted children in our giant plump bed.

I felt aware while relaxing that this is a health spa to improve your wellbeing rather than just a hotel for pampering and idleness. Champneys is a home away from home, comfortable and comforting but without pretentious and unnecessary extravagance. I would love to go back regularly, but even after just one visit I feel I have kickstarted a healthier routine.

Visit the Champneys website here for more information.