A langourous wallow under a warm waterfall in Taunton. Seriously. In the Vichy water treatment room of the Buff Urban Day Spa, that is
Running the Muddy Stilettos Awards is fun but it’s also pretty intensive. So when Buff Urban Day Spa (last year’s winners of Best Day Spa and Best Hair Salon) invited me over for a relaxing day at the spa, including one of their luxurious Vichy water treatments – not available at all spas – I was over there faster than you could say get your kit off.
Buff Urban Day Spa does what it says on the tin, with three floors devoted to all things spa, as well as beauty, hair, health and well-being. One of their signature treatments is the ESPA Ultimate Vichy Experience, which promises to be an indulgent and radiance-boosting experience for face and body. Bring it on…
10 steps to heaven (or at least the rooftop hot tub)
Step 1: Relaxing foot ritual
What can I say? Who doesn’t love having their feet massaged? Bliss.
Step 2: Invigorating body brush
In the hands of the expert, the natural bristles in the body brush, coming from Mexican cactus plants, leave the skin feeling tingly and invigorated, as it exfoliates and stimulates circulation and smooths the skin. It’s super pleasurable too.
Step 3. The waters fall
The Vichy warm water massage room may look a little clinical…
but it makes you feel like you’re here….
Seven jets of water move backwards and forwards over the body, like a warm waterfall. Relaxing and invigorating at the same time, the water boosts your circulatory and lymphatic systems. Bloody gorgeous.
Step 5: Head and scalp
While the water’s flowing over your body, lie back and enjoy a soothing ESPA Radiance Facial and scalp massage. Even better than the feet.
Step 6: Massage
Next door for an hour-long full body massage, with aromatherapy oils – you choose the scent that you’re most drawn to. This is where I usually start to snore.
Step 7: To the lounge and to lunch
Up to the lounge and terrace to chill. You order your lunch when you first arrive at the spa – choose from baguettes, salads and the like – so it’s ready and waiting for you up here.
Here’s my healthy goat’s cheese and avocado baguette with naughty treat of crisps on the side, with orange juice (but you can have fizz if you prefer). Everything comes freshly made from The Olive Tree delicatessen, just around the corner.
Carmen Miranda head gear fruit bowl to follow.
Step 8: Splash about
Out into the terrace and into the roof top hot tub.
Step 9: Finishing touches
Could have a manicure, pedicure, your make up done – or just a wash and blow dry. Having short hair, I usually let my barnet air dry so the blow dry was a real treat – it felt fantastic and my hair, despite being in need of a cut, looked and felt amazing, full of bounce and vitality (as indeed, did I) . Would definitely recommend a sesh with Buff’s hair team to round off the day.
Step 10: Back to the real world
Revitalised, refreshed – and dare I say ever so slightly more radiant – and ready to go.
I had the ESPA Ultimate Vichy Experience, 120 mins £140. Blow dry for short hair £25. Lunch £12. Other Vichy packages include: ESPA Ultimate Vichy (which includes either a Jessica Deluxe Manicure or Pedicure, lunch and blow dry) £210; Buff’s Ultimate Rejuvenating Water Experience (which includes a one-hour deep massage, the ESPA Lift and Firm Facial and lunch) £195; ESPA Skin Smoothing Vichy Experience & Balinese Massage £130.
Open Mon, Tues & Sat 9am–5.30pm;Weds, Thurs, Fri 9am–8.30pm.
Buff Urban Day Spa, 22-24 Station Road, Taunton TA1 1NL, Tel 01823 257 445. buffdayspa