I had a quiet Christmas this year, just me and my 88yr old Mum. I wanted to spend wonderful quality time with her in the womb of our quirky Christmas retreat here on Eel Pie island but for some reason I simply couldn’t relax and bring forth the level of joy and intimacy I so desired. The ‘I’m not a good enough daughter’ blues bit deep!
So thank god I’d bought her a Christmas present designed to untie our knots and unite our hearts – a Mother and Daughter Facial followed by Wash and Blow Dry at what had become for my family the ‘fabled’ Espiritu Salon and Spa. They’ve heard me rave about this place since it opened 15 months ago, a beautiful brain and heart child of my friend Lisa Pearson aka The Mummy Whisperer.
It’s setting is unlike most salons. Instead of fighting for a parking spot along the high street we had acres of space as it nestles between the call of the peacock and the lowing of cows up at Battlers Green Farm, a fully fledged working farm with a wonderful array of shops, boutiques and a restaurant. As we walked in to the airy, light and vintagely gorgeous salon my Mum could hardly believe its last incarnation was as a cowshed. Now its filled with the heavenly scents of the Aromaworks products they use, tea and coffee is served in delicate bone china teacups with saucers, the walls are either adorned with fabulous fifties wallpaper or inspirational quotes written in silver script directly on the softly painted walls. Instead of pounding music designed to rattle your brain and get your feet tapping, the melodies are in keeping with the vintage theme and my shoulders started to relax within moments.
We were welcomed by everyone and shown to the Audrey Hepburn room, after Hayley, with her luscious curtain of gleaming dark hair made sure we were ready. Two side by side massage tables with very cosy blankets and towels looked inviting in the candlelight. Natalie explained we were to have the Express Facials and Dry Head Massage. I was a bit concerned we were so close together and would be receiving our treatment at the same time – could it really be serene with the two of us and both Natalie and Kirsty working on us? And could an ‘express’ package give us the sensation we were being pampered?
I needn’t have been concerned! The facial itself was exactly what I’d hoped for and I felt so ‘mummied’ when my nose and brow were massaged in particular. There was no sense of intrusion, it was more like communion knowing my mother was being as beautifully looked after as I was. The scents of the products, the contrast of cool and hot on my skin, the gentle but firm strokes, the head massage with the little tug to invigorate the scalp, the flow of the music all contributed to deep relaxation. Kirsty and Natalie managed to give us such care and attention but without being obvious – it was like we each were given the gift of an extra pair of hands! ‘Express’ is simply the title, not the experience, thats for sure.
‘You’re like a ministering angel’, whispered my mother as the facial was complete, signified by the simple tone of a bell. Tension and stress erased as effectively as if they’d taken a rubber to the pencil sketch of our faces. And after giving us a few minutes to appreciate the calm and quiet, they wheeled in a trolley with tea and cake, and left us to it. Snuggled up in the incredibly soft blankets in candlelight with such yummy comfort food would have been the icing on the cake but we still had our wash and blow dry to experience.
Price wise this second half comes at a discount because you can’t really leave the salon without it, so you can be forgiven if you think we’d be whisked through this process. Oh no! The gentle pampering continued. Side by side our hair was washed by the very talented Jo and Sophia. Side by side we sat as they brought our hair to its fullest expression. I have never seen my mothers hair look so stylish and mine was ‘fabulous darling’!
Even with a bit more tea and cake to follow we floated out. Luckily the car I was driving was an automatic! I went out last night and enjoyed being told I looked younger, and slimmer (an added bonus) and this morning I woke happy. My mother and I swapped notes on how phenomenally well we’d both slept. Our radiance still exudes.
Thank you to all of you who pampered us yesterday at Espiritu Salon and Spa including Lisa for creating it and sharing her heart with us.