What: Chocolate facial at Sanook Spa
Why: One for true chocoholics
Where: 19-21 Great Marlborough Street, Soho, London, W1F 7HL
Our Favourite Thing: The chocolate mask applied with a paintbrush
Website: Click to visit
If you’re anything like me you wince every time you’re slapped in the face by a blast of dirty underground air. Throw in the Autumn chill and dry indoor heating and the idea of a facial was most welcome. And what better time than National Chocolate Week when Sanook Spa were offering a special Chocolate Facial.
The spa is in the basement of the 5 star Courthouse Hotel, just down from Liberty. Much smaller than I expected, it was very well equipped and I’d imagine that during the day it would be very peaceful. I arrived at 6pm, flustered and straight from work so was really looking forward to the relaxation. Unfortunately there was confusion over my booking (they had got my timing wrong) so don’t think it got off to the best start. I’m putting this down to the fact it’s more of a day-time spa but once I was shown around the pool area, sauna and into the changing room complete with towelling robe and slippers I felt much more welcome.
The facial began in the double therapy room on perhaps the comfiest massage table I have ever lain on. Layer upon layer of product was expertly massaged, tapped, prodded and pressed into my skin then removed with hot towels, with the actual chocolate mask applied over gauze and left to work its magic. Any friends who said I’d resemble Bruce Bogtrotter mid chocolate fudge cake session were right. The urge to lick my face was as strong as I expected, and the smell? Unreal.
A bit of science here: skin is your biggest organ so feed it well – I eat a healthy diet so try to use natural products on my skin too. The theory behind chocolate is that it’s high in anti-oxidants so just as eating dark chocolate is beneficial, applying it directly to the skin is too. Anti-ageing properties promote a healthy glow by hydrating, increasing collagen and lightening blemishes. Straight away my skin looked rejuvenated. Despite the fact that the chocolate facial is suitable for all skin types, I was surprised that I wasn’t asked about my skin before the treatment – it can be quite sensitive but luckily it didn’t react negatively to the products. After-care was talked through at the end even if I was in a bit too much of a daze to take it all in!
Sadly the 90 minute facial was actually more like 40 minutes so the therapist must have given me an express version. I’d recommend booking a daytime appointment and packing your swimwear so you can make full use of the facilities. After a slow start, I couldn’t have felt more relaxed when I left. If I’d had longer I would’ve made use of the pool and sauna – really I just wanted to sit in one of the giant shell chairs. The Chocolate Facial was wonderful and a few days later my skin is still looking bright and clear – no one would guess that chocolate is the reason.
The Chocolate Facial was only available during National Chocolate Week but try their other facials, available year round and applied by the same expert hands.
Want free instant access to
EXCLUSIVE parties, the latest
venues openings and much more?
...and join 83,000 other Londonders