K Spa’s Russie Blanche signature treatment is as close as us Brits can get to the real Russian beauty rituals known for their healing properties. For those looking for a total refresh of their physical and mental health, this two hour ancient procedure will detoxify them from modern day stresses and strains.
Kicking off with a sauna, the body is warmed before the ‘Baniya Besom’ is performed by the therapist. For those, like me, who had no idea what this meant, a bunch of Russian Birch branches, soaked in therapeutic Russie Blanche oils, is swept along your body with intermittent taps. It is these taps (don’t worry, they’re definitely taps and not whacks) which help to balance your energy, stimulate your circulation, ease muscle tension and remove toxins.
But don’t get too relaxed. It’s at this point you need to leave the warmth of the sauna and plunge yourself into the K Spa snow room. Here, in these sub-zero temperatures, your therapist will rub snow and ice up and down your limbs and on your face until, butt-naked, you can bear the freezing cold no more. Back to the sauna you trot, and repeat the hot/cold routine until your body is totally confused yet wonderfully zingy.
Suitably exhausted from the extreme climate changes, flop onto a treatment bed where a therapist will set to work scrubbing (while also cunningly massaging) your body with the Russie Blanche Baniya Caviar Salt Scrub. This process, after your previous experience, will deeply cleanse and soothe while further detoxing and stimulating.
After the two hours, I emerged feeling like a brand new me. Such was my sense of calm that, jumping on the tube at Shepherds Bush, I did not even notice that I was going in the wrong direction…. until I reached West Acton, that is. And even then, I didn’t mind.
Russie Blanche, Russian Baniya Ritual, £230 at K Spa, K West Hotel & Spa, Richmond Way, London, W14, 020 8008 6612
by Emma Parlons, Life of Yablon