Remember back in January when I wrote this post? January is a miserable time – Christmas is over, you don’t have any money, the whole world wants you to go on a diet – so I decided to switch things up with a little self-care instead, tucking into comfort food and treating myself to a lovely massage at Radiance Wellbeing. Now the temperature’s dropping again, and ‘tis the season for a bit of indulgence.
I’m a big believer in keeping things seasonal, and by that I don’t just mean covering everything in pumpkin spice as soon as autumn comes around (pumpkin spice is evil, and everything contaminated with it should be burned). Instead, I think there’s a season for everything – spring and summer are for getting outside in the fresh air, crisp salads full of good stuff, long walks and late nights. Autumn and winter are for staying cosy, big mugs of tea, comfort food and lovely lazy days. By which I mean, let’s stop feeling guilty about a few little winter luxuries, because it all balances out in the end.
In that spirit, I was absolutely delighted to be invited down to Radiance Wellbeing again, for another of their fabulous pampering sessions – this time, a Balinese hot stone massage, which to be frank, sounds like absolute heaven on a cold day. I’ve never had a hot stone massage before, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect – I’d seen photos of serene people lying down with stones piled up on their backs, but I quickly discovered this isn’t actually how it works. Instead, smooth basalt pebbles (simmered in water to heat them to the perfect temperature) are used with fragrant oils for a wonderful massage that warms and relaxes the muscles. Expert therapist Natalie explained that although some people choose hot stone massage all year round, it’s especially suited to winter, when cold weather can make you tense and even cause injuries. At Radiance, you can choose between a 60 minute treatment for £69.95, or a 90 minute treatment for £89.95, and pick from Elemis, Oil Hut or Botanical Oils – my treatment used the Oil Hut’s ‘Revive’ and ‘Relax’, which both smell absolutely delicious, and lasted one hour.
All I can say is, it was completely, utterly fabulous, a little bit like a cross between having a massage and a lovely hot bath. Afterwards I felt amazing – sometimes the simple pleasures of being warm and comfortable and relaxed are just unbeatable. And while I’m totally converted to this treatment and definitely going back for more, it wasn’t just the hot stones but the whole experience. Radiance Wellbeing is a gorgeous place to spend some time, combining all the atmosphere you’d expect from a day spa with their own unique, creative details. There’s soft candlelight, gorgeous fragrances, fluffy towels and gentle music, but there’s also a snug filled with giant beanbags, and bright, funky murals from Bristol-based artist Alex Lucas, and copies of the Big Issue on the coffee table. And they’ve put some real thought into the details of the experience, too – you start with a consultation with your therapist over a steaming mug of Pukka herbal tea, and extra time is always built into your treatment so that you’ll never be rushing or watching the clock. You also leave with a little information pack that includes details of the treatment you had and your therapist, so if you’re tempted to come back (and you will be) you’ve got everything you need.
In short, if the cold weather gets you down and you’re looking to treat yourself, then I highly recommend you get in touch with Radiance Wellbeing and book yourself a Balinese Hot Stone massage. And remember, no guilt please – it’s winter, and you deserve it.