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The Porchester Spa

Visited Dec 2011

Porchester Spa is meant to be the oldest Spa Facility in London and is still serving with high capacity with all the amenities built around it to keep fit a big community. We have visited the Baths section specially to try the Turkish Bath experience...

Actually, looking at the architecture, it is clearly an ancient style bath but the same confusion again - it is a Victorian Turkish Bath... With the separate Dry and Wet Hot rooms, low and high steam rooms it has almost all the features of a Roman Bath and its rituals... I am happy as a Turkish person that these add to our reputation but actually they are not our invention at all. Anyway, back to the subject.

From the resting and dressing area as depicted in the images, as if you are getting ready for the lion fight at the Colosseum, you go trough some labyrinth like rooms to find your way downstairs. It works like a time machine trowing you to a beach front. The only think missing is the Sunlight !

The body brush experience is exciting to wait for if you do not know what will come. You see the special wet room (you wish it would be warmer) and you get your first black soap on your body. Zsolt, a Hungarian Therapist is bringing all his effort to make you feel in a comfortable and relaxing environment. Being a pianist himself, he has strong hands and can unlock all knots on your back with swift movements. Compared to magnificent Hungarian Turkish Baths - this place is of course just tiny. But honestly - we all know that black soap is not the Turkish ritual neither - this is purely Moroccan. What comes next it more interesting... He takes his bath brushes and washes you... That is washing and polishing in one go... Very surprised. That i have seen for the first time but not different how it was explained. I just learned a new style... and that is not the only new think you would learn at Porchester. They are also offering a special Shim-see Soap Massage done by a Jewish Therapist, told that this is a Jewish tradition...

So if you go for the results, rest your body and are ok to mix in the crowd, Porchester is a must see one of the last 6 historical Victorian Turkish Baths in the World... For the city-guys, there is a fully equipped gym and a semi-olympic swimming pool as well. Strongly recommended for fit-spa explorers..

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