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The Porchester Spa

Visited Aug 2010

Porchester spa is housed in a beautiful art deco building. It opened in 1929 and has a very basic, raw, traditional feel. How spas used to be, no posing in fluffy white robes!

My friend Nadine and I went during the evening after work. We were surprised to walk in to find everyone naked. We dived straight into the changing rooms and into our swimming costumes! We felt rather over dressed and although good friends we didn't feel ready to be naked together. We agreed that if we were coming by ourselves and knew no one there we would have perhaps been braver! There was a very relaxed atmosphere and no one seemed to worry about body image which was very refreshing!

You enter via a large relaxation room with low lighting, white pillars and high ceilings. A marble stairway takes you past an ice-cold plunge pool into a basement suite of Russian steam rooms, Turkish hot rooms and a Finnish sauna. You are also able to use the swimming pool which is part of the sports centre adjacent during your visit too. We particularly enjoyed using the steam room and emercing ourselves into the ice cold plunge pool straight afterwards which was very stimulating!

I had the micronized marine algae body wrap which claims to improve circulation and increase metabolism. The wrap involved lying on a warm marble slab where my body was scrubbed. I then moved to another bed where a thick seaweed paste was applied to my body, I was then wrapped in film and foil and left for 30 minutes to relax. The seaweed felt very soothing and warm on my skin, although slightly smelly! I had a lovely feeling of weightlessness as I fell into a state of total relaxation. My treatment ended with a massage of body cream leaving my skin baby soft. And the stresses and strains of the day had totally evaporated.

Overall a very pleasant visit. The lockers, changing rooms and plastic sunbeds in the relaxation room could do with an update. The treatment room could also have done with lower lighting as it was a little bright.

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