Spas We Love: Anamaya, Kensington
Not so much a spa (there’s no pool or wet room), more a wellbeing centre. But not just any wellbeing centre: this is a fab new destination for anyone interested in positive health – ‘Anamaya’ is the Sanskrit word for ‘health’. Quietly tucked away in a mews off the hustling, bustling Kensington High Street, your blood pressure starts to drop when you step inside Anamaya. There’s a tea-making set-up in the exposed brick Reception, where special meditative sounds play in the background. (It’s worth arriving early and de-compressing with a licorice tea, we’d say.)
Anamaya appears to have attracted some of the best therapists in London – including our old friend Leigh Richmond. For years, Leigh was our go-to aromatherapist – and then both Jo and Sarah left London, and we lost touch. Now we’re delighted to have rediscovered Leigh, who seriously has ‘magic hands’ and gets at shoulder tension like no one else we’ve ever met: can’t say Leigh’s Deep Tissue Massage is unalloyed pleasure at the time (very painful at times, actually, with Leigh’s knuckles getting right into acupuncture points), but afterwards...? Longstanding knots are unkinked, shoulders swing free – and stress has ebbed away. (Nevertheless, we might go for one of Leigh’s gentler Aromatherapy massages next time, for the sheer pleasure of her carefully-blended mood-shifting oils. Massages are £70 for 60 minutes, £95 for 90 minutes.)
Other therapies include physiotherapy, craniosacral therapy, Pilates, psychotherapy, reflexology and homeopathy, and they'll be adding to the repertoire over time.
Anamaya itself has been designed and finished to the highest standards: restful neutrals, generous and comfortable massage couches, high-quality towels – everything we could wish for, actually.
If you visit, you might even bump into us cradling a herb tea, in Reception...