Yearly Archives: 2015

Jewish history of Russian banya in London

Russian banya history

The history of the Russian banya in London goes back to late 19th century and is connected to numerous Jewish immigrants that arrived to London during Pogroms in Russia and Eastern Europe. The immigrants liked to create close-knit communities, preferring to live and work near to each other and within walking distance of a synagogue, […]

Natural healing, Russian style: Banya No.1

Review from The Naturalista

Hanging out at a Rainbo event a few months ago my beautiful friend Alice told me she and her husband Pete were going on a hot date that evening to a Russian spa “where you wear and felt hat and they beat you with birch leaves”. Sign me up! I cried, and the next week […]

The Telegraph – The Russian way to relax: being thwacked with twigs

The Telegraph visited Russian banya

Kate Weinberg is massaged with twigs at a Russian bathhouse Photo: Paul Grover Banya involves being hit by branches and having a bucket of icy water chucked over your head. Kate Weinberg visits a bathhouse in London. It’s 9pm. I am lying face down on a wooden slab in a hot room, musing on how […]

OhCamely magazine: banya number one, here I come

banya number one, here I come

I spent my gap year in Moscow learning Russian. With not a jot of the language to get by on and taken aback by the freezing weather, my world shrunk to calendar-watching and English-language books. It was a difficult experience by most measures. I stayed for the winter and left in spring when the snow […]

Curious London: AUTHENTIC RUSSIAN R&R AT BANYA NO.1

Russian Spa Steam room

It’s rare to experience both excitement and fear before a spa day, but Banya No.1, London’s foremost – and indeed only – Russian Spa, is a bit of a special case. I was really looking forward to experiencing an authentic banya, but I was also afraid of being stripped naked, beaten senseless with birch logs and thrown […]