Banya No.1 Chiswick – Luxury ‘Me Time’, by Kati Saunders for the Chiswick Magazine

Imagine ‘me time’ with the added luxury of popping to and from the sauna to the plunge pool, and having your own private booth to return to for tea, water or food. Banya No.1 is exactly that, and your visit won’t be rushed. 

The three-hour session felt like complete bliss, the perfect place to relax and decompress. A great way to spend the afternoon to reap the benefits of hot and cold body therapy, all while relaxing in their traditional Banya environment. You have the choice to relax in your own company or go with friends. 

I went solo and had a warm welcome for my first visit at Banya No.1. It’s deceptive from the outside how much space there is, once you walk through to the main spa behind the reception area. It’s simple and stylish and the changing areas are nicely separated with male and female changing rooms. 

They’re a safe space with coded lockers for your clothes and valuables. I changed into my swimwear and headed over to my booth; you’ll be assigned a booth number which is yours for your session. I started with 15 minutes in the Sauna followed by a cold-water bucket dumped over my head and body, and a freezing cold whole body plunge pool dip. I completed this sequence twice to get my body prepared for a Parenie Treatment. 

Parenie is an invigorating stress-relieving thermal treatment using leafy and fragrant veniks made of birch, oak and eucalyptus. Unlike anything I’ve had before. I laid in the sauna on a wooden table and the therapist used the veniks to create heat and vigorously patted them all over my body before holding them against my skin for a short while. It promotes weight loss, removes harmful toxins, rejuvenates the skin, and improves metabolism. It’s a must! 

Treatment number two was the traditional Siberian body wash. Naturally fragrant and exfoliating with birch venik, which helps with muscle and joint pains. It cleans the skin, accelerates healing of wounds and scratches, not to mention that it smells great. Its special virtue is that it widens small bronchi. This helps with removal of phlegm and ventilation of lungs. That’s why afterwards it’s so easy to breathe. It sent me off into a deeply relaxed state and I felt all my tensions slipping away. 

My personal favourite was the massage, I’m a sucker for massages. I’d have one every day if I could. This was one of the best I’ve had in a long time, and the masseuse was really in tune and aware of my knots and tension and his massage movements were relaxing for the mind too. 

I was feeling a little tense before my visit, but after my time at Banya No.1 – Chiswick, my stress levels went down from a seven to a zen zero. 

Being at Banya No.1 – Chiswick I had the opportunity to experience homemade Borsch soup, a vegan beetroot soup, and Vareniki, homemade mushroom and potato dumplings. The food was the cherry on top of an amazing day. A healthy and fresh end to my banya experience. 

By Kati Saunders for The Chiswick Magazine

Read the original article here.