Tag Archives: Banya No.1

Wellness the British way / Review by Travel Weekly

4-handed Parenie

If you were to find yourself, as I did, prostrate and naked on a bench in an infernal steam sauna, your face mashed into a pile of birch leaves as a hulking Russian banschik beats you with bundles of oak branches, you might question your life choices — which is precisely the point of the […]

Spring is Coming… with Russian Maslenitsa

Pancakes with red caviar

Between 24th February and 1st March 2020, Russians celebrate Maslenitsa or Pancake Week, a holiday that marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Maslenitsa has been observed since the Ancient Slav times when, due to their pagan rituals, it was essential to say ‘goodbye’ to the winter. Initially, it was celebrated at […]

‘Even Bad Kvass is Better than the Best Water’ (an old Russian saying)

Homemade kvass Banya No.1

Here at Banya No.1, we offer a wide range of traditional Russian food and drinks. One of the most delicious ways to quench your thirst between detoxifying Parenie sessions is to have a glass of the refreshing and fizzy organic drink called Kvass. Kvass is a fermented, non-alcoholic beverage commonly made from rye bread. The […]

What is Venik?

Russian venik

Here at Banya No.1 our signature treatment is Parenie – an invigorating thermal treatment using leafy and fragrant bundles of birch, oak and eucalyptus twigs performed in a steam room. In Russia, this bundle is simply called Venik. The treatment we offer is quite intense. And, no, it’s not about the slashing you with Venik, […]

How did the Russian banya arrive in London?

Russian banya in London

While Banya No.1 opened as recently as 2012, the story of Russian bath houses in London goes back much further. It all began in Odessa in the 1820s during the Russian Empire. This is when the first anti-Jewish pogroms (targeted anti-Jewish riots) occurred. The reason for these violent attacks was that there had been rumours […]