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 signature Parenie treatment at Banya No.1 in London.
Fortunately, your head is protected from the extreme heat by a monogrammed felt hat (i.e., if you can’t see it, then maybe it’s not happening), thereby enabling you the clarity to consider that this traditional Russian detoxifying treatment at Banya No.1 is a favorite of celebrities such as Kate Moss and Justin Bieber as is the honey-and-coffee scrub and the Siberian body wash.
Rejuvenation is all but guaranteed after the three-hour treatment package, which includes access to the steam sauna, plunge pool and massage room. Apart from the sense of exhilaration that follows, what might be most remarkable about this authentic Russian spa is its location in London (Hoxton or Chiswick).
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