It’s hard to believe that just a few feet below the hustle and bustle of Oxford Street is one of the most relaxing spaces you could ever find (or completely loose) yourself in.
Well, actually, it’s just behind Oxford Street, at 21 Eastcastle Street – the flagship boutique and spa of worldwide organic wellness brand Lakshmi.
Created in Italy in the late 80s, the brand now have over 30 years of experience in making people the best versions of themselves, whether that be a facial, nail appointment, brow service or deep tissue massage.
These services, however, come with a difference. Each product is perfectly organic – and when they say organic they really mean it. The brand work carefully with farmers to ensure that the plants from which they source their ingredients have never even seen a pesticide. Not in the soil, not on the tractor, not even an awkward side eye at the pesticide family picnic.
I ask where the ingredients that make the products come from and the manager smiles radiantly. “Wherever the source,” she says, “the lemongrass is from Zanzibar, and the oranges are from Sicily.”
There’s no second rate when it comes to picking out the very finest ingredients from only the bed plants in exotic locations all over the world to make sure that the property of each best serves its purpose. Imagine what half a pound of passionfruit grown in Milton Keynes would do to your complexion.
So, what’s on the menu? Brows, wax, manicure, pedicure? Since my hair situation is pretty much under control and it would take a qualified blacksmith to tackle my nails, I chose the Aromatherapy massage.
Now, don’t let words like “aromatherapy” and “organic” fool you – there’s nothing coming between the firm hand of a masseuse and those stiff muscle knots you’ve been carrying around with you. Unless of course you choose a lighter pressure but we say in for a penny, in for a pound. Or in this case, a pounding.
The only thing I know about essential oils is that I want to swim in them until I emerge looking like Adriana Lima with all manner of the Dalai Lama. At the beginning of the aromatherapy massage you are presented with a choice of three ‘synergies’ which is essentially a carefully concocted blend of ingredients. The first bottle is ‘Winter Prevention’ and contains eucalyptus, tea tree, bergamot and rosemary, and helps the body’s natural protection against common bacteria and viruses, especially when it’s bloody Baltic outside.
The second bottle was ‘Anti-Stress’ which almost sounds too good to be true (there’s another one called ‘Stress Free Life’ which ironically is the name of a very strong cocktail I once had). This synergy is a mixture of mandarin and sandalwood oils and its purpose is to ease anxiety and tension (not dissimilar to cocktails).
It’s worth noting that as well as the other synergies that are produced by Lakshmi, they can basically hook you up with any type of skin product you will ever need, even sunblock and makeup. The point is that these products come from the largest organic cosmetics lab in Europe, meaning that every last drop is completely natural.
My choice was in the third bottle – ‘Happiness’, because, well why not? Who doesn’t need a little extra happy in their lives? Happiness in a bottle aims to revive the qualities of welcome, warmth and serenity… and boy, it delivers.
It’s easy to forget when you’re fifteen minutes into a massage that throngs of angry tourists are pushing and shoving just a few yards above your (well oiled) head, but relaxation turns to complete bliss and then you emerge, still you, just a little bit better.