All posts tagged: Banya

The Bath House London

Review: The Bath House, London

Situated in an old bank opposite Buckingham Palace, The Bath House brings authentic Russian Banya to the heart of London. Based on the centuries old traditional bathing culture, Banya involves a series of sauna experiences deeply rooted in history. Central to most villages in the past, the banya was a pace of cleansing and community and (whilst it never went away) is enjoying a revival in Russia and many of the former Soviet countries that line the Baltic. There are a couple of Russian banya’s in London and The Bath House, just a stone’s throw from Victoria station brings a touch of luxury while retaining a real sense of authenticity. A warm welcome greeted me as I walked through the door from busy Grosvenor Gardens. Given a locker band, I headed downstairs to change. On single sex days you can dispense with swimwear. I draped the cotton towel around me and began my visit with a pot of warming thyme tea. The secret to the sauna bathing is to do this in stages. 5-10 minutes …

Sauna Woman heat experiences - The Spa Man

How to reap the benefit of heat treatments in the spa

The health benefits of heat treatments are renowned. Inspired by the traditional cultures of Finland, Turkey, Russia and Morocco, the spa world has truly embraced the wellness rituals of getting hot, hot, hot. Here, The Spa Man gives you the low down on the best traditional heat and thermal experiences like the sauna, the Hammam, Rhassoul, Banya and Aufguss. All hot and bothered Getting hot and bothered may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, but the health benefits speak for themselves. Cultures around the world have been using steam and dry heat to cleanse and purge the system, whilst keeping warm and staying fighting fit. The Finnish Sauna is the most famous and found in local leisure centres, gyms, hotels and spas across the globe. The steam room is equally popular, but it’s the rituals that come with these heat experiences that really make things interesting. The Hammam for example is a vigorous body treatment unlike anything else that draws on local Islamic culture with regional variations in Morocco and Turkey. The Rhassoul …

Banya No.1 London - The Spa Man

Review: Traditional Russian Banya at Banya No.1 London

Tucked away on a quiet little back street in Shoreditch is the traditional Russian Spa, Banya No. 1. Offering a truly authentic take on the Banya experience, it’s all about the sauna and you are assured of getting all hot and sweaty. Most guests come to try the Parenie treatment which is set in the specially designed sauna. You literally lay down on the sauna bench and get whipped with leaves until your blood boils. It’s much more pleasurable than it sounds and it is a gentle therapy (to start) with light tapping of the leaves (mostly oak) across the body. The banchik uses the leaves the gather hot air from the sauna and wave this across the body. Focussing on the back, legs and then feet, it’s somewhat soothing and comforting to begin with, then your body temperature starts to rise. Resting your head on the beech with a pillow of eucalyptus and birch branches, these have been dipped on cool water and give a little relief. It’s when the focus shifts to the …