If you’re anything like Haute Living, chances are your weekends are no longer about hobbies and hedonism. As Londoners we spend Monday-Friday working (the number of Londoners who work 48 hour weeks has risen from 10 per cent in the nineties to 26 per cent in 2014, with 70 hours weeks now the norm) and playing (post work drinks, dinner at the latest IT restaurant, theatre dates) HARD.
Little wonder then that when the weekend rolls around, we’re drained – both mentally and physically.This disturbing new trend is what Londoners are referring to as the Shatterday/Shunday phenomenon.
For me, two days of fun has been replaced by the dry cleaning drop off, supermarket shop, researching and writing freelance articles and endless Agony Aunt sessions (aka counselling your 33 year old childhood friend who has just called off her second wedding). And having spoken to family and friends, I know I am not alone: we Londoners are following the 5:2 plan not just with our diets, but when it comes to work and socialising too.
Enough. I reached mid-March determined to avoid yet another ‘workend’. I wanted – nay needed – to reclaim some ‘me’ time. Subsequently I signed up for a Mohom massage at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower – the luxurious Knightsbridge gem that has been a favourite with A-listers ever since it opened in 1961.
Mohom – which uses a herbal poultice – is no ordinary massage. One Mohom treatment is, as my therapist – the lovely Lucja – informed me, the equivalent of 10 massages. Just what my knackered body needed.
But while herbal poultices (a heated muslim parcel of aromatic herbs and spices) might be the ‘in thing’ in relaxation right now, it’s actually a treatment that dates back to the 14th century when these fragrant hot packs were used to help heal, among other ailments, abscesses, boils, bruises, swollen glands, sunburn and sprains.
The Jumeirah Carlton Tower’s Peak Health Club – one of the most exclusive in the capital – offer a 60-minute Mohom deep muscle massage and having tried it, I can testify that it is pure magic for the muscles.
As your therapist strategically places the heated herb poultice on the body’s charkas – that’s key energy points to you and me – aided by an enticing concoction of essential oils, relaxation takes hold.
The warmth and the herbal scents works like a dream to soothe you as you drift away. Each time the poultice is placed on a different body part, another wave of warmth flows from the fingertips to the toes. Meanwhile your therapist kneads your body from head to toe, using a melting combination of deep tissue massage techniques.
The spa itself – tucked away on the ninth floor of the Jumeirah Carlton Tower – oozes relaxation and offers an oasis from the hustle and bustle of the big city. World music plays softly from a music system in the corner of the treatment room, encouraging you to wind down further.
At £95 for 60 minutes, the Mohom is an expensive massage but a wonderful indulgence. I emerged totally relaxed, with every knot in my neck and shoulders ironed out, having found the serenity I had been seeking on arrival.
The Mohom deep muscle massage costs £95 for 60 minutes at the Peak Health Club (6.15am-10pm Mon-Fr; 7.30am-9pm Sat & Sun). To make an appointment call 020 7858 7300.