Sunday, 11 October 2009

Pampering and high tea

Today is my friend's 40th birthday. Her partner organised a whole weekend of surprises for her, including a romantic weekend away in Martinborough, a six course meal with wine matching, and various other treats along the way. He asked myself and another friend if we could 'help' him by doing a "girlfriend girly girly soft and fluffy girlish thingie for her" today. Would we mind doing this to celebrate our friend's birthday? We were happy to oblige, especially when he said he had booked and paid for the three of us to have a two hour spa treatment, consisting of a massage, facial and foot bath "with wonderful luxurious copper foot baths and water jugs". While we conceded that this would require a lot of effort on our part, how could we refuse such a good friend? ;-)

And so we arrived in secret at Bodyhaven in the James Cook Hotel. The birthday girl was delivered to the door, very surprised to see us, and with no idea of what was ahead of her. We began with a relaxation massage, the three of us side by side and serenaded by the sound of rainforests. Under strict instructions from my osteopath to change positions every 15 minutes to prevent further damage to a disc in my back, this appeared to interfere with the masseuse's planned routine, so I found myself squirming and wriggling for the best part of an hour or so while she worked around my body. I hesitantly anticipated the facial, my first. I'm not sure what was in the face mask, or what was used to cleanse and exfoliate, but my face and neck is now super-smooth. However, I'm still slightly worried that my hypersensitive skin might start burning at some stage, as I've been known to have this reaction to even the most gentle of products (especially those containing sunblock). Time will tell!

The copper foot bath was ... interesting. Not being someone who is partial to having their feet (or legs) touched in the best of times, I found the temperature of the water almost unbearably hot and had to ask (beg?) for some cooler water to be added to the mix, even though we were assured that "the temperature is correct". Gulp. However, having Earl Grey tea leaves (which supposedly are good for softening skin) floating in the bowl ... well, I don't think I'll be repeating that experience in a hurry.

Then it was on to high tea. I had been particularly looking forward to this as I haven't had high tea before but am hoping to hold an outdoor tea party this summer and I need ideas for what to bake. We were offered a choice of teas or coffee to accompany our food. Starting on the bottom tier, we enjoyed mince savouries and delicate crustless club sandwiches skewered with stuffed olives. The middle tier held sweet treats: miniature cheesecake and brownie pieces and tiny cups of chocolate mousse. On top were small scones with jam and clotted cream, chocolate cookies and strawberries dipped in chocolate.

High tea at James Cook
What an amazing afternoon of pampering with girlfriends! I'd like it known that I'm happy to volunteer my services if anyone else needs 'help' of this kind for future events.


~JarieLyn~ said...

How wonderful that her partner paid for all of you. It sounds like a wonderful afternoon, especially the high tea. I'm like you. I don't particularly like for my legs and feet to be touched, nor my face unless it's my husband. I've never learned to fully relax during a facial, but I do so love how my skin feels afterward.

La'Tonya Richardson said...

Sounds like a wonderful time! Since having my first pedicure this year, I think I like having my feet and legs touched, rubbed and... I'm sure I could think of a few other things. I've often thought about having a tea party. Please share how it goes.