This week, my mum turned 62 and I turned 25, and it’s become a bit of a tradition for us to celebrate our birthdays together with a girly pamper day. I’d been invited to review Mermaid Wellbeing, a boutique day spa in rural Sussex, which looked just like the kind of place I knew my mum would love too, so I thought I’d treat her to a treatment and it’d be the perfect place for us to spend the day. (Plus, I needed a lift.)
The retreat is literally out in the middle of nowhere, somewhere between Petworth and Chichester, in an old stud yard surrounded by fields (hence the need for a lift.) It was a bit tricky to find but the drive was well worth it. As soon as we got out of the car, we were surrounded by nothing but peace, quiet and beautiful countryside.
Susie Mermaid welcomed us into her beautifully converted stable, where no detail has been spared to create the perfect, luxurious, private retreat: candles twinkled from a pretty shelving centrepiece, with their relaxing lavender scent filling the stable to help us instantly unwind; A roaring wood-burning fire created a warm and cosy atmosphere; Egyptian cotton sheets dress the bed and we sunk our toes into a gorgeously soft sheepskin rug. Susie has ensured there's something in the room to indulge every sense.
As well as a range of 'mermaid' treatments, Susie runs one-to-one Pilates sessions, which she kindly gave us a little taster of. (Totally makes up for the giant brownie I ate later in the day).
After unwinding with some deep breathing exercises and getting a feel for the ‘Pilates breath’, we tried out a few stretches on the ‘tower’ - a streamlined version of the original Cadillac Pilates equipment which was created by Joseph Pilates himself. The equipment has springs which adds resistance to your workout. I thought I had pretty strong legs from all the cardio/body weight exercise I do, but doing a thigh stretch using this equipment - my legs were shaking all over the place! (Which explains why I look so worried in the photo!)
During my facial, I became so deeply relaxed, drifting in and out of sleep, that it's going to be difficult to relay exactly what was going on. But, below is a post-facial no-make up selfie, which is a testimony in itself to how incredible this facial was.
I had the Signature Facial, which is holistic experience, individually tailored to you.. It began with hot pebbles being placed between my toes to relax, and being wrapped up warm in blankets. I felt so content and zen... I was already practically out of it before it began!
My face was double cleansed and exfoliated with Green and Spring products (one of my top rated skincare brands FYI), and botanical oils were used to massage away all the toxins, dullness and puffiness. I think this is when I dozed off, so needless to say it was incredibly relaxing!
While a face mask was applied, Susie gave me a lovely head, shoulder and hand massage. Although gentle and relaxing, I could feel the tension release from my shoulders as she worked out a knot. Having my hands massaged was lovely too, especially for my knuckles which are a bit worse for wear from my boxing classes!
My favourite part of the treatment was use of different temperatures using hot and cold stones (which are made of marble and cooled on ice) to massage my face. The intermittent heat and cold helps to flush toxins, reduce puffiness and tighten the skin, whilst providing a calming and healing sensation. This process was repeated a few times and felt wonderful!
I kept hoping the experience was never going to end, but eventually it was time to come back to reality. My skin was absolutely glowing with natural radiance, and I felt glowing from the inside too.
After my treatment, I curled up in an armchair next to the fire, with a cup of peppermint tea and some heart-shaped biscuits, while my mum had her 'Mermaid Glow' facial, which focuses more on facial massage rather than products. This is particularly good for more mature skin, as it releases tension held in the facial muscles, improves circulation and stimulates cell renewal.
It took about ten minutes for me to float back to reality, and it was nice to just sit and enjoy the peace and tranquility. Then I got out my laptop and made a start on this post - not a bad office for the day!
After my mum was done and looking at least ten years younger, Susie got out her mermaid oracle cards to show us our destiny! I picked the 'Make a Wish' card; it said that I should take a moment and wish to the angels for my deepest desires - I still don't know what to use this wish on, the pressure is real! Mum picked out the 'Helpful Person' card and on our way home, we decided that Susie is that helpful person. She was offering us all sorts of ideas to help my Nanna overcome anxiety about her upcoming operation through holistic healing!
Thank you Susie Mermaid for a wonderful day and making us both look and feel glowy!
What's the most luxurious treatment you've ever had? I think this was mine!