Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Duo's Deep Tissue Experience

Just on the corner of the Fulham road is a fitness centre and spa unlike anything else SW6 has to offer.

Duo Chelsea has been open for a few years now, and offers personal training sessions (including a free trial) and a wealth of treatments to hundreds of Fulhamites in the surrounding area.

Blaze, my fabulous therapist for the afternoon, tells me that all sorts of celebs waft through their front doors - from pop stars to princesses, Duo's appointment book is star studded to say the least. In fact, I'm told that my deep tissue massage appointment meant that a rather well known food critic was denied his usual dose of r and r last Saturday, as muggins here had snapped up the last slot!

The deep tissue massage really is 'an experience' like no other. More accustomed to the lavender oils and lapping waves soundtracks of your traditional masseuse appointment, Blaze's opening gambit of 'how's your pain tolerance?' made it clear that Champneys, this ain't.

Designed to get the blood pumping through knotted muscle fibres to release tension and strains, deep tissue massages HURT. However, the pain is both oddly satisfying, and totally worthwhile once you've experienced the results.

Blaze dutifully kneaded away at my office battered shoulders for a good half hour, breaking down the knots and taking the tension out of the muscles until they'd eased.

Even though the treatment isn't as soothing as your average massage, the deep tissue massage was fantastic. Blaze spotted exactly the areas that required more work and tailored the treatment accordingly. Though the pressure is firm, the treatment is really relaxing, and I emerged feeling like the stresses and strains of a very busy few weeks hunched over a desk had been lifted.

Also on offer at Duo are a wide range of more traditional 'beauty' treatments, from facials to foot rubs.

But, if you want my advice, be bold - the deep tissue massage may feel a bit like going 6 rounds with Frank Bruno at times, but the after effects make it all worthwhile.

Watch this space for more on Duo and their personal training offering (which will almost certainly leave me in need of another massage...!)

Duo Chelsea
2a Gunter Grove, Chelsea, SW10 0UJ
0207 352 5399

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Fabulous Facials on Wandsworth Bridge Road

Usually, walking through the doors of the dentist fills me with dread. But last week, making my way into Fulham dental surgery, Karma, I felt anything but.

Tucked away at the top, above all the drills and general horror that goes along with a trip to the tooth doctor, is a very different experience indeed.

A real hidden gem amongst the more obvious beauty salons and treatment rooms dotted along the Wandsworth Bridge Road, Karma Well-Being  offers a wide range of fabulous treatments at highly competitive prices.

The incredibly charming and friendly Ellie Blair, who works her magic providing all sorts of treatments from Swedish Massage to Reiki, invited me along to try a brand new kind of facial: Face the World.

Unlike more traditional facial treatments, Face the World incorporates music and massage from all corners of the globe, providing you with a holistic experience that really revitalises. From a cleanse and tone inspired by the rainforest, to a neck and shoulder massage using Tibetan pressure points, this treatment really is unique.

The founders of the Face the World have come up with their own range of delicious smelling products to go along with the treatment, ensuring you leave feeling fresh faced and relaxed.

Ellie really is a fantastic therapist, and I left the little treatment room with a face smoother than a baby's bottom, and feeling truly zenned out. Plus, with a complimentary 8 minute mini-treatment and neck & shoulder massage incorporated, I felt well and truly pampered.

At £35 for an hour, this treatment is really fantastic value.

As well as the Face the World facial treatment, Karma Well-Being also offers:

Swedish Full Body Massage (60 min) -£40
Reiki (30  min - 1st and 2nd degree) - £35
Head/Neck/Shoulder Stress Reliver (30 min) - £25
Kansa Vatki Ayurvedic Foot and Leg Massage (45 min) - £35

I'll be booking in for a full body massage for Ellie to work her magic as an Easter treat!

Karma Well-Being
c/o Karma Dental Care
144 Wandsworth Bridge Road

0207 736 0876

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Far From The Braying Sloanes - Super Supper at The Sands End

If there is one thing that our beautiful borough is not short of, it's pubs.

From The Durell to The Duke on the Green, SW6 boasts a vast array of establishments all vying to provide the local twenty-something masses with their weekly fix of gin and slim.

But there's one pub in the area that holds a very special place in my heart.

Some plump for the Sloaney Pony (White Horse), others have fallen for The Phene, but the pub that gets the number one spot on my list is The Sands End. Every time.

Nestled in the quiet side-streets off the bustling Wandsworth Bridge Road and big sister to The Brown Cow on the Fulham Road, The Sands End is bit off the beaten track. But despite its elusive location, it's always busy; full of savvy SW6ers in the know about what this hidden gem has to offer.

When I say busy, I don't mean The White Horse busy. There's no need to get the commuting elbows out to get to the bar. Far from the braying Sloanes and the "Tobes, can you grab a Doombar for Giles, mate?" barks across the beer pumps, it's busy in the best kind of way. Enough people to gauge its popularity, without feeling like a sardine tin.

Plus, it gets right what so many other pubs in the area fail to. The food.

The food at The Sands End is absolutely fantastic.

On a recent visit, I went along with my boyfriend to sample the delights of the updated menu, and chef Olly certainly did not disappoint.

The pollock sashimi starter is an updated version of a longstanding favourite. Light and full of fresh, crisp flavours, the pollock is caught in Cornwall each morning and plated up to the masses after Olly has worked his magic on it the very same day.

Another newbie to the starter selection is the crab and scallop raviolo. A delicious parcel of perfectly cooked pasta, filled with meaty fish and covered in a creamy and rich sauce, which was devoured very happily.

Chuffed with how well we'd ordered our starters, our appetites had been truly whetted for the main course.

James went for what I can only describe as every man's dream meal: beef rib in a barbecue glaze, served with macaroni cheese and coleslaw. The meat fell off the bone, and the sticky sweet barbecue sauce was fantastic alongside the macaroni cheese. I know this, because I demanded more than one mouthful. Obviously. This dish really wouldn't have looked out of place at a far pricier Hawksmoor-style establishment.

Convinced by our excellent waiter, Fred, I opted for another new addition to the menu - risotto with hake. Without wanting to go all Gregg Wallace on you, this really was the most amazingly balanced plate of food I think I have ever eaten. The flavours were amazing.

We rounded off our dinners with a delicious, but totally unnecessary chocolate mousse. (What blogger worth their salt would be so unthinking as to not try the puddings?!)

Not only is The Sands End superb in the food it produces, it's also very reasonably priced for what they serve. Starters range from around £6 - £9, and mains start at about £15. Granted, the beef rib is £20, but you'd pay £30 for it elsewhere.

You don't even have to go the whole hog and have a massive meal either. Pop along for a pint and a bar snack! Their Scotch eggs are to die for, and their sausage rolls are pretty darn good, too.

Thanks to the team at The Sands End that made our evening so memorable. We'll no doubt be back again soon!

The Sands End
135-137 Stephendale Road
020 7731 7823


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...