Friday, 22 July 2011

A Slice of Cupcake

For those of you who have already heard of Cupcake Mums, this feature may initially strike you as odd. I must start by clearly stating (especially for your benefit Mum and Dad - I know you read this...) that neither Sarah nor I are pregnant. Neither do we have small children. Nor do we intend on having small children any time soon. But all of sudden, our new favourite beauty hangout is, to the uninitiated, essentially a Mum's club.

But this is where I beg to differ. Yes, Cupcake Mums is a lovely members clubs for Mums, Dads and their little angels (or terrors as the case may be). It's one of a chain of 3 premises, the first was set up in Putney over 3 years ago, and they offer (surprisingly) tranquil and beautifully decorated surroundings including a cafe, crèche, licensed bar (for the parents of the little terrors perhaps...), dance studio, mini-gym, classes for the kiddies, classes for the kiddies AND their parents, parenting seminars, personal training, spa treatments and the whole nine yards. The downstairs of the club is light and airy, decorated in a mix of whites and hues of dark pink and purple, and manages the balance between chic and child-friendly very admirably. Meanwhile, The Treatment Rooms and 'Mummy Boudoir' upstairs follows the same colour scheme but feels luxurious and even a bit sultry. Essentially they provide almost everything (we would imagine!) a parent could want.... But why should the Mummies have all the fun?

The Cupcake spa at Parsons Green is award-winning, and crucially, also open to non-members. In fact, it goes out of its way to be accommodating to non-members (and non-parents!). It's open until 9pm some week nights (post-work, pre-date wax, check!), it's open on weekends (post-night out massage, check!) and if you really do struggle with children, there's also a separate entrance (I-cant-take-screaming-babies-on-this-hangover facial.... check!). They also offer the Galvanic Facial... which apparently is the reason Kate Moss and Simon Cowell are still looking so fresh despite their years of excess. If it can keep Kate peachy with all that she gets up to, I'm sure it can completely transform your average stressed up twenty-something! Or sleep-deprived mother for that matter...

Of course, there is also plenty for the Mummies... Their Cupcake in the Oven pregnancy massage is very popular (after the anti-aging facial - parenting is tough it seems!), and the showers in the treatment rooms are extra large to accommodate all those bumps! Of course, pregnant or not....we all like a roomy shower so we can claim that little bonus for Mums and non-Mums alike. And for non-member Mummies, spa visitors can also drop their kids off at the crèche while they pamper themselves. And the Dads don't miss out either. The Spa stocks Gentleman's Tonic products and apparently your average Sunday afternoon sees quite a few extra Y chromosomes in that part of the building!

So after a quick tour, and a quick coo over the "Wiggle and Dance" class taking place in the studio, Sarah and I took our decidedly not-pregnant selves up to the spa for some treatments: a massage for her and a facial for me. The spa has about four treatment rooms, and mixes those ubiquitous hues of dark pink and purple with dimmed lights and sophisticated mahogany panelling making for a very boutique and luxurious feel: a real mini-haven!

Up first, Sarah's massage. I'll let her describe it in her own words: she certainly raved about it enough afterwards...

With the St Swithin’s showers lashing at the window I couldn’t think of a better place to be than the cosy, warm and utterly relaxing treatment room at the Cupcake Spa. I instantly began to unwind as I squished myself on to the heated waterbed, a strange sensation at first but wonderfully comfortable once the water moulds around you and begins to heat your tummy. I explained to Sandra (our charming therapist) that due to being chained to my desk all day and walking to work with a heavy handbag my shoulders were starting to resemble knotted rocks ingrained with stress and anxiety. I did not need to say another word, like a mind reader Sandra began to ease every ounce of tension out of my back and shoulders with the perfect combination of repeated pressure and fluid movements. There is nothing worse than lying down on the treatment bed geared up for a massage and having strokey strokey  for an hour which inevitably makes you fall asleep and wake up 60 minutes later £60 poorer, groggy and still knotted. This was far from the case at Cupcake, Sandra gauged my needs instinctively and took real care and consideration into the treatment leaving me in a comatose state of profound relaxation. 

As for myself, I plumped for the express facial, which was really amazing. Usually with the half hour treatments I can't relax as I worry the bliss will be over before it's begun, but the combination of Sandra's mini-facial massage and that glorious heated water bed had me feeling totally tranquil right away. With a little bit of facial massage, a little bit of steaming, pore extraction, face-mask and moisturisation, my skin felt absolutely fantastic afterwards and when I met some friends for lunch afterwards they all commented on how much my skin was glowing. 

I couldn't recommend the spa at Cupcake higher. It really is a little haven, and is so close to Parsons Green so really very convenient. The spa feels luxurious, and if you're a Mummy (or Daddy!) the rest of the club is really delightful too. Karen, who runs it, says their ethos is to be a home away from home - but that little bit more blissful. She's really keen to ensure that they endorse no particular philosophy on parenting and she tolerates absolutely no judgemental comments on other members' parenting choices. So whether your an earth mother or have already pre-booked the C-Section, you'll find your haven there. When I'm pregnant... you'll have to drag me away! Until then, I'll be more than happy to be a frequent visitor to the spa.

11 Heathmans Road
London SW6 4TJ
020 3326 4986

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