A haybarn spa in Knightsbridge? That can't be right. Add the word Bamford in there (as in Lady Bamford who founded the luxe lifestyle brand) and it starts to make more sense. So – where does the haybarn come in?
The Bamford Haybarn Spa opened at the Berkley Hotel's health club in July and really, there's nothing barny-about it. Yes, the treatment rooms are decorated with wooden sticks and pots of lavender, but it's more Cotswold charm meets city chic than rustic farmhouse. In fact – the clean, calm, minimalist style (where everything is either white or tan) is exactly what the Bamford brand is about. And guess what? Nestled on the top floor of one of London's swankiest five-star hotels, it works.
I was there to try the Bamford De-Stress Massage – a 55 minute-long session that includes shiatsu, meridian and Swedish massage, as well as reflexology and a leg massage. It's a lot to pack into an hour but if you can never decide which style of massage you prefer (and you just need a bit of all-over tension relief), this is a great option.
My therapist began by warning me that this particular massage can sometimes bring out emotion due to its effect on the energy channels in the body. Did I come out crying? No. Did I feel revitalised? Yes.
After a quick footbath, the back massage that followed felt a little intense after a day at the office, but by the time the therapist had started working on the pressure points in my feet and legs, I was in heaven. (And I don't usually let anyone touch my feet).
As this treatment worked on so many different areas of the body, with a variety of massage techniques, I didn't have that sleepy, out of it feeling that a massage can often cause either. It was energising and although my visit was in the evening, this treatment would work wonders first thing in the morning.
Then there were the Bamford oils and body balms. These botanical essences smelt amazing but best of all, I didn't leave feeling too greasy.
I was refreshed and in the beautiful Bamford-esque surroundings – I had escaped from the city below me. Before I left, the therapist invited me up to the spa's spectacular rooftop pool. Unfortunately it was raining so I stayed tucked up in the haybarn for a bit longer. It didn't matter. Who needs to trek to the Cotswolds when there's a little piece of it already in London?
To find out more about Bamford's Haybarn Spa, visit The Berkley.