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    VIP Beauty: Teeth Whitening

    There is one thing that all celebrities make their mission to have. It’s bright, white and a guaranteed head turner. Yes, our celebs just can’t do without a dazzling Hollywood smile.

    sam halle cherylFrom reality star royalty, to Hollywood legends and pop star personalities, this luminous look is simply essential for each and every VIP. That must include us too then!

    Normally, our celebs spend a whopping amount of money trying to buy their perfect smiles – hundreds, sometimes thousands. Nevertheless VIP’s, don’t fret! You don’t have to spend a ton of money in order to get your sparkling set. You can achieve whiter teeth the affordable way and even do it in the comfort of your own home.

    I’ve been on the hunt for the best home whitening kits on the market and I found two great options.

    Luster Premium White Luster Pro Light Teeth Whitening System £49.99

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    This American bestseller launched in the UK this summer, available for purchase at all boot stores. It comes with a whitening mouth rinse solution, an activator whitening gel and a dual action whitening light which has it’s own timer. This kit’s really simple to use as well. All you do is rinse your mouth with the whitening mouth rinse, paint your teeth with the whitening gel and then use the light to cover it for 2 minutes. Now, this kit is easy to use but a tad bit repetitive because you must repeat these steps 20 times which equates to an hour of whitening. But, the good news is you only have to do it once a week. What also makes this kit so good is that is doesn’t make your teeth sensitive afterwards, so it’s pain free and that’s always a plus.

    Pearl Drops Pure White Whitening Kit £24.99

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    This kit has been around for a while. It’s definitely an oldie but goodie. It comes with a brush on brightener serum, an activator serum and a pure white tooth polish. After brushing your teeth, apply the brightener serum and wait 30 secs. Then do the same with the activator serum again waiting 30 secs. After rinsing, wait 20 minutes without any consumption to brush on the tooth polish for 2 minutes. The downside with this is there is a lot of waiting involved and you have to repeat the ritual everyday however, you only have to do it for 10 days. Not so bad if it’s the price you pay for smile brightening pearly whites.

    Both of these kits are designed to restore the natural whiteness of your teeth, so for those who go weak at the knees for a cigarette or some Starbucks, these kits are ideal for you.

    Let us know which one worked for you!

    Tweet us @livelikeavip or find us on Instagram LiveLikeAVIP

     

     

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    Outdo Alexa Chung with Chanel’s Breathtaking Mascara

    As a mascara-maniac I thought I’d already found the perfect mascara, that was until last week when I ventured outside of my comfort zone and tried out Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel mascara and ended up with lashes that would give even Alexa Chung a run for her money.

     

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    Alexa Chung and her dreamy lashes!

     

    I’ve always had a rocky relationship with mascara as I have sensitive eyes paired with fair lashes which aren’t short but certainly aren’t long and although not sparse, I wouldn’t say that they  are voluminous – I guess what I’m trying to say is that they’re my lashes are just very ‘blaaaaah’. My eyelashes don’t stand out on their own which is why mascara is probably the most important tool in my makeup kit.

     

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    Alexa’s lovely lashes. Again.

     

    Before now, I had been religiously using Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara (RRP £19.50) which I loved, in fact I loved it so much that I wrote about it in a previous post.  However, as great as this mascara was, I couldn’t help but want to try a new mascara because, well, I get easily bored using the same makeup products time and time again and whether they’re good or not, I still like to mix things up and hunt around for other products (I like to live life on the edge, you see…….well, on the edge of a mascara wand at least!).

     

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    Chanel’s Le Volume de Chanel Mascara (RRP £24)

     

    Now don’t get me wrong, I am a massive Benefit junkie and their They’re Real Mascara is amazing BUT I’d always wanted to try out a Chanel mascara.  I don’t know why I had a Chanel craving other than perhaps just the word ‘Chanel’ makes me go a little bit weak at the knees whether it’s used in a fashion, perfume or makeup context.  After a sizeable chunk of my day spent researching Chanel mascaras, I found myself drawn to their Le Volume de Chanel Mascara, why?  I really don’t know, but it happened so I just went with it and bought it to satisfy this craving of mine.

     

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    Sorry Alexa, but you’re not the only one working those longer lashes now!

     

    I genuinely couldn’t have been anymore nervous when I applied the mascara for the first time, there was just so much hope and expectation in that tiny bottle full of eyelash dreams.  The application of the mascara is incredibly smooth – there are no lumps nor clumps or even bumps!  It immediately separates your lashes and adds both volume and a little length but in a subtle way.  The subtle factor of this mascara is ideal for daytime makeup as it’s enough to open up your eyes without looking like you’re ready for a full-on night out.  The magic of this mascara is it’s buildability, I found that I could add more coats to create a more dramatic eye which gave it a versatility that few mascaras in my opinion can compete with.  It’s available in three shades – Noire (a glossy rich black), Bleu (a gorgeous rich blue) and Prune (a dark burgundy) which are all stunning in their own right.

     

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    My sad little lashes before Le Volume de Chanel was applied

     

    As someone who tends to avoid wearing false lashes due to not only finding them damn near impossible to stay on but also because the eyelash glue sometimes makes my eyes water, I can feel a little self-conscious about my lashes looking unimpressive when I see all my beautiful friends wearing their lashes and looking fab.  However, this mascara makes me feel confident with my natural lashes without any need to reach for the those falsies and that eye watering lash glue which is ideal!  Plus, this mascara looks awesome with a smoky eye.

     

    After2

    My much happier lashes after I applied two coats of Le Volume de Chanel

     

    I really feel like this mascara is ‘The One’ – it’s versatile, looks great on and doesn’t affect my sensitive eyes – what more could I actually want?  This is definitely as good as it’s ever going to get for my lashes and I’m completely ok with that, well I’m more than ok, I’m ecstatic!

    Have you tried Le Volume de Chanel mascara before? Got some good mascara recommendations? drop us comment and let us know!

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    REVIEW: Iyashi Dome At MyDetoxDiet

    As I explained in my last blog post outlining my New Year’s Resolutions, I put on 10 lb between July and December 2013. I should also add that I drank Champagne five out of seven nights a week for the month of December (as there was always an excuse for a celebration!). As a result, I started January feeling toxic.

    Diet is the first way I’m changing this in 2014 but I’m open to trying anything that promises to make me feel healthier and eliminate the chemicals in my body from the over-indulgences. Have you heard of the Iyashi Dome before?

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    In 2012, I tried this treatment when it was hidden away in a small basement of a health foods shop in Bloosmbury. If you check out that review you’ll see I loved it at the time (and Gwyneth Paltrow and Demi Moore have also used it). The key thing – you can burn 600 calories (the equivalent of a 20km run) in just 30 mins by LYING DOWN!

    However, I was recently given the opportunity to try it again as My Detox Diet, the company that has London’s only Iyashi Dome, has opened a spectacular new flagship store in Greenwich. Inside there are fresh juices and a health food shop (and if you don’t live anywhere near London you can get these on line for a 3 day / 7 day juice cleans or detox diet). There’s a beauty room offering everything from manicures and pedicures to colonic hydrotherapy (which is apparently quite popular with brides and bridesmaids-to-be). It looks so girly inside – I loved the look of it.

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    The store is less than 5 mins from The Cutty Sark DLR station, which is just 15 mins from Bank so it’s really not that hard to get to and for the feeling of vitality you get afterwards its well worth it.

    The Iyashi Dome works by emitting vibrations of far-infrared rays from the unique black carbon dome, in line with the infrared naturally produced in the body. The heat penetrates up to 40mm under the skin, which helps purify, deeply cleanse, reduce cellulites and helps hold back some of those signs of ageing.

    I was shown up to what looked like a bedroom (it’s a very glamorous building) with relaxing paintings on the walls, candles and some soft classical music in the background. This made me feel warm and cosy before I stepped into the Dome. The treatment was 30 mins long and this is divided into 15 mins gently lying on my stomach and 15 mins turned onto my back (when the temperature rises up). I definitely sweated more when I was on my back but the lovely Ilona , co-owner of My Detox Diet, told me to take my arms out of the Dome to cool down if it became too much. She did indeed find me with my arms in the air! The heat made me feel as restful as if I was on a beach practising hot yoga.

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    After the session, I felt a difference immediately in my skin. I met a friend for a light dinner afterwards and she said I was glowing. I was very thirsty afterwards but my body craved water. It’s never done this before (I’ve even dreamed about Champagne) and I reckon it’s my body sub-conciously helping me wash the toxins through my system as well as sweating them out. With regular use this would definitely help with weight-loss, particularly if you retain a lot of water when it’s your time of the month, but the best reason to do it is part of a detox. It’s the equivalent of the conversion kick in rugby. You might have scored the try with the diet you’ve been following but to truly help your body eliminate the toxins the Iyashi Dome can step up what you’ve already been doing.

    The best news? It’s cheaper than when I last tried it in Bloomsbury. A single session is £35 but you can also buy 10 for £300 on the My Detox Diet website. It’s especially nice in Winter to treat your body to some lovely heat but, unlike a sauna, you don’t have to share it with anyone. It’s 30 mins of pure bliss – just for you.

    Let me know if you decide to try it? I’m on Twitter @zoegriffin and you can also follow My Detox Diet @mydetoxdiet_UK

     

     

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    My Food Diet Plan: Day 1

    WARNING: This post contains a selfie where I don’t have make-up on. You may find images disturbing etc

    The most common New Year’s Resolution is to ‘lose weight’. So if you’re on a mission to shed a few pounds in 2014, you can rest assured that you are not the only one – I’m joining you.

    I’m 5ft 9′ tall so it’s quite easy for me to add some extra weight and hide it. There’s more space over my body for it to go. I don’t weigh myself often but I did it before my birthday and I was 10 stone. I weighed myself on Boxing Day (probably the worst time to weigh myself) and I was 10 st 12, practically 11 stone. It was clear I was eating (and drinking) more than I should as that equates to a steady gain of 2-3 lbs a month – it crept up on me, I swear. On 7 January, the day before starting a two week diet trial, I weigh 10 st 9. And this is how my body looks:

    Jan14-before

    It’s not awful, but I would like a flatter stomach and I would like my hips and thighs to appear smaller. I have high standards as I am constantly comparing myself to celebrities but I also think it’s a question of health. It’s not healthy to creep up on the scales. If I keep eating the way I was before Christmas I’m going to keep getting bigger – Would I get to 11.5 stone before I knew it? No! Something has to change and that’s where My Food comes in.

    The very trim Xtra Factor host Caroline Flack has tried the My Food meal plans and she has a stunning figure (I’d kill for those legs!) Gabby Logan – my favourite sports presenter – has also endorsed it, saying the food programme she followed with My Food didn’t feel like she deprived herself. She still had enough energy to work, look after her twins and exercise. That sounds like my kind of plan and look at how gorgeous and lean Gabby is:

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    I’ve never tried a calorie controlled food delivery company before so I had no idea what to expect. The first thing that surprised me was the options available. They don’t ship the same meals to everyone! You can select the food depending on your goals so you could do a quick fix diet for a special event like a holiday (restricting the calories a lot), a protein rich diet if you have an active lifestyle but still want to lose weight or the plan I chose – the New Year Resolution Plan.

    Once you decide what day you want to start, you’re sent a text message the night before delivery to track your food package. On the day of the delivery, I followed the link and was given a one hour window so I could arrange for someone to be in at that time. Unless you have a fridge and a freezer with a lot of room at your workplace, it’s not really an option to get it delivered to work.

    I was a bit scared at first – all the food for seven days was inside the box below. It doesn’t look very big!

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    However, I found that the food has just been well packed as I pulled out a lot of pouches! There was also the day to day menu written clearly on a piece of paper so you can pin it to your fridge as a reminder. I put the food for the end of the week in my freezer and I’m going to get it out day by day.

    For five days out of the next seven days, two scoops of this will be my breakfast

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    I’m quite looking forward to the soup for lunch – there seems to be a lot for one person in each pouch!

     

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    Dinner looks even better and the portions are massive. I’m especially relieved to see that I can still eat spaghetti and rice noodles as I imagined before I started that I would be given a salad the size of a fist and that would be it. Not at all!

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    My main worry at the start is the lack of sweet things. I’m really sure how I’m going to manage a whole week without chocolate, particularly as I ate it after every meal around the Christmas period.

    I’ll update you half way through this week – come back Friday afternoon to see how I’m getting on! You can also follow me on Twitter @zoegriffin

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    Ytsara Contouring Body Oil Review

    Does your January fitness plan need a kick start? Do you want something rich, thick and deliciously scented that is actually really, really good for you? The celebrities have known about Ystara for ages – it’s used in a lot of the high-end hotel spas – but recently I had the pleasure of trying the Ystara contouring body oil.

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    VIP ENDORSEMENTS: Ytsara products are in the K-West Hotel and Spa, the rock star hotel of London (as it’s the only hotel with a carpark big enough to fit a tour bus). They’re also in the Jumeriah Carlton hotel, where tons of athletes, rugby players and footballers stay in London, and in the Montcalm hotel, rest place of the world’s most important business people. Just so you know, I’ve partied with both The Sugababes and Girls Aloud at K-West.

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    PRODUCT CLAIMS: This spicy warming oil helps to tone and sculpt the body for an alluring figure. Eugenol from Clove Bud stimulates blood vessels for better circulation. Kaffir Lime and Black Pepper assist in the removal of toxic wastes while Rice Bran feeds the skin with essential nutrients. Result is firmer skin and slender body shape.

    At the heart of Ytsara & the Ytsara spa programs is the traditions of Asian wellness, nurturing the body balancing the psyche & soothing the soul for a complete rejuvenation. They aim to achieve radiant skin, healthy bodies and total well-being with down-to-earth solutions for those who want to maintain purity, nurture their skin and rejuvenate their souls.

    OUR EXPERIENCE: When I took the top off the bottle and smelled the delicious warming lime and black pepper scent, my mood was lifted. It was a cold winter morning, one of those days when you don’t really want to get out of the shower, but the scent of the Ytsara oil made me forget that negativity. Smell is a powerful thing!

    You are advised to warm up the oil between your palms before massaging it into your body, which heightens your sense of smell even more. This also makes the scent fill the room so your bedroom smells a bit like a high end spa (and what other moisturiser does this?) But the real beauty of the contouring oil is how it makes you feel when you apply it. Although it is a thick liquid (it’s an oil) when you put it on your skin it is absorbed super quickly so you feel like your skin is getting the nutrients it needs, plus your clothes don’t get sticky.

    This is a contouring oil, so you can also use it before exercise to stimulate your circulation while you work out, as well as when you shower afterwards. Used in conjunction with the fitness regime I’m doing I am starting to shape up and smelling the best I have ever smelled in my life as a result. The scent stays on your skin for hours – getting into shape has never been so luxurious!

    SUMMARY: 9/10 – this is a product you need in your VIP beauty cabinet! It lost a mark because you won’t see a result in terms of contouring without shifting diet and exercise but we cannot fault the longevity of the smell. If you want something more mellow, with a soothing scent, try another Ytsara oil such as the Relaxing Oil with lemongrass and sweet orange.

    GET IT: Available to purchase in all the best spas, RRP £30. Visit the Ytsara website to find one near you. 

     

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    Celebrity Beauty Look: WAH! Nails Makeover!

    WAH Girl Luxe Mani by WAH!

    Used by: London Fashion Week designers such as Marc Jacobs, and celebrities like Lily Allen.

    Where: WAH Nails, London Dalston. Call 0207 812 9889

    OR: WAH Nails, Topshop Stratford. Call 0207 927 7844

    What Happens: The fingernails are stripped of any nail paint and chemicals which might be damaging the strength of the nails. Then the cuticles are soaked until soft and a light cream is massaged in so it makes them easier to cut and push back. The nails are then buffed to make them super soft and shiny, while the nails are shaped. You can then relax while you get the best hand massage you may ever receive. The polish will then be applied; we like the WAH leopard print. To finish the experience off, a cuticle oil is applied and massaged into the nail bed. You will look and feel a million dollars and have nails Nicki Minaj will be proud of!

    Price: £36

    Visit WAH Nails website.

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    Beauty Look: Mary Kay TimeWise Repair

    Used By: Live Like A VIPs Zoe and Joanna tested it at the launch at the Dorchester Hotel Spa. We’re using it – is that good enough for you?

    Where: You can use this product in the comfort of your home, bringing the spa like feel to wherever you are

    What Happens: The first item in the Mary Kay kit is a foaming cleanser. After putting this on the back of my hand and mixing it with water, I was happily surprised to see a little goes a long way. After wiping it off with a flannel and comparing it to the hand that hadn’t been washed, I could actually see that one was cleaner than the other. It doesn’t have much of a smell as Mary Kay has tried to avoid fragrance chemicals but this makes it lighter and it doesn’t clog the skin like some cleansers I’ve tried.

    One of the key products in the kit is a Volu-Firm lifting serum, which contains plant stem cells that help protect the skin matrix, the source of skin firmness. Apparently there’s also something called a biomimetic peptide that supports processes critical for skin repair but I gloss over at the scientific language, I think you can tell if a product is good for you by feeling it and as I smoothed it over my hand and then into my cheek to test it out, the cooling effect almost made me sigh out loud. It’s decadently thick without being greasy.

    A Day Cream and a Night Cream complete the kit with my personal favourite – the Volu-Firm Eye Renewal cream (above). Specially designed to be kind to the delicate area underneath the eye, this is one of the lightest, feather like creams I’ve ever tried. For ease of application, it has a silver end so you can use it to massage the cream into your eye area without dabbing it one with your fingers. Because the under eye area is so sensitive, if you pat it on with your fingertips you can cause infections or irritate the skin so the silver applicator is perfectly designed for the job.

    Cost: It’s a premium product so it’s not as cheap as the skin products you can buy in high street stores like Boots but it is reasonable when you compare it to products like Dermalogica or Elemis. There are five products in the kit and it’s £160. Bearing in mind that each kit lasts three months, this is the equivalent of £55 a month and that’s for all five products. (If you’re intrigued then visit the Mary Kay website to buy)

     

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    Beauty Look: Anesis OPI Manicure and Pedicure

     

    Anesis OPI Manicure and Pedicure

    Used By: Celebrities who are in desperate need of some hand and feet TLC. Whether they are going to a premiere or a fabulous party it is the perfect treatment to give your outfit that polished look. The Made in Chelsea girls love it here, check out Rosie and Kimberley Garner loving the treatments at Anesis.

     

    Where: Anesis Spa, Clapham. Call 0207 627 1500

    What happens: Close enough to central London to just hop on the tube, but far away enough to just simply relax.  Anesis is the only place to sit back and have your nails shaped and painted to perfection.

    Using OPI nail polishes, the dual treatment (there is someone working on your hands and feet simultaneously), is perfect for those who want an intensive hand and foot treatment.

    After any existing polish is removed from both the hands and feet, the nails and toenails are shaped to your specifications, rounded, pointed or squared. You are then treated to a foot and hand soak to soften the nails and skin. Next, the talented therapists get to work on your cuticles, pushing them back and giving them a trim. The feet are then pumiced to remove any hard skin, whilst the hands are treated to a massage with a gloriously thick and moisturizing lotion. The feet are then coated in a rejuvenating foot mask and placed back in the foot spa containing a delicious OPI soak. Whilst your feet are slowly being softened, your nails are prepped for paint – a base coat will be applied to stop staining and to ensure a smoother, longer lasting finish. This is followed by two coats of your choice from a glittering array of OPI shades and finally finished to perfection with a chip resistant topcoat.

    Whilst the nails are drying, paint is applied to the toenails, with a topcoat to protect the polish and give a nice finish. Voila! The nail transformation is complete.

    You will walk out looking pretty and feeling extremely relaxed – just make sure you bring some flip flops with you to stop the polish from smudging!

    Cost: £75

    Visit the Anesis website for more information.

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    Beauty Look: Jemma Kidd Masterclass@home Review

    Beauty Review | Jemma Kidd Masterclass@home

    Jemma Kidd Masterclass@home

    Used By: US!! We absolutely loved getting the A-List treatment, and we are sure you will too. The academy won’t reveal which celebs have taken their classes, but we do happen to know that stars such as Elizabeth Hurley and Sienna Miller love Jemma’s products.

    Where: Your house. The masterclass is mobile and taught in the comfort of your own home.

    What Happens: The masterclass can be as intimate as you want – you can have a one-on-one treatment or a big party for you and the girls. The make-up artist will come to your house complete with their massive kit (we were all super jel of this.) When you book your masterclass, you will be given the choice of different looks you wish to achieve; ‘Perfecting Skin and Mastering Natural Make-Up,’ Night Time Glamour’ and ‘Beauty Foundations.’ We opted for the natural class with a touch of glam – we like to think it is the office come party look.

    You will then be given your kit for the night, which includes a mirror, make-up brushes, a piece of paper to take notes and illustrations (pic above) and the products itself. We got to play with face, eyes and lips primers (very important to creating an even base). And used foundation, concealer, eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow palettes, blusher and lipgloss.

    We were a little apprehensive in the beginning as are a little hopeless at putting make-up on ourselves. Our fab make-up artist Jenna showed us how to perfect the smoky eye, create a flawless base and how to master the oh so difficult eyeliner inside the eye. We now know how to blend shadows and not choose the perfect foundation – no more orange skin!

    The two hour class is well executed and depending on numbers can give you all the undivided attention you need. Although you can book the masterclass for parties, we think having a smaller group is much more advisable as you get a lot more out of it.

    If you want to learn how to create a specific look or want to have a fun make-up filled party we highly recommend you book a masterclass now. You could even look as good as us afterwards…

    Cost: The prices can depend on how many people are attending the class. Generally though, you are looking around the region of £25 per person. For a two hour class which will turn you into a make-up whizz, we think you are definitely getting a bargain.

    You can book a masterclass by calling 0844 504 0844 or visit the Virgin Experience Days website.

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    Beauty Indulgence: Imagine Spa Day

    Imagine you could go to an airport and feel relaxed? Neither did we, but the Imagine spa, located in the Hilton Heathrow Terminal 5, tales relaxation to sky-high levels!

    Sometimes a spa day is so good, you need a bit of space to write a full review. If you want to get ALL the insider information abut what it’s like from a man’s point of view as well as a woman’s then you need to click here.

    THE FACTS

    Cost: 30 minute treatment from £39 and 60 minute treatment for £75. The serali mud chamber is £49 for one person or £89 for two people. Click here for the treatment menu

    Free Facilities: Figure of eight shaped pool / jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, mineral salt grotto, ice fountain, relaxation room, robe and slippers, choice of herbal teas

    Staff Rating: 10 out of 10! We couldn’t actually pick fault with anything. They even came and found us when we spent too long in the pool and almost forgot the massage.

    Food Rating: 9 out of 10. There are lots of classic dishes on the menu, but sometimes it’s nice to be a little bit more adventurous

    Overall Rating: 9.5 out of 10. Impressive and defiitely worth a visit.

    Contact: Visit the Imagine Spa website here or call 01753  766476

     

     

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