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  • Health and beauty | Spas
  • Victoria

The Bath House - Banya London

An unexpected, deeply restorative day out, under the pavements of Victoria

Not your typical spa..... Try our Public or Private Banya for an authentic, restorative and social experience!
The Bath House - Banya London
Joe Mackertich

Time Out says

The pub is all well and good, but have you ever spent a Sunday afternoon, underground, with your mates in a Russian sauna? If not, you should. 

As far as days out in London go, it’s not an obvious one. I crossed the Bath House’s threshold with trepidation. Firstly, it’s basically opposite the back wall of Buckingham Palace. Which is quite weird. It also seems a bit pricey. £155 sounds like a lot of money to spend on three hours (including a leaf-whacking ritual/treatment) in a Belgravia basement. And finally, the actual act of spa-ing itself - the hot and cold thing - never appealed to me. Still, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Here’s the thing: banya is not what I expected. It’s not bougie. It’s not elitist. It’s not in any way annoying. What it is, is a deeply energising, thoroughly rewarding way to hang out with a friend. In its most basic sense: banya involves spending a while in a really hot room, and then, when it all gets a bit much, standing under a bucketful of cold water or lowering yourself into a plunge pool. Then, enlivened and wrapped in a white sheet, you waddle back to the utilitarian bar-cafe where you can sit for a while with a tea or glass of vodka.

Does it sound simple? It is. And it’s the simplicity that makes it all borderline magical. I’d strongly recommend leaving your phone in the locker and just vibing out with some exceptional potato salad and your own thoughts for a bit. Actually, a special shout out to the Russian and Ukrainian menu. Everything we ate was punchy, fun and flavoursome. The unpretentious substantiality of the food complimented the mind-zapping banya sublimely.

We had a few of the different treatments on offer, but the best (in my opinion by some distance) of the lot is a traditional (I mean, I assume it’s traditional) one where you get lightly thrashed with plants. If banya has a blissed out, quasi-spiritual character, then the parenie leaf ritual is the wild, shamanic extension of its personality. Let me be clear: it doesn’t hurt. You get some nice cold leaves on your face while a couple of hench lads whack you with bundles of oak, birch and eucalyptus. In a sauna. Take my word for it: it’s a blast.

I floated contentedly away from the Bath House keen to return as soon as possible. It felt, in a lot of ways, like an antidote to all that is irritating not only about spas, but also modern life. Two iridescent and exfoliated thumbs up.



The Bath House - Banya London says
The Bath House - Banya London is not your typical spa. It draws on and updates a centuries old bathing tradition to offer visitors an experience that is authentic, restorative and social.

Space

The banya is the slavic cousin of the Finnish sauna and Turkish hammam. The Bath House comprises a Public (shared) and Private Banya (for groups of up to 8 people). Both banyas have a log cabin steam room with a traditional ceramic handmade stove, tipping buckets and ice cold plunge pool.

Treatments

The signature treatment parenie is an intense steam massage with oak, birch and eucalyptus leaves soaked in hot water to release their aromas and nutrients.The Bath House offers scrubs, body wraps and invigorating massage, all performed with organic ingredients like coffee, tar soap, sea salt and honey.

Socialise

The Bath House has the atmosphere of a club. At any traditional banya, visitors relax in the lounge which is also a dining area. At The Bath House you can enjoy a freshly cooked Eastern European meal with all-time favourites such as Ukrainian borsch and pelmeni (dumplings) and a selection of home made soft drinks perfect to stay hydrated.

Benefits

The banya has enormous physical and mental health benefits. It helps reduce stress. Rapid changes in temperature strengthen the cardiovascular and immune systems. Heat and steam alleviate pain in the muscles and open the pores. Regular banya visits combined with a balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Details

Address
1 Grosvenor Gardens
Central London
SW1W 0BD
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