The Salon Slut Diaries: Context and Giving the Wellington Boot!

I love nothing more than a delicious hour spend pampering my extremities.  Pedis, manis, facials, esoterically named wraps involving ginger and bitumen. I’m up for it.  Anytime, anywhere.  Pummel my bits.  Cover me in plastic.  Beat me with birch twigs. Shove me in a hot room and then Jacuzzi my arse.    

Hear me people: I am a salon slut.    

Given this predilection, and the fact that I’m eternally on the look out for particularly “good value” moments of bliss (I are a cheap skate with champagne tastes on a beer budget), I thought I’d chronicle my search for the perfect pedicure.   

Of course, I shall include all other salubrious slutty salon sessions in which I indulge too – pedis aren’t my only vice.  I don’t go often, but when I do, I shall share my discoveries with you, like every self respecting sister should!  

A bit of historical context: it is early 2001.  I’m being paid squillions in pounds and my mother is flush with a cash bonus.  We decide to see how the other half live and book a week at Brookdale.  Apart from a faintly Orwellian approach to feeding us, and an annoying penchant for early morning walkies, it is heaven on a stick.  We wonder around in our terry cloth robes, alternating between body scrubs, three different types of massage and the odd facial.  In our spare time we do aqua-aerobics in the pool, lounge in the spa baths or sauna until we’re pink and decadent.   

This is my benchmark.   

So when Mummy and I spot a fabulous deal on the Health Spas Guide  (which we peruse furiously each month), we both shriek with cautious joy and book immediately.   The Riverside Cottage and Spa in picturesque Wellington is offering an excellent package: at R2500 for 3 nights B&B and 6 treatments each, all in, for both of us, it is a bargain with a capital B!  And Wellington is only an hour away from Cape Town, so even if it’s horrible, we can escape.  

It’s not horrible.  It’s lovely. Kinda.  A gorgeous distant vineyard view, a pond filled with perfectly white ducks.  The owners (English Ex pats who clearly love SA) are friendly and seem very laid back. 

But the bottom line is; you get what you pay for.  The 5 B&B rooms are spacious and well appointed, but right on top of each other…with no lace curtaining or blinds, which means you either have to live in semi-darkness with your curtains closed, or get used to your neighbours sharing your afternoon naps.   

Not that you can have many of those, because the communal lounge around area is right outside the rooms, meaning that all sodding conversations are communal, whether you’re outside or not.   Not conducive to napping, chilling, book reading etc.  

And with no hooks or rails for pool towels, no soap dish in the shower and a broken loo seat, we weren’t bowled over.  

The treatments, however, were great.  Not the best ever, but better than we’d expected.   Mum and I had all our treatments together, which was brilliant…lots of girly stuff and we could natter if we wanted. My pedi wasn’t a corker, but it was serviceable – and they fixed my paint job the next day after a small wine-induced altercation with an umbrella pole at dinner.  And the facials weren’t personalised and didn’t include extractions (which is surely half the fun!)  But the massages were delicious and the body scrub a treat for the scaly bits on me elbows! 

A bit generic, all round.  No one asked about issues, injuries, back pain or skin types.  But I suppose we were expected to volunteer that information.  The girls, however, were lovely and very good at their craft.  Professional, neat and gentle.  Very soothing.    

But, if you asked me, I’m not sure I’d go back for a whole three days.  We spotted a self catering section slightly behind the main rooms and agreed we’d book there if we returned – if only to escape the constant to’ing and fro’ing of the communal area.  Hardly relaxing. Also, when I think “spa” I think sauna and Jacuzzi, which were absent here, disappointingly.  

So, all in, not bad value.  But more of a B&B with a convenient salon attached than a true, chilled out, pampering spa experience.   And if you’re a private person: stay far, far away! 

Value: You get what you pay for / Nice Price / Eina! / First Born Child

Treatment Rating: Naaaasty / Serviceable / Oooh yes please / gggaaaaaahhhheaven

Pedicure*: Cloven hoof / Basically Speaking / Gorgeousness / These toes shall smite thee  

Added Bonus?  Driving the stunning Bainskloof pass and wishing I had time to find a guide for a hike in the outrageously beautiful mountains.  Dinner at Oude Wellington, which was decadence in the extreme.  My seafood risotto was perfection.  

*A pedicure MUST have a foot massage that puts me to sleep, excellent colour options with outrageous names, a vigorous pumicing (no blades near my tootsies, thank you) and a paintjob that lasts 4 – 5 weeks.  Basics.

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10 thoughts on “The Salon Slut Diaries: Context and Giving the Wellington Boot!

  1. 302 says:

    Isn’t pampering just like the best thing ever.

  2. Mrs. Benitez says:

    Our mummy loves wraps, too. We keep him in the basement.

  3. chewthecud says:

    Hmmmm… Would it still be manly if I go? You have tempted me woman! Foul temptress 😉

  4. kyknoord says:

    It’s in Wellington and they can’t manage a decent pedicure?

  5. kyknoord says:

    It’s in Wellington and they can’t manage a decent pedicure?

  6. dolceii says:

    @ 302 > The best thing. Ever!

    @ Mrs B > Yeah, I’m not sure about that whole particular ritual though. Leaves my skin feeling a little…um…desicated.

    @ Chew > *evil cackle* Today; Chewie. Tomorrow; the WORLD!

    @ Kyk > you seem nervous? A little stuttery? You need a massage, my boy!

  7. Katt says:

    It all sounds very decadent (as well as amusing and beautifully written) but you have just made me realise I have issues – I feel uncomfortable getting a haircut because it’s too intimate.

    I wonder if I can find a shrink near here…

  8. dolceii says:

    @ Katt > Sheesh! That’s appalling…And if you can find a shrink who will massage you while you’re “on the couch”, give me his number!

  9. Parenthesis says:

    Kyk: Wellinghton was famous for his boots, yes? Perhaps this is why, the lad was to ashamed to ponce about on his naked tootsies? 😉
    dolceii: the spa at Diemersfontein rocks. Ahem.

  10. dolceii says:

    @ Parenthesis > good point. And Wellies might be fabulous, when worn in winter, but they can induce foot rot if worn too often. I know. Don’t ask me how. But I know.

    And we went to Diemersfontein. To try the Merlot. And I snaffled a voucher for the spa. I’m now doubly tempted to return. Thank you, sharer of good spa news!

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