SALON: Metta, 74 Mortimer Street, W1W 7RZ
NEAREST TUBE: Oxford Circus/Goodge Street
FOR: Incredible and effective massagesBooking a massage is like playing Russian Roulette with Derren Brown live on Channel 4.You hand over your control and body to a stranger, trusting that they know what they’re doing. And quite possibly, it could end in tears and injury.
At least with Derren, there is no nakedness involved.
London, in particular, offers no obvious guidance on where to start looking – ultimately it’s chance to whether you’ll have the most luxurious, nurturing experience of your life, or have mistaken the venue for a 24-hour sauna, and experienced something very different altogether.
Massages are a true luxury; the one-in-a-rare-while treat when I’m feeling fairly down and out. So no pressure, massage salons of London, but I have high expectations.
Metta was an accidental find – I’d just started working in the Fiztrovia area, and it was the result of a desperate last-minute Wahanda search on a grey Friday lunchtime. It looked reputable, and I was hopeful.
From the moment I entered the salon, I felt lighter. Offered a cup of herbal tea (always appreciated), Maria introduced herself with a warm smile. Call me a cynical Northerner, but smiling seems to be a dying occurance anywhere south of Manchester.
I was led into the treatment room and met with a foot bath and dressing gown. The massage itself was lush (and I never use that word). Firm, effective but conscientious. Maria was responsive to my issues and tension, something that isn’t as common as you’d think.
I left the spa feeling like I’d been cast as the lead in a Special K advert.
I’ve since been a couple of times when time and finances allow, and each time has been brilliant. At the latest appointment, I was particularly gloomy about a leg injury which has stopped me dancing (more on that later). I tried to apply a mask of faux-happiness, but Maria sensed my true self almost instantly. It is rare to find such empathy at a GP surgery, let alone a spa in busy central London. Thank you Maria and Metta, for becoming my trusted massage salon of Londontown.