Indonesian Ginger at Nutmeg Spa

I don’t very often make it over to Hemel Hempstead anymore.  When I was a fairly nerdy teenager, growing up on the mean streets of Berkhamsted, Hemel was where it was at.  You could go swimming there, for heaven’s sake, and there were actual shops (remember Chelsea Girl?) that the 14-year-old me could wander round and feel just the littlest bit cool.  Not so much now I’m happily embracing middle age (I know, I know, I don’t look a day over… er… let’s stop there, shall we?) and a bit less impressed by cheap clobber and checking out spotty boys in Burger King.

But Nutmeg Spa has been tempting me over there recently to their gorgeous oases of calm and pampering.  They have two salons in Hemel Hempstead – one up at Bridens Camp, (more Gaddesden than Hemel to be honest) and one on the Old High Street.

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I booked in at their Bridens Camp salon the other day to try out their Indonesian Ginger manicure – which makes me hungry just saying the name – which is a new treatment for them and one that promised to be something a bit more than just ‘getting your nails done.’

And it was.  I got to lay on the couch, just like for a facial – always happy to get my feet up – and properly relax.  The whole process was deeply relaxing, actually.  Lots of warm water, loaded with mineral salts and flower petals and crystals, in which to soak my hands – in lovely little claw-foot-tub shaped basins, and the smell of the ginger in the products was positively mouth-watering.

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And while my hands were getting all soft and lovely – I was enjoying a head and shoulder massage that had me quietly drifting off into somewhere else altogether.  By the time I had to choose the colour, I would quite happily have just stayed there most of the day.

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The thing I loved the absolutely most, though, was that the treatment incorporated a hot stone hand massage.  It was utterly blissful – my hands, massaged with hot stones until they were as relaxed as they could possibly be.  And as someone who types a lot, relaxing those fingers felt brilliant.

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Nutmeg Spa have just moved house, too.  Earlier this week, they moved their in-town salon a bit further up the High Street — from 55 to 81 — into what looks like an equally lovely new premises with some real character.  If you’ve not been there before, it’s definitely worth popping in.  There’s a really lovely atmosphere – very calm, very relaxing – and the Indonesian Ginger manicure?  Delish.

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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Hertfordshire