Wednesday, April 28, 2010

World of girls

There are no men allowed in the Sanctuary in Covent Garden, where I have just spent the day with my (currently literally) fragrant friend K, who gets credit both for this post title and for generally making it happen. It was the final leg of my 40th birthday celebrations and the first leg of hers. Our package deal was called Girls' Delight, which made me squirm a little, as did the house copies of Tatler and the invitation, during my Sleep Retreat, to enter my very own secret garden.
 
But mostly it was a gorgeous experience. There is a sauna and steam room, and a pool big enough for proper swimming. Upstairs is the Koi Carp lounge, featuring koi carp and lounging. For the latter, there are double bed size cushions for friends, blankets for snoozing, and quite the loveliest ginger and honey tea imaginable. There's also the famous pool with the swing, and a super-hot hot tub tucked into a stairwell.

And no men. Which somehow felt appropriate for a sanctuary, but it took a bit of getting used to. We discussed -- among many other things, of course -- how far back behind the scenes this womanliness extends. Is it a philosophy, or a business decision? Are there men working in the kitchens? In the laundry room? Do they come out at night to change the lightbulbs, or is there an army of maintenance women in dungarees?

On the way to the pool, we passed the Plant Room. As in plant room, not as in greenhouse. I'm betting they have men in there. But if not, what an amazing place to work *that* must be.

joella

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