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January 10, 2020

The Bath House – London’s newest and truest Russian banya

A beautiful new Russian banya, The Bath House in Belgravia has opened. Spacious, light and welcoming, the emphasis is placed on delivering balance and relaxation at the newly opened Russian banya. Located near to Victoria station and just moments from The Goring Hotel, The Bath House offers an effective, restorative experience for the wellness-focused guest, blending the traditions of an authentic Russian bathhouse with the best of the contemporary spa.

The Bath House, which exudes an ambience of sophisticated elegance, returns ancient holistic healing back to the modern-day. Split level and housed within a beautiful listed building at 1 Grosvenor Gardens, if offers a spacious reception area, changing rooms, flexible treatment rooms for both wet and dry treatments, shimmering plunge pool, sauna and tipping buckets, all to the backdrop of beautiful mosaics of renowned Russian bathing depictions.

The Parenie Ritual is not to be missed. Parenie in a steam room is never performed when your body is cold, so it is essential to prepare the body gradually. On entering the steam room for the first time, you begin that process. That first visit to the steam room shouldn’t last longer than 7 minutes. Initially, it will increase the blood pressure, but after some time in the steam room, your blood vessels will start to expand, and blood pressure will fall. Banya stimulates the cardiovascular system and improves blood circulation, affecting the heart in a similar way to cardiovascular exercise like running, swimming or cycling.
 
A second visit to the steam room is longer and lasts around 10-15 minutes. The body will start to sweat intensively as it becomes accustomed to the heat, and you will also begin to expel toxins at this point. After a second round in the steam room, it’s beneficial to take a contrast shower. 
 
After time in the steam room, some like to experience the contrast of cold water and will submerge themselves in the ice-cold plunge pool or tip a bucket of cold water over themselves. For the brave and seasoned banya goer perhaps! Also, take time to rest and rehydrate, drink traditional Russian drinks like kvas, mors (cranberry beverage) or herbal tea.

Experience the ritual of Parenie

Once your body is prepared and accustomed to the heat of the steam room, the ritual of parenie can begin. No visit to the Russian banya is complete without this. The banshik, who performs the treatment, will accompany you to a private steam room where he will throw water on the stove to achieve the optimum temperature and humidity during parenie. At this point he will use an oak or birch leaf venik, which has been soaked in hot water and is supple, to move the steam around, using it to massage your body. The aroma of the leaves, the effect of the steam and massage itself combine to produce a truly refreshing and organic treatment. Venik massage requires skill and experience. It’s designed to help aid weight loss, remove harmful toxins, rejuvenate the skin and improve metabolism.

Felt hat: an integral part of the banya experience

Contrary to what some might think, felt hats in the Russian banya are not for decoration. They are designed to prevent your head from overheating by helping to maintain stable body temperature. They also help prevent damage to your hair from the heat in the steam room. That’s why it’s so important to always keep your hat on when you are in the steam room.

The Bath House also offers invigorating treatments such as organic body scrubs, washes and soap massages on the hot stone.  Conventional massage is also available and there are two deeply peaceful, aromatic hay rooms to relax in after your treatments.

A: 1 Grosvenor Gardens, Belgravia, London, SW1W 0BD
T: 0203 906 2060
W: Russian Banya

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