Elli and Oli’s wedding was inspired by the letter B (for Bates, their surname) and with a colour palate of soft pinks and peach.
“We bought all the props secondhand, or used things we (and our friends) already had at home such lanterns, fairylights and birdcages”, said Elli. “We had all sorts of things starting with B, from the bridesmaids books to plastic bugs we painted green and put tiny hearts on (lovebugs!) My bridesmaids and one of their boyfriends even helped me decorate a 3 foot tall free-standing B with flowers, as well as folded 400 paper cranes! One of the other bridesmaids created our dog Isabelle’s outfit and she definitely was the cutest one there!”
The bridesmaids all wore pink dresses of their own choosing to match the theme and the whole venue was decked out with plenty of flowers and foliage. “I’m Italian and Oli is English so we also want a bit of a English/ Italian theme. We wanted our wedding to reflect us, so we picked all the things we like and threw them in the mix. Our florist helped with this and we had olive trees and wine baskets filled with herbs on the tables. The venue looked and smelt amazing!”
Last week Gareth and I were invited to Urban Retreat, the spa in Harrods, to have their unique hammam experience and it was so weird/ awesome/ relaxing/ fun that I thought I’d share it with you! I also think it would be a super fun pre-wedding treat for either you and your fiance, or with a gaggle of hens. They even offer bridal and hen do packages.
I’ve been to Morocco three times but I’ve never actually done a hammam. For those of you that don’t know, its kind of the Islamic version of a roman bath. It’s something most locals do least weekly, and if you want to sweat away your troubles and get the scrubbing of a lifetime then you’ll love it!
Harrods have partnered with the Royal Mansour in Marrakech to bring the experience to London and all their therapists trained by people who actually perform hammams in Morocco. The princess of Morocco has even visited the Harrods version and gave it her seal of approval! Although definitely a more luxurious interpretation than you might find in the Marrakech Medina, the experience is very authentic.
Genders are usually separated but on Thursday afternoons Urban Retreat offer a mixed session, which is when Gareth and I went. There was actually no-one else there at the same time, but just be aware if you do go to a mixed session someone of the opposite sex may see you in a robe and or some very skimpy pants!
After changing into aforementioned skimpy pants and a snugly robe, we were led through the relaxation area and into the ‘warm room’, which is set at 30ºC. We put argan oil in our hair to protect it and were left to acclimatise to the heat for about ten minutes. Our therapists then arrived and lead us into the ‘hot room’ which is marble from floor to ceiling with a bubbling fountain in the middle… oh and is set at 45ºC! We were told to take our robes off and then taken into separate private marble ‘booths’ and asked to lie on the floor.