A Turkish bath (Hamam) is the Turkish variant of a steam bath, sauna or Russian bath, distinguished by a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam.
In Western Europe, the “Turkish bath” as a method of cleansing and relaxation became popular during the Victorian era. The process involved in taking a Turkish bath is similar to that of a sauna, but is more closely related to ancient Greek and ancient Roman bathing practices.
A person taking a Turkish bath first relaxes in a room (known as the warm room) that is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air, allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an even hotter room (known as the hot room) before splashing themselves with cold water. After performing a full body wash and receiving a massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation.
Well was I in for a treat! As it was my BFF birthday coming up it was suggested we go for a Hamam which we have been wanted to do since god knows when, well actually 4 yrs.!
I set off towards Stoke Newington @ approximately 15rs to get to the Hamam for 16hrs.
A beautiful sunny spring afternoon, I had a spring in my walk as I strolled down the high street. Stopping over @ the hairdressers to make an appointment for next week 7 peeping into shop windows pretending to be hopping!
I got to the hamam on time in fact it was exactly 15:58, I waited outside and watched as ‘Stokey’ went on about its business – like Saturday shopping. The afternoon buzzing as the sunshine beamed down.
I waited for about 15 minutes then decided I had had enough Vitamin D I was excited to get inside and start relaxing.
The organiser of this ‘Time Out Time’ and the rest of the girls were practicing Asian timing! I should have known as me being Ms Punctual never learns!
After twiddling thumbs, watching the clock tick away and eventually texting (by now it was 16:30) I reluctantly rang and was told the appointment was at 16:30 meeting at 4pm @ BFF’s House!
They were just leaving and it was suggested I go ahead… So I did!
I booked myself in and walked into the changing area where I was advised to get into the least possible but pink disinfected sandals that where a must throughout my Hamam. Once I was in my tankini top n briefs I hung around as I was not sure what to do, where to go so I had to ask ‘ where would you like me to go now?’
I was directed into the ‘bathroom’ a fairly good sized room covered in marble, with a large platform in the middle which was heated.
Decor was ok, it was not Istanbul, yet for a Turkish business it was a poor impression.
There were two other women in there already preparing for their Hamam. They were having a bath, shampooing, grooming, and hair removing the works! I was suddenly forced to watch tits, bums, Poom pooms of all shapes and sizes.
’Saf’ I thought ‘time to let go of your inhabitations, when in Rome do as the Romans do!’
Well I did, not to do all my grooming and stuff as I had done that already at home but to start warming up my body by cold water and steam. I spread my sarong onto the marble platform and placed a plastic pillow and started steam bathing like sun bathing but on a hot marble, throwing water onto my body to cope with heat.
In the meantime the 2 ladies who were proper bathing where moaning and groaning about anything and everything, mind at least they told me what to do as the staff did not!
I find that the Turkish customer service needs to be addressed as I have the same problem at my Laser appointment. They acknowledge their own but have no idea how to welcome others and sharing their concept…really weird.
Anyway , the reason the girls arrived as I was instructed by a member of staff to take my tankini off on sit in front of her, she was not as big as I thought a scrubber would be , so I thought easy peasy!
Boy was I wrong!
She put her mitts on and before you know it was easy peeling! I thought if she scrubs me any harder I will have no skin. The dirt that she scrubbed of me embarrassing but she continued at one point I thought scrub any harder and puppy’s will detached themselves from me, but I grinned and bared it!
After the scrub I was given a foam wash and gentle scrub where the fragrance was soothing and relaxing. Once washed off I was lead to massage room where the temperature dropped considerably but it was dark, aromatic n soft music in the background. The lady welcomed me, spoke to me calmly, soon I was in a relaxed mode as she massaged me down with oil.
I was falling into a frame of oneness with an instrumental version of ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’ when a complaint from another client was raised as well as her voice!! My masseur apologised for the not so relaxing atmosphere. I accepted her apology and tried to relax but that moment had gone. Once I finished there I had some face peel masked applied on me and was told relax for 10 minutes and wash it off.
I managed to chat to my girly girls as we moved along like on a conveyer belt, but as I was about half an hour ahead of them I kind missed out on the girly chit chat.
Overall a good experience but nothing can beat the Turkish baths in Istanbul.
Yes I would go back there as I think it’s worth the money – £40 on special offer. I may not go for the body massage as I am still aching from it. I should have known because I and massages do not complement each other. I think others were worse off than me!But it was fab to link up with the gals, as it was well overdue, they went onto have a meal as I went onto another invite.
I looked good and felt good and it was noticed by others. So, if you all fancy a hamam then it’s worth checking out.
Address: 4A Crossway, Stoke Newington