#GirlsDayOut2: how to be beautiful in Croydon


By - Tuesday 30th January, 2018

A bunch of former Croydonians go in search of pampering, CR0 style


Photo by The Beauty Parlour, Sanderstead, used with permission.

Meeting old friends you’ve not seen in a while is both a delight and, if you are the reunion organiser, daunting, as I explained in my recent article, #GirlsDayOut. it’s even more terrifying if you’re worried that perhaps – but hopefully not too often – there’ll be an awkward lull in conversation… that point at which in the UK we tend to speak about the weather. Or, if you’re in London, house prices. Or, if you’re in Croydon, about gentrification. With a pregnant pause in mind during a ‘girls’ day out’ after a fab lunch at Yumn Brasserie in Boxpark and a little street art in the centre of town, some ‘me time’ was in order for the ‘girls’.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, relaxing and reducing stress is something that becomes more and more important as you get older, and provision of it is an avenue that is blossoming. There’s a plethora of routes opening in Croydon to cater to both new residents and old, looking for that crucial piece of ‘me time’: places such art groups, crafting, gyms, Pilates, mindfulness, and yoga centres, many run by people who’ve recently retrained for self-employment in the post economic-crash world. Some work in plush purpose-built spaces in the new hotels or in housing developments sprouting up in Croydon, others in ‘meanwhile spaces’, hairdressing salons or even in local church halls. However, after a lush lunch and wine at Boxpark, such excursions as yoga or Pilates were not my plan. No, it was time to lay back and have a spa pamper, another area of growth in Croydon at every level from luxury hotel spas to shopping centre pop-ups.

A simple, elegant feel with treatments at reasonable prices

Photo author’s own.

Normally for a girls’ reunion I’d have booked us into a plush London spa for the afternoon. However, in these times of change in Croydon, and of tighter budgets, I felt that we could do just as well in our past and present home town. Having already spent money on a leisurely lunch in Boxpark, I wanted somewhere that was good value, a short journey from East Croydon, relaxing and most importantly dedicated solely to the fine art of beauty treatments. I was delighted to find that, trawling through the internet, the choice of beauty spas in Croydon was immense in terms of venue, location, and the pampering treatments available. What was most shocking was the price differences between the venues on offer.

My search landed on The Beauty Parlour in Sanderstead Village’s high street, only a ten minute drive from East Croydon station. It offered a full range of treatments at reasonable prices since it was refurbished in 2017. When we entered the spa, its clean fresh decor was matched by the smiling fresh faces of its team of four beauty experts, and as we sat down on the plush sofa, each of us were offered a drink of mineral water, juice, herb tea, tea, or coffee.

On the morning of our girlie day, I had booked each of us a one-hour full body massage. However, it was explained that as there were three of us and only two masseurs that day, one of us would have to wait. In recompense for this, the manager offered a heavily discounted luxury pedicure with her second-year apprentice. I jumped at the chance of having two treatments in one afternoon, but didn’t want to upset my friends. However, they expressed their delight at having a post-massage gossip over a snack whilst they waited for my massage to finish.

Who’d have thought that suburban Croydon could offer such sensual delights?

Photo author’s own.

As my friends were escorted off to their individual treatment rooms to the rear of the store, my luxury pedicure started. My lovely trainee helped me select a colour from a super selection of nail polishes by CND Vinylux and a massage oil for my pedicure. The beauty trainee then escorted me to the foot spa area in the middle area of the store, a little exposed to those entering the spa but very comfortable. There she made up a super warm and deliciously fragrant foot bath. I relaxed whilst she massaged each foot, did a pedicure, and finished with a two-layered varnish of my toes – this varnish lasted over two weeks.

As my luxury pedicure finished, my two friends came out from their small but elegantly appointed treatment rooms, refreshed and delighted with what they exclaimed was a fantastic massage. Bearing in mind both are regular spa users, one living in Dublin and one in Auckland, I was relieved they felt it so professional here in little old Croydon. They sat down in the sofas in the window of the spa and settled down to more drinks offered by the staff whilst I was then lead into a small but lovely treatment room, scented by an aroma of sandalwood and cedar. The ensuing one-hour full body massage was fantastic and as good as any I’ve experienced in luxury spas such as Champneys, and yet at less then half the price. Who’d have thought that suburban Croydon could entertain such sensual and relaxing delights?


The Beauty Parlour Sanderstand is open from Monday-Saturday. To make an appointment, call 0208 7744 700.

Josi Kiss

Josi Kiss

Josi grew up in Croydon and is of mixed European heritage; indeed, she was once called a ‘European mongrel’ and is very proud of the fact she comes from a refugee background. A former designer and retail expert Josi worked for twenty years in buying for two of the world's most famous department stores. After living and working around the world, she returned to live in Croydon in 2001 with the aim of creating a life/work/joy balance. Her world travels have increased her passion for her much maligned and misrepresented home town of Croydon, especially its forgotten green spaces and parks. Josi is currently co-chair of the Friends of Park Hill Park, Croydon's central park, and also a director of Made in Croydon CIC, a not for profit community interest company working to promote, connect and commission artists & designers who live, work or are inspired by Croydon.

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  • Anne Giles

    You have really made my day!
    I live in Selsdon and have yet to find somewhere where I can have a massage which I am happy with. I must ring them!

    • Anne Giles

      I have just booked The Beauty Parlour for a full body aromatherapy massage tomorrow and told her about your article.

  • AHM

    All sounds very nice, but it isn’t a spa, it’s a beauty parlour and that’s why it’s cheaper.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_spa

    • Anne Giles

      Which is all I need.

      • AHM

        That’s great for you, but not really my point.

        • Anne Giles

          I would still call it a spa. I have no interest in your Wikipedia definition. They have a foot spa. Therefore, they are a spa. If the writer defines this as a spa and the editors agree with the definition, then I am happy to call it a spa.

          • AHM

            The definition that a spa should have a pool/jacuzzi/sauna etc is a helpful way to differentiate when people are looking for something specific.

            I have nothing against this business, which by all accounts is lovely, but it’s not a spa. Sometimes editorial contains errors. It’s not worth getting upset over.

          • Anne Giles

            Thanks!

  • Anne Giles

    I had my full body aromatherapy massage today at The Beauty Parlour and it was absolutely wonderful! I would thoroughly recommend it. Helped my back pain no end.