Banya No.1 | Spa Time – The Russian Way Gent on the street 9 July, 2018 A good dose of relaxation and recuperation is always necessary. Spa time is an obvious choice but a Russian Spa? Now that is a new experience for us at Street Gentry. So last week I visited Banya No.1, an authentic Russian Spa in Hoxton. With friendly staff to greet you upon entry, the banya oozes tranquillity and calmness. It did not take long to see how the banya differs from the typical sauna. The banya uses a brick furnace to heat water on a tonne of cast iron to generate high levels of steam to initiate profuse sweating, beneficial for detoxing. While the heat is like a blast furnace and does take some adjustment, it is most certainly a relaxing experience and again different from the usual sauna, the expectation is that you will be completely naked (when attending on a single gender day). Prior to my visit, a key source of intrigue had been the Parenie treatment and it certainly did not disappoint. A leafy, heated bundle of birch, oak or eucalyptus twigs are used to lightly flog and then compress the body, from legs to back and chest to relieve tension and stress and increase circulation. An invigorating treatment, this takes place in the sauna and is followed by mildly cold water dispensed from lofted buckets. The final stage, a dip into the cold plunge pool – the instant change from hot to cold aids adrenalin and hormone release. The true test of any treatment or therapy is how you feel in the aftermath. After a peaceful sleep I was back at work the following day feeling calm and without the usual aches of sitting at my desk for hours on end. Typically a visit of 3 hours is recommended to the banya and the intimate lounge area with booth seating is perfect whether you go solo, as a couple or in a group, to break up visits to the sauna. Banya No.1 clearly has total comfort in mind, each booth is fitted with a call button for table service so that you can choose from a selection of Russian delicacies and refreshments. With a vast range of treatments available and also a private room for group visits, Banya No.1 is a taste of Russia brought to London, a therapeutic and detoxing spa experience far removed from the typical spa visit. The best compliment to pay Banya No.1 is to say that I will definitely be returning soon. Head to Banya No.1 for further information and booking options.