I love saunas and banyas and hammams, and I’ll happily jump into a grey 6am sea. Why would anyone want to be cosy or tepid when there are excesses to be had?
So I was intrigued by 111CRYO/HEAT, a new double ‘contrast therapy’ treatment on offer at Harvey Nichols. First, you hop into a cryotherapy chamber for three minutes, before moving into an infrared sauna pod. Basically, it’s the chance to experience extreme cold and extreme heat in under 45 minutes.
I’d wanted to try cryotherapy for ages, but doubts set in as the appointment got nearer. Would I actually enjoy standing in shorts and a bra top (both provided) in a sealed shower cubicle-sized area that’s chilled to -30℃? Surprisingly, I did. The cold is supposed to help inflamed skin and joints, but the biggest instant effect is on your mood. I’d slept badly the previous night, but emerged from the chamber feeling post-espresso bright.
Next is the infra-red cocoon, which looks like a sci-fi space capsule. You climb in, close the cover and let light and heat surround you, while the base of the pod vibrates and massages. Again, it’s good for skin and extremely relaxing. I floated out onto Kensington High Street, glowing. Single 111CRYO treatment: £95 for 3 minutes. Single 111HEAT treatment: from £95 for 15 minutes