You could be tempted to fly to the Kempinski in Geneva to have the ancient Japanese facial called Ko-bi-do. Or the St. Pancras Spa in London. But Annabel and I decided to drive to the only other place (outside of Tokyo) that offers this ancient rejuvenating treatment. Which is Hastings. Yes, that rather tired seaside town which manages to cling to a little of the charm we all noticed when watching Foyle’s War. But only a little.
We parked outside The Wellington Centre where we had booked consecutive appointments with Karen Dunn. The only flights we had to negotiate were flights and flights of stairs. Trying to disguise my breathlessness as we entered the peaceful treatment room, I lay on a warm couch, was cosseted in blankets and my one hour ko-bi-do began.
Billed as a holistic anti-ageing facial massage that rejuvenates, lifts, firms and plumps, it works by concentrating on mind, body, spirit and emotions all at once. The very fast, firm, pinching strokes felt amazing and within seconds I was relaxed and trying not to drift off to sleep in case I missed any of this wonderful massage. Lemon essential oils, unctuous manuka honey and hot towels also played an important part of what was turning out to be the best facial treatment I have ever had.
Ko-bi-do is becoming increasingly popular with, primarily, baby boomers. This organic massage was originally developed for 4th, 16th or 17th century (according to which blurb you read) Japanese emperors and their empresses. Well, I felt like royalty as Karen worked on my face – releasing tension, improving my circulation and giving me a ‘natural facelift’. I did not see a noticeable wrinkle reduction at the time, but three days later when I looked in the mirror… I did. Long may that last. Karen recommends having a ko-bi-do every 6 – 8 weeks and at £55 for a glorious hour of pampering, I may just be making the two hour to Hastings again (and again).