5 easy ways to re-create luxury spa at home

We can all agree that with a lack of social commitments and mixed anxieties thanks to lockdown, this would be the perfect time to check into a luxury spa – if we were allowed to.

A little pampering goes a long way at the best of times and right now it’s more important than ever to be able to feel at zen at least once a week. With the large offering of DIY facial tools, candles and essential oils to choose from, we’ve selected five of our favourite products that you can use to recreate a luxury spa experience in your very own home.

Start your spa session with a hot bath

Start your day surrounded by the scent of cherry blossom and rice milk. This foaming shower gel from Rituals uses unique technology to transform the gel into a silky soft cleansing foam when it comes in contact with water.

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Click here to shop the Foaming Sakura Shower Foam from Rituals; £8.50 

 

Exfoliate! 

Exfoliating not only helps to increase your blood flow it can also increase your collagen production which means stronger and more toned skin. Begin at the ankles and brush in circular motions over the body for at least 5 minutes. This zero-waste bath and shower mitt from Holland and Barrett makes exfoliating easy and is great for sensitive skin.

 

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Click here to shop the Exfoliating Mitt from Holland and Barrett; £4.00

 

Relax with a delicious hot drink

Pukka Relax tea is a unique blend of calming herbs with amazing soothing benefits. It’s best enjoyed towards the end of the day. The combination of chamomile flower, fennel seed, ginger and marshmallow root help to release any stress and tension that has built up throughout the day.

 

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Click here to shop Relax Herbal Tea from Pukka; £2.99

 

Feed your skin

Shea butter is known for its intensely nourishing properties. In West Africa it has been used for centuries due to its never-ending list of benefits for hair and skin. 

This Luxury Size Shea Butter from L’Occitane will not only last you ages but its fluid formula will soothe feelings of skin tightness. Best used after showering or bathing. An essential product during cold months. 

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Click here to shop The Rich Shea Butter Body Lotion from L’Occitane; £40

 

Rest and reset

As we all know, sleep is essential to wake up feeling energized and alert but did you know it’s also essential for repairing the skin? The Overnight Reset Serum from L’Occitane will help transform your skin with its amazing ingredients which include Marjoram and Acmella Oleacera. Together these ingredients help activate gene expression functions, relax muscle tension and help to smooth the appearance of fine lines and expressions lines.

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Click here to shop The Overnight Reset Serum from L’Occitane; £50 for 30ml

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

After a year of social distancing, mask wearing, and generally keeping yourself to yourself wherever possible, we can all feel a little out of practice when it comes to sharing. Love in the time of lockdown can feel hard to keep hold of, but that’s why it’s so important to keep sharing it. Whether you’re digitally dating, jumping on the family video chat, or painting the living-room red with all the single ladies and lads; this Valentine’s everyone is invited. Here are some ideas to help you share the love.

 

For her
Accessorize Love Wash Bag

Nothing says you’re spreading the love like embroidering it on a beautiful wash bag – the perfect little gift for someone in your life who could do with feeling pampered and spoiled.

 

 

For him
L’Occitane Eau de Toilette

You might not be able to glam up and hit the town this Valentine’s Day, but that’s no reason not to look, feel, and smell your best. Bring a splash of class to someone’s lockdown with great gift sets from L’Occitane.

For the fitness lover
Frame Gift Card

Suggesting someone get fit can be a minefield, be careful you don’t offend! But maybe you can both join forces and power-up together, with Frame offering classes that range from fun party vibes to high intensity full-on fitness.

 

 

For the friend with sweet tooth
Hotel Chocolat Hamper

Now you’ve got the fitness sorted, your loved ones can enjoy some guilt-free treats! Hotel Chocolat has packages and bundles big and small, so you can say “treat yourself” in the most delicious way possible.

 

For the person you haven’t seen for a while
Typo Gin & Lemon Card

Raise a glass to your digital squad and surprise with a little reminder that you’re thinking of them, adding a touch of the personal and physical to those Friday Zoom drinks. Alcohol-free options also available from Typo.

School’s In!

School’s In!

One parent wonders how maths could have changed in the last 20 years, while the other frantically Googles “Where were the Romans from?” Homeschooling is back, and many are pondering a simple question: who will teach the teachers? We’ll leave the curriculum up to the schools and the excellent new resources from the BBC, but here are a few ideas on how to make the most of the other extra time you now have with the kids. 

 

Learn Together

Now as both parent and teacher, you will be expected to know the answer to any question – you are the fount of all knowledge. If that sounds a little too daunting, perhaps choose to learn together, and choose subjects that you’re all into! There is a world of educational videos and apps online, covering everything from science and history, to music and language. We love Backyard Science and the NASA channel on YouTube, but there are many, many more. Don’t think of it as the kid’s learning from home – maybe it’s time for you to go back to school!

 

Get Crafty

Channel your inner Tony Hart, Neil Buchanan, or similarly beloved TV that this writer is now too old to recognise. Art will brighten up any home, and working on it together with your kids will give it a – ahem – rustic charm that can’t be bought from a store. Typo has craft kits that let all ages and abilities create wall-worthy artwork, while Flying Tiger is giving away loads of colouring sheets and DIY templates from their website. Please ask permission from your significant other before getting out the glue gun.

 

Fitness 

Joe Wicks might have the P.E. class sorted, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn exercise into a family activity. Kids will miss the social side of sport and keeping fit, with activities like football, dance, swimming and hiking all sadly on pause. Now is the time to form your own team, Team Family! Show them your best yoga, HIIT, and Zumba moves, with online classes available from Frame throughout lockdown. Get everyone in on the act, with even the smallest children proving useful as additional resistance during weights sessions.

 

Cooking

Instil in your children a lifelong love of food, or put yourself off pasta for the rest of time. There’s no more traditional and wholesome family bonding activity than cooking, though there’s plenty of ammunition for a fight should a foodie falling-out occur. Keep the harmony, and give them a head start in the home economics classes by discussing nutrition, balanced diets, and diverse food from around the world. Try everything and find out their favourites – you might have the next Junior Masterchef on your hands.

Well, Well, Well!

New year, new you? It’s hard not to feel like nothing has changed – with lockdowns, social distancing and working from home all still dominating many people’s lives. Zoom Zumba classes, eccentric new hobbies and mountains of home baked banana bread might seem very last year, but there’s plenty of reason to treat this January as a chance to help lift yourself and others out of the lockdown gloom, and start to feel that golden, summery light at the end of the tunnel. We’re not talking crash courses or restrictive resolutions, but a few small steps.

Connect

Have your group chats gone quiet and your video calls become a sea of blank rectangles? The spirit of last spring astounded and amazed, showing the lengths people will go to stay in touch with loved ones, and find new ways to meet, and share, and laugh. Don’t let lockdown fatigue set in. We’re all social animals, and however small, want to feel part of something bigger than ourselves. Reconnect, reminisce, and plan for when you can be together again. We hope your love is stronger than your patchy Wi-Fi.

Be Active

Though you may have mastered the art of the living room personal fitness routine, there’s more to being active than a few pushups in front of your confused chihuahua. It can be easy to get lost in the box-sets, turn off your brain, and wait for this whole thing to blow over. Make sure you treat your mind like you treat your muscles, with workout days as well as rest days. Try news things, rediscover lost passions – anything that gets you interested, excited, or amused. Take your brain out for its government approved daily exercise.

Turn Off

With body and mind taken care of, the importance of those rest days is clear. We need separation between the different, competing aspects of our lives – something that can be hard to find when one place becomes your home, workplace, romantic getaway, kid’s adventure playground, and Friday night out with the squad (dinner, drinks, dancing by the dishwasher.) As best as you can, try to keep these things separate, and create activities that help you transition between them. Walk round the block before work, or get glammed up for the weekend Zoom drinks. 

Give Back

The best way to achieve all these tips is to forget yourself, and do it for someone else. Nothing connects better, is more active, or gets you out of your own head more than helping and caring for friends and strangers alike. It’s easy to feel helpless in the face of something like the coronavirus pandemic, so the best thing to do is act. We’ve seen how much support, strength and joy is out there for our key workers, our NHS – and all in spite of being forced apart and isolated. Get talking, get involved!

 

Pret Veganuary

Pret’s vegan menu is here for your meat free Mondays, Sundays and every day in between. Try one of their new recipes, like the Meatless Meatball Hot Wrap or Chef’s Special Sunshine ‘N Spice Wrap, or reunite with vegan icons like the freshly baked Dark Chocolate & Almond Butter Cookie.

 

Meatless Meatball Wrap

Vegan classic. A vegan version of the Swedish Meatball Hot Wrap, created with chunky vegan meatballs flavoured with garlic and herb on a layer of red tapenade, chipotle ketchup and red onions. Topped with red pepper and finished with a sprinkling of crispy onions.

Sunshine ‘N Spice Wrap

Chef’s Special. Curried chickpeas mixed with ginger, lime, & creamy vegan mayo, on a layer of sweet mango chutney. Topped with fresh mint, sliced red pepper, spinach and cucumber.

Vegan Breakfast Baguette

New year, new breakfast. The new Vegan Breakfast Baguette is loaded with creamy smashed avocado topped with roasted mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

The Vegan Cookie

A rich dark chocolate cookie, studded with melting chocolate chunks and crunchy almond pieces, enriched with almond butter and sprinkled with a little sea salt.

Lockdown Update

We’ve all been eyeing it up, so maybe now is the time to break into that special Christmas stash and pour ourselves all a large drink. We’ve all just learned of the new Tier 4 restrictions for London, changing the festive plans of many, and requiring Angel Central stores to close their doors, with takeaway and delivery services open only.

We’re encouraging everyone to stay at home and stop the spread, while maintaining a safe shopping environment for those using click-and-collect and takeaway services. Keep an eye on our social media for updates and information, including any changes to opening times or government guidelines.

These tighter restrictions will result in many disrupted and cancelled plans, and people left isolated from family and friends. With many ‘big shops’ already done, some will be left with food going to waste, while others will find it too late to pull together a last minute Christmas. Wherever we can Angel Central will support our locals and the wider Islington community in ensuring these people are not forgotten. We’ll share information and resources online, with contributions most welcome.

Don’t forget you can support local food banks at home with Angel Central’s Christmas karaoke filter! Find out more.

Rituals personal shopping experience

Rituals care about your well-being and so, this festive season, they are opening their doors for one-on-one personal shopping experiences.


Schedule your slot to discover our luxurious gift sets and more. A team member will personally guide you through the store at a safe distance, answering any shopping questions you may have. Use it as a moment to treat yourself or to buy your gifts for the festive season.

Book now and you’ll receive a free goodie bag.* Hurry, limited slots available!
 

*Receive a free goodie bag with your purchase during your personal shopping timeslot. One goodie bag per person. The products in the goodie bag may differ. Only valid in selected Rituals stores, limited number of spots available.

Be the Voice of Angel this Christmas!

Sing-a-long this Christmas and help raise money for charity.

Angel Central have launched their very own Christmas filter and we want you to get involved!

This winter, food banks are expecting to give out an emergency parcel every 9 seconds. Before the year is out, an estimated 670,000 more people could find themselves unable to afford just the essentials, nevermind a Christmas celebration with all the trimmings.

Angel Central is supporting The Trussell Trust – the UK’s largest food bank network – to fundraise for Islington Food Bank and help hundred of local families and people in need.

We’re calling on our Islington locals to channel their inner diva, find their X-Factor, and become the Voices of Angel.

How to get involved and help raise money for charity:
  1. Head over to our Instagram, swipe across from the main grid and tap on the face filter icon
  2. Select our ‘Xmas Karaoke!’ filter and tap ‘Try it’
  3. Record your Christmas karaoke – all you’ve got to do is give us your best Mariah or Bublé!
  4. Post the video to your Story, tag @angel_central and #VoicesOfAngel

For every video posted Angel Central will donate £5 to the Islington food bank.

Be part of a growing movement to create a Hunger Free Future! Visit trusselltrust.org for more information on The Trussell Trust.

*T&C’s apply*
Only one video per person will be accepted as an entry for a donation. Users must tag @angel_central and use the hashtag #voicesofangel for the video to count towards a donation.

Chocolate happiness, gifted with elegance

The festive season isn’t just one day. It’s debating when to put up the tree, and when it’s too early for mince pies. It’s making your list and checking it twice. It’s sneaking a shake of your presents, and the look on their faces when they open theirs. At Hotel Chocolat, it’s our mission to help you gift chocolate happiness, never more so than at this time of year.

We invent, create and ribbon-tie your gifts so we can see for ourselves that they’re perfect, down to the finest detail. From festive sleeves, Selector gift boxes and chic bottle bags to Concierge bags and wicker hampers, it’s the attention to detail that means you can look forward to big smiles and you-shouldn’t-have head-tilts when your gifts are opened this year.

The Handpicked Christmas Collection

The Chocolatier’s Tables
Epic and unadulterated, this show-stopping collection makes a fantastic party centrepiece, an unforgettable gift or a way to share dessert.

Rather Large Cracker
The big bang.  An unapologetically large cracker, filled with 40 chocolates, 12 paper hats – and one serious snap!

The Chocolate Wreath Box
Adorn your kitchen cupboard with The Chocolate Wreath Box. Filled to the brim with caramels, pralines and truffles, treat yourself to your favourite festive chocolate bites. Perfect to tuck into as you trim your tree and deck the halls.

 

The Grand Chocolate Wreath Box
Weighing in at over a kilo of chocolate, we don’t think you’ll be swapping these for a Christmas wreath made out of holly any time soon! This epic creation includes 84 chocolates and six festive wreaths and is carefully curated to have the “wow” factor all chocolate boxes should.

Visit hotelchocolat.com to shop the full Christmas range online.