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Four ways to sleigh your self-care routine this Christmas

The festive period is not without its challenges, but you’ll have the means to see off any seasonal slump by following our guide to looking after yourself luxuriously this December

30 November 2023

Image: Alamy

Look, we all love Christmas. The gifts, the parties, the family gatherings. But with all these fabulously festive goings-on comes overspending, overeating, over-imbibing, and being reminded by your Great Aunt Elaine about that one time you didn’t send a thank-you letter for the Christmas jumper she spent three months knitting. 

In other words, the most wonderful time of the year can also be the most stressful.

Taking care of yourself is key to surviving December – and remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why we’re here to help you battle the mince pie and mulled wine overload the Chelsea way: with pampering, presents and a partridge in a pear tree. OK, perhaps not the pear tree (although there is one in Duke of York Square!) – but a pair of new Prada loafers? Now you’re talking. 

Health boosters

Christmas in London is an exciting, electric affair. Just glimpsing the floating lights in Sloane Square is enough to give you a little tingle of anticipation. However, a runny nose and scratchy throat are two accessories we can all do without this December. Staying healthy is partly a matter of luck, of course, but you can stack the odds in your favour with a few extra additions to your diet and routine. 

Kefir, a fermented milk probiotic, is full of B12, which supports your immune system and is a good natural substitute for taking lots of vitamins in tablet form. Try picking some up from Waitrose or Partridges and substituting it for your breakfast coffee a few mornings a week. A balanced diet can also help you fight off the lurgy, but for those of us eating on the go, a smoothie packed with green veggies is a great way to get some of the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Try Raw Press’s Extravert with kale, spinach and avocado; it’s also perfect for combatting the classic 3 pm slump. 

 

Move it

Science tells us that moderate exercise can help boost our immune system and improve sleep quality (which also improves immune function). So take in a Vinyasa Yoga class at KXU, reformer pilates at Vita Boutique or simply dance the night away at Sumosan Twiga every chance you get – both will help you stay healthy this winter.

Restorative treatments

December is full of catch-22s. We all want to look our best for this glittering social season of eating out, parties and late nights in Sloane Street’s chicest bars and restaurants – but canapés, cocktails and a lack of sleep can start to take their toll on one’s face and body. 

So, if you are feeling the kind of seasonal stress that only full-body pampering can fix? The Peak Spa at The Carlton Tower Jumeirah has your back (and front, and basically any other body part you can think of). Pick a pal and indulge in the two-hour Relaxing Time for Two treatment, designed to ‘alleviate fatigue and allow the body to reach a tranquil, calm state’. We particularly recommend it to anyone trying to find the perfect gift for their mother-in-law.

 

Face-tuning

If your visage is in need of a pick-me-up,, ‘super facialist’ Teresa Tarmey has a menu of jaw-droppingly (or, more accurately, jaw-tighteningly) effective treatments on offer at The Cadogan, A Belmond Hotel to keep you looking fresh-faced and party-primed. We recommend the Rejuvenation Mega Boost for all-round revitalisation. 

Knowing that an unforgiving iPhone camera flash is never far away at Christmas, a visit to Sarah Chapman’s gorgeous Skinesis Clinic is a must. There are so many treatments to choose from depending on your personal skin goals, from peels to laser and microneedling, but for a general all-rounder we suggest the Bespoke Facial with Endymed Radio Frequency. Trust us, if anyone can get you looking and feeling fabulous, it’s the queen of high-tech facial perfection herself.

 

High-tech helpers

Prefer a side of science with your wellness? Flavia Morellato has what you need. Located in the Jo Hansford Salon on Harvey Nichols’ Fourth Floor, Morellato and her team offer lymphatic drainage treatments that help to detoxify the body and face using her patented Flavia Morellato Method. 

In fact, Harvey Nichols has a whole range of in-store services specialising in tech-enabled wellness. If you’re suffering from a touch of SAD (that’s seasonal affective disorder – a reaction to winter’s shorter, darker days), we recommend nipping into The Light Salon for an LED treatment. Not only do these non-invasive sessions give you energy, they stabilise, strengthen and support the skin’s structure, so you’ll emerge glowing and ready to take on the office Christmas party.

 

Hot and cold

Looking for a full-body service? Try 111 Cryo (also inside Harvey Nichols). Cryotherapy has a myriad of health benefits; for party season, some of the most appealing are decreased fatigue, radiant skin and even weight loss. There is an Unlimited One Month subscription for cryo sessions, so you can let it snow all December long. (OK, so it doesn’t actually involve snow, but it’s definitely chilly, so let us have this one.)

At the other end of the spectrum, there’s KXU’s infrared sauna. If you’ve been hitting the dancefloor hard and your joints are paying the price, nothing feels as good as lying back and letting the heat heal you. Not to mention the added benefits of improved circulation and aiding better and deeper sleep.

Hangover cures

On those inevitable mornings-after-the-nights-before, having an arsenal of tried-and-true remedies to get you back on track is absolutely vital. First and foremost, stay hydrated, friends. For every glass of fizz you have during the night, try to knock back a glass of water too. It’s obvious but it bears repeating.

Once the damage is done, rehydration is the priority, so make sure you have some Phizz (available at Revital on the King’s Road and A. Moore Chemist on Lowndes Street) on hand first thing in the morning (or, even better, right before bed). Phizz is both a multivitamin and a rehydration tablet packed with four key electrolytes and 18 essential nutrients, so you’re getting more bang for your buck.  

Vitamins are key to putting the pep back in your step, so getting some into your system as quickly as possible after one too many proseccos is always a good idea. Vitamin B12 is excellent for restoring energy, while vitamin C can help protect immunity (which can be compromised by alcohol). 

 

Mainline your recovery

If the Phizz just isn’t cutting it, locals can turn to REVIV, “a global leader in IV wellness therapies, vitamin injections and genetic analysis” on the fourth floor of Harvey Nichols. Its Ultraviv Recovery Infusion delivers vital minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and much-needed hydration via IV. If you’re in a hurry, the Vitaboost Antioxidant Boost injection takes just 15 minutes.

 

The traditional cure

Finally, few things are as restorative as a hearty breakfast. For a weekday, we suggest stopping into Lórian for its scrambled eggs, confit tomatoes, crème fraîche spinach and chives; freshly squeezed orange juice; and a side of sourdough toast.

For a Saturday, there’s nothing quite like the hair of the dog that bit you. Colbert’s signature Bloody Mary combines black peppercorn and celery-infused vodka with spices, tomato juice and gilda pintxo. Plus, Colbert has an entire section of its menu dedicated to ‘oeufs’. Unbeatable.

Retail therapy

More shopping during one of the busiest retail periods of the year may sound counterintuitive, but this is a specific type of shopping: treating yourself. 

Christmas is a wonderful time to shower the people you love with gifts – and that should include you. It can be as big or small as you want it to be, from a tasty treat at Anya Café to a new pair of pumps. Either way, that moment of indulgence triggers a dopamine rush that acts as a calming little burst of happiness.

In Chelsea, the only question is where to start, given the cornucopia of delectable designer outlets on your doorstep. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, simply peruse our newly launched Private Shopping service – the perfect way to help you find exactly what you’re looking for with none of the stress. 

Christmas in Chelsea

Festive tips, recipes and guides from Sloane Street