Edinburgh is one of my favourite places, especially on bright sunny days – and it doesn’t matter if that sunny day is a crisp, freezing cold day in December or a sweltering hot day in July. Edinburgh is great any time of year.
As you guys know, I was there the other week for the Grey Goose party. I stayed the night at the Nira Caledonia on Gloucester Place (near India Street and Heriot Row – super posh), so that I could make the most of my time there. More on the hotel later but, for now, I’ll tell you about my visit to a beauty salon, that I managed to squeeze in before the catching the train home.
Located on William Street, Sleeping Beauty appears small from the street. The salon front is deceptive though; once you step inside you are met by a bright, airy space artfully filled with aromatherapy candles (made especially for the salon) and Elemis products, all tucked in little coves within the walls. Straight ahead is a waiting area (with bottles of water and individually wrapped choccies for the taking – always a luxurious touch) and reception. It’s rather clever to have this at the at the back of the salon because it enhances the feeling of space.
My therapist, Melanie gave me a health form to complete and offered me a water before explaining my treatment (the waiting area was empty) and showing me the selection of Shellac polishes that come standard with the deluxe pedicure I was booked in for. I chose Tropics, a pink-coral that pops so much it’s verging on neon. Perfect for this hot sunny weather and my lightly tanned feet.
Melanie took me downstairs to my treatment room where she soaked my feet and exfoliated them with salts. After a good buff over the horrid hard skin (so gross and yet Melanie rose to the challenge within a few tickly minutes) and I was popped up on to a plinth so that I could relax.
Melanie tidied my cuticles and filed and prepped my nails before applying the Shellac polish. Her technique was flawless, and two weeks later my nails are still as good as new. She applied the polish before the massage because of the oils (and the paraffin wax) which can affect the longevity of the Shellac.
The deluxe pedi at Sleeping Beauty includes a paraffin wax, which I’ve never had before so I was a bit nervous. The paraffin wax is basically like hot candle wax – all over your feet! Melanie applied the wet wax by wrapping it around each foot, bandaging them up, mummy-like. I’m not going to lie: it was HOT. But, if you can suck it up, the wax is a brilliant way of soothing the feet and, afterwards, makes them really, really soft.
After she embalmed my feet, Melanie popped booties on each foot to retain the heat while she gave me a hand massage. She dimmed the lights and cut the friendly yet professional chat so that I could thoroughly relax. After five minutes she left the lights low and removed the booties, taking the wax with them. My feet felt almost reborn, soft as a baby’s! (Well, almost: my stubborn hard skin – a hazard that comes with jogging – returned within a couple of runs, but until then my feet were super smooth).
To finish the treatment, Melanie gave me a foot massage, almost sending me off to sleep. Once finished, she let me relax for a while with my water and when I was ready I went upstairs to find her packing up a lovely gift bag with some delightful treats to enjoy at home, including one of their signature candles in its very own little heart-shaped tin.
Sadly, my taxi arrived (Melanie kindly called it for me) before I had the chance to properly thank Melanie for the lovely treatment. However, I can safely say that should I ever need a beauty treatment in Edinburgh I’d return to Sleeping Beauty in a heartbeat; it’s a salon that is friendly and welcoming without being over-familiar, and professional without being cold and clinical. Sleeping Beauty puts the customer first, in every sense – from delivering top notch treatments to going the extra mile pre and post treatment. It’s perfect for locals who need a good, reliable and reasonably priced salon to visit for regular treatments, but it’s equally as good for a one off visit – its quirky location (a pretty area with kooky food places and interesting boutiques) means Sleeping Beauty fits easily into an “Edinburgh tourist’s” schedule, as there lots to see in the area. It’s the perfect end to everyone’s day.
The Deluxe Pedicure at Sleeping Beauty is £44 (£35.20 for members) and is for 60 minutes, although mine did take slightly longer. PS – it’s worth every penny.