I went to UK’s cheapest spa where a luxurious massage costs just £2.50

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  • January 24, 2024
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Massages and facials are some of those little luxuries in life that many of us would love to indulge in on a regular basis. 

But the sad truth of the matter is that most people can’t afford their monthly heating bill, let alone find the extra cash to pamper themselves in this way amid the current cost of living crisis.

The closest people like me usually get is a quick back or foot rub from my husband after hours spent grumbling about my various aches and pains. Because, you know, I’m almost 30 now, so everything hurts.

If you can relate, then we might have a solution for you, albeit a rather temporary one.

That’s because the UK’s cheapest spa has just opened its doors, and for a few days, savvy Londoners in need of some TLC will be able to snap up treatments from just £2.25. 

The spa has been created by Asda to celebrate the launch of its new Health Menu range, which aims to bring simplicity and affordability back to health. As such they’ve opened the world’s first supermarket spa, where treatments are paired with a meal of your choosing at no extra cost.

Prices start from £2.25 for an ‘immunity boosting’ Vitamin C facial, which is paired with Asda’s Health Menu Spicy Chicken Arrabbiata. And the most expensive treatment is still under a fiver, costing an impressive £4.75. 

For that price, customers can pick from either a hot stone massage or a deep tissue massage. Other options available include a Swedish massage (£2.50), an Indian Head Massage (£3.50) or an Abdominal massage (£2.50).

It almost sounds too good to be true, right?! 

Well, trust me when I say it’s not.

I headed down to Asda’s spa pop-up in Islington High Street on opening day to try it out for myself and despite being dubbed the UK’s cheapest spa, nothing about the experience feels cheap. 

I think I’ve been to a spa twice in my 29 years on this earth, but Asda’s Health Menu Spa has made me wish I could go every week. 

Tucked away off the bustling high street, the pop-up is located inside Flexi Skin and Body which has had a little makeover for the occasion.

Asda branding has taken over the windows and door, but it’s not the bright key lime colour of the supermarket’s usual logo, instead a darker, more welcoming shade of green. 

Everything about this pop-up event is calming and chic. You walk in and a gorgeous, but not at all overpowering, aromatherapy scent envelopes you. The space is clean and soft, and somehow even the shelves lined with boxes of Asda granola and George at Asda candles don’t look out of place.

But enough about how it all looks… let’s skip to the good part. 

The pampering begins before you even head down for your appointment as the friendly team are on hand to offer you a complimentary smoothie, with three options to choose from.

Each smoothie is beneficial for a different reason and you can watch them blend it up in front of you. I went for the Bone Health smoothie which contained pineapple, passion fruit, and Spirulina. It was citrusy and zesty and just a lovely unexpected bonus.

Next up was the main event. 

The 30-minute Swedish massage was absolutely dreamy, everything you’d expect from a spa treatment.

I completely understand now why people LOVE getting massages. It’s the perfect way to spend a bit of me-time as it really is all about you and your wellbeing for half an hour. What luxury!

Inside the treatment room, the rest of the world falls away. The combination of the gentle music, warm oil and light massage almost had me falling asleep, I was so relaxed.

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When it was time to head back upstairs I felt lighter than I had before, the tension in my shoulders now thankfully eased. I was certainly refreshed and ready for something to eat, which is perfect as you’re then led to a dining table to enjoy a dish from the Health Menu range.

The food is all prepared downstairs, with any hot dishes getting a whizz in the microwave before being dished up and presented in a surprisingly appetising manner.

Full list of treatments available at the Asda Health Menu Spa:

The Gut Health, £2.50: Abdominal massage with a choice between the Health Menu Crunchy Multiseed Berry and Nut Granola or Health Menu Delicious Fruit & Nut Muesli.

The Fibre Rich, £2.50: Abdominal massage with a choice between the Health Menu Hearty Tuscan Inspired Bean Soup Kit with Brown Rice or Health Menu Mexican Style Salad Bowl.

The Heart Healthy, £2.50: Swedish massage with a choice between the Health Menu Spicy Sweet Potato Dahl or Nourishing Sweet Potato & Turmeric Grains with an Avocado Crema.

The Protein Powered, £4.75: Deep tissue massage with a choice between the Health Menu Chicken, Chickpea & Red Pepper Burger or Health Menu Smoky Chicken & Chorizo Paella.

The Skin Health, £2.25: A facial with the Health Menu Spicy Korean Style Pork Noodle Pot.

The Bone Health, £4.75: A hot stone massage with a choice between the Health Menu Creamy Butternut Squash Linguine or Health Menu King Prawn Laska Pot.

The Energy Boost, £3.50: Head massage with a choice between the Health Menu Herby Pesto Penne Chicken Bowl and Health Menu Fiery Chicken Bowl.

The Swedish massage is typically paired with a Sweet Potato Dahl, but I also got to try a few other meals, including a Red Thai Chicken Curry and a Mexican Style Salad Bowl, while Asda’s in-house nutritionist, Sophie, explained the new menu items and why they were specially chosen for this event.

All three dishes were tasty but the standout was the Thai curry. I’d definitely buy this again from Asda next time I’m in the supermarket. It’s fragrant and has a generous amount of chicken and would make a fab office lunch or speedy evening meal.

The Dahl didn’t have much in the way of sauce, but tucking into a bowl of lentils and veg certainly felt pretty healthy to me, and the Mexican Style Salad Bowl is also an easy win for lunch on the go.

All of this was washed down with a refreshing glass of cucumber water before it was time to head home.

But there was still one more surprise in store. If all of the above wasn’t already an amazing bargain for less than £5, guests are also given a goodie bag as they leave, which is crammed full of healthy snacks and spa essentials including a cosy pair of George at Asda slippers.

You really do leave feeling like you’ve cheated the system somehow as it doesn’t feel possible to have nabbed all this for £2.50, and yet somehow it is.

My only gripe with the whole thing is that it’s a pop-up, so the Asda Health Menu Spa is only open for a limited time from January 23 to 25. If this was a permanent offering, I just know I’d be going back each week to try a different treatment. 

The majority of tickets for Asda’s Health Menu Spa are already sold out, but a few more are set to be released on Wednesday morning (January 24) so if you want to give it a go for yourself, you’ll need to be speedy to book your slot.

The pop-up is located at 104 Islington High Street in London and tickets can be booked via eventbrite. Prices start from £2.25 and cost no more than £4.75, with all proceeds going towards Asda’s charity partner, Tickled Pink — so it’s a real win-win, you feel great and you’re also donating to charity!

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