My mother would often tell me as a child never to play with my food; but I think this time around, I would be let off the hook considering I was on assignment – albeit a much appreciated assignment.
To find out what’s on offer in Cairo this Valentine’s Day, I visited the Four Season Nile Plaza to try out their treatment of the month: a chocolate body scrub.
What one envisions upon hearing the words chocolate scrub is a mild affair: chocolate flavored creams and scrubs perhaps, but not the decadence I encountered. Suffice it to say; what I experienced was a delectable treat, no pun intended.
The hour and a half long chocolate scrub treatment includes a body scrub, a facial scrub and a thorough massage. The treatment starts off in a large suite with private showers and a personal steam room.
On the massage table, you start the treatment with a rub down followed by 15 minutes in the steam room to open up your pores in preparation for what’s to come. A quick rinse off and you’re back on the table eyeing what appears to be a bowl of melted chocolate as the scent permeates every corner of the treatment suite.
In nothing but disposable swimwear, and on plastic sheets, the treatment begins. My charming therapist applied a thick mixture of chocolate, milk and ground rice on my body, scrubbing away – in a choreographed motion – all the rough and cracked skin that is so particular to winter dryness.
The ground rice is a natural scrub, not too rough for sensitive skin (which was a concern of mine), and the “happy hormones found in chocolate are intended to help alleviate the mood and rejuvenate the skin.
I am highly amused at this point. I peer at my arms and legs to see that I have been brushed like a cookie in this mixture. Is this chocolate edible? Certainly, it is essentially raw chocolate that has been mixed with milk. It is as organic and natural as one can hope for in any treatment.
Covered back and front in chocolate, wrapped tightly with plastic sheets, heated towels are placed on top encompassing you in a cocoon of warmth. After a facial massage and light scrub, you are left for 15 minutes to breathe in the aromas and relax as your body absorbs all the nutrients found in the chocolate and milk.
You will at this point deliriously be thinking of eating chocolate, but rest assured that the treatment is followed by a serving of hot chocolate.
Unwrapped later from my cocoon, I spend a good 10 minutes scrubbing off the chocolate and using quite a bit of lovely verbena scented soap to do so. I am in olfactory heaven at this point, and pleased to see the water droplets gather on my skin now glowing and looking quite healthy.
Now for a massage to work out the kinks in my shoulders; a good 30 minutes is spent being kneaded and rubbed down with rose and cinnamon scented oil during my aromatherapy massage. A relaxing head massage does wonders to relieve the week’s stress. Could a girl get any more pampered? I don’t think so.
Intended as a treatment for one or two, I was quite content to be doing this as a single girl this year. It is a very indulgent experience. After the massage, I was escorted into the relaxation lounge, a piece of chocolate and some chocolate milk were brought to me and I watched as the sun hid from the city. Having the treatment done late afternoon or early evening is a perfect way to calmly sync your mood with nightfall.
Three days later, my skin is still surprisingly toned and soft. Mother never said playing with food could be beneficial to my skin.
Four Seasons Nile Plaza1089 Corniche El-Nil, CairoTel: 2791 7000