“Good morning!”, a petite Thai lady says, and hands me a pair of comfy white slippers.
“Welcome. Would you like some herbal tea or a glass of water?”
“Herbal tea, thank you”, I said with a childish like grin on my face. If it wasn’t obvious already, I was very excited to be getting a massage that day.
My Thai masseuse, Anne prepared my tea, whilst I swayed my shoulders innocuously from side to side, taking in all the visual curiosities around me. It was as if I was in another country. Thailand to be exact. I found myself staring at the orange logo on the counter which is the Buddhist/Thai colour for good energy and confidence which Kiriakos, one of the owners, later tells me, is essentially the spirit of the business.
80% of everything in Little Jasmine’s was imported directly from Thailand, which is why the space has such a foreign and tranquil feel to it. Even the huge wooden massage beds are from Thailand, and there are 4 of them!
Meet the team.
Little Jasmine Beauty Salon and Spa is owned by a local husband and wife team. May and Kiriakos. It fuses Western and Eastern elements and provides traditional Thai massage and modern beauty treatments at an affordable price. “How much”, I ask? Massage starts from as little as £35 for a 60 minute session and for regulars who book block packages beforehand, a 60 minute massage can cost as little as £25 per hour.
The business originally started in Kiriakos and May’s living room a few years back and has grown organically to what it is today. May’s team of personally trained masseuses have now grown from one to four, consisting of 2 employees from Thailand, one from Spain and another from England.
May is originally from Thailand and used to be a Radio Producer for Grammy. Upon meeting and marrying Kiriakos and moving to the UK, May was faced with a different set of opportunities and decided, to take part of a normal health regime in Thailand, and bring it to the UK with her.
“How did you come up with the name?”, I asked. May’s grandmother’s name was Jasmine and so May’s nickname as a child, was “little Jasmine”. Unfortunately, May’s grandma has since passed away, however her legacy lives on in the little haven they’ve created in the heart of Brighton.
Kiriakos shared with me, that they have a 40 to 60 balance of male to female frequenters and that their customers are loyal and consistent, especially since the environment is private, small and very cosy. They cater to everyone from singles to couples to husband and wife, and they can also shut down the entire salon for groups of girls on their hen weekend. Kiriakos assures me that when it comes to bespoke packages, with enough notice and reason, they can cater for groups of up to 12 people. The best part is that, because the salon is run by it’s owners, at the helm, you get way more than your money’s worth.
|May and Anne ( Picture taken with Iphone 4)|
Anne placed my tea next to the seating area and handed me a consultation form where I could jot down any necessary health related information I wanted her to be aware of before my massage. I handed the form back and noticed her uniform, which had black, brown, deep red and gold patterns and details. That’s so unique, I thought. Everything in the room matched perfectly, even the uniforms. The wall art, the pillows, the little decorative items that make up this little spa and beauty salon, the music, the atmosphere. They’ve cut off all stimulus from the outside environment. This is one of those places, where you fully immerse yourself, escape the hustle and bustle of your every day life and just allow yourself to be pampered and transported to a happy place. A happy Thai place.
From the moment you step inside, you can feel you’ve discovered a very special little space. It’s warm, comfortable, cosy, quiet and absolutely peaceful with soothing and relaxing music playing softly in the background and a faint whiff of luxurious massage and aromatherapy oils adds to the experience. In fact, it’s the perfect place to take a little chilladay. (you know, a relaxing mental holiday?)
It was Monday, I just arrived back in Brighton after a crazy and fun filled hen weekend with the girls in London and thought a full body massage would be the best way to recover from “boogy-ing” the weekend away. I booked the Thai Fusion Massage and had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that it costs £45 for an hour, it’s full body massage and it involves some hot rocks. Hmmmm, heaven… My only concern was whether it would feel like it was all over to soon. You know that feeling? But I was assured that the massage time would start from the moment one’s head rests on the wooden massage bed, rather than the moment you walk in the front door. What a relief…
Anne lead me up the stairs to the smaller massage room. She politely asked me to undress, keep my knickers on and then left the room. Around 5 minutes later, I heard a soft knock on the door, which made me feel at ease. No one was going to barge in, I thought. It’s so lovely that one gets to have one’s privacy respected.
May walked in with a bucket full of hot rocks in hot water, she placed them on a table and asked me if the room temperature was ok. By this time I was already lying face down on one of the authentic Thai massage beds, staring at a water lilly in a bowl on the floor under the table. I heard a squishy sound and realized Anne was bathing her hands with massage oil. As soon as I could feel Anne’s tiny hands on my back, I switched off completely and focused my thoughts on complete relaxation.
Anne started on my shoulders, then my lower back and as she was kneading away the mountain sized knots on my back I started to think about how massage should not be considered a luxury, it should become a right. I thought, I’m going to make this a regular thing and try my best to come back at least once every month. Yeah, why not? With so much time spent in front of my computer every day, editing pictures, catching up on e-mails, blogging etc, my lower back has been feeling the strain. Not to mention when I’m out and about carrying my camera and lenses with me. I previously mentioned that I’d like Anne to focus on my lower back and she kindly obliged.
|It looked a little something like this…|
I have no idea how Anne managed to hop on the massage bed so quickly and quietly, especially since she’s so petite! It would be hard for her to apply the same pressure from standing beside me, so without a noise, one second she was standing on the floor, and the next she was kneeling beside me on the massage bed. Anne was amazing. The entire time I was covered up from head to toe by a sheet and as Anne moved from one area to another, she would discreetly lift the sheet and upon completion place it back where it was. Initially feeling a bit body conscious, there was not a moment where I felt exposed. Anne made me feel completely comfortable and her respectful nature made me trust her instantly.
Anne massaged my back with the hot rocks also known as Basalt stones (or lava rocks) as she manipulated the deeper layers of connective tissue, which as I learned, helps to retain heat and deeply penetrates into the muscles, releasing tension. This was HEAVEN.
|Anne (left) and May (right)|
Anne moved on to massage my arms, lower back, then my calves, feet and thighs. She would then gently bend my arms, thereafter legs and then lower back (at various stages of the massage) in Yoga-like positions in order to help me stretch and help my joints become more supple. This was different?, I thought, and then I realized how important it is that I stretch every day to not only maintain my flexibility and reduce muscle fatigue but also to increase my mental and physical relaxation.
The entire massage lasted all of 60 minutes and it was by far the best massage I have ever had. So good, in fact that I didn’t want to leave and so asked at the last minute if I could have the luxury facial as well. During this time Anne left the room, as I laid my head back down and closed my eyes. I heard a soft knock on the door and then May entered the room and proceeded to give me a gorgeously luxurious facial.
After paying and thanking them for treating me so well, I left that day, feeling completely revitalized and relaxed. I’m sure on my way home people must have wondered why I had a huge smile on my glowing face.
That night I had, probably the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long, long time.
May and Kiriakos were kind enough to offer a discount on all their massage packages for individuals, couples and hen parties for my blog readers.
If you live in Brighton or will be making a visit to this great city of ours, do make sure that an Authentic Thai massage is one of the items on your list of to-do’s.
You can pre-book your visit on their website http://www.little-jasmine.com/index.php?module=booking , or you can just call them on 01273 381 045 quoting “Nadine Burzler Photography Blog”. You will then receive a 10% discount on any of their services. How great is that!?
Please note, that this review is completely unbiased, as I was a paying customer and had the experience first hand. I can guarantee that you will be treated like royalty from the moment you walk into the front door to the minute you walk out, because that is exactly how I was treated on my first visit. Little Jasmine’s is a true gem located in the Brighton Laines which is very central and easy to find. 53A, 1st and 2nd Floor, Gardner Street, Brighton, BN1 1UN
Book your pamper session today, take a look at their website for more information. http://www.little-jasmine.com/ and make sure you like their Facebook page for some very useful tips on how to stay happy and healthy, both physically and mentally. Now you know where to look for a massage in Brighton!
Thank you, Kiriakos, May and Anne.
See you again next month! x