GRAPE EXPECTATIONS

Wine and pampering. Pretty much the perfect combination. A new therapy range at Rockliffe Hall Spa combines the two. Kathryn Armstrong was happy to put it to the test
GRAPE EXPECTATIONS

The theory of a glass of red wine doing you the power of good is something most of us are readily prepared to give an ear to. 

The red stuff is part of that life-affirming Mediterranean diet, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that the power of the grape can be channelled directly into skincare too. Enter the French skincare brand Caudalie. Their story is a fascinating one, especially if you’re partial to a glass of fruity red. 

In a nutshell (or should that be grape seed?), it started with a vineyard in Bordeaux where the country’s finest wines are produced. Grapes are as precious as gold in these parts, playing their part in the production of world-best wines. It was a chance meeting that brought Mathilde Thomas into conversation with scientist Professor Joseph Vercautere.

GRAPE EXPECTATIONSMathilde and her husband Bertrand own the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte vineyard and on a tour of the place the professor saw that they were discarding the waste from vines and grapes after harvesting.

He revealed the amazing anti-oxidant properties within grape, seed and vines. Plant extracts which could be harnessed in to the manufacture of skincare products. From the grape the professor patented grape polyphenols which are the most powerful anti-oxidants in the plant world and used to fight the free radicals which cause 80pc of skin ageing.

From the vine stalks, a product called Resveratrol was patented – this acts on the collagen and elastin fibres to help firm the skin. Grape oil, sap and water were also used in formulations for the skincare the professor developed – and the Caudalie range was born.

Mathilde launched a spa right in the middle of the vineyard in 1999. Treatments such as Crushed Cabernet Scrub, the Honey and Wine Body Wrap and Vinosource Facial with fresh grapes, were all symbolic of the products’ origins and surroundings.

Now the Caudalie range has been launched at Rockliffe Hall Spa. Vineyard Treasures is a treatment exclusive to Rockliffe Hall, and celebrates the beautifying power of the grape and the winemaking process.

The Vinotherapie back, face and scalp ritual starts with a crushed cabernet scrub and invigorating back massage with alternating techniques using bare hands and the wine maker’s tool for a deep tissue massage. This is followed by a bespoke Caudalie facial and then a Cranial Scalp massage completes the ritual to calm the mind and soothe the senses.

I tried the Resveratrol lifting facial – it was a magnificent experience. The usual attention to detail in terms of cleansing, facial massage and exfoliation using the magical vine-powered products. The very best bit though was the mask. A very hard, firming mask that sets on the face like a cast – and in fact comes off in one GRAPE EXPECTATIONSimpressive piece like a mini sculpture of yours truly.

You keep it on for quite a while and can feel it at work doing its furious firming work.

What’s great is that when it comes off and you see your face, you really can tell the difference in lift. Even if it’s just a few millimetres of eyebrow heightening, there’s a definite firming effect and lovely brightness to the skin.

And the only way to celebrate this ‘new you’ ? With a cheering glass of wine of course.


Treatments from £90-120
Heard it on the Grapevine Spa Day, £140
To book call (0)1325 729999


rockliffehall.com

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