Spa Food, But Not As We Know It

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No wheatgrass here Plenty of cocktails, however

Ask for refreshment at most spas and you might find yourself staring at a shot glass of wheatgrass juice and a plate of rice crackers. Not so at the 1930s-inspired spa at London's Dorchester hotel, which boasts what it calls the Spatisserie. As you can probably guess from a frilly moniker like that, this casual but chic restaurant is less about purging and more about pampering. Think extravagant and irresistible afternoon teas; one of those washed down with a bottle of champagne extra brut should undo your workouts from the previous fortnight. This plus an array of what the management refers to as light lunches but which probably don't figure on most diet plans — vichyssoise with tempura oyster, Wagyu-beef teriyaki and the like. Order a couple of cordials from the divine cocktail list and the last thing you'll feel like doing is heading back to the treatment room to be slapped around by a masseuse.

The Spatisserie's retro-Hollywood décor makes the experience all the more fabulous. It's appointed in ivory, lilac and coral hues, with leather chaise longues, wing chairs upholstered in silks and mohair, silvered mirrors, Art Deco chrome-and-perspex furnishings, and extraordinary flower displays. You don't need to be a client of the spa to use the Spatisserie, but you will be given seating preference if you are, so get a treatment — but nothing too vigorous, of course. We recommend the superlative Vaishaly facial ($155). The Dorchester is the only place that offers it outside of Vaishaly's impossible-to-book clinic. See for more.