Thursday 31 March 2011

Guilt-free Chocolate. Is There Such a Thing?

(NoMU's Sugar-free Hot Chocolate - two tins are better than one)

I like chocolate. I like it a lot. Give me a bag of Woolies Chuckles and I laugh all the way to the couch . Chocolate and the TV remote go hand in hand. I'm also partial to those marshmallow Easter eggs. Sweetie Pies, Chocolate logs, Top Deck, I'm not all that discriminate. But I don't like Bourneville dark chocolate. And I quite like the pricier stuff like Cote d'or and Lindt and Green & Black. And now that it's almost Easter I could scoff a bunny or two.
But all of this makes my thighs shudder. And not in a good way.
So I try and be virtuous on occasion. Which is why I alway have an emergency stash of NoMU Sugar-Free Hot Chocolate in the cupboard. I have a lot of NoMU products in my cupboard, as I'm sure so do you. ( I love-love-love their Fonds - but that's a blog post for another day). But for now, we're dealing in chocolate, and this hot chocolate is superb, chocolatey and rich and less fattening that the others on the market. And of course you can taste the difference between the NoMU one and the sweeter, more calorific ones, The NoMU one tastes better... I make it with half milk / half boiling water. And then all I need is a bit of rain to make me truly, divinely happy.
I didn't think that guilt-free chocolate could get much better than this.
But them my lovely friend Lise sent me off (as she does) to The One & Only for a Bastion Gonzalez PediManiCure treatment. The Spa is running an Easter (Yes, there WILL be chocolate) promotion for the month of April (1 April - 31st April) on this most luxurious foot and hand experience.
Now, I have had many pedicures at beauty salons, and quite a few podiatrist/ chiropodist appointments as well. But have always found that the one was aesthetic (beauty salons and spas) and the other medicinal (podiatrist/ chiropodists). And that there is seldom an overlap. Until my Bastien Gonzalez experience. These treatments, developed by an ex competitive skier and podiatrist to the stars (Don't you just love that expression? Imagine the conversations...'Tell Halle Berry to wait, I'm busy with Eta Carinae now and she's flown in from far.') are curative and aesthetic as well as incredibly luxurious. Therapist, Area Manager and Bastien Gonzalez devotee, Kim Milton took charge of my feet. While Celeste Osbourne managed my hands.
There were a few things that immediately told me that this pedicure and manicure would be unlike any other I had ever experienced. Firstly I was offered chocolate once I was snugly ensconced in my electric-blanket-already-on-reclining-chair. I knew I was off to a great start.
Surprisingly no water was used during either treatment, as wet skin can hide problems that need to be evaluated.
Cuticles are not pushed back, or cut as in other treatments.
No foot file, or pumice stone came near my feet, as this apparently promotes and encourages the growth of hard, thicker skin, causing ugly cracked heels. Instead, a blade is used to remove excess skin, and the use of powder is recommended to prevent friction when wearing closed shoes or high heels. Feet should be moisturized at night. Nail varnish should be removed, allowing nails to breathe etc,etc
I know all of this is hardly appropriate for a mostly-food blog. But wait, the results are amazing, butter-soft heels, and shiny buffed nails. And the experience was really relaxing and luxurious. Once all the work had been done, the lights in the treatment room were dimmed and the chair moved even further back until I was almost lying down. And then I smelt it... the sweet, beautiful scent of chocolate. This was the vitamin-E enriched, cocoa and paraffin wax treatment which was used to massage my hands and feet in tandem. A heavenly 75 minutes later, it was still raining outside, but I was walking on sunshine. Havaianas might not be in the same league as Jimmy Choo, but my feet sure as hell didn't know the difference. They had developed a personality all of their own. It may have been the sugar rush, it may have been the massage, but they felt goooood. And they wanted to be shown off. They wanted to party...

So there you have it; another guilt-free chocolate pleasure.
Sure the treatment is pricey, but so is liposuction!

One &Only Spa Cape Town
Telephone: 021 431 5810
Promotion: from 1 April to 31 April 2011
Cost: Pedicure R650 Manicure R350 (normal price for both R1265, and if your budget is balking at the idea of both. Go for only one. But go.)

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