Just outside my hotel Piccadilly Circus is roaring with energy, but my 19-year-old niece and I have sunk into cloud-soft loungers in a scented subterranean world of the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre, one of the capital’s very finest spas in the basement of Hotel Café Royal.
We have already unwound in a minimalist, domed sauna constructed entirely from sleek hemlock wood, and have stretched out in a temple-like hammam built from thick stabs of Carrara marble. Soon we’ll do some languorous laps in the low-lit pool, then sip margaritas in world-renowned pastry chef Albert Adria’s only UK restaurant (also marble clad, though this time in sunset-hued Sienna).
Indecently decadent? Quite possibly. But British universities have closed up for the summer and if ever there was a time to