The Porchester Spa
A magnificent Edwardian Turkish baths, built in 1929, with lots of Art Deco features (green and white tiles, porthole windows, soaring ceilings), that, as well as a huge pool, has excellent spa facilities – an ice-cold plunge pool, two Russian steam rooms, three Turkish hot rooms and a Finnish sauna cabin. Excellent treatments include Shmeisse massages and Moroccan scrubs, and because it’s run by Westminster City Council, prices are very reasonable. But perhaps the real draw is the bohemian (if naked) West London crowd that sit around playing chess, backgammon or cards (NB: nudity is not an insistence – quaint gingham wraps are provided). It’s a democratic, community spa that runs as it always would, before the likes of Chiva-Som came along. However, for that, some do complain that it’s dirty, so bring flipflops and leave the OCD behind.