A recent stay at Glasgow’s Blythswood Square hotel introduced me to Anne Sémonin, the Paris-based brand of spa and beauty products based on exquisitely scented natural oils. I fell in love with the Sémonin soaps, shampoos and body crèmes in the Blythswood’s suite and yes, I admit I took a small cache of them home with me at the end of my stay.
The products were so memorable that my ears pricked up when I heard that the brand was opening a new spa at Cliveden House. Cliveden is the scandalously fab country house estate intimately connected with the fall of the British Conservative Party through the front page sexcapades of John Profumo and Christine Keeler in the early 1960’s.
Cliveden has played host to every famous Brit you could think of since Queen Victoria but it’s the Profumo Affair that put the hotel on the cover of every tabloid in Britain. An 18-year old party girl, Christine Keeler, started an affair with the then Secretary of State for War, John Profumo at the property’s outdoor pool. Profumo was married but the real scandal was that Keeler was “having it on” with a Russian spy at the same time.
Cliveden House is quite good-natured about all the fashionable skeletons and social x-rays in its closet.
I plan to pair a trip to the brand new spa (fully loaded with Sémonin’s signature line of aromatic oils and lush crèmes and body treatments and featuring “bespoke” treaments only available here) with a scandal-themed stay in the steps of Keeler herself. Travel accessories: crimson lipstick, Bryan Ferry, martinis on the lawn, animal print pumps and a Birken bag.