TATLER December 2016

THE COUNTRY MOUSE VISITS THE BIG CITY

There are some treatments you just can’t get in the country, as Netia Walker discovered when she paid a little visit to the capital and met Dr Papageorgiou.

While thumbing through one of my favourite catalogues recently, instead of looking longingly at what I hoped my long-suffering husband might take the hint for and buy me for Christmas, I turned the page, squealed with excitement, picked up the telephone and rang the shop… to ask about the dog starring in the photos. What have I become? I actually left a message on the Susie Watson Designs shop answering machine, asking whether Wally the dog was ‘entire’ and whether he might be up for an arranged marriage with my small but perfectly formed Jack Russell, Diddle. Clearly, I need to get out more.

It did, however, give me a bit of a kickstart. Whizzy gadgets and beauty services take a while to filter down to us country lot and, anyway, something needed to be done to counteract the effects of the hunt ball season (and the vast quantities of Jägerbombs I seem to be consuming). So I decided to get myself on a train to London to see what’s hot and happening in our capital.

My first appointment was with Dr Costas Papageorgiou at the glamorous KX Spa. Apart from the decor looking like something out of an interiors magazine (not something we see a lot in the shires), the clientele were clad in Jimmy Choos rather than Le Chameaus. A panting Labrador (my usual companion) would NOT fit in here, but at least, not knowing anyone, I wouldn’t have to explain what I was up to.

The dashing Dr Papageorgiou suggests an hour-long consultation so that he can really study your face. This is unnerving and rather exciting at the same time, but don’t eat anything garlicky before you see him – he gets up quite close. He immediately commented on my rosacea (aka hunting girl’s complexion) and was confident that his signature Hybrid Facial would help. In fact, he strongly believed that a lot could be achieved using just machines before advancing to the next stage, which was rather reassuring – I am not yet at a point in my life where I want to embark upon procedures that require religious upkeep. Plus the word ‘fillers’ spooks me.

The Hybrid Facial is a skin-rejuvenation treatment that aims to boost the entire face. Dr Papageorgiou uses infrared light that energises the cells, increasing collagen production and making the skin plumper and glowier. I would liken the sensation to that of sunbathing in peak heat – the infrared gets quite hot at times, although it’s not unpleasant. It works well on red veins and ruddy complexions, so it’s an instant hit with my wind-bashed complexion. The best part? You can walk straight out and go back to work or meet friends and no one would know that you’ve had anything done. Us country lot are rather good at pretending to be low-maintenance – any treatment that doesn’t blow its cover promises to be a winner.

That night, I turned up to a restaurant for dinner with my über-trendy London friends. My skin was instantly commented on (a miracle, as I had forgotten to put any make-up on in my prosecco haze), followed swiftly by compliments about my hair. Upon my return, even my husband noticed my dewy skin, and that is not something that happens often. If only I could have these treats before every school run.