Alexandre Dulaunoy 

We all have busy lives, so thank goodness for online shopping, mobile banking and on-demand TV.

They’ve made life so much easier and help us create more time for family, friends and fun.

Shame technology hasn’t come up with a helping hand when it comes to getting spa treatments.

Of course, ducking out of the rat race for a couple of hours for a decent pampering and necessary all-over body maintenance is usually an essential part of the whole process. And that’s lovely when you’ve got the time to give in to doing nothing and simply enjoy yourself.

But every so often, wouldn’t it be great to get everything done and dusted without having to give up a precious Saturday or book an appointment weeks in advance.

Well, no amount of software is going to get you a pedicure, but there is a solution for busy, spa-loving gals.

Canny salon entrepreneurs are catching on to the quickie and services are popping up in the most unconventional, yet oh so convenient, of places.

The racecourse

You know what it’s like. You spend hours planning your outfit, invest a fortune on a hat you’ll never wear again and risk serious injury in sky high heels.

But when you get to the course it all goes terribly wrong.

Before you’ve even had a chance to place a bet on your favourite horse, the wind whips up your neatly coiffured mane, sand and grit make your eyes stream and the heat of the afternoon sun starts to melt your make-up.

The show pony effect you were going for falls at the very first hurdle.

Well, arise Sir Harvey Nichols and his simply fabulous pop-up version of their city centre Beauty Bazaar. Since it was launched at Aintree Racecourse in 2013 during the Grand National festival, the SOS salon has come to the rescue of many a hapless lady on parade.

Emergency therapists attend to limp lashes, touch-up chipped nails and even tame the wildest of tresses.


Quick fixes come for free but for around £20 you can have a total blow-dry or a mini makeover.

And, as you’d expect from Harvey Nics, standards are high with products from Bobbi Brown, Shu Uemura and Nails Inc.

So even if your luck runs out at the bookies, your hair and make-up will still stand a sporting chance.

The airport

For some people, jetting off on holiday is as easy as switching on their out of office. But for most of us, an impending holiday requires meticulous preparation.

Suitcases must be filled, fridges must be emptied and neighbours must be requested to put the bins out in our absence.

And on top of all that, we’ve got to make our bodies sunshine ready.

That could mean a total body overhaul depending what time of year it is. Winter sun breaks require the most intensive attention. You’ll need a season’s worth of exfoliating before you can even think of getting your legs out.

Now here’s a thought. . .what if you could leave some of that personal grooming to the last minute? Like, when you’re at the airport.

While everyone else is grabbing last minute currency and sorting out their 100ml bottles into clear plastic bags, you could be getting into the relaxing holiday spirit at an airport spa.

At Gatwick’s North Terminal, adjacent to No.1 Gatwick Lounge is the simply wonderful No.1 Travel Spa.

They do everything from pre-flight massages to hour-long Dermalogica facials that will re-hydrate and replenish your skin before you’ve even left terra firma.

Treat yourself to an express manicure or pedicure or go the whole hog and get a gel polish that will see you through a gruelling fortnight of sun worshipping.

No need to make an appointment, although pre-booking your treatments will secure your slot.

The workplace

Finally, a perk for the pen-pushers. Trouble at work?

No need to take out your frustrations on the squash court or search out your lost ambition at the bottom of a wineglass.

These days more and more employers understand the benefits of workplace massage and are offering massages to staff as a morale booster that can improve performance, relieve stress and fatigue and boost creativity.

In some cases there can be a medical benefit such as helping prevent or relieve problems caused by poor posture and hours and hours spent sitting at a desk.

Tension headaches, neck and back pain can all be eased through massage and what better place to tackle the problem than in situ.

Office massages are different, but no less restorative.

You won’t have to strip off in the canteen or return to your desk smelling of aromatherapy oils.

You sit in a customised chair with your clothes on and a therapist, specially trained in chair massage, concentrates on your upper body, including your arms and hands.

Massage while you work? Sheer bliss.