When news broke that supermodel Kate Moss was reinventing herself as a wellness guru, eyebrows were raised.
The 49 year old was hardly renowned for her healthy lifestyle and Zen-like demeanour yet last year launched her wellness brand Cosmoss. Now she’s partnering with the new spa at her long-time hangout The Lakes by Yoo, not far from her Cotswolds home.
Inevitably it’s being dubbed the ‘Kate Moss spa’. I went to the launch to investigate.
The Lakes by Yoo is Cost Loads heaven: multi-million-pound cabins and houses around ten lakes, cossetted by lush woodland. Founder John Hitchcox calls it a ‘posh retirement home’ with a smile: it’s mainly a weekend bolthole for rich Londoners.
Moss has a long connection to the place, having interior designed one of the houses. Many a champagne-fuelled party has been held here, with friends like Kelly Hoppen, Elle Macpherson, Jade Jagger, Yasmin Le Bon, Sadie Frost, Heston Blumenthal and Ozwald Boateng.
Jane tries treatments at lakeside hideaway. She admits that she’s ‘not a fan of formulaic spa “rituals”‘
But all is serene when I arrive at the airy spa building overlooking the indoor pool. Therapist, Alison, ushers me through to one of the three treatment rooms and suggests starting with ‘a quick ice plunge’.
I don’t like cold water but I know it boosts the immune system. Kate is a fan so . . .
Ice cubes bob around as I clamber into the tub. I figure the best way is to just go for it so I sink in up to my neck. I gasp, but breathe deeply and, to my surprise, it’s OK.
I climb out feeling, if not quite supermodel fabulous, at least ready to take on the world.
‘Dry off thoroughly,’ warns Alison, offering a towel. ‘Water and electrics don’t mix!’ She explains treatments are carried out on a massage table covered by a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) mat that sends electromagnetic waves through the body. It has been shown to help reduce pain and stiffness so it’s a nifty add-on.
I’m trying the Cosmoss two-hour Dusk Ritual designed to ‘remove impurities from the soul, mind and body’. It starts with a cup of herbal Dusk Tea to soothe anxiety before a full body massage.
I’m not a fan of formulaic spa ‘rituals’, with therapists just going through the motions. But here they’re trusted to adapt treatments to client needs.
Alison uses a combination of deep tissue massage, long stretching pulls and even reflexology to ease my stubborn cough. Sublime.
When news broke that supermodel Kate Moss was reinventing herself as a wellness guru, eyebrows were raised. Pictured in September
Still on the couch (the mat is a bit hot now) the next step is a Cosmoss facial using CBD-infused oil. The whole experience is nice enough but £250 worth of nice? I’m not so sure.
There’s a sauna, steam room and gym. Wild swimming, gong baths, SUP (stand-up paddleboard) yoga and sunrise yoga are part of the prescription.
Moss learned yoga from Nadia Narain (Jools Oliver, Rachel Weisz and Reese Witherspoon are also devotees) and swears it ‘awakes my body and soul’.
She also meditates and claims she can go into a trance where you hear your blood circulating.
Another pal is celebrity health guru Deepak Chopra who is set to run meditation, yoga, breathwork and healing retreats here.
We are expecting a meditation taster run by Chopra and Kate, but she is stuck in LA, instead appearing on a screen cross-legged in a green kaftan, behind Chopra alone in the Cotswolds. Then the sound won’t work and after much flurrying, the techies admit defeat. ‘I hope you have a magical time,’ Kate says over her phone, before Chopra takes over.
Guided meditation is great if you’re new to the practice and Chopra’s voice is soporific. I open my eyes at one point and spot Kate’s head jerking forwards. She drops off during meditation too? It’s curiously comforting.
At the lakeside restaurant, housed in a tepee, everyone is on the deck sipping sundowners. I clink glasses with designers Melissa Odabash (who’s designed swimwear for the centre) and Amanda Wakeley, who’ve known Moss for years.
Just like La Moss, the Lakes isn’t perfect. Even the super-rich can’t stop planes flying overhead, diggers working on the remaining construction sites, or as a resident yells, shooing mallards off his lawn, ‘bloody ducks! They poop everywhere!’
It’s all about the balance, isn’t it? Cosmoss aims to be ‘a celebration of every day exactly as it is, with all its imperfections’.
As Kate says: ‘I still like to have fun, but I also like to look after myself.’ And given the choice between squeaky clean Paltrow and slightly messy Moss, I know which I prefer.