On a cold and rainy, winter morning earlier this year, we popped into The Treatment Rooms at The Old Rectory in Hastings: a little self-care oasis tucked away from the busyness of the bustling seaside town of Hastings. We sat down with Lucy (Beauty Therapist and Treatment Rooms Manager) to chat about all things self-care, skin and of course The d’still Ultimate Wellbeing Facial.
Q: Three words which describe your work as a holistic therapist?
A: Intuitive, caring and attentive.
Q: What are the different treatments you offer at The Old Rectory?
A: We offer a big variety of treatments here! Our body massages have to be our most popular treatment; I think this is a given, once you see how relaxing and calming our space is. As well as massages, facials and reflexology, we offer a lot of beauty treatments too: manicure & pedicure, waxing and eye enhancements. We are also so very lucky to have the facial queen Charlotte Connoley and Acupuncture guru Maria Christofi work from our beautiful treatment rooms.
Q: I guess the name Treatment Rooms at The Old Rectory gives a big hint as to the building's history, but do you know a little of the story behind the Old Rectory? Who lived there before it became a beautiful B&B and Treatment Rooms?
A: All I know is that it was once the Rectory to All Saints Church, which is located just next door. When the current owner bought it, he had a big task on his hands transforming it into the beautiful B&B it is now. I think it was lived in as a home, was a language school at one point and was fairly run down, but don’t quote me on any of those. I’d love to see some ‘before’ photos.
Q: The Old Rectory looks like the most beautiful place to escape to... can you tell me a little bit about the B&B, the gardens and the surrounding Hastings Old Town neighbourhood?
A: Where do I start? The B&B is just the most beautiful place to come for a quiet and relaxing retreat, just on the edge of the buzzing Hastings Old Town. It offers 8 guest bedrooms, a two course breakfast and a beautiful walled garden, not to mention the beautiful interior, mastered by owner Lionel Copley.
The garden is a hidden gem - you wouldn’t know if was there, looking from the outside. As well as hosting weddings, we have recently added an option of adding a cream tea to your treatment (and the occasional Afternoon Tea weekend), which is to be taken in the garden of the English weather plays ball.
As for the Old Town; this part of Hastings has always been the draw, for both locals and tourists. Famous for its cobbled streets, hidden twittens, fishing fleet and eclectic mix of antique shops and coffee stops. Even as a born-and-bred Hastings girl, I spend many of my weekends just ‘mooching’ around the old town.
Q: What is the best part of your work as a holistic practitioner?
A: Without a doubt, it is the feeling that I have helped someone to relax, or to feel a little bit more human. When people come out of a treatment with that serene look on their faces and you know they are just going to ‘float’ home. There is so much power in the human touch, and in compassion for others, and I don’t think we realise this until we get to experience it; to lay down, completely switch off from life’s stresses and interruptions, and fully immerse ourselves in the moment.
Q: Aside from skincare, what is your favourite daily ritual?
A: Although this probably doesn’t sit well with the ‘wellness’ ethos, it’s got to be my morning coffee (although I drink decaf, so that’s okay isn’t it?)
Q: What inspires you?
A: Being in the countryside. I feel really at peace and contented when surrounded by rolling fields and woodland. In fact, Hastings Country Park (just behind us at The Old Rectory) is just stunning, and one of my favourite places to be. The perfect mix of green hills and blue seas. Being somewhere like this helps me to switch off, put things into perspective and remember what’s important in life.
Q: What was it that drew you to want to work with the d'still collection?
A: The quality and sincerity of the brand. I instantly trusted it to do what is says on the packaging. Learning about Ula, her experiences and qualifications made it obvious that this was a skincare range to watch! There is some serious knowledge behind the making of d’still and meeting Ula made me see how passionate and knowledgeable she is about skincare ingredients, and about self care. The self care aspect of the brand fits brilliantly with what we do here too.
Q: Which d'still product has become your favourite?
A: The Calming Cleansing Balm. The scent, the colour, the texture - it’s just so dreamy! It really feels like it is cleaning and nourishing your skin, whilst giving it a big hug at the same time.
Q: Favourite skincare ingredient?
A: It’s got to be Neroli. It has so many benefits for the skin; it’s hydrating, anti bacterial, balancing and if inhaled, can help ease anxiety and stress. And it smells incredible. It also happens to be in d’still’s Calming Cleansing Balm - no wonder that’s my favourite product!
Q: Tell us a little bit about the d'still facial?
A: The d’still facial is a collaboration between Ula and our therapists. So in short, the perfect mix of skincare knowledge and relaxation techniques. You’ll experience each of the products, a hot towel facial steam and plenty of massage. We wanted the facial massage to be firm, for maximum stress release and lifting results. We basically each chose our favourite massage moves and put them together for the ultimate hours treatment. We finish the facial with the d’still Aventurine roller and Gua Sha tools; these help to lift the facial muscles, encourage lymphatic drainage and brighten the complexion (and they feel sooo beautifully soothing!) The Ultimate Well-Being Facial, truly.
Q: Finally, where can we book a treatment at The Old Rectory?
A: So many ways! You can use our online booking system, by clicking the link on our website, Instagram or Facebook pages.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or give us a call on 07827 811011.