Today, myself and two friends, plucked up courage and went for a hamman at the Mosque de Paris. I had often wanted to try this experience so I thought I would share it for others.
So,……… take a friend(s) you want to bond with, (this is very much a social occasion) leave your inhibitions at the door and embrace this experience. We felt fantastic afterwards and my skin has never felt softer. Will definatly be repeting the experience when I visit Paris again.
We paid 38 euro for the full treatment, steam rooms, black soap, gomage (exfolition by a lady with a mitt ) massage and mint tea. You get a ticket for each one. Towels can be hired, but we took ours with us. Do not do as we did and take the towels into the steam rooms, as they will become wet through. A smaller towel is useful to put under your head or neck for support.. We took our own flip flops but there was a basket of them to use. I also wished I had taken a bottle of water to drink as I went along as I got a slight headache from dehydration .
There are changing rooms to the right with lockers which lock with a one euro coin , that you get back when the locker is opened.
There were some women putting on bathing costumes and bikini but they would get in the way of the massage and the gomage.
As there were three of us and we only took two bathing costumes, we decided to throw our inhibitions to the wind and all go topless! As most other women were topless we quickly felt comfortable and it was very liberating .
We are three middle aged ( possibly old! meaning me) ladies, there were ladies of all ages shapes and sizes. They were sitting relaxing, chatting, laughing as I said it is a social occasion.
They do require you to wear knickers and shower before you start
The procedure is that you sit in the steam room, use the sachet of black soap to soap yourself all over, (your friend can do your back) then you sit in the steam room for 20 minutes. There were three or four steam rooms all hotter than each other and a cold plunge pool.
The gomage which is done by Turkish ladies while you lie on a table. They give you a good rub down with a mitt and something with the consistency of sugar.
Another shower and dry before the all over body massage, from a Turkish lady, which included my face and head. with lavender smelling oil. (so forget the hairdo!)… this was heaven! so relaxing and seemed to go on far more than the allotted 10 minutes we had paid for. Edit..when you enter the Hamman, your name is put on a list against a number and the massages are done in the order of the names on the list
You are supposed to relax for a while at the side of the massage tables to allow the oil to soak in and sip mint tea. I could have had a shower to wash the oil out of my hair, but I wanted to keep the oil on my skin for the full effect so I just tied it up before getting dressed and taking the tea in the tearooms.
The Hamman is old, so don’t expect posh, but I felt it was clean, the Turkish ladies hosed down the gomage and massage tables between clients.
The place was full of French women. I believe that it is a very popular and regular pastime….. highly recommended!
Love from Paris
Afterwards I went for more mint tea and sticky cakes. I am sure you are not supposed to eat three but hey ho!
I wanted to visit the interior of the mosque but it was closed until 1600h on Wednesdays so all I could manage was a picture through the entrance of the calming courtyard.
I am sure this will become a part of my Paris ritual.
I'm gonna have to brave up and try this Denise–you've given me some courage!
That sounds like so much fun! And the refreshments looks delish. Wish I had gone instead of just walking by. Next time!
Hello NYC girl….I assume you followed the link from Out and about in Paris.If we are ever in Paris again together, it is a date…if only for the cakes, unless I can persuade you to try the Hamman…..you would love it!Love Denise
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