I want to talk to you about Christmas shopping. When you decide to venture out to start yours, I'd like to make a suggestion. What I'm about to propose may seem odd but please, bear with me. What I'd like you to do is pick a blustery/cold/wet/day (delete as appropriate or even better go for all three), then find yourself the busiest shopping street in Central London that you can and begin. With any luck it'll be the kind that drives you mad with bustling fellow shoppers and exasperated shop staff. Load yourself up with a large number of heavy bags (the kind that really dig into your shoulders or hands as you carry them) and then once you've just about reached the end of your tether head to Fortnum and Mason on Piccadilly. You might think I'm mad but I suggest all of the above to make the reward I'm about to reveal all the more sweet.
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The Flagging Shopper treatment at Beauty A La Carte in Fortnum's is the brainchild of spa brand Aromatherapy Associates and is just about the most perfect remedy for Christmas shopping hell I can think of. Lying on a heated bed a deep, thorough feet and leg massage begins the treatment using AAs reviving and refreshing leg gel with stimulating rosemary. Even your toenails are kneaded which after a hard day of pounding pavements, will be very tender indeed. The therapist then turns you over and begins to pummel your aching back and tight shoulders using a soothing, uplifting blend of oils, until all tension and symptoms of shopping hell are a distant memory. I came away literally floating and feeling like I could do at least another ten rounds with rush-hour Oxford Street.