So the phone rang and, to my utter amazement, I picked it up.
My friend Nicky. My cohort in extreme exercise crime. Except since cracking myself on the nose I haven’t seen her for…weeks.
‘I’ve left you tons of messages,’ she said. I glanced at the ansaphone and winced. Thirteen messages? Eek.
‘Shit. Sorry. Er, wanna coffee?’ I said and we both laughed cos we don’t ‘do’ coffee. We usually ‘do’ three hours of Zumba or killer Pilates with weights and wotnot. Come to think of it, I don’t even drink coffee but hey…
‘Sure,’ she said. ‘But let’s go to Bampton.’
So we went to Bampton. Lo and behold a parking space right outside my mum’s old house. Sigh.
And we toddled over the road into Toucan, which is this really nice café/bistro on Front Street. When Mum was alive it was her second home – she loved the place. So Nicky and I shot the breeze and then she said, ‘Come and have a look at this…’ And she pulled me up the stairs.
Huh? She wanted me to go to the loo? But it seems that Toucan has a brand new beauty room, all beautifully clean and fresh and kitted out in tones of cool grey and zingy lime. Soft music playing - Rumer. Aromatherapy candle burning - possibly fig.
Well, blow me down with a feather - it turns out that Nicky’s daughter, Charlotte Richards, is setting up shop as a beauty therapist here. Now this is seriously good news if you live in or around Bampton. Cos Charlotte is good, damn good. Actually more than damn good. She doesn’t do healing and wotnot but if you want really professional, effective beauty treatments, she’s your girl. I used to visit her a lot while she was training and she’s a total natural. Firm assured touch, lovely manner and she doesn’t feed you any bullshit. Yes, she’s young but don’t let that put you off – it means her training is up to the minute and she’s fresh and enthusiastic. And, to be honest, she’s way better than the majority of people who’ve been doing it for years.
What can I recommend? Well, all of it really. She uses Dermalogica products which are pretty nice. Not my absolute favourite but still...they ain't half bad. She’s given me lots of facials and they were all really good. Her body massages are divine. Pedicures and manicures are the business. Eyelash and eyebrow tinting? Yup. And the girl’s a whizz with the wax. Let it be said – very clearly – she was NOT the one responsible for the butchered badger – no sirree. She does a very neat bikini line - and makes you laugh at the same time, which is no mean feat.
Anyhow…check it out. Book yourself a treat or buy a voucher for a friend. Go see her and say hello from me. She doesn’t know I’ve posted this so hopefully it will come as a nice surprise. J
Brook Street Studios, Toucan Café, Brook Street, Bampton, EX16 9LY
01398 331777 www.toucanrestaurant.co.uk/