Review: ilāpothecary

ilapothecary massage review

Review: ilāpothecary

We take some much needed time out to experience a bespoke massage at ilāpothecary in the heart of Kensington.

Words by Becky Pomfret

ilāpothecary has gained an outstanding reputation amongst discerning celebrities for its potent formulations and transformative products

ilapothecary window

A massage, for me, is always the ultimate treat. Every time I am lucky enough to have one, I leave vowing to myself to ‘go at least once a month’ and then, months fly by and it’s another promise kicked to the kerb. After suffering a nasty bout of Covid last year, which turned into a rather Victorian-era bout of whooping cough and led to me feeling distinctly under-par for a long time, I’m determined to have the massage to end all massages. I need a treat! So, I start my research and what do you know, find a tiny shop-front on Kensington Church Street that I’ve walked past, unnoticed for years. ilāpothecary is primarily a wellness shop, selling products created to uplift, nurture and balance, but nestled in the back is a treatment room, where magic occurs.

ilapothecary exterior and treatment room

ilāpothecary is a pioneering and award-winning British functional beauty and wellness brand revolutionising the industry with its powerful line of natural products. A well-loved, best-kept secret amongst A-List fans such as Demi Moore, Jodie Comer, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Helena Bonham Carter, ilāpothecary has gained an outstanding reputation amongst discerning celebrities for their potent formulations and transformative products.

Inspired by the Sanskrit word for Earth – ‘ila’ – and with a cutting-edge synergy of herbology, naturopathy, phyto- actives, and homeopathy, ilāpothecary brings forth a range of products infused with potent remedial ingredients. These ingredients, including live stem cells, silk, powerful gemstones, vitamins and aromatherapy oils, combat various urban stressors, environmental and digital pollution, mental stress, hormonal imbalance and body fatigue.

ilapothecary products

Using these products, and well-trained therapists, the treatment offering is strong;  facials, acupuncture, reiki and massage. I’m booked in for a bespoke ‘beat the blues’ massage, which seems appropriate considering my months of illness. Usually the sort of person who has a maximum of one cold a year, it’s taken its toll feeling so under the weather, so it’s like a form of counselling when Meriel, my therapist, takes the time to ask me how I am. The great thing about a bespoke massage is that all your needs can be taken into consideration; a stiff neck? Check. Immune system boost? Check. Lymphatic drainage? Check. Spot of healing reiki? Check. Meriel asks me how strong I’d like the massage to be and I ask for medium pressure, also mentioning that as I’m a stereotypical Brit, she could be cracking my ribs and she wouldn’t hear a peep out of me, so she makes me promise to tell her if it’s too much. She has powerful hands, for sure, but it’s the kind of pressure that makes me grimace occasionally, but actually feels so good, and needed. An hour passes by, or is it two? I’ve no idea. I leave that therapy room floating on air. Meriel has the magic touch for sure, as well as being a skilled massage therapist, she’s a Reiki Master too, and on top of that the kind of person I instantly want as a new best friend.

ilāpothecary has the vibe of a village shop, but in the heart of London. It’s run by the friendliest staff, smells wonderful, has deliciously hot herbal tea on tap, is packed to the rafters with incredible potions, balms and tonics for every possible mood or ailment, and offers regular meditation and sound bath events. It may be tiny but it packs a powerful punch and deserves to be made your go-to wellness destination. And if you can’t make it in person, you can buy everything here: