Back to basics, back to the clinic, back to Dr Suzsanna and tedium. Whatever I thought about VitalEurop, their initial lack of organisation or holistic warmth, I cannot fault their technical care. For the best part of two and half days I am in and out of Dr S’s chair like the proverbial yo-yo as she checked the fittings, the shapes, the colour. I dreaded the removing and refitting of my temporaries who I must admit, I had grown quite attached to during my pig-out at the weekend.
But then on the final morning it was with some trepidation that I went for the FITTING!!! There was no going back…after this nine new crowns and three bridges were going to be cemented into my jaw…for ever. Would it work? I really did not want to change my flight and stay another day. It was a marvel…rather it is a marvel. Comfort from the very beginning even though I was supplied with a couple of painkillers and told to take one before I flew (because of the pressure within the plane). For the first few hours I felt as if I had a mouthful of spanners…but by dinner time I was sufficiently used to them to supplement my usual goulash soup with a bowlful of goose crackling, supplied by friends who came to celebrate!
The weekend – so all teeth repair work closes…and I head for another spa…this time the Royal Spa at the Corinthia. Rather grand pool…beautifully tiled with lots of alcoves for rest and relaxing…plus a jacuzzi or two, steam and sauna. I had a very good Thai massage with a tiny little woman called Nuch, who gently moved my body into positions it had not visited for aome time…and helped release the tensions I imposed on it while rigid in the dentist’s chair.
But the true wonder of the Corinthia is a bistro called Bock – Hungarian food with attitude. It was heaving but the charming Akos Nonin the duty manager managed to get me a table. This is where I threw all caution to the wind…temporary teeth or not, I succumber to oxcheek with pig’s ear and dumplings!!! To start with goose liver sushi with marinated eel and ginger…had I died and gone to heaven. But before all of that there was a tub of lard…in other words dripping…good old fashioned dripping, goose dripping of course, served with the bread, and eaten sprinkled with sea salt and sweet paprika. Not to mention the wines. Bock is a wine grower, so suffice to say, the wines were more than exceptional.
Spent the following morning walking the indulgence off and heading for the spa pools and sauna.
Luxuriating at the @Four Seasons Gresham Palace. Lucky me…I had a room with a great view – of the Danube, the Chain Bridge and the Castle…as far removed from the dentist’s chair as it is possible to be.
Everybody loves 4Seasons beds…but this time I discovered the towels are pretty great too. Unless you are in the top suites the amenities are by @L’Occitane. I have nothing but admiration for some of the l’Occitane products but I can never understand what such a mainstream product house is doing in 5 star hotels. If you are top dog here you get @Acqua di Parma…
Up to the spa on the top floor with a light filled lap pool (you could get two swimmers into it at once…if they behaved nicely and stuck to their lanes)…and I booked a massage. As massages go, it went. It was OK but not memorable, odd since Hungary is home to such therapies. However just around the corner, @VitalEurope the dental clinic had booked me in for a pedicure at a salon called the @A List. VE know that people need to stay around for treatments so organise specials deals and discounts on everything from treatments to cafes. Well, this was a triumph. Eastern European therapists are widely regarded as they have such good training…and my pedicure which was everything from chiropody to nail varnish (not allowed in the UK as you need separate licences) was terrific. Callouses, corns, hard skin, massage, nail shape etc etc…plus polish ….all for the equivalent of £13.
But before all of that, breakfast was a revelation – especially as six different types of honey were on offer – from acacia…to herb…to lindenblossom
Spent the day exploring the city, first on foot and then on the hop-on-hop-off bus…and not a squeak from the teeth (sorry temporaries). I’ve become rather fond of them…and they are very impressive, not just because they stay in place and allow me to eat solids without trembling, but because they look just like better versions of what was there before. That’s the point I suppose…
I know an old lady who swallowed a tooth
And that’s the truth
She swallowed a tooth
In fact one of my temporaries, when being detached for a fitting for the new crown, slithered all the way down my throat…much to the consternation of Dr Zsuzsanna…and helpless giggles from me. Even though she didn’t want me to have a jab for the fitting, being the coward I am, I demanded one…consequently I hardly felt anything when I swallowed it. Coughing it up didn’t help and when cajoled to try eating a biscuit I couldn’t get my fat lip anywhere near it. Therefore one has to wait for nature to take its course
They must find me seriously tiresome now, first with my complaints and now this…although the practice manager, Emoke Fabian, couldn’t be sweeter…while the two guys on reception are charm personified, even when faced with my version of hissing Sid! Perhaps they are used to the ultra nervous.
Once the fitting was done, and the colour matched with my top teeth…I was set free for yet another bowl of goulash soup…this time in town close to St Stephen’s Basilica. I had forgotten how magnificent the church is. Talking of opulence, I have just checked into the Four Seasons Gresham Palace….where they didn’t bat an eyelid at my fat lip. This is a fabulous building and one which started life as an insurance office (Gresham) and an apartment building – I wonder how many of today’s insurance offices will end up as grand hotels in the historical parts of cities.
Demob happy as I didn’t need to see the clinic for another couple of days, I headed for the restaurant. If I can’t eat very much, at least I can have a go at Hungarian wines, which are reputedly very good…although the only ones I know, or even heard of, are Tokay and Bull’s Blood. Having emailed my friend the wine expert Fiona Campbell for recommendations I demanded the wine list. Within minutes the sommelier and the maitre d’ were adding their favourites…and all in all a very pleasant evening ensued!!!
The stars of the show were the Sauska Extra Brut and a Kovacs Nimrod Syrah…and I did manage a sliver of goose liver with a fine slice of crispy eel followed by a raviolo. Teeth totally intact…yippee!
All quiet on the western front…simply a day to get used to the temporaries, recover from the traumas of the day before…and rest. At least with the help of a great painkiller given to me by Dr.Zsuzsanna and a large vodka I managed most of a bowl of goulash soup without dribbling…and an early night.
Weather still not great but walked from the hotel to discover a bit about the area, finishing up in the next door shopping mall…a smaller Westfield, called MOM, had a gentle swim in hotel pool with my mouth firmly shut, did emails and worked. No pain!!
Keep looking at my temporaries and am very taken with them…wondered if I might just do a runner and never go back to the clinic. I suppose the gnashers wouldn’t last very long
To begin with I hate dentists, or rather more to the point, they frighten me…which goes all the way back to childhood, a fierce butcher of a dentist…and gas for extractions.
Hence I am more frightened of the dentist than I am of the devil.
Hence I have rotten teeth. Although a few years ago in South Africa I met a glorious and kind man who capped and bridged and veneered my front teeth with very limited pain. But I am not going back to the dark continent soon and my bottom teeth look as if they might give up the ghost without some attention. So here I am in Budapest in the rain, having left the heat, sun and dust of London.
Budapest because friends and colleagues have paved the way, all had great treatments and all at a fraction of the cost in the UK. I had my original consultaion and x-rays just off Portland Place and here I am at the hands of VitalEurope in the Pest (wouldn’t you know) side of the city.
Let’s face it the day did not start well. Apart from the aforementioned sogginess, I arrived at the clinic…early (as is my wont) for my 9 a.m. appointment…only to be told that my time had been changed to 10.30…and while they claimed to have telephoned me, no messages filtered through email, texts, voicemail! Not happy. Tired, nervous and not wishing to hang around for 90 minutes waiting for torture to begin. To quieten me they took me off to the hygienist and then for a CATscan. My treatment with Dr Zsuzsanna began just after 10 a.m…..and finished at 2.24p.m.
Nine drillings, one filling, endless impressions, some photographs, lots of jabs, numbings, one fat lip and frozen jaw later I realised the longest and hopefully worst of it was over…or will it be
Ynyshir Hall a glorious luxury hideaway in mid-Wales and is one of the most inspiring places in the Principality. Not only is the setting and the garden a meditation for the mind…but it is home to two extraordinary creatures. There is Thomas a therapist who can read the structure of your body with just one look and then there is Theo the dog who with one cuddle will make even me, a total cat lover, feel at home. He is as gentle as any giant can be….but then he has been trained and loved by the third healer on site – the extraordinary owner and spirit of the place Joan Reen…Go there and thank your lucky stars.
I know we are all told that we can meditate anywhere…and at any time, which I am sure is true if you are experienced and allow yourelf the time and space. For instance I love walking and find that I can meditate whether out in the country…in a park…or on deserted city streets…but sometimes in the quietness of my own room, World War Three breaks out in my head! Which is why many of us require a certain space, a certain atmosphere, sometimes a candle or low lights, others prefer a church, a temple or a monastery. And then once in a while something comes along which has been designed to clear the mind and provide the space in our heads we need – such as the stunning meditation space at Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa, hidden among the forests on the slopes of the Western Ghats. Just over two hours from the mayhem that is Mumbai, this glorious forest retreat not only provides clear, sweet air, birdsong and an ayurvedic spa as well as this oh-so-serene Meditation Cave…
A few weeks ago I met a lovly woman called Amanda Barlow who is the driving force behind SpieziaOrganics – a Cornish company, whose skin and body care products are all handmade locally, and use only 100% organic ingredients.
I have recently tried two of their innovative treatments HeadinHeaven at the spa at Brown’s Hotel in London and a body treatment.
TheDreaming, a signature therapy at the newly opened Spa at the Headland Hotel in Cornwall. The former is one the most relaxing I have ever had, I was practically in a coma, and not sure I was safe to head off to the traffic of Piccadilly afterwards. It uses techniques taken from Traditional Chinese Medicine, from Tuina massages and acupressure points – the latter specifically on the face which not only eases tension and tight muscles but also helps release any blocked up fluids around the eyes. Spiezia has for the last couple of years organised MadeforLife days in Cornwall and has been supported by the Macmillan nurses and a local breast cancer unit TheMermaidCentre, at which the HeadinHeaven treatment has been used as a support for those during and after treatment for cancer. Similarly, TheDreaming was created by the Headland spa manager with the help of two of Spiezia’s Made for Life therapists…and again it was uber-relaxing. This time I didn’t worry about how I felt afterwards because all I had to do was recline and admire one of the most beautiful coastlines in England.
Spiezia is gradually becoming a name in UK spas and its products are available on-line…but it’s name doesn’t sound at all Cornish! Amanda explains that the brand is named after the doctor who helped first formulate it…and while I admire her generosity of spirit…I just wish I knew how to pronounce it properly.
www.headlandhotel.co.uk / www.spieziaorganics.com
Oh dear! I have been trying to meditate for years….I really want to be able to do it and yet my mind and/or brain keeps getting in the way. I have meditated in temples/ashrams/churches/gardens/seashore/trains and boats and planes…or have I? A Buddhist monk in Thailand once told me I was trying too hard. A TM teacher once told me I had cracked it after I had parted with quite a considerable sum of money. The nearest I ever got to what I thought was meditation was during a Sadhana course in London…and then along came mindfulness. No wonder so many of us are confused…and yet…and yet there is a huge longing for what I term peace of mind. Is that what meditation really is? Who knows. Is mindfulness a stepping stone to the real thing. I can now recognise the difference, in theory, between the two…so must start practising
At the recent HealingSummit in Berlin, astrologer ShelleyvonStrunckel spoke on our need for time for ourselves, and highlighted the fact that often her daily horoscope in the Evening Standard, was the only space in anybody’s day where the individual, while reading it, had time for his or herself. All 55 words of it…which is what she is allowed.
Perhaps we, or more likely me, all try far too hard to banish thoughts, ideas, intrusions which come into our heads the minute we “begin to meditate”….which is why I am so grateful to have met the lovely Cornelius O’Shaugnessy of Bodhimaya who tells me that all meditation is….is the art of doing nothing. He also warned me that the rejection of thoughts, was not meditation when I explained that I push such monsters aside when they intrude on my meditating. “Ignore them…pretend they’re just passing through.” I’m trying…well it’s better than allowing World War 3 loose in my brain