Could these ancient London baths be the secret to cracking the happiness code?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Sometimes, when our inner and outer life feels dark, we do the work, right? We talk to qualified people and channel wisdom, ancient and modern. We trawl TikTok for therapies, trends and kinship. We feel certain we should be doing more yoga and less drinking; more turmeric and less brooding. That’s all good, laudable and — to varying degrees — effective, but is it joyous? Other times, we just want a treat to warm us and soothe us. Wellness has become so... measurable, with all of us attempting to calculate the ROI on a spa treatment; unwilling to book anything unless it involves a lecture, an injection and some deprivation. I direct you to a deeply nurturing experience deep in the ancient vaults behind the Embankment, through which the merchants of old would haul their wares from the Thames to the Strand. Aire is a bathing experience designed to cosset. Best visited with a friend or partner, it is entered via an 18th-century terraced house (that was once the home of Peter Pan creator JM Barrie) complete with a faintly sinister door knocker. Down a flight of stairs lies an astonishing labyrinth that includes a calderium, a frigidarium, salted floating pools, steam rooms and jet baths where you can just… wonder, exhale and allow the waters to wash the cares away. Teamed with an exemplary massage, scrub, wine immersion (alcohol removed, vitamins retained), tea oil rub down or any number of gentle treatments, one feels warmed from within and newly ready to brave the terrible winter. Deeply indulgent. Not at all worthy. Thank God.

From £95. 2-3 Robert Street, WC2 (020 3830 4610; beaire.com)