Girls' Night In: Spa Night at Home

Escape everyday stress with a spa night in your own living room.

Indulge your senses at home with friends–no appointments necessary. The peaceful solitude of a mini spa vacation is closer than you think when you turn your living room into a luxurious spa lounge.

The Set Up
Recreate the magical moment of a first step into spa at your own front door. Light some clean-scented candles, like white tea or jasmine. Play instrumental music in the background and offer lemon water to each guest as she arrives. For a touch of botanicals, place white flowers and fresh herbs around the house.

Have the girls bring robes to change into, and set up a few stations for quick do-it-yourself spa treatments. For a facial station in the powder room, purchase some facial masks for a few different skin types. Provide warm wet hand-towels for an easy way to remove the masks. Add a drop of your favorite essential oil to the towels for an aromatherapy bonus. Mix together a paste of light olive oil and sugar for a hand scrub like no other. After washing off the scrub, let your guests hydrate with a soothing hand lotion. Transform the bathtub by filling it with a few inches of warm water and peppermint extract. Add some pumice stones and peppermint lotion for a little much-deserved foot-therapy.

The Food
Ease the mind and treat the body with a light supper worthy of a five-star spa. Start the evening with authentic spa snacks like trail mix, granola, and fruit. For an extra touch, serve granola in small cups while everyone settles into their robes. Flavored water is a signature sipper at most spas, and you can make your own with your favorite slices of fruit and sprigs of herbs.

Meals at a spa vacation come with quite a perk–eating in your robe. Be inspired by luxury living and plan for a leisurely supper. Let everyone help their plate and linger over their meal so the relaxation never stops. Serve a salad, wholesome bread, and healthy pasta to mirror the world's best resorts.

The Bar
The healing properties of fruit and vegetables shine through on the bar. Nature's gifts have been their own form of therapy for centuries. Cocktails packed with fresh produce are a rejuvenating excuse to pour a glass. Set up the bar in the kitchen and keep the drinks on ice. If there is extra cucumber from the margaritas, chill the slices, and place them out to soothe puffy eyes.

The Music
To set the mood of relaxation for your spa night, here's a list of songs you can download and play during the evening.

  1. Always, Aeoliah
  2. Communion, Alain Lemay
  3. Infinity, Alain Lemay
  4. Gentle Touch, Anugama
  5. Voyage to Birdland, Blue World
  6. Scalpitate Nel Vento, Cesare Regazzoni
  7. Ice Sculpture, Colors of the Land
  8. Turtle Dove, Daniel Kobialka
  9. Mountaintop, Danny Heines
  10. Running Dances, Gabriel Lee
  11. La Busqueda, Gomi
  12. Angels of Compassion, Aeoliah

The Party Plan
The Day Before

  • Make Apricot-Almond Granola, Sugared Cranberries, and Honey Roasted Nuts and Fruit a few days in advance. Store in separate airtight containers.
  • Make sugar syrup for Pomegranate-Key Lime Vodka Cocktails the day before.

1-3 Hours Before

  • Assemble Apple Slaw the afternoon of the party.
  • Make Pasta with Asiago Cheese and Spinach and Green Salad with Apples and Maple-Walnut Dressing about an hour before the party starts.

Before the Guests Arrive

  • Blend Cucumber Margaritas before the guests arrive. Keep the margaritas frozen in an electric ice cream maker.
  • Set out the granola, nuts, dried fruit, and herbed water just before the guests arrive.

Rebecca Lang is a well-known cooking instructor, author, and food writer. She teaches Girls' Night In classes around the country and lives in Athens, Georgia.

Rebecca Lang, Contributing Editor

December 2008