The  Fingerprint Luxury Manicure at ClinkSpa in Derby 

Derby's Cathedral Quarter Hotel opened to guests in 2008 in a building that had most recently served as a police museum. Built in 1895 as an administrative building for the newly-founded Derbyshire County Council, it featured a police station at the rear and it is in this part of the building that the appropriately named CLINK Spa is situated. Treatments have been named with the building's history in mind.  Among them are the Identity Parade and Photofit facials, the Lock-in remineralising wrap, the Walk the Beat pedicure and the Serving Time five-hour spa package. And, clever theming aside, you wouldn't really know you were in a former town lock-up. It's a clever use of space with cells converted into treatment rooms. And it's surprisingly plush. Lots of cushions, comfortable lighting and gentle music to coccon you. You'd really never know you were in a former police station, or that you were only minutes from one of the city's busiest shopping and entertainment areas. Around seventy per cent of the spa's custom comes from Derbeians, rather than hotel residents and it's great to know that such an endeavour, in a city with countless beauty salons, can still pull in the locals. Testament, perhaps, to the absolute luxury on offer.

And it was the good things I'd heard about CLINK spa that lured me in. Reasoning it was most unlike me to overlook an opportunity for a bit of pampering I took my Mum for a Fingerprint luxury manicure (pretty much CLINK spa's names for the Leighton Denny Immaculate Manicure). Since this was a birthday treat for my Mum we opted to have our manicures together and so were seated in very comfortable wide and heavily-cushioned wicker chairs while the two therapists worked their manicures on our poorly cuticles and gardening ravaged hands. Both of us do look after our hands. But, as hard as we try, even devoted amateurs like us can't really get the results a professional can. And when you add in the rigours of housework and gardening, our nails can always benefit from a professional's expert help. Particularly when it comes to cuticles. 

Before long we were both feeling a bit more proud of our digits. Not least because of the excellent effects of Leighton Denny's Remove and Rectify cuticle remover. A nice long hand soak, nail buffing and shaping and hand and arm exfoliation and moisturisation and a soothing massage and we were ready for painting. I've used Leighton Denny polishes in the past and always found them to have great coverage and to be reasonably long-lasting. Most importantly they dry well with a fabulously glossy and glamorous finish. I opted for a rich and dark chocolate-cherry shade Vamp while Mum chose the sparky deep plum Best Seller. 

The therapists, as well as taking very good care of us, and choosing individual basecoats and treatments to suit our personal nail and hand problems, were chatty enough to be friendly but not so much so that they turned a relaxing experience into a frenzied one. I love those busy nail bars and the neighbourhood salons, but CLINK Spa is about relaxation and shutting away the distractions of the outside world. And not once was a reality show, or celebrity gossip brought up. Just over an hour after we entered we left, to rejoin the shoppers in the street outside, only looking rather more glamorous than before. And wanting very much to return to sample some of the spa's other services. CLINK's own publicity tells us "With three tranquil treatment rooms (including one double treatment room), a relaxation area and a Hot House with sauna, steam room and experience shower. Clink is a haven to escape and unwind in". And I hope I'll be able to revisit and try out some of those facilities soon.

And did it last? Well judge for yourself. Five days in and the manicure on my hard-working hands had barely a dink or a chip. And that's what I'd call an open and shut case. Did you see what I did there? Sorry about that …