Relaxation, massages and being waited upon for breakfast, lunch and dinner is the sort of life I could get used to, says travel writer Catherine Varney.
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and this was only during a luxurious weekend getaway to the beautiful Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire.
The spa, hotel and golf club invited bedfordtoday to try out their facilities. And I was only too happy to put my hand up for this gig – well someone had to.
And I dragged my partner along for the ride kicking and screaming, well there wasn’t much kicking or screaming, more excitement and squealing.
We went for the overnight deluxe stay, which included one night’s stay, full use of the pool and heat and ice spa experience, and an hour-long back, shoulder, face and scalp massage using hot stones.
There was also a two-course buffet lunch, and three-course dinner at their fine dining restaurant Murrays and a full English breakfast before you head back home.
It sounded beautiful and we were certainly not disappointed.
We arrived at 10am on Saturday where we checked in. The system seemed of a faff at first. You have to take everything you need out of your luggage for the spa, and then leave the rest at reception.
But everything fell into place. You then head off to the spa and the staff take your luggage up to your room when it is ready.
So we headed off for our day of relaxation and it certainly was that. We left all our stresses and worries at the door and let ourselves be pampered for the day.
We were welcomed by friendly staff as we entered the spa area who gave us a welcome pack and we were asked to fill out a consultation form.
Once we had filled out that we were free to explore. I heard about the heat and ice thermal experience which sounded very inviting, so were a little confused when all we could find was the
pool area. As lovely as it was with sunbeds, a café area to have a drink or something to eat, jacuzzi and steam and sauna rooms, we went in search of the ‘experience’.
We didn’t have to look far as we found it in the next room. It was like entering a paradise. We were hit by a very warm temperature and welcomed by the site of a big hydrotherapy pool area, with powerful water fountains pouring water out.
And then there were various hot and cold experiences to try out, including a cold bucket shower, basically a bucket of cold water being poured on you, experience showers – very hot and very cold, a crystal relaxation room and an ice cave.
The idea behind these multi-level experiences is to invigorate the body by providing different sensations as a result of changing temperatures.
As you move through the treatments you gradually increase your body’s temperature before stepping into the Ice Cave to stimulate your circulation and senses. This also has the effect of aiding the elimination of toxins and exfoliating your skin.
We had been booked for a lunchtime slot of 1pm where we were treated to a delicious mix of hot and cold two-course buffet lunch. We had the choice of lasagne, vegetables, salad, potatoes, cold meats and fruit for dessert.
I tried to tell myself to not fill myself up too much but the food looked so good I was unable to stop myself, I felt fit to burst afterwards.
So we had a little break from swimming and messing around after lunch and dried off ready for our massages at 3pm.
We had our treatments in the couple’s room so we could have them together. We were both very
impressed with our massages, they were lovely.
After a, slightly pricey, pot of tea we hit the spa area again for another couple of hours before heading off to check out our room.
It was very spacious, and we had a lovely view of the grounds of Whittlebury Hall.
Soon it was time for dinner.
We were led through to a lounge area where diners were presented with drinks and canopes before they were taken through for the main event.
A word of warning - bring your wallet with you, the drinks are not cheap.
Boasting two AA Rosettes and an intimate and relaxing atmosphere, Murrays provides the perfect setting for our for the restaurant’s head chef to introduce you to his modern British menu
As the name suggests, Murrays is a homage to the legendary F1 commentator Murray Walker and whilst you relax in the lounge and during dinner you can reminisce by viewing the collection of photographs with F1 celebrities and some unique anecdotes of his memorable career.
A beautiful three-course dinner followed. I opted for Cornish crab and the 35-day aged beef with tongue. I couldn’t even fit desert in. While Ian went for ham, egg and chips, followed by the beef and unlike me, he could fit in a lemon meringue cheesecake, which he loved. The beef was lovely, however the tongue wasn’t to my liking.
It was a beautiful end to a lovely, relaxing day.
The following day, feeling completely refreshed, we were set up for the day with a lovely full English breakfast, fit for a king.
And Ian was so refreshed he was even up for being dragged round the shops on a Sunday afternoon.
Overnight spa stays at Whittlebury Hall start from £69. To find out more and their full price list go to www.whittleburyhall.co.uk