So a couple of weeks ago, I travelled home from Newcastle with first semester deadlines finally over to relax in peace. My Christmas present from my Mum this year was a trip to Champneys Spa in Leicester.
My Mum used to go to the spa, and has promised me since I was a teenager she would take me when I turned 16. Well, 5 years later she finally did. At first, I was a little worried – was this some kind of major health/fitness test? Would I have an itinerary that forced me up and into a gym at some ungodly hour? I am thankful to say it was a refreshing three days, where we were mostly left to our own devices to do whatever we wanted. I can’t remember the last time I took three days off to just do nothing.
On our arrival, we were greeted and shown to our room where a dressing gown and pair of flip flops lay on the bed waiting for us. The dressing gowns were a little on the large side – but this was probably a blessing as it was all I wore for the three days – so comfy and cosy. The buildings are warm enough to simply sit down and fall asleep on a sofa (as my Mum did regularly).
One of my main concerns was the food. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the restaurant with a set menu at dinner. I have regularly been told that I’m a fussy eater, so was already planning my trip to McDonald’s on the way home after starvation. However, I am happy to say each 3 course meal at the hotel was delicious. At dinner, crusty bread was served with hummus (a healthy alternative to butter), before a starter, main and dessert. The desserts looked lovely, but stayed fairly low in calories. Each course of the menu was labelled with hearts to show how healthy it was. Breakfast and lunch were buffets, with a large selection of food on offer and at lunch, there was a pasta station. Here you could fill your bowl with toppings such as tuna, sweetcorn and onions, before the chef cooked a portion of pasta in front of you in a wok along with your selection and a choice of either tomato or carbonara sauce. The food was amazing, and after 3 days of healthy eating I felt better – I definitely didn’t want a McDonald’s when I left!
On our second day, my Mum and I woke up early enough to get in breakfast before our first (and last) exercise class in the pool – we chose Aqua Mitts! This is basically an aqua aerobics class but using mittens that spread out and web your fingers to create a larger surface area and increase resistance while pushing through the water. I loved it!
In terms of therapies, we had a facial and back massage included, along with thalassotherapy. I also opted for a Mediterranean Bliss Float which was incredible – I was body brushed and moisturised before being wrapped in a blankets and a large plastic cloth. I was then left to ‘float’ in a water tank (perfectly dry) for an hour to soak in all the moisturiser – it was by far my favourite treatment and I smelled wonderful.
The hotel asks you do not use mobile phones in the shared areas, and as I spent most of my time asleep on a sofa I didn’t get the opportunity to take many photographs…but here is what I did take: