Shelley Carter enjoys a bit of luxury that impresses even the harshest of critics
Thanks to some rogue sat nav directions I arrived at the spa at Lea Marston a little late and completely unrelaxed. A stickler for punctuality I knew I would find it difficult to let it go. I bundled apologetically through the door and was met by the serene Sally who wasn’t fazed by my lateness at all or didn’t show it in any case. She told me to relax and talked me through the schedule for the day which sounded great.
There is something about the heat and light in a good spa that puts me in holiday mode. While I wasn’t quite there yet the signs were good. By the time I’d slipped into a fluffy white robe I felt my shoulders fall an inch or so and the frown eased slightly. An Elemis facial and deep tissue massage was on the cards as well as use of the health club and relaxation lounge. Also, as it was the week before Christmas a three course festive lunch would be served which I wasn’t sure I’d be in the mood for, but given my lack of punctuality earlier I didn’t want to seem like a tricky customer, so I went with it for now.
I’d planned to swim before my treatments as it always seems a waste of a good facial to dive into chlorinated water afterwards. I missed out on this due to my lateness, but the pool looked fantastic. All too often, spas shoe horn in tiny odd shaped pools because they need to, but this one was a decent size and looked really inviting. Although I was the only person having a spa day (it was a Monday), the club seemed to be thriving. Members were enjoying the pool and there was a very popular exercise class going on when I arrived. The atmosphere was really lovely and welcoming.
I began with the deep tissue massage which was just what the doctor ordered. Just the right amount of pressure was applied and I felt immediately relaxed. The oils smelled delicious and the customary spa ‘music’ provided the hypnotic soundtrack. In any other setting I wouldn’t dream of listening to crashing waves, but somehow it works in a treatment room. There wasn’t a consultation as such which I would have expected before any treatment, but it didn’t actually matter. I think the therapist chose the type of facial perfectly to suit my age and skin. The Elemis Advanced Anti-Ageing facial using the pro collagen range was fabulous for me. The combination of cleansing, massage and oils was lovely and a scalp massage topped off the treatment perfectly.
I relaxed for a while in the relaxation lounge before heading off to lunch which as suspected I wasn’t ready for. Thankfully there was an alternative to turkey with all the trimmings in the form of sea bream which was absolutely superb followed by a really fresh fruit platter. The dining room for spa goers is separate from the main restaurant which avoids the awkwardness of sitting next to a suited business man while wearing a fluffy robe and slippers.
THE DAY AFTER
I have to say I felt very fresh faced the next day. I’ve had Elemis facials before and this one was particularly good. The best endorsement I can give it is from one of my daughters. She’s six years old, very observant and doesn’t mince her words. For instance, when I’d endured a large pimple on my chin for over a week she quizzed me: “Mummy, are you bored of looking like Nanny McPhee?” So when she looked at me curiously the day after my treatment I wondered what gem would emerge. “Mummy, when will you get wrinkles?” Enough said. This might just be an essential monthly trip worth making minus the idiotic sat nav of course.