An indulgent spa retreat at Whittlebury Park in Northamptonshire was just what we needed after 18-hour days planning events, meeting deadlines and running a home. Time to recharge the batteries, relax, reflect, and re focus. Located in the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside,not far from the legendary Silverstone Race Track, Whittlebury Park is a beautiful Hotel, Golf and Spa complex.
You can visit the spa as a day guest, or upgrade to overnight – We opted for overnight and the ‘Summer Spa Retreat’ which includes full use of the spa and leisure club facilities, two course lunch, a ‘Holistic Haven Treatment’ and overnight stay withbreakfast.
Our day began by us enjoying the heat and ice experienceswhich are set around a warm hydrotherapy pool, with jets that gently massage your aching muscles. There’s also a salt steam room, sauna, an ice cave, and sanarium. Heat and Ice has a powerful relaxing effect on the muscles and leaves you feeling amazing.
The hours just whizzed past and all too soon it was time to get our temperatures back upto normal and head into the dining room for lunch.
Lunch is served as a delicious two course hot and cold buffet, with plenty of fresh seasonal choices such as soup, salads in all guises (rice, pasta, couscous, chick pea to name a few) and hot dishes that include chicken, salmon and beef. Suitably stuffed after lunch it was time to lounge around the pool and relax (hadn’t we been doing that all day?) for a while before our treatment.
The Holistic Haven Treatment is a luxurious full body pampering treat, aimed at relaxing and rebalancing mind and body. Elemis frangipani body oil is gently massaged into your body,soothing aching muscles and deeply cleansing and moisturising the skin. Next the therapists skilled hands move to your head for the most blissful scalp massage along with an indulgent hand and foot massage that had me feeling relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated – pure indulgence. Dimmed lights, beautiful aromas and soothing music add to the whole ambience of peace and tranquillity.
Treatments finished we floated out of the spa to reception where we checked in and headed up to our room. A beautiful suite with views over the stunning grounds, a bathroom complete with a free-standing claw foot bath (how am I ever going to get ready for dinner) ESPA toiletries and a selection of goodies including wine, popcorn and pretzels.
But get ready I had to as we were heading down to enjoy dinner in the hotel’s award winning fine dining restaurant Murray’s (this isn’t included in the Summer Spa Retreat).
A table was reserved in the small intimate lounge area where we browsed the menu whilst enjoying pre-dinner drinks and canapés. Murray’s boasts two-AA rosettes and an intimate, relaxing atmosphere. Carefully sourced, seasonal local ingredients are used whenever possible to create a menu that tantalises the taste buds with contemporary twists on classic dishes.
Our dining experience was to be the six course taster menu.An amuse bouche of apple and leeks with a chicken veloute began our culinary journey followed by Loch Duart Salmon with crème fraiche and cucumber, wood pigeon served with artichoke and baby onion, wild halibut with fennel, raisins and squid (my favourite dish), and Cotswold 35-day aged beef with asparagus and ox cheek – presentation of the dishes were like a work of art and the combination of flavours within each dish was delightful.
Dessertswere strawberry and cream along with tiramisu. again, just perfect. The base for all the dishesis basic ingredients that the chef then adds imaginative twists to create an array of divinely flavoursome food.
Dinner was followed with coffee and homemade petit fours, the perfect end to a faultless evening. The food here is mouth-wateringly delicious, service is outstanding, and presentation perfect, a must visit for any foodies out there.
After retiring to our room and a restful night’s sleep a hearty breakfast was eaten leaving us ready to face the reality of everyday life once again, but believe me in the words of Arnie “I’ll be back!”
The Summer Spa Retreat starts from £99 per person and is available to book until the end of August 2019. To book or for more information, visit www.whittlebury.com/spa