Hoar Cross Hall Spa Escape

Whenever anyone asks me for a spa recommendation I without hesitation say ‘Hoar Cross Hall‘. There’s something about the place that induces immediate relaxation.

It’s just far enough out of the city to feel like I’m escaping into the countryside, without being so far that it feels like a slog to get there. The Jacobean building gives the historian in me serious happies, the food is brilliant (and plentiful), and that’s before you even get on to the actual spa facilities.

Back in April I was just entering what I’ll now refer to as ‘stressed-out-reclusedom’ – we were in the final days of working out whether we were EVER going to exchange on our new flat (and being hit with surprise bills left right and centre. Awesome.), the new web project I was working on was seriously kicking off, suddenly we only had 4 months to the wedding, and it felt like the flat purchase was taking up all of our planning time. I was, in short, a wreck.

Fortunately my wonderful mother had spied my on-the-edge-ness and treated me to a trip to Hoar Cross for my birthday. We have a bit of a tradition of visiting together every year, but due to various factors had missed 2015 out. The solution? Go for twice as long in 2016! (Gotta love my mother’s logic – it’s the same logic that led to visiting Disneyland being the only possible solution to our flight being moved by 24 hours on the way back from Hawaii.) Thank goodness she was so generous – looking back I think this little ‘relaxation re-set’ was one of the few things that got me through!

2015 being a ‘fallow spa year’ also meant that this was the first time that we’d encountered the newly refurbished facilities. I got a glimpse of some of these back when I visited the opening of the Matthew Curtis salon at Hoar Cross in July last year, but it was brilliant to see how they’ve really taken the place to another level of luxury.

Check out my vlog from our spa escape to see just what I’m talking about. There are scones!

Discovery Experience at Clarins Skin Spa, Selfridges Birmingham

clarins skinspa nirmingham

Last week I was invited to a discovery event at Clarins Skin Spa in Selfridges Birmingham. It certainly was a discovery – for all the time I have spent in Selfridges Beauty Hall, I had no idea that there was a full on spa treatment suite lurking there! In fact, I merrily turned up to the Clarins counter, only to be lead over to the Skin Spa by the fabulous Manjit, who introduced me to Trudi, my therapist for the evening.

Trudi showed me around the Clarins Skin Spa, and it really is lovely, a complete quiet haven away from the hustle and bustle of the Bullring. The suites have recently been refurbished, and so everything is gleaming bright and white. However, the pretty touches such as mirrored flower light features, and oodles of soft towels, stop it from feeling at all clinical.

I was lead to my treatment room, where a large heated spa bed awaited me. Trudi explained that I’d be having a mini 20 minute version of their Tri Active Facial, which would include a full cleanse, mask, and arm and hand massage whilst the treatment was taking effect. [Read more…]