For my 21st birthday, my parents treated me to a weekend spa break to relax post-Christmas and before I head back to complete my final year at university.
I’ve never been to a spa, so it was a really special and exciting gift, and frankly, much needed after the stressful festive period!
Jake and I arrived to Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa on Friday afternoon, and took a walk around the grounds and bar whilst we waited for our room. The hotel was an 18th century manor house upon 15 acres of land complete with ornamental lake. The building is gorgeous and me and Jake had so much fun imagining what it would have been like in the past, and what the rooms might have been used for originally.
We checked into our room, which was a Lakeside view Superior Double on the first floor, which overlooked the little lake and the floral staircase that led to the hotel reception. The bathroom was lovely with a huge heated mirror that doesn’t steam, meaning that I could do my makeup whilst Jake showered without having to wipe the mirror every five seconds. The room was fully equipped with an iron, ironing board, trouser press, safe, kettle, hairdryer and mini fridge, which came in very handy for the little Milk Tray the hotel left me for my birthday!
As soon as we had unpacked our bags, we headed over to the Leisure and Spa club. We were able to use all of the facilities including the gym and dance studios, but of course, we headed straight for the pool. We were given a robe, slippers and fluffy towel to use whilst we were there, too.
Jake went for a dip in the heated pool whilst I took up a lounger to read my book. I’m currently reading What Would The Spice Girls Do by Lauren Bravo, which I will be reviewing on here soon. In the next room were four different saunas, including a steam room, ice room, hot rocks, aroma room and bio sauna. I think the ice room was my favourite, since I don’t like the humidity of a sauna as I struggle to breathe properly in them.
After a nosey in the saunas, we headed into the hot tub to soak before heading up to the room to get ready for dinner.
Our reservation at the Oak Room restaurant was at 7pm, and included two courses. Jake and I like for one of us to order a starter, and the other a dessert so that we each get to taste both. Our waiting-on staff were super friendly and attentive, and really went out of their way to make the evening special. There were even balloons on my table and little white rose petals.
Jake ordered our starter of deep fried brie with cranberry compote, and we were both that hungry that I forgot to snap a picture. Think McDonalds festive cheese bites, but on a much, much fancier scale; and since cheese bites are always on my Drive Thru order, these brie dippers went down an absolute treat. And the cranberries? Well, Chandler Bing couldn’t have made them any better. You know when food tastes of love? No? Just me then.
For main, Jake and I both ordered the same dish. Chicken breast wrapped in bacon on a bed of creamy mash and blue cheese sauce, served with asparagus. The chicken was so tender and the blue cheese sauce was done amazingly. Chicken, bacon and mash may not sound too extravagant, but when food is cooked this well, and presented beautifully that’s what makes it golden.
For dessert, I ordered the chocolate brownies with vanilla gelato and orange crème anglaise, which came on a plate with Happy Birthday written in chocolate. These little brownies were essentially, Terry’s Chocolate Orange flavour brownies, and they were beautifully rich, smooth and delicious. Jake and I couldn’t finish them, but we decided to head over to the 1630 bar for a quick drink before heading back to the room for the night. Speaking of night, where on earth do I get my hands on a hotel pillow?!
In the morning, we headed back to the Oak Room restaurant for breakfast. It was a typical choice of continental breakfast with yoghurt, croissants, cereals and fruit, or a traditional fry up with tea and coffee. After breakfast we packed our bags, checked out of the hotel and headed over to the spa for some treatments.
At 1pm, Jake and I were booked in for a back and shoulder massage. We were led to a therapy room lit with Himalayan salt lamps, playing relaxing music. My therapist, Rebecca, asked if I would prefer a relaxing massage, or a more firm, tension-reducing massage.
Since I’ve always had a terrible back, and carry all of my tension in my shoulders, I decided to go for the latter. The massage lasted 25 minutes, and Rebecca did an amazing job. I have incredibly knotty shoulders which can cause me some pain, and she was able to work away some of that stress. She used massage oils to massage the muscles in my back, shoulders and neck, and I may have even fallen asleep briefly – Jake certainly did. At the end of the massage, steamed towels were laid onto our back, followed by a slightly cooler one to remove excess oil from our backs.
Rebecca then took us into the other room for me to have my manicure, where she filed, shaped and treated my nails before applying an ORLY nail polish in a beautiful pink/mauve shade. After my polish had dried we still had an hour to kill before heading to our second hotel for Afternoon Tea, so took another dip in the hot tub to relax further.
Our Afternoon Tea was at The Lion Hotel just 20 minutes up the road. We set off from Albrighton Hall and arrived a little early for our tea, but we were seated in a private room with old fashioned furniture and jazz music. It was like being taken back to the 1920s. Our server lit us some candles on a candlestick not too dissimilar to Lumiere from Beauty and The Beast, and bought over some prosecco.
Our Afternoon tea consisted of ham and tomato, salmon and cucumber and egg mayo finger sandwiches, alongside fresh fruit scones with strawberry jam and thick clotted cream. We also had the most chocolately slice of chocolate cake in the world with a sticky ganashe frosting, as well as a refreshing lemon drizzle slice.
I think it’s safe to say Jake and I have been spoilt rotten and are thoroughly relaxed. I’m certainly going to be booking in for shoulder massages more frequently, as you don’t quite realise just how bad your tension is until you can feel the masseuse trying to work the knots out and you feel them clicking. The spa experience isn’t something I’ve done before, and the whole ettiquette thing takes a bit of getting used to – can I wear my slippers here, should I wear my robe to there, how do you turn the hot tub on? That being said, it’s definitely something I could get accustomed to.