I’ve finally been to a spa. Can you believe I was in my mid-thirties going to a spa for the first time? Have I been missing out – definitely, will I go back – you bet! When my mum booked tickets to come see me earlier this summer, we decided to take a mini spa weekend away.
Researching spa deals in and fairly close to Leeds, I came across Redworth Hall Spa. Just outside of Darlington, a luxurious spa facility part of Redoworth Hall Hotel. Via Spabreaks.com we got a great deal: two going for the price of one. Included in the £158 package we got a one night stay in a standard room, including dinner, breakfast one spa treatment and unlimited usage of the retreat facilities. Yes, I told you it is a great deal!
Redworth Hall Hotel
Photos don’t do this place justice. The road leading up to the 17 century Jacobean Manor House is surrounded by loads of greenery covering the 26 acres of landscaped gardens. The whole estate is very impressive and standing outside the hotel, you feel very small. Not small in an intimidating way. It gives you a rush of relaxation from its grandiose appearance. It could also be because it’s far away from traffic and other city bustle.
Check in is at 3pm, the same time our spa treatments were booked in for. Luckily our room was ready early giving us time to check in and familiarise ourselves with the grounds and hotel. We stayed in a standard room with a view over the patio and on the other side, the pool room. The room is traditionally decorated with a country house vibe and a fresh, all in white, decorated bathroom.
From the reception, it’s quite a long walk to reach the room. Down a long corridor, past the 1744 Restaurant, the bar area, up a slow lift, finishing with yet another long winding corridor. Once settled in, making our way to the spa facilities was a much shorter route – winning! I see what they’d done there.
Redworth Hall Spa
The Redworth Hall Spa has recently had a makeover, looking much more modern than the rest of the hotel. I’m sure the plan is to bring up the rest of the facilities to the same standard in due time. The spa includes an indoor pool, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi, fitness studio, beauty salon, refreshment lounge and of course spa treatment rooms. Here’s were we started our spa journey.
My mum was booked in for a facial treatment and I for a head and neck massage. Before and after our treatment, we got to spend some time in their relaxation room, the Tranquil Room. A minimalistic decor with futuristic looking white leather seats, tranquil music and dimmed lights. I could easily have fallen asleep here but I was too excited for my first spa experience to let it happen.
Our treatments were enjoyed in the Dual Room. A room where two treatments can take place at the same time, perfect for me and my mum. I absolutely loved my massage! The masseuse was so gentle but still firm in places were needed. The neck knots I have from sitting at a work desk 8 hours a day really appreciated it. 45 minutes went fast, too fast for my liking.
The rest of the afternoon, we spent by the pool. I had a couple of sessions in the sauna and we also tried the jacuzzi for the fun of it. It wasn’t quite warm enough outside during our visit but next to the pool there is an entrance to the patio which has outdoor seating. Before having dinner, we had time for a cheeky cocktail in the bar.
As part of our spa deal, a 3-course dinner and continental breakfast the following day is included. There is a set dinner menu for spa dealers with a couple of choice for each course, clearly marked out on the menu. Drinks you pay for on top. It’s a massive restaurant with seating to up to x people. Furniture and carpets are dark so with no direct daylight, it’s a fairly gloomy restaurant. Definitely in need of a refurbishment but the service was good and the food a lot better than what meets the eye. All meals are created depending on seasonal availability and the ingredients are locally sourced where possible.
To start, my mum had the Cheddar Cheese and Caramelised Onion Croquettes, accompanied by a plum tomato jam and I the Poached Pear and Harrogate Blue Cheese Mousse, served with roasted walnuts and thyme. We were both really happy with our starters.
Four our main courses, we both had our eye on the Braised Featherblade of Beef but I went for the Confit Pork Belly instead as recommended by the waitress. My mums meat was served with creamed potato, roasted vegetables and a red wine sauce. My pork belly came with fondant potato, creamed cabbage and bacon, apple puree and cider jus. Both really generous portions but luckily we all have a separate stomach for dessert.
To finish we slowly but surely enjoyed a Chocolate Fudge Sundae – vanilla ice cream, chocolate brownie and chocolate sauce and Belgian Waffles – balsamic strawberries, mint and clotted cream. Aside from the waffle being slightly over cooked it’s a lovely dessert. I would perhaps have chosen to serve it with fresh fruit rather than a warm compote but this works well with the clotted cream.
Feeling relaxed and exhausted after a long day, we went straight to bed after our dinner. If we hadn’t set an alarm, I’d slept on forever in this cosy bed. The curtains shut out all light as well so there is no way of knowing if it’s daytime or midnight when you wake up.
Breakfast is served from 7am, giving you plenty of time to eat as much as you can before check-out. We enjoyed a bit of time in the garden whilst waiting for the bus to take us back to Darlington, where we changed to a Leeds train.
Have you been to Redworth Hall Spa? Would you go after reading this post? What other spas do you recommend I visit? For a longer stay or just for they day, all suggestions are welcome.