Disclaimer: ALL of the pictures from this post were taken on the iPhone, mainly via Snapchat. The quality is poor, so if that’ll annoy you off please skip right past this post and onto the next 🙂 Thanks for understanding and I hope you can enjoy this post anyway!
Welcome to #THERAPTUICTHURSDAYS!
I’ve been itching to write a post about our latest mini break to Champneys Health Spa in Tring for ages. Well, at least two weeks. But that’s long enough when things move as fast as they do these days, right? It’s been a while because I’ve had a lot of catching up to do since I returned. The trip was spontaneous and therefore I didn’t exactly prepare or organise myself beforehand. Like I mentioned in one of my recent posts, Sam and I had some very exciting news about our latest business venture (we still can’t share all the details yet. Everything has to be all hush hush for now, but you guys will be the very first to know, besides close friends and immediate family!) and so our indulgence was in honour of that.
We only stayed one night, and arrived just before check-in on the first day. The drive to Tring was surprisingly pleasant and unproblematic, so relaxation began in the car – listening to music, singing out of the window and just generally having some fun together. After an hour or so our Sat Nav lead us down a windy road and to some enormous, black and gold painted ornate gates. We drove past the gates and followed the immaculate path to the entrance.
The sun was shining and the grass was a gorgeous vivid green. The land surrounding the spa is vast, and the spa itself is huuuuge. We checked in before roaming around as we were eager to see our room. Upon getting our card keys we headed straight on up to the first floor to claim room 105. We opened the door and both immediately ran to the window – “WOW”-ing at the view from our large picture window. It was like a picturesque painting – the sky was blue, the grass was cleanly cut and the flowers in the beds had budded beautifully.
We laid on the bed for a while taking in the peace and tranquility. The silence in these places is something we love. You don’t realise how abundant persistent sound is in the busy cities we live in. I personally love to feel a little secluded and isolated once in a while, as does Sam… and that’s probably one of the main reasons we work so well together. Anyway, after half an hour or so we decided to freshen up, give ourselves a little tour of the hotel and grab some snacks from the on-site café (which I now know is separate from the restaurant. Definitely got lost a few times).
We took the snacks up to our room, munched them down and then got changed into our swimsuits and robes. Our booking was made on Secret Escapes, so we had a special deal that included 1 25 minute Thalssotherpahy treatment each. We went to the spa reception (at around 4) and booked this in for 4:30, before heading to what we thought was the general swimming pool for a quick dip.
Now, I had NO idea what a Thalssotherpahy pool was so when I saw it for the first time I assumed it was a normal pool. And that’s why Sam and I jumped straight in, without supervision or permission. It wasn’t until the Thalssotherpahy instructor came in at 4:30 with a group of other people booked for the same treatment that we realised we’d already had the treatment and were in fact in the Thalssotherpahy pool already!
For those of you that have no idea, a Thalssotherpahy is a rich warm pool with hydrotherapy jets to stimulate and tone tired aching muscles. It’s said to be excellent for treating cellulite, arthritis and general muscular and joint aches and pains. I later learned this from the instructor, who very kindly let us stay for the full guided session anyway, even though we’d taken advantage of the jets in the pool already!
Upon getting out Sam and I were in hysterics, as you can imagine. The whole time we were saying stuff like, “this water tastes weird”, “this is the warmest pool I’ve ever been in” and “there’s no way this is the 25 metre pool they advertise!” Finally it all made sense…
That evening we had a three course meal, accompanied with Champagne. The atmosphere in the restaurant was chilled yet classy. They have a lot of written (and unwritten) rules at Champneys, so these spa’s aren’t for everyone. For example, there is a restriction on the amount you can drink and there’s a nighttime curfew – not always ideal for Hen or Stag do’s, depending on the type of person you are. The food served is incredibly healthy, so you won’t be able to get your hands on a greasy hotdog or pizza. Sam and I adore this though, as the food is equally (if not more) delicious than fast food and gives us inspiration for what to cook at home and ideas for meat-free meals.
That evening we took a stroll around the grounds and found an unattended wooden gazebo, complete with a mini fridge, heaters, lights and sofas! As smokers (yep, I don’t mention it often because I’m not proud), this was ideal as it meant we didn’t have to stand out in the cold and instead we could snuggle up warm, on our very own in an AWESOME place. It was a truly special moment, even if it doesn’t sound like it.
We got a luscious sleep and woke up naturally in the morning, thanks to our amazing view (we left the curtains open on purpose). We showered and headed down for the buffet breakfast. Of course, we started with a latte each and then moved onto our second course: bagels and bread. There was a huge selection on offer, from fresh fruits and yogurts to fancy fish and colourful salads, but we’re pretty picky in the mornings so we both went for something plain. You could, if you wanted to, spend hours in there eating like queens and kings though and now I’m thinking about it I wish I did!
It didn’t take long for our food to go down, so we booked in a few morning treatments each. Sam got a neck and back massage and I got a brow shape and tint. We met back in the room at around 11am, just in time to move our bags to the car and give back the card keys. It felt like we’d been there far longer than we had, but we planned to stay the whole day just to make the absolute most of it.
Once most of our luggage was in the car, we headed to the real swimming pool with just a change of clothes in our lockers. We did all this in our dressing gowns, and no one even batted an eyelid – another thing I love about health spas like this. This time the pool wasn’t as warm but it was large, which made a lot of sense to us after that whole palaver with the Thalssotherpahy pool. Just five minutes after getting in everyone left and we had it all to ourselves – maybe it’s because we smell but quite honestly, I don’t care – BECAUSE WE HAD IT ALL TO OURSELVES!!!
A good hour or so in the pool and we both had wrinkly hands, so it was time to get out and dry off. We decided to do this in the Relaxation Room, which is fitted with waterbeds, a log fire, special scent showers and its own jacuzzi. And, yes… it was as incredible as it sounds. It made me never want to leave, but hunger soon got the better of me and so I demanded we get some lunch.
The lunch buffet is the most impressive of all mealtimes at Champneys, in my opinion. There are rare items like whipped apple butter and classic favourites like fajitas. I honestly had a plate full of everything. I just kept going back and back… and back… AND THEN, there was pudding: a real strawberry mousse with fresh blueberries sprinkled on top. Filling up like that was the perfect way to end our mini break away. I ordered a smoothie to takeaway and with that we bid farewell to this wonderful place and its staff, until next time…
Have you had a spa experience? Where did you go and what was it like?
Let me know using the comments section below!