Tag Archives: pampering

Spa Days: The Spa at The Midland, Manchester

Over the weekend my husband took me to The Midland Hotel in Manchester for a romantic weekend to celebrate my birthday. My gift from him was a night in a suite, a nine course meal in The French and some time in The Spa at The Midland. It was not the worst present I’ve ever been given. The boy did very well.

The Spa at The Midland

I am VERY fond of a spa day. Sometimes I will go to a spa for a treatment or two and then chill out in the thermal rooms, sometimes I will just go for a swim, a sauna and a steam. I find thermal rooms are very good for my back (I have chronic pain), the warmth of a sauna or a steam room really eases my old bones, so a spa day isn’t just a nice treat, it’s like therapy. 

As a guest at The Midland if you just want to use the spa, all you do is phone the Spa Reception and they’ll book you in for a time. This is so the spa doesn’t get too busy and noisy. If you’re not staying in the hotel, then you’ll need to book a spa day, there are a range of options on their website.

The Spa at The Midland has won a whole host of awards including Best City Spa Break Manchester, Best City Spa Day Manchester and Best Hotel Spa Manchester. The Spa at The Midland has also been named as ‘Best City Spa’ in The Candis 2016 Spa Awards. It is very good.

Take the lift to the lower ground floor and open the door to the spa, the smell of soothing essential oils permeates up the corridor to the spa reception. We were greeted by one of the staff, given a fluffy towel, a robe and slippers and directed to the changing rooms.

The Spa at The Midland

The communal changing rooms are a little on the small side, but if they only have small numbers in at a time it shouldn’t be an issue. The changing area has showers as well as an area where you can dry and straighten your hair.

I headed straight for the pool area, taking a shower before diving in. The shower has three different settings, and is a bit of an experience in itself. The cool misty shower is great after the sauna. 

The pool isn’t large, but it’s big enough to do a few gentle laps before sitting in the jacuzzi. The jacuzzi is very warm, it was too warm for my husband, but the bubbles pummelled my back in all the right places so I did spend quite a lot of time in there.

There is a small sauna and a steam room tucked away near the tropical shower area. Both rooms are probably big enough for 4 or 5 people but no more. I really enjoyed both rooms and I would very much like to go back and spend some more time in them. There is something very cleansing about having a sauna and a steam, I’d recommend it, especially if you suffer with aches and pains.

I didn’t venture into the relaxation room, but hubs spent quite a lot of time in there, he made himself a herbal tea, found a restful corner and promptly fell asleep. I do enjoy a relaxation room after I’ve had a treatment, they’re good places to chill out in whilst you come round after a massage or facial. Or if you’re my husband, a great place to have a nap.

The Spa at The Midland

We spent a couple of hours enjoying the pool and thermal suites before heading back to our room to get ready for dinner. We are talking about coming back for an afternoon of post-Christmas relaxation in the New Year. We didn’t have the time to try out any of the treatments on offer at The Spa at The Midland, but that is something we will look at for our next visit.

The Spa at The Midland also has a gym, a number of treatment rooms and a cafe to enjoy when you visit. I’ve been to a lot of spas and this felt very luxurious, it was clean, the lighting was soft and relaxing and the staff were attentive without been obtrusive. I enjoyed my couple of hours in the spa very much and I’m looking forward to our return.

For more information and more detailed photographs (I didn’t take any photos inside the spa for obvious reasons), visit The Spa at The Midland website.

Spa Days: Volair Spa, Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

Despite a promise to look after myself a bit better this year, beauty treatments and spa days have been pretty thin on the ground. Other things and other people come first, which as a mum is how it should be, but it was definitely my turn for a bit of TLC. Real life friend and fellow blogger Liz from Expression and Confession and I hopped in the car for a day at Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park. We had been invited to the spa for the day to check out their facilities and to find out more about the treatments they offer.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

We arrived at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park and not being locals we had no idea what to expect. It is a large, very modern leisure centre. It’s an interesting state of the art building, filled with sculptures, interesting art works, the biggest swimming pool I’ve seen in a while, a gym, squash courts and lots more.

We headed upstairs to the Volair Spa. We were greeted by Hayley who gave us fluffy robes and slippers to change into. Once we’d got changed we sat in the relaxation room and chilled out with a cup of herbal tea while we waited for some more people to arrive. This is a really restful place, with soft mood lighting, scented candles and comfortable chairs or beanbags to sit on.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

After a short welcome and health and safety talk we were shown downstairs to the Thermal Suite. I love thermal suites, they are always my favourite part of a spa. The thermal suite at the Volair Spa was small but perfectly formed. It had one steam room, a sauna and a jacuzzi. Everything looked new, scrupulously clean and very very tempting.

We were given some Lycon Spa Essentials exfoliating sugar scrub to scrub ourselves all over with before we began. There were lots of different scrubs to choose from, but I went for the pomegranate. We scrubbed and showered, and with fresh glowy skin we slipped into the jacuzzi to let the de-stressing process begin.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

We had an hour in the thermal suite, and we tried out the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. We felt deliciously relaxed and reluctant to leave for lunch. A two hour session in the thermal suite costs just £9.50, or two people for £15 which is excellent value. If I lived locally I could happily spend the day here, swimming for an hour or so, then unwinding in the thermal suite for a few hours.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

After a light lunch and a glass of fizz we found ourselves in the capable hands of Beauty Therapist Hayley. Hayley gave us a fascinating hands on workshop on how to take our make up off and give ourselves a lovely home facial. My skin already felt pretty fantastic after applying the AromaWorks facial cleanser, toner and facial oils.

We were then ushered into one of their treatment rooms. The rooms are quiet, lit softly and are lovely relaxing spaces. I volunteered to have a Crystal Clear Micro-Dermabrasion treatment. It works by gently exfoliating the outer layers of the skin and gives immediate results for a range of skincare niggles including fine lines and wrinkles, open pores, blackheads, pigmentation, blemish scars and acne scars. I have pretty good skin for my age, but they promised to blast out some of my stubborn blackheads, clean my open pores and give me a general freshen up.

The Crystal Clear Micro-Dermabrasion didn’t hurt at all. Ultra-fine crystals are blasted onto your skin, but it feels quite gentle, just a little bit like someone is gently pushing your face with something like the rubber end of a pencil (that’s the only comparison I could think of, I’m sorry). It took around 20 minutes and afterwards my skin was moisturised. When I got home I took a photo…

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

… and I was impressed by how fresh and glowy my skin looked. It was visibly cleaner (yes I do wash every day) and brighter. Everyone who has clapped eyes on me since has remarked on how well I’m looking too.

We had a thoroughly relaxing day at the Volair Spa at the Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park. It’s a lovely, modern spa with good facilities, great treatments, a restful atmosphere and free parking. It was so good we’ve booked to go back next month!

Visit the Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park website for more information and special offers.

The Volair Spa is at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park, Longview Drive, Huyton, Merseyside, L36 6EG Tel: 0151 443 2580

We were invited guests of Volair Spa, but all images and opinions are our own. We were under no obligation to blog about our spa day.

Win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee, Bramhall

Last month I had a lovely treat at Beauty Bee in Bramhall, Stockport. I booked myself in for a pampering facial and it was incredible. You can read my full review here, but the picture below and the look on my face in the “after” photo probably tells you everything you need to know. Read on to find out more about how you could win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee, Bramhall for yourself!

Win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee

Beauty Bee are located at Moorend Golf Driving Range in Bramhall and they offer a selection of deep tissue and sports massages to the golfers, as well as a full range of beauty and pampering treatments to non-sporting types too. Abby has worked as a beauty therapist all over the world and specialises in  Oncology massage, as well as facials, massages, waxing, manicures and pedicures.

I can’t recommend Beauty Bee enough, I had an amazing facial and Abby has a very calming and caring way about her. I’m really pleased that Beauty Bee has kindly offered the prize of a facial to one of my blog readers, one of you lucky lot will get to experience a Beauty Bee facial.

Win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee

Beauty Bee is at Moorend Golf Driving Range, 177 Woodford Rd, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire SK7 1QE Phone: 07876 032125. You can find Beauty Bee on Facebook. They also offer treatments on selected days at The University of Manchester.

SPECIAL OFFER: Maternity Mondays at Beauty Bee – 30% off all treatments if you are on maternity leave and book in on a Monday. 

Win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee

To be in with a chance to win a facial at Beauty Bee in Bramhall, Stockport simply enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Please note that the prize is for the facial and does not include any transport or accommodation, so winners need to ensure they can get to Bramhall themselves. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will win a pampering facial at Beauty Bee in Bramhall, Stockport. Transport and accommodation are NOT included.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 16th June 2016.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner may be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode.
9. The winner’s name will be available on request
10. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
11. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
12. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

A seriously good facial at Beauty Bee, Bramhall

When Beauty Bee opened in Bramhall a few months ago, I started to hear from friends how good it was. As something of a facial addict I decided to book myself in for a treat and to see if the buzz about Beauty Bee was correct.

Located at Moorend Golf Driving Range in Bramhall, it might at first glance seem to be an unconventional location for beauty treatments, but Beauty Bee offer a selection of deep tissue and sports massages to the golfers, as well as a full range of beauty and pampering treatments to non-sporting types too. Once you are in the Beauty Bee treatment room you’d never guess you were in a golf club and it has the benefit of having more than ample free parking too.

Beauty Bee

On arrival Abby greeted me and escorted me into her treatment room, it was warmly decorated and very comfortable. We sat and chatted about my skin and if it had any problems, then she left the room while I got undressed and I made myself comfortable on the treatment table. Abby wrapped me in towels and a blanket and offered to put the heated blanket on for me, but I was warm and comfortable enough without it.

I’d booked myself in for the Prescription Facial (£30) and Abby took a good look at my skin. It’s fairly normal, combination skin which is a bit dehydrated around the eyes and starting to show a bit of wear and tear (I am 40 this year so it’s time I started looking my age, if not acting it occasionally).

Abby explained that she would be using products from The Potion Shop, a Manchester based company who make organic and paraben free skincare products.

Beauty Bee

It was at this point I largely zoned out and just relaxed into my treatment. I was aware that for the best part of 45 minutes I was being pampered to death. My skin was exfoliated, massaged and treated to hot towels and lots of TLC. Towards the end of my facial, Abby applied a face mask and put chamomile and lavender soaked pads on my eyes whilst she gave my hands and forearms a massage. It was blissful.

My skin felt amazing and was really glowing. As you can see from the before and after photographs below, my skin is a much more even tone, it’s less shiny and I look incredibly relaxed afterwards.

Beauty Bee

The treatment lasted just under an hour and it was an excessively good pampering. Abby clearly loves her job and is very passionate about what she does. I can really recommend Beauty Bee and the prescription facial, I adored my treatment, the look on my face in the second photo is all you really need to know – I will definitely be booking to go back again soon!

SPECIAL OFFER: Maternity Mondays at Beauty Bee – 30% off all treatments if you are on maternity leave and book in on a Monday. 

Beauty Bee is at Moorend Golf Driving Range, 177 Woodford Rd, Bramhall, Stockport, Cheshire SK7 1QE Phone: 07876 032125. You can find Beauty Bee on Facebook. They also offer treatments on selected days at The University of Manchester.

Giveaway: Win soothing Nelsons Arnicare goodies

I have recently been extolling the virtues of Nelsons Arnicare Bath & Massage Balm in a blog post I wrote about dealing with chronic back pain. It’s a really lovely, pampering product and I can’t recommend it enough. I’m delighted that I’ve got some gorgeous Nelsons Arnicare goodies to give away to one lucky winner.

Nelsons Arnicare Bath & Massage Balm is a luxurious dual-purpose balm, it’s perfect for  massaging into tired muscles or pouring into a bath to create a gorgeous fragrance that will help you to relax and unwind. The natural properties of Arnica montana extract and sweet scents of Lavender and Grapefruit essential oils are ideal for calming the senses and melting away tension. It’s also enriched with Evening Primrose and Sweet Almond oil making it the perfect pampering treat. Nelsons Arnicare Bath & Massage Balm costs £8.55 and is available from a range of retailers including Boots.

Nelsons Arnicare

I’ve also got some Nelsons Arnicare Cooling Gel, which combines the well known benefits of arnica with refreshing natural grapefruit oil and menthol to cool and soothe the skin. The gel is ideal for rubbing into aching muscles following exercise or to revive tired, heavy legs after being on your feet all day.

Win Nelsons Arnicare goodies

To be in with a chance to win some lovely Nelsons Arnicare goodies, please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only.
2. There is no cash alternative offered.
3. To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget above. Please ensure you leave some contact details or I will not be able to contact you if you win.
4. The winner will be drawn at random from all qualifying entries. The winner will receive some Nelsons Arnicare products.
5. The competition will close on 20th April 2016.
6. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
7. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winners, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
8. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
9. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this competition.

Spa Days: The Sienna Spa, Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester

I like to think of myself as a reasonably articulate person. I’m usually pretty good at stringing a sentence together, but as I left the Sienna Spa at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester, I literally had no idea how I was going to write it up. It’s rare I’m left speechless, but my afternoon at the Sienna Spa was so incredible I had no words. A few days later I’m now able to formulate proper sentences, so here goes.

On Monday I went to the Sienna Spa at the Radisson Blu Edwardian, Manchester. I love going to the spa and pre-baby, it was something I treated myself to fairly regularly, I used to have regular facials and massages but now time is tight and my face further down the priority list. I was booked in for an ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’, I arrived early and was offered the chance to use the facilities before my treatment. I took one look at the pool and couldn’t resist.

Sienna Spa

The Sienna Spa is gorgeous. There is a modern, well-equipped gym, a stunning pool with jacuzzi as well as a selection of steam rooms. I had a quick swim in the pool and enjoyed the hot bubbles in the jacuzzi before drying off and going for my treatment (for this reason, next time I’ll take a spare swimming costume, one to swim in, one to wear during my treatments).

I was given a lovely fluffy dressing gown to wear and I was escorted to the relaxation room. This had a number of comfortable, adjustable couches where you could recline, relax and drift off before and after your treatment. You could also help yourself to water and herbal teas. The relaxation room had ‘spa music’ piped in, you know the kind of music I mean, the sound of water in a stream, birdsong and such like. I do find ‘spa music’ quite restful and it helps me to focus on relaxing and clearing my mind.

My therapist, Cathy came to collect me and ushered me into the treatment room. Cathy ran through the details of my ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’ and explained that it was quite an intensive treatment which would involve a fruit acid peel which wouldn’t be suitable for very sensitive skins.

The ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial’ is described as “a powerful and highly effective facial to boost cell regeneration and give an instantly smooth, softly glowing complexion. A deep brush cleanse is followed by an intense Enzyme Peel containing botanical extracts and Pumpkin Enzymes to deeply exfoliate and remove dead skin cells. After a soothing massage using Rose Quartz Crystals to help cool and calm, a Lifting and Smoothing Mask is applied, containing concentrated Seaweed Extracts, Argan Oil and Menthol, to give your skin a more plumped and firmer appearance”.

I lay on a heated treatment table and the treatment began. The heated table is such a good idea, especially for someone like me with a very bad back, the heat helped to soothe my aches and after my 90 minute treatment was over I got off the table quite nimbly, without the heat it would’ve been a different story.

Cathy talked me though every step of the process, telling me what might tingle and what might feel cold. She looked at my face carefully under a special lamp and told me that the skin around my eyes, on my forehead and chin was quite dehydrated, she advised me on skincare to help hydrate my skin as well as encouraging me to drink more water, something I have been trying to do lately anyway.

The facial was relaxing but thorough, the treatment also included a scalp massage and conditioning treatment as well as a hand and arm massage and some neck and shoulder work too. At one point I drifted off I was so relaxed.

My skin looked and felt so much better. It was clearer and it glowed, some of my more noticeable lines were less prominent too. Have a look at my before and after picture and see for yourself. (Also, note how incredibly relaxed and happy I look in the ‘after’ picture).

Sienna Spa

It was absolutely the perfect pampering treatment and without a shadow of a doubt THE best facial I’ve ever had, both in terms of how good my skin now feels and just how relaxed and pampered I feel right now.

The Sienna Spa is a beautiful spa, well designed and comfortable, I am already planning to go back very soon. They have regular special offers available to book on their website, so it’s worth looking our for deals on their spa days and treatments.

My ‘Advanced Enzyme Facial‘ cost £100 for a 90 minute treatment. Any regular spa goer will know that this is a good price for that quality and length of treatment, especially one which includes a peel. I really feel it made a big difference to my skin and to the appearance of my wrinkles. I will be returning to the Sienna Spa very soon. Sometimes a girl just needs to treat herself.

Note: I was an invited guest of The Sienna Spa and I was not asked to pay for my treatment. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: My Spa Day at Last Drop Village, Bolton

Having a day at a spa is a bit of a treat, but as a busy working mum it can be hard to find the time to relax and have some time to myself. Having a spa day is for me one of the best ways to relax, when I was invited to the Last Drop Village Hotel and Spa in Bolton for a spa day with a treatment thrown in I thought it would be rude not to say yes.

I’d been to the Last Drop Village before for a wedding about ten years ago, but I’m sure the spa wasn’t there then. The Spa at the Last Drop Village Hotel is really quite lovely, based around the hotel pool but with a selection of steam rooms, hydro-pools and treatment rooms upstairs. I was with a group of local bloggers on a much needed pamper day. We were given a tour of the facilities as well as fluffy dressing gowns, towels and slippers and sent off to enjoy the steam rooms, swimming pool and the stunning infinity pool.

Last Drop Village

My first stop was the lovely warm hydro-pool which was divine, so warm, bubbly and therapeutic. It led outside to an equally lovely infinity pool (an infinity pool in Bolton, who knew?) which had views across the fields, to the hills beyond and was all very restful. It was really warm in the pool despite the fact we were teetering on the brink of December and it was cold enough outside for us to be able to see our breath.

For keen swimmers there is a very nice 18ft swimming pool which I had to go in. Whilst I was in there part of the pool was roped off for swimming lessons, but I didn’t find it intrusive and I don’t think I bothered them either. I firmly believe swimming pools are for swimming in, not for socialising. I knocked out a few lengths and then got out and explored the sauna and steam rooms.

There were several thermal suites to choose from, each offering different temperature and steam/sauna experiences, as well as showers, they were quite empty so I didn’t stay in them for long, especially as the infinity pool was so glorious. Even on a cold winter day it was stunning!

It was soon time for my treatment. I’d opted for the “Taste of Perfection” facial which took 25 minutes. In the brochure it says “experience the world-renowned Decléor facials and enjoy the benefits of essential oils. This introductory facial is perfect when time is of the essence and the skin needs a radiant boost”. Sounds alright doesn’t it? In reality it was fantastic and I could very happily have let the lovely Leah (my beauty therapist), carry on for hours.

My skin looked and felt fantastic afterwards. Leah very kindly wrote down what she’d used during my facial just in case I wanted to buy any of the products now or at a later date. To be honest, top of my shopping list is another facial and spa day, it was so relaxing and I’ve not felt so pampered in a long time.

After my treatment I retired to the hydro-therapy and infinity pools and there I stayed until my boys turned up to drag me home, re-chain me to the kitchen sink and continue my days of domestic drudgery and cuddles.

Although the spa at the Last Drop Village is a distance away from home, I’d be very happy to have another spa day there. The treatment was very well done and the facilities were good, although the changing rooms are a bit basic. It’s not a luxury spa, but it’s a good hotel spa and worth visiting if you’re in the area. 

Last Drop Village

We were invited guests of Andrex and were not asked to pay for our spa day.