Tag Archives: relaxation

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.

Relaxation – How do parents unwind at home?

When the small boy is tucked up for the night and the house falls silent, it’s often not a time for relaxation for us. When the boy falls asleep we do chores for an hour or so, catch up on admin, clean the house, sort the washing. It’s endless. But once that is done then for me the TV goes on, I flop on the sofa, fire up Twitter and unwind with a brew. My husband has other ideas, for as much of the year as possible, as long as it’s dry he will sit outside and have a cold beer under the stars.

People unwind in different ways. My mother in law would tend to her allotment, my dad would watch comedy DVDs and chat to his magic friends (that’s not as weird as it sounds, he was a magician). My brother and his wife will open a bottle and a box set. Everyone is different, but everyone needs to relax in whatever way they find works best for them.

Rattan Direct have put together a survey asking what you as parents do to unwind around the home. They want to know what works best for you. Like me do you chill out in front of the TV, or does relaxation for you involve having family and friends round for the evening? Maybe you bake a cake or have a hot bath with scented candles and your favourite bath oils.

relaxation bath

Whatever relaxation means to you, it’s a necessity. Life and parenting can be stressful and finding time to unwind and relax is essential. Making space for that rare thing – “me time” is so important. Without an hour of doing nothing but zoning out over a repeat of NCIS each night, I know I’d be a frazzled mess of a mum.

How do you unwind? What does relaxation mean to you?

= This is a collaborative post =

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.

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.
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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.
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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.

Magical Meditation for Kids – making bedtimes better

When I was pregnant I attended a pregnancy yoga class, it was a wonderfully relaxing highlight of my week, mainly due to the ten minute guided relaxation at the end of the session. Over the years hubs and I have returned time and time again to the pregnancy yoga CD which I bought from my teacher, we listen to it at times of stress and it always lulls us into a state of deep relaxation and often blissful and much needed sleep.

The small boy has always been a pretty good sleeper, but since starting school nursery in September by bedtime he’s often overstimulated, bouncing about all over the place, quick to temper and squealing like a Banshee. It’s pretty wearing to be with him when he’s like that, I often feel that way myself, but as an adult I’m able to express and deal with those thoughts, feelings and emotions.

I popped into Healthy Spirit in Didsbury a few weeks back to pick up a few things, when I noticed the Magical Meditations for Kids selection of CDs. I thought they looked pretty interesting. They start at £11.99 and go up to £14.99. Healthy Spirit have a range of different CDs to choose from depending on your child’s interest, I went for Magical Adventures which I thought would interest my little boy.

meditation for kids

The Magical Adventures Meditation for kids CD is by Heather Bestel. It contains four short mediations which are designed to help children find their inner calm as well as helping to build their confidence, self esteem and inspire their creative spirits. The meditation for kids CD is aimed at children aged 4-7 years and can be used in class as well as at home. We chose to listen to it calmly during our bath/bed routine.

The Magical Adventures CD contains four relaxations, you don’t have to listen to them all in one go, but we decided to listen to the CD in its entirety for a few nights to see which ones he was most drawn to. The CD is 34.54 minutes long and contains –
1. Magical Undersea Adventure (9.11)
2. Magical Space Adventure (7.39)
3. The Magic Circus (6.48)
4. Magic Carpet Ride (11.16)

We started off listening to the CD in the bath, but he soon wanted to get out and lie down with us on the bed and have a cuddle. He was markedly more relaxed than usual and lay with us for a while, occasionally chatting about the undersea adventure and the jellyfish, or the spaceship in the space adventure. Not only was he so much more relaxed than usual, we were too, both of us managed to nod off for a short period.

This CD is definitely going to form part of our bedtime routine from now on, especially after a hectic day at school when he needs to really start winding down for bed. After a busy day of work and parenting we can get a bit frazzled at bedtime too, so a little bit of calm won’t do us any harm either.

There are quite a few other CDs in this range and I think they’d make for interesting stocking fillers and Christmas presents. I would recommend a meditation for kids CD, especially if bedtimes can be a bit fraught and your child is overstimulated by school or whatever. I think back to how renewed and centred I felt after my yoga relaxations and I can only hope my son will feel some of that deep peace and sense of calm.

A bit of downtime with my little dude

Being a small boy can be tiring; always on the go, running around, screaming, weeing on the floor, pouring Cheerios everywhere, it is an exhausting business. So every so often we like to give him a pyjama morning.

There’s probably a really good scientific reason why children just need a bit of downtime every so often, we adults do, so I can’t see there being much difference for little ones.

Our small boy leads a busy life, he goes to nursery 3 days a week, playgroup one morning. We go on endless walks and park visits. His weekends are usually a whirlwind of Dads & Tots playgroup, swimming, birthday parties and seeing friends and relatives. We have to fit a lot into his week, I get tired, so he must do too. An occasional lazy pj morning is a huge treat.

I do love our pyjama mornings. We snuggle in bed with some breakfast and get the ipad out. He knows how to work it better than most, so he opens YouTube and starts watching what he wants. He’s 3, he likes to watch Curious George, Thomas the Tank Engine, Fireman Sam and Chuggington.

How lovely, you might think. But he doesn’t just watch the English episodes. He’ll happily spend a happy hour or so working through the back catalogue of Polish Fireman Sam, or German Curious George.

Lately he’s discovered a YouTube channel where a slightly odd man demonstrates and plays with Chuggington toys. He loves them. He loves watching other people play with toys online. It seems a bit weird to me, but it makes him happy. I guess it’s the modern equivalent of my brother spending hours pouring over the toy pages of the Argos catalogue.

Right now, this very minute, I’m sat in bed in my pjs typing this. He’s sat in bed next to me in his pjs, watching Chuggington and enjoying some milk and what’s left of an Easter egg. He’s happy, I’m happy. I’ll switch the laptop off in a few minutes and we’ll cuddle up and watch something together, he’ll stroke my hair absent-mindedly while we enjoy a few quiet moments together.

I think our pj mornings are just as special as all the lovely busy things we get to do together. I think it’s important that he just gets to relax, snuggle with mummy and not always be on the go, doing, doing, doing. Sometimes it’s just nice to just be.

downtime

Just chilling in bed with Mummy

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.

Bloggers Spa Day in Bolton

Since the age of 13 I’ve worked. Paper-round; Saturday jobs; stints in hellish kitchens; a great job as a Nanny. All that was pre-university. Post university, as a journalist, a manager in education, a lecturer and various jobs in what was the NHS. I’ve worked, I’ve known graft. I’ve done 20 hour days, I’ve got my hands dirty, rolled my sleeves up and got stuck in during a pandemic; I’ve done the lot. But I’ve never worked as hard as I have since I became a Mum.

Since then, through illness, infirmity, depression, and exhaustion, I’ve never had a day off. The hours are terrible and almost certainly in breach of EC Regulations, but the perks of the job are incredible. The pay is poor but it’s worth it for the cuddles. And to be honest, I’m getting used to the uniform (pjs splattered in various foodstuffs and bodily fluids).

I think it’s fair to say that recognition for my efforts isn’t officially rewarded, or at least wasn’t until I got an invite to a lovely, lovely spa day from Andrex. They have apparently done some research (and I’m paraphrasing and maybe making some of this up) and Mums are the unsung heroes of the household, we’re run ragged and we get lumbered with all the thankless tasks around the house. One of which is the changing of the empty toilet roll.

If I’m lucky, I mean very lucky a new toilet roll will appear within the vicinity of the toilet at some point, but rarely is it put on the holder. The boffins at Andrex call this “Rollaphobia” and I suspect it’s fairly widespread. To help ensure that this job doesn’t need to be carried out quite as often, Andrex has reinvigorated its Classic White product to make it stronger to last even longer. The theory being that you need to use less paper. Good plan Andrex!

To show off their new improved roll and show their appreciation for some of the hardworking Mums of the North, a merry gang of bloggers were invited to Mercure Bolton Last Drop Village Hotel and Spa on Saturday 30th November for a Spa day with a treatment thrown in. Rude not to I’d say, so off I went.

The Spa at the Mercure Bolton Last Drop Village Hotel is really quite lovely. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I’d only ever been to Spa days at Center Parcs before, but I was very presently surprised. We were given a tour of the facilities and straight away we all hopped into the hydro-pool which was divine, so warm, bubbly and therapeutic. It led outside to a lovely infinity pool (an infinity pool in Bolton, who knew) which had views over the countryside. It was really warm in the pool despite the fact we were teetering on the brink of December.

Infinity Pool.. don't mind if I do!

Infinity Pool.. don’t mind if I do!

There was a very nice 18ft swimming pool which I had to go in, I’m trying to get back into swimming again and I couldn’t resist the empty pool. I knocked out a few lengths and then explored the sauna and steam rooms.

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 so I could ask Father Christmas for some of my favourite things. To be honest, top of my list is another facial, it was so relaxing and I’ve not felt so pampered in years.

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.

Thank you Andrex for the pampering and the love and for working towards a cure for rollaphobia. Just need to stop them from peeing on the floor now.