Spa Hen Weekend

My baby sister is getting married next weekend, so I have flown home to spend the last week of her “single” life with her, and that included her spa hen weekend… such a trauma to fly home for a spa break with your sister, Mummy, best friend and two ‘adopted’ sisters!

We stayed at Lifehouse Country Spa Resort in Essex.  Having never seen TOWIE, I can’t say that I was over excited at the prospect of a field trip into the darkest depths of Essex to watch the inhabitants at close range, and that also meant being totally unprepared!

WOW.

How do these girls manage to a) find time in their day for anything other than grooming, and b) fit so much make up onto their face?!  I am totally in awe of their skills.  The make up is flawless and there is not a hair out of place.  Imagine what they could do if they had taste!!!!!

(For confirmation, not all girls were this stereotypical over pained wanna be barbies!!  Also, it wasn’t just the staff who were like this, but a good few of the guests too!!)

The venue itself was beautiful  Set in 130 acres of grounds, it was just beautiful.  The English weather was for once playing ball and showcasing the countryside at its most beautiful.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the temperature was perfect.  We were so blessed.

We arrived and our cases were spirited away to our room while we were shown around the facility by a lovely, polite boy.  He knew the answers to every question we asked, and could deal with the slightly hyperactive bubble of excitement that was the 6 of us!!

After our guided tour, we quickly changed into our beautifully soft and fluffy robes and headed over to the treatment area for our massages.  Blissful.

After the massages, we got ourselves some freshly squeezed orange juice and went into the relaxation room whereupon I decided that I would sit in the massage chair and continue the therapists good work.  Epic Fail!  The fair was mean and beat me mercilessly!  Time for a spot of lunch then!

4 butternut squash soups, 1 BLT, 1 Buffalo Mozerella with Parma Ham (absolutely perfect), and a few portions of chips later, we headed into the spa area.

Again, WOW!  I started my little gaunt off in the mineral hydrotherapy pool/hot tub, and probably stayed in there twice the amount of time I was meant to!  It felt absolutely wonderful!  Next was the salt steam room, which would have been blissful if the irritating Scottish woman had paused for breath at any point.

(Note to Spa Goers – No one gives a toss about your child’s school choices and subsequent breakdown/tantrums.  SHUT THE FECK UP and respect the supposed quiet tranquility of a spa area!!)

After that we went for a wee swim in the salt water pool.  A little chilly after the steam room, but it felt so good to be stretching out the muscles that had been cramped up on the flight and the drive to Essex.  I would at this juncture like to apologise for one of the adopted sisters.  She’s a little loud and excitable, and didn’t respect the quiet tranquility of the pool area.  She was however told off and soon realised how she should behave!

After a brief spell in the steam room and sauna, and it was time to head back to the rooms to change for Afternoon Tea.

MAJOR PROPS to Lifehouse as they had gluten free bread.  No gluten free cakes, but who cares!  I got to have a sandwich too!  BLT with cheese.  Yummo!  Instead of the cakes, I had a Mud Slide cocktail…. totally works for me!!

After eating far too much, we headed back to our rooms to have a little relax and then get ready for dinner.  Yes… this spa break involved more food than was strictly necessary!

We arrived for dinner, mostly on time, and were given a lovely champagne cocktail.  After ordering we were sent a complementary starter of gaspacho (sp?!) soup.  Not my thing.  It all tasted too raw.  The main course thankfully arrived quickly and was absolutely divine.  For the first time in longer than I can remember, I ordered the vegetarian option.  I am not a veggie-head, but it just sounded yummy.  Roasted root vegetables with warm goats cheese.  Soooooooo good.  I could have eaten it all twice over.  Everyone else felt the same about their dishes, and there wasn’t a scrap left on our plates by the end of the meal!  Dessert is always a problem for me though.  I have a number of food allergies.  The waiter was knowledgable and helpful and when he didn’t have the answer, he checked with the chefs.  I ended up having a very nice butterscotch ice cream.  It totally worked for me!

At the end of a very relaxing and food filled day, I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow!

The next morning I was refreshed and full of energy so went to the gym.  It was the nicest gym I have ever seen!  Small, but a very good selection of equipment.  Very clean, and mostly empty!  Just the way I like a gym when I chose to embarrass myself with exercise.

Breakfast was another feast.  I had the English breakfast Buffet due to the presence of bacon!  Everyone else went healthy, well healthier, and had the Continental Breakfast.  No complaints and gluten free bread available again!  Score!

I have to say that I would indeed return to Lifehouse, and would recommend it to others.  There was a few issues, staff attitudes in the restaurant had room for improvement, but when these issues were raised, they were addressed swiftly and in a professional manner.

Who wants to book a weekend there soon?!

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