My lady-pals are such little gems. They really are. It seems not to matter when, where or how we last saw each other, and how infrequent these visits are, when we get back together it’s as though we were back in middle school again. But with the hint of wrinkley maturity and less giggly talk of boys.
Well, a little bit less.
Last weekend, as a birthday treat, my two oldest school chums plotted a lovely day trip out, up into the wilds of Northumberland (*cough*near Morpeth*cough*) to the civilised lux of Linden Hall Golf Club & Spa. They picked me up and whisked me off for a day of padding around in dressing gowns being made to feel lovely.
Linden Hall is part of the MacDonald Hotels & Resorts chain and is a lovely venue for weddings, mini-breaks etc. The main building itself is sumptuously decorated in a traditional style and boasts large original roaring fires, perfect for cosying up next to on a cold March evening, putting the world to rights, using more swear words than is maybe considered proper for such genteel surroundings…
The spa is for both for hotel guests and those who are merely stopping by for a quick treatment. We were booked in for An Afternoon Tea; a special half day offer that includes a 30 minute treatment of your choice, dressing gowns, towels, slippers, access to all the spa facilities (pool, sauna, jacuzzi, gym) and afternoon tea, served in one of the main hotel’s grand drawing rooms. All for the knock down price of £39! Lahvly dahhling.
We had a jolly old time pissing about (not literally) in the spa; being stewed and bubbled to death in the slightly over-vigorous jacuzzi, sweating out imaginary toxins in the sauna, eating free biscuits in the ‘Relaxing Room’ and generally enjoying pratting around in big white fluffy dressing gowns in the middle of the afternoon, while snow fell outside the window.
The treatments on offer included a Decleor prescriptive facial, a Jessica manicure, a Jessica Pedicure, an Aroma Back Relief Massage, an Aroma Foot Relief treatment or a Tranquility Scalp Massage. Something for everyone there, I think you’ll agree. As it turned out all 3 of us went for the facial. And, I’m happy to report that all 3 had a very pleasant experience, although one of us was a bit miffed that she didn’t receive the same free shoulder massage thrown in that the other two had. But she said her facial, her first experience of this particular type of treatment, was very nice all the same. My skin has been feeling much better since too, so I’d say all the prodding and smoothing has done it’s job nicely.
At 4:45pm we put our actual clothes back on and were taken through to the main hotel, a lovely big country house, and seated by the window, in three big arm chairs, to be served our afternoon tea. Tea consisted of various tiny triangle sandwiches (crusts cut off, naturally), warm homemade scones with jam, clotted cream and lemon curd, and finally a plate of tiny squares of cakes. All served with a massive pot of tea, of course.
We had a spiffy time. It’s difficult to go wrong really, with pampering AND cakes, but Linden Hall certainly handled it with a nice aplomb.
We’ve all agreed that this is definitely something we need to make a regular occurrence so with any luck you’ll be seeing more local spa reviews coming up in the future. In the meantime I’ll just have to force myself to ‘suffer’ on through all the pampering and preening that comes before the written reviews. Just for you.