|Candle Pool, Ragdale Hall|
A whole day. in a Spa, with 3 friends? Oh okay then.
Yesterday we went to Ragdale Hall in Melton Mowbray, the home of pork pies, but being a spa, there wasn't a pork pie in sight. It appears you can't have everything. Despite this early setback I was ready to take full advantage of everything that Ragdale had to offer.
Fortunately, this spa was not caffeine adverse which was just as well because I hadn't had my essential coffee pre-departure. One latte later and a 'gown' under my arm and I was heading for the pool and recognising the ubiquitous poolside problem of finding a lounger that hadn't already been bagged by a casual draping of a towel over the cushions. Help me. Why would you feel the need to hog a lounger when there is the thermal spa, the conservatory, the veranda lounge or the retreat to relax in? The pool was great, room to swim lengths just in case you felt the need to exert yourself, a hot tub and jets pummelling those shoulders. I really liked the foot jets, more than a tickle but less than a power hose, enough to release a little tension in the arches.
Finding no room in the hot tub, I wandered off to the Thermal Spa where, I could have happily spent the rest of the day had there been coffee and cakes within arms reach. Now this was the place to hog a lounger. Clearly all those abandoned towels by the pool would remain abandoned for the rest of the day because their owners had found the Spa.
At this point I started to get a little stressed because there were no less than 12 heat and water experiences to explore. Where do I start? Which is the best? How many days have I got?
Having tossed a coin, recited "eeny meeny minny mo" and closed my eyes and pointed, I decided to start in the Colourflow cave which promised a "humid and heady mix of jasmine and camomile, a river of colour flows to a central crystal mountain to provide a hedonistic detox." It was certainly nice, colourful and smelt pretty darn good but there were so many more to explore. Next stop was the indoor/outdoor waterfall pool: like stepping into a bath while your cheeks are frozen by a chilly breeze. Needing to thaw out my cheeks I tried out the Cave Shower which was amusing. Imagine being caught in a warm thunderstorm, complete with thunder and lightening. Yes really. Apparently not feasible for your average family bathroom though. I have checked.
I tried out the the Candle Pool next which was a silent zone so guaranteed to make me giggle. You walk into a pool with little cave like booths where you lie back, rest your head on a cushion, watch the lights change and listen to soft gentle music. Or not. Problem 1: I didn't realise that where you sat was shaped for your bottom so I slid down into the seat rather inelegantly. Problem 2: I was about 3 inches too short for both my bum to be on the seat and my head to be on the cushion. So the cushion floated away while I tried to keep my head above water and not slide further off the seat. Problem 3: The drain was making some interesting gurgling sounds. Result: retreat in muffled hysterics.
Last stop was the Volcanic Salt Bath offering "an intense and 100% humid experience within a velvet darkness of hewn basalt and slate." whilst giggling at the fart like sounds my sweaty thighs made on the wet benches. Hint: don't shuffle if you don't want to die of embarrassment.
I had pre-booked a Moisture Melt treatment which involved a massage and facial combo. To say that my back and shoulders needed a massage was just a bit of an understatement born out by the crunching noises echoing through my neck to my ears. I was about 10 seconds away from asking her to stop for fear of vomiting at the distressing noises. It felt like she was trying to push her thumbs through concrete and the concrete was winning. Fortunately the pummelling stopped just in time and I was flipped for the facial. Who knew that having your eyebrows massaged would be so pleasurable?
Lunch. I love a good buffet where you can go back and forth and top up your plate. So I did. A bit.
The Retreat is another silent zone in the Spa where cosy soft cushions, bean bags and sofas abound. Sadly this was the Retreat rush hour and it was gridlock. Short of sleeping nose to toes a big squishy sofa in the lounge had to do. Served it's purpose. Zzzz.
I could have joined in with a Pilate's class or tripped off back to the Thermal Spa, popped into the mind gym or had a bracing walk around the grounds of course, but it would have been a shame to waste good lounging time.
The final part of the day was a manicure. Fortunately I had the foresight to get changed back into real clothes before I tried to remove a fluffy robe with wet nail polish on. I did have to ask someone to rummage in my pockets for my locker key though, not without a small degree of blushing. The manicure was excellent and as at the end of day 2 is remarkably unchipped despite washing up, wrestling the toddler into his pram and ferocious blogging.
I am now having to go back to my earlier post, Dear Santa, and add on Spa vouchers in preparation for my next visit.
I have not been asked to review Ragdale Hall, I paid for my visit and I am writing this just to make you jealous. Bwhahahaha!