A year in from having a baby and although my husband and I have had nights out together, we haven’t been away or had any real time for ourselves. I mean real, ALONE time, without the baby. Before Christmas we were asked the usual questions about what we wanted, and we decided to ask for Mr and Mrs Smith vouchers. Mr and Mrs Smith is a smart website which reviews lovely hotels here in the UK and abroad, and when booking through them you can get various deals or added perks like afternoon tea (as we did) or a bottle of champagne in your room etc. Me and the Mr agreed we wanted to stay in a spa hotel so after creating a short list and after much deliberation, we decided to book Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa.
Lucknam Park is a five star (interpreted as not cheap) hotel situated just 20 minutes or so outside of Bath. Once inside the hotel gates, you drive up a long tree lined drive which, I can imagine in the height of summer is stunning when all the trees are out in full bloom. Apparently during the war, Spitfire planes were hidden underneath the Beech and Lime tree’s as the cover was so vast. But as it happens we visited in March, so everything was bare! You definitely feel like you have stepped out of the rat race here, as your view is just trees, fields, horses and the manor house growing ever larger in-front of you. The imposing 17th century mansion is the sort of building you can’t help but fall in love, it exudes history and feels a bit like it would be the perfect backdrop to a Downton Abbey type programme.
We were greeted straight away by a friendly receptionist (I have this thing about grumpy people on reception, why take that people facing role!?) and were told our room had been upgraded. This was a rather positive start to the weekend We had a lovely, spacious room overlooking the courtyard at the back of the building. The bathroom was sparkling clean with double sink action (I like) and decent sized Anne Semonin products, which I noticed were topped up the next day brand new, no scrimping here and leaving you with half bottles of shampoo. Also in our room was half a bottle of champagne, some chocolates, fruit, some beauty freebies and a hand written note welcoming us from the Hotel Manager. This was all very pleasing, such simple touches make you feel a bit special and also, not being funny but as the hotel is quite pricey, its nice to know they include these extras, so you feel like you’re getting your moneys worth!
Within seconds we had stripped off and (noo, not what you think 😉 changed in to our swim wear. We donned the standard bathrobe and slipper combo, the essential uniform, and headed off to the spa. The main reason we picked Lucknam Park was because the spa looked and sounded amazing, although obviously you never can tell what these places are really like until you arrive. Luckily however we weren’t disappointed, the spa was lovely. We were greeted by more friendly staff and given a quick tour. There are split, good size changing rooms each with their own small sauna and steam room in case you fancy some quiet time. There is a gym which I swore I would be hitting but didn’t even glimpse at, oh well. Then there is the spa itself. There is a 20 metre indoor pool, an indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pool, a decent amount of loungers (very important), a sauna, a steam room, a salt steam room and an amethyst room (which wasn’t working when we visited) There are also treatment rooms, a relaxation room and a hair salon, phew! We spent most of our time steaming ourselves in the salt room and relaxing in the outside hydrotherapy pool, it was such a nice feeling to be outside in the fresh air but sat in warm, bubbling water, bliss.
That evening we ate in one of the two restaurants in the hotel, The Park. The chef there holds a Michelin star, so we were expecting good things. We donned our glad-rags and had a cocktail in the Lounge Room before dinner. The deal is you dress smartly for The Park, I quite like that this was enforced as we don’t get to dress up that often at home! After perusing the menu we opted to go for the taster menu and I’m pleased we did this as, had we gone A La Carte, I have a feeling I would have miss-chosen and this gave us a chance to sample a bit of everything. We weren’t let down, the food was excellent. Normally I would have chosen the scallops or langoustine but our favourite out of everything we tasted was the turbot and ravioli, it was just melt-in-your-mouth heavenly. We had a great selection of cheese too, not something we’d normally plump for and a really good, reasonably priced white wine. The only slight disappointment was that the room felt a little stuffy, if there was a lull in all the tables conversation, the room was very quiet, so some really light background music could have lightened the mood a little. This is just an observation not things that would spoil your night. After our meal we had a cheeky night cap and went to bed feeling very stuffed and slightly tipsy.
The next day was a day of dreamy bliss. We had a lovely breakfast in the other restaurant called The Brassiere, great eggs and coffee, although why you have to pay for breakfast (which is expensive) when you’ve already shelled out a small fortune, I have no idea. Anyway, the my husband and I both had massages which were an hour and a half each *swoon* Mine was a hot stone massage which made me feel like I was on holiday. As my lovely masseuse Evie moved the hot stones over my body, I drifted away to some happy, warm places. It was pure bliss. You get to chill out in the very pleasant relaxation room afterwards with a good selection of teas, comfy chairs, a nice view and a plunge pool outside if it takes your fancy. We skipped lunch and had afternoon tea, which we got as part of our deal for booking through Mr and Mrs Smith. As you can see from the pictures, the tea was drool worthy delicious. The chocolate éclair was quite possibly one of the best things I have ever tasted. This was all washed down with Earl Grey and Mint tea. We had to have a lye down afterwards we were so stuffed!
That afternoon we had another (yes, another!) spa treatment each. I had a manicure but sadly I didn’t feel like I got my moneys worth. I had Siobhan doing my nails who was lovely, and we had a nice natter to start but I found the chair you sit in quite uncomfortable, so as I closed my eyes and tried to drift off a little, I couldn’t. I sat starring at the lady having a pedicure in the lovely, large, comfy pedicure chairs, I felt rather jealous. Also, the manicure was an hour and I’d say, an expensive £66 so I was hoping for quite a bit of arm/hand massaging but only got what felt like five minutes worth on each arm, I suppose I was expecting a bit more. I did get to keep the nail varnish however and had fabulous nails, so not all negative.
That evening we ate in The Brassiere restaurant, which is much more relaxed than The Park. I’m glad we tried The Park but if we come here again we would just eat in The Brassiere; its cheaper (ish!) and the general vibe was just that bit more easy-going. Mr S ordered duck and said it was delicious, I had a ribeye steak and can hand-on-heart say it was one of the best I’ve ever had. I opted for medium/well-done and it was cooked to perfection, urgh, I’m salivating remembering it. We had an amazing, badass red too.
We failed on the Sunday as we didn’t realise the clocks went back so we lost an hour, add to that drinking a bit too much and booking more treatments at 10am (why, oh why!?) we woke up feeling shattered. So much for a weekend of lye ins! Hindsight is a wonderful thing! We trudged off to our treatments both feeling a bit knackered but despite this, we both felt these were the best of the bunch. I had the Manipura treatment and Mr S had the De Stress Oil and Herbal Back Therapy. I was scrubbed, showered, massaged and I felt like my masseuse Siobhan got rid of some serious knots in my shoulders, it felt so, so good. We spent a final hour in the spa afterwards, had a quick bite of lunch before heading home. Both a bit tired but with baby soft skin after all our pampering.
We had a wonderful weekend at Lucknam Park and will definitely return one day. This is the sort of place you want to get away to with your other half and if you can splash out and treat yourselves, then do it, it was excellent Also if you are stuck for birthday or Christmas ideas, the Mr and Mrs Smith vouchers are a winner too.
*This weekend was fully funded by us.