Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Champneys Health Spa, Tring

And relax… Champneys  - the true leaders of luxury

I’m a Champneys fanatic and my bathroom cabinets are jam packed full of every product from their body oils to bath salts, yet I’d never been to a Champneys spa.  Having just returned from a sailing holiday around Croatia, I wouldn’t say I was exactly stressed, but having become accustomed to the relaxed pace of life, I was super excited at the invitation which landed in my inbox on my return.  Would I be so kind as to attend lunch, sup champers, indulge in a massage or two and celebrate the installation of a beautiful new garden room from Crown Pavilions?!  Ermmm yes.  I would!

There’s are 8 day spas across the UK and just 4 luxury retreats – the nearest to me being Tring, just a short train journey from London.  Champneys Tring is an absolutely stunning stately home surrounded by 170 acres of land which was once owned by the Rothschild family.  While the original house still stands, the resort has grown considerably, and now boasts 65 treatment rooms, 2 tennis courts, a 25 metre indoor pool, a gym and medical centre as well as hundreds of rooms for longer stays which range from standard to deluxe suites.

Champneys itself was opened as the very first UK health farm by naturopath Stanley Lieff, and it will celebrate it’s 90thbirthday next September – what a party that will be!

With a winding driveway and stunning entrance area, Champneys is a luxurious experience from the moment you arrive.  Whisked through an efficient checking in process, we were sized up for gowns and slippers before heading out to the garden for coffee and a chance to soak up the sun.  Having picked one of the hottest days of the year to visit, the loungers were out and it was something of a rarity to see so many people in bikinis and shorts and know that we were still in the UK!

After choosing our afternoon treatments, we were shown to the stunning garden room which we’d be occupying for lunch.  Set in the gardens and surrounded by flowers and greenery, the Hampton Pavilion is unlike any outdoor installation I’ve seen before.  Too luxurious to just be called a gazebo, (and definitely not a conservatory as it stands alone), Crown Pavilions seems to have spotted a gap in the market and have created a fabulous range of garden rooms and summer houses which are hand crafted  and made to order in Oxford, using redwood and cedar.  This particular design, the Hampton, comes with an eating and dining area, fridge, air con and lighting – absolutely perfect for entertaining guests.  Champneys guests now of course have the added bonus of being able to request this area for a private lunch or dinner with waiter service.  And even as summer comes to an end, pull down the acrylic blind panels and turn up the heat and you can still enjoy the benefits of eating al fresco all year round.

In such sumptuous surroundings, it was only fair that we had a fitting menu to match – the freshest of strawberries, champagne and canapies, were followed by seared scallops on chorizo with garden pea puree, cress salad and balsamic reduction; grilled fillet of beef which melted in the mouth, accompanied by mini fondant potato, curly kale and Madeira ju.  A really exquisite dinner made with the freshest of ingredients and presented beautifully.  After eating so much delicious food, we were all more than ready for a session in the thalassotherapy pool. 

Thalassotherapy is a form of hydrotherapy I’ve never tried before.  It’s basically a warm, mineral rich pool filled with powerful jets which ease and soothe tired joints, blast cellulite and tones muscles.  Almost like a work out without actually having to do anything – my kind of workout!

We followed this up with a relaxing back massage each… mine was absolutely amazing (from what I remember), I only got to enjoy about 10 minutes off it before drifting off into a deep relaxing sleep which is unheard of for me!  Had we not booked our train tickets back to London, I’m pretty sure I would have had to indulge in another.

With amazing special offers on long stays at Champneys, I can imagine heading out to Tring for a few days would be a truly relaxing rejuvenating experience – check out their website for details.  And while you might be at the spa to unwind, it might just be worth donning your best lycra and paying a visit to the gym, as we’ve heard on the grapevine that Daniel Craig and Peter Andre are both fans… Nice!

Metion naturo path Stanley lieff and 90 years next sept (since 1925)


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