Ready to escape the city, with the girls, boyfriend, or sister for the weekend? Even a half day break at Moddershall Oaks Spa Retreat is enough time to unwind and indulge in a countryside set haven. says Vanessa Chalmers
After a four hour drive from Surrey to Staffordshire, I was definitely ready for an overnight stay in the 5* Moddershall Oaks Retreat, being cared for and pampered mid-week. Only a 15-minute journey through 72 acres of Staffordshire countryside to Stoke-on-Trent, the retreat offers the classic idyllic getaway to the country, with the latest hydrotherapy technology spa facilities, deluxe limited edition treatments throughout the year, lakeside dining, and a sense of wellbeing once you leave (and overwhelming sadness that its back to the real world). Upon arrival, my sister and I were taken to the deli area where we sipped cool drinks whilst spying on the outdoor vitality pool and kelo pine sauna where guests were lost in an abyss of relaxation… I couldn’t wait to join!
We were lost in an abyss of relaxation in the kelo pine sauna
Once our treatment times had been arranged, we were shown to our sensational room, which was spacious despite the gloriously king sized bed decorated with lavish pillows. We were hidden away in the comforts of a warm sanctuary, with underfloor heating, mood-lighting and a private decking area overlooking the gorgeous landscapes. Kettle on, Wi-Fi activated, and dressed in the popular attire amongst guests- the fluffy, bear-coat robes, I had left behind the stresses of home life within 20 minutes of arrival.
Before dinner, we shuffle in our slippers to the treatment rooms to be pampered with tender hands and revitalising products. My skin was indulged in essential oils during a body wrap treatment, in which a hot, thick, clay-like substance was lathered and gently massaged onto my body. I know what you’re thinking- yes, I was naked! However the masseuse made sure I was always partially covered and comfortable- tailoring the room temperature and pressure of massaging to my needs. Despite the strange situation, I was soon drifting away into a content subconscious, wrapped in a warm cocoon of foil, and enjoying an intense head massage. Designed to reduce the appearance of cellulite, the body wrap also eased my muscles, and left my skin feeling supple and glowing by drawing out the toxins.
Moddershall offers an array of luxury treatments to choose from; facials, body treatments, massage and beauty treatments, promised to suit your needs. Whether that be anti-ageing, relaxation, tissue tension relieving or skin revitalizing, whilst the atmospheric lighting, music, and attentive care allows your mind to drift. What’s more, if you’re a regular visitor, the limited edition treatments mean you’ll never be stuck for choice. My sister, Maddie, had a body massage with oils that are changed depending on the season- she had the delight of experiencing rosehip and peppermint, but the sound of a frankincense and berry massage in winter, or a summery strawberries and cream body scrub during Wimbledon is even more inviting.
If you’re a regular visitor, the limited edition treatments mean you’ll never be stuck for choice
Exploring the corridors of the retreat further, we find The Snug, which really gives Moddershall the upper hand on providing a perfect setting for relaxation with friends. A stylishly decorated hub of girl heaven- makeup, beauty products, and nail bar. Never really straying from my inner princess mentality as a child, I could just picture myself and a group of girlfriends chatting away with nibbles and bubbly whilst being cossetted by a team of beauty experts. For hen parties, baby showers, or for no occasion at all, The Snug is ideal for private hire.
Opulent organic meats and mouth-watering accomplices, from sultana ragu to spiced saffron mussel broth
Sitting at a candlelit table in the lakeside view restaurant, open for guests or the public, our eyes gorged on the list of sumptuous dishes; opulent organic meats and mouth-watering accomplices, from sultana ragu to spiced saffron mussel broth. I chose a beautifully savoury oat pancake filled with shredded duck and Hoi Sin sauce, followed by a vegetarian main of halloumi, aubergine, and pitta, while Maddie indulged in the Applewood venison, dry cured bacon, goats cheese and sweet potato; both plentiful portions and memorably delicious, and served by a friendly waiter with a good recommendation for a sweet wine to wash it down with. We retired to our haven to take full advantage of the Elemis products in the en suite and Sky Movies on the flat-screen.
Breakfast was devoured after taking advantage of the peace and quiet with a morning stroll through the immaculate grounds and woodland trail (there was also a fancy looking gym, but I was on a break, right?!) The full English was complete with a serving of traditional northern black pudding- flavoursome, crumbly, and superb in comparison to any I had had before, and accompanied by the continental. With the morning rays shining through, the atmosphere amongst robe-dressed guests was calm after a good night’s sleep in our luxury suites.
The ambient lighting and aromatherapy temperatures left my body feeling refreshed and awakened
We took full advantage of the indoor spa for a couple of hours, first bathing on the underwater loungers with water massagers and messing around under a volcanic airpad in the centre of the tub- think of a power shower, but 5 times more powerful (ouch?). But what really caught my eye, as a freak with a foot fetish, was the foot baths. Gentle bubbles massaging the souls of my feet felt like heaven, if not as good as the real thing. After a swim in a gorgeously warm pool we had to try out the awesome showers- which left us hysterical. I chose the Atlantic ocean shower from a list of lush settings; a hot tropical rain from above followed by a cold fog mist that definitely left me with the ‘who is using the hot tap downstairs’ face! Rather chilly, but nonetheless the ambient lighting and aromatherapy temperatures left my body feeling refreshed and awakened.
If that wasn’t enough, we then took a dip in the stunningly set outside hot tub under the noon sun. Tranquil music and the woody smell of an open fire burning, it was the perfect set-up for pure relaxation. I could picture myself coming back to Moddershall for an escape with the girls, or a romantic break with the boyfriend – enjoying an outdoor hot tub on a brisk evening with a bottle of bubbly is definitely something I could look forward to after a week at work.
An overnight stay starts from £249 for two people, or full and half days with offers of treatments, spa facilities and delicious food, ranging from £55 pp- £120 pp. Trains from London Euston to Stoke-on-Trent are just an hour and 25 minutes, with Moddershall Oaks a short train or taxi journey from the city.
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