Mums, mums, marvellous mums. Aren’t they lovely? I whisked my marvellous Mum off for a day of pampering at Champneys Tring last weekend as an early Mother’s Day treat. Preening, pampering and precious one-to-one time lounging around in robes – bliss!
Champneys Tring is set in a big old stately home in the Hertfordshire countryside and its heritage as a Health Resort dates back to the 1920s. As we rattled up the driveway, I imagined Zen Seekers making this well-being pilgrimage through the decades. And wondered how many of them had forgotten to pack their swimming cossies. Oops! First stop: The Gift Shop.
Mini crisis averted, we sat in the Breakfast Room with the spring sun shining in on us. We browsed the spa brochure over some juice. And some fresh fruit. And bircher muesli. And just a little bagel with smoked salmon… And so the scene was set for our day of indulgence.
We changed into our fluffy robes and set about on a Jacuzzi-hopping mission. Indoors. Outdoors. Quick steam. A dip in the icy plungepool. And back outdoors again, the steamy warmth of the bubbles welcoming us in from the nippy February breeze.
Mum bravely tackled a few lengths (have I mentioned how marvellous my Mum is?), whilst I lounged poolside and read. Guilt got the better of me when she emerged positively glowing, so I begrudgingly hit the treadmill for 20 minutes.
And then lunch. A buffet. My shoulders sank a little. ‘Buffet’ for me, conjures up images of budget carveries, chefs in paper hats, stainless steel troughs and finger smudged sneeze guards (yes sneeze guards; that’s the official catering term). Yuk. I’m a self-confessed buffet snob.
But the Champneys approach was something quite different altogether. I felt like I’d walked onto the set of an M&S food ad. A delightful storm of colours, shapes and textures lay before us.
I surveyed the expansive salad bar and played a quick game of superfood bingo in my head: quinoa (check), beets (check), lentils (check), sprouts (check)… and so on until I had a full house. Or near enough.
We over indulged. Gorged. Went back for seconds. And then had some pudding. And I left the dining room a born again buffet fan.
Our facials were scheduled one after the other, so whilst one was being slathered in trademark Champneys lotions and potions, the other attended a class. Hula-hooping for me, where the French instructor warned us not to take ourselves too seriously. I ignored him and hula-hooped like it was 1993. Then had only myself to blame for the consequent elbow bruising. Mum’s Aqua Mitt class sounded far more sensible and she thoroughly enjoyed it.
Next stop: the brand new relaxation suite – the latest addition to the Champneys Tring offering, which brings a very modern twist to the stately home. Whilst there is an older relaxation room ideal for a cosy doze, I like to think this new space is intended for sociable relaxing. For chilling out and chatting in a cool, almost indoor beach-club setting. Blue and white LED lights contrast with the clean white décor. A big Jacuzzi in one corner alongside a crackling wall mounted LED fireplace. Rows of spacious (and UBER comfortable) fleece lined water-beds. The whole effect is chic and stylish and girlishly indulgent. Mum and I chatted, read and Jacuzzied some more.
When the time came, we rounded off our day with a frothy cappuccino in the Terrace Café overlooking the manicured lawns.
Batteries recharged, minds Zen, skin lovably soft, we showered, changed and headed back out into the world. Not before signing up for a return visit though – Champneys, you’ve locked this girl in for life!
Have you had some great girly downtime in the Chilterns? I’d love to hear about it so please leave me a comment…