Spa weekends in Autumn are quite frankly the dream. I mean think about it, whether you want to admit it or not you're still in a fug of post-holiday-season-blues. You're tan's faded, you're sunkissed hair has darkened up and you're not close enough to Christmas to get giddy about it. Answer to all your first world problemos? A spa weekend baby.
Few things feel more cosy and luxurious than crunching up a stately-home-esque drive to a stately-home-esque building, dashing out in a whirl of Grace Kelly like glamour and beaming, telling to thoroughly wonderful reception lady that you have a room and meal booked for the weekend. For no good reason. Other than to make you feel better. You're not attending a wedding, you're not visiting relatives, you're getting some serious me-time. Bliss.
Convinced? Fab, Time to decide where to go. This is where the Spa Diaries come in - one account at a time of each luxurious little location, and we're kicking off with Mottram Hall - a red brick country pile in the heart of Cheshire that drags glossy-haired wags and well-to-do city dwellers alike in for the spa, and golf aficionados in for the perfectly-preened course.
Needless to say this is all about the spa, zero golf gab here. To reach it you pad over a glass-walled walkway in your fluffy road and slippers before being offered fruit-flecked spa water and a tour around the facilities.
I was treated to one of the most relaxing massages I’ve ever had the pleasure of nearly falling asleep through. I shook myself awake just enough to slope off to the steam rooms and pools – this little section’s a wonderland of pampering!
I’m a sucker for a sauna and the Mottram Hall offering did not disappoint. Add to that various little ‘warm rooms’ (the Stonebath one was my fave!) with little bucket like contraptions that magically whirr to life on their own and up the steaminess, and you have a good couple of hours accounted for. There are jaccuzzis bubbling away both inside and out, a plunge pool, you name it.
Add into the equation a seasonal menu at the Carrington Grill restaurant (delicious doesn't even cover it! - check out the menu here) and large beautifully decorated rooms, roaring fires and lush green grounds, you simply won't want to leave.