It’s about now, before the festive season really arrives in full force that the whole ‘winter thing’ starts to take its toll and a little escapism is in order … so whether you fancy staying at home or going away take a look at where the Spabreaks.com team are heading to escape the winter blues!
Longevity Wellness Resort, Portugal
While the winter isn’t exactly prime time to visit Portugal, Longevity Wellness Resort’s power lies in its restorative mind, body and soul ethos. Harping back to the true sense of spa, it is a health retreat that’s about more than just aesthetics – plus, it has a views of the Monchique mountain range and the Algarve coast … we’re off to counter the effects of the chilly weather, and will be returning looking bright eyed and bushy tailed for the Christmas party!
Rowhill Grange, Kent
This is the place you want to go for an afternoon tea – notably, their chocolate afternoon tea complete with chocolate sauce, chocolate éclairs, chocolate brownies, chocolate shortcakes, chocolate macaroons and hot chocolate … all in a country house setting with organic treatments as well … snuggle up, and enjoy!
Research shows that patients who have a view of the great outdoors from their hospital beds on average have a better recovery rate than others … so imagine the benefits of getting out into the Scottish countryside for a spot of falconry, horse riding, or fishing on the loch, amongst other things – particularly as you can coerce the chefs to cook what you catch!
Archerfield House, Scotland
A little bit of history can add a real ‘Narnia’ vibe to a place, so the 11th century village remains in nearby Eldbottle Wood, and a story dating back to 1298 when Edward I’s archers camped in the area, combined with comfy sofas and rural views make Archerfield House a place that even C.S Lewis would be proud of.
The Vineyard at Stockross, Berkshire
In the winter, food seems to take on an increasingly important significance, so lunch, dinner or frankly anything in between so long as it’s prepared by The Vineyard at Stockross’s Michelin Star chef (and sometime-star of Saturday Kitchen), Daniel Galmiche – particularly as it is all offset by wine from the proprietor’s California vineyard, and the restaurant’s view of the unique fire and water feature in the courtyard.
Ruthin Castle Hotel, Wales
It’s a castle … by Snowdonia … which is pretty much the embodiment of everything one hopes and dreams for the winter. Couple that with the rather unique Siberian-inspired indoor/outdoor spa and all of a sudden we are feeling remarkably ‘at one’ with the seasonal changes.
Sofitel So SPA, London
When you are feeling low there is nothing like an emergency treatment to provide an instant pick-me-up – the ultimate benefit of going to a city spa as pretty as this? Pop in after work, at lunchtime or after a bit of a shopping spree … all in the name of therapy you understand.
The BodyHoliday, St Lucia
It seems almost superfluous to explain the benefits of going to a five-star health retreat in St Lucia in the winter, but if you must know, in addition to the beach, water sports, outdoor activities and generally awe inspiring landscape that is just about coming into its peak at this time of year, The BodyHoliday does exactly what it says on the tin – it is an all-singing, all-dancing bodily retreat.
Peckforton Castle, Cheshire
The Victorians were real suckers for a little Romanticism, which will explain the construction of this Gothic revival castle in a location that could well have inspired the term ‘Pathetic Fallacy’ … in short, a 19th century castle that has also provided the backdrop to Dr Who and Robin Hood will do nicely to help us break out of the winter slump!
Rushton Hall, Northamptonshire
‘Remember Remember, the fifth of November, Gunpowder Treason and Plot …’ Rumour has it that Charles Dickens visited Rushton Hall on numerous occasions and was no doubt inspired by its impossibly pretty 16th century façade. Proving particularly apt at this time of year, it also has a history steeped in scandal with former owner, Francis Tresham, playing a part in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.
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