Over the summer holidays, Mr Mess and I treated ourselves to a day at Eden Hall Day Spa. I first visited there WAY back in 2007, for my sister-in-law’s hen do. I enjoyed it so much that I convinced Mr Mess to come along and give it a try. He loved it as much as I did and now we try to visit at least once a year for some serious rest and relaxation.
Over the years the price of a day at Eden Hall has been creeping up steadily, which in this time of budget cuts and penny-pinching does make it hard to go as much as we’d like to. However, they do regularly have offer days so check out the website or join the mailing list if you want to save yourself some pennies. (This particular trip was a very generous birthday gift from my mother-in-law, so we were very lucky indeed!)
Arrival at Eden Hall
Our day didn’t exactly start smoothly. Just 5 minutes from Eden Hall we were suddenly caught in a traffic jam which turned out to be the result of a three-car accident just ahead. Obviously we tried to keep things in perspective. The people involved in the accident were having a far worse day. However, it was very uncomfortable stood in completely stationary traffic in the blazing August sunshine.
When we finally arrived at Eden Hall, an hour later than planned, we were greeted with a fruity herbal tea and a health form to complete. You are checked in at the reception desk, given you locker key and timetable for the day and then you’re free to settle in and explore.
Obviously I have no idea what the gents dressing rooms look like, but the ladies’ are the height of luxury. They have spacious lockers, private dressing cubicles, beautiful showers with complimentary toiletries and a huge vanity suite with mirrors and hairdryers to help you beautify yourself when the day is over.
The format for the breakfast at Eden Hall has changed numerous times over the years. They’ve gone from a buffet, to a choice of breakfast platters, back to a buffet and now they have a set breakfast menu to choose from. We’d originally planned on skipping breakfast this time (cutting costs again) but after a stressful journey we both fancied something to eat and a drink. The menu has great variety, from a traditional cooked breakfast, a continental buffet and a range of other tempting dishes. Mr Mess naturally picked the full English breakfast while I decided to be adventurous and chose the Eggs Royale (Like Eggs Benedict but with smoked salmon instead of ham.)
Both dishes were delicious. The smoked salmon was perhaps a little too strong for my delicate tastebuds, and there could possibly have been a fraction less hollandaise sauce. Still, it didn’t stop me from clearing my plate so it gets a thumbs up from me.
Gymnasium and Exercise Classes
There was a time when my Eden Hall bag would include my gym gear and trainers. I split my day in to two halves – the morning was keep fit, the afternoon was for resting. I’ve tried a variety of their classes, from Zumba (Loved it!) to Hula-Hooping (A ridiculous notion – I sucked at it!). There was even the infamous occasion where my best friend coerced me into taking part in the outdoor boot camp. I certainly didn’t thank her for it afterwards and from that moment on I vowed never to break a sweat at a spa for the rest of my days.
If you want to find me in the morning, you should try looking for me in the :
It seems crazy to spend £70-£100 to spend the day asleep in a quiet room, but that is one of our favourite parts. The slumber room at Eden Hall recently had a revamp and now features single and double beds and hanging egg-shaped pods. It’s a peaceful sanctuary where you can choose read or doze. It does feel strangely intimate to hear strangers whispering and snoring but don’t let that put you off. This is the perfect place for some serious quiet time.
Gardens / Archery
Dependent on the weather, you may not really get to explore the beautiful grounds of Eden Hall, but if you get some sunshine you’re in for a treat. We’ve been lucky enough to get a couple of really nice days there and enjoyed walking around the gardens. There’s a beautiful pond in the middle, plenty of outdoor seating and recliners for sun-bunnies looking to top up their tan.
Budding Robin Hoods can try out the archery classes, although I believe they’re popular and book up quickly. I’ve never actually tried it (I’m pretty sure I’d be rubbish), but my sisters absolutely love it.
Taste of Eden Restaurant
The food is by far one of my favourite parts of visiting Eden Hall. Lunch is a three-course affair. You choose your starter, main and dessert from a set menu and can then help yourself to a buffet of different hot and cold side dishes, pastas and salads.
I don’t think I have ever had a bad meal at Eden Hall. The food is of the same standard as any high quality restaurant I’ve visited. The service is extremely slick and you’re not left to wait for ages between courses.
A recommendation from Mr Mess is to dry off and dress before your allocated meal time. It is perfectly acceptable to go to lunch in your dressing gown, and you will see plenty of other people doing just that. However, it’s not a particularly pleasant to experience to sit and eat in wet swimming things so you might be more comfortable if you change first.
After your meal you can enjoy a complimentary tea or coffee in the conservatory, but we’ll touch on that later. For now, we’re going to wait for our dinner to settle and then head to the:
Saltwater Vitality Pool and Spa Suite.
In my opinion, the pool and spa are the most spectacular area of Eden Hall. There are far too many elements to possible mention so I’ll touch on my highlights.
The pool itself is of a good size, whether you’re a serious swimmer or just like bobbing around for fun. There are a series of timed water features (which I am not particularly fond of) and an outside cove where you can enjoy the warm water while still appreciating the sunshine and fresh air.
There’s something for everyone in the detox area. I struggle with the steam rooms as I find them quite suffocating, but I love to lie down and relax in the sauna and saunarium. A new feature that I’ve not seen before was the Thermal Spa Suite with a variety of water showers. I particularly liked the cool mists. They were particularly refreshing on what was a VERY hot day.
Outside are two hot tubs. They are usually quite busy, so it’s sometimes tricky to get a spot in them as once people are in they tend to hang around for a while. Although it’s nice to sit out in the sunshine and look out in the beautifully landscaped gardens, I actually prefer to use the outdoor hot tubs in the winter months. I will always remember one Christmas Eve visit. We sat snuggled in the warmth of the gently bubbling water, while all around us on the ground was the lightest dusting of snow. The contrast between the hot water and the cold air was very refreshing and it was a truly magical experience.
Once upon a time I wouldn’t have dreamt of visiting Eden Hall without booking one of their blissful spa treatments. I’ve pretty much sampled the whole range from the humble manicure and pedicure, to seaweed facials, to a hot stone massage so relaxing it was almost sensual. One of my all-time favourites was the specially formulated mum-to-be which was so incredible that I often consider lying about being pregnant just so I can experience it again.
Sadly, the prices of the treatments have now risen far faster than my income and so on this particular visit I did miss out. It wasn’t the end of the world as there was certainly plenty to fill my day, but I did miss that feeling of being pampered. I’m not saying I’d never book another treatment at Eden Hall, but it would have to be something pretty special, especially as I managed to book a manicure, pedicure, facial and spray tan at my sister’s salon with the money I saved on one Eden treatment.
No matter what else happens, Mr Mess and I always end our day curled up on a comfy sofa in the stunning conservatory, with a drink and a snack. The weather will play a huge part in deciding what that snack consists of.
If it’s a hot day, I’ll probably opt for the iced caramel coffee and some macarons, or maybe even a treat from their gelato bar. If it’s a colder climate, I’ll snuggle up with a deluxe hot chocolate and a piece of cake or a scone. Mr Mess had received an email voucher for a free glass of process and and a slice of cake, which he enjoyed immensely. He chose the chocolate caramel cake and I can confirm that it was divine!
The conservatory also has a light meal menu where you can order sandwiches and they’ve even recently started offering afternoon tea. (We all know how I feel about afternoon teas, so this will no doubt be tested at a future date.)
Once we’re so relaxed we’re almost in a coma it’s time to check out and head home.
A Simply Spa Day at Eden Hall costs from £95 and includes lunch, robe and towel hire and access to all the facilities. (Don’t forget to check out their offers page on the website to get a deal!) They’ve recently extended their opening times until 8pm so you really get one full day of utter relaxation.
Do you have a favourite spa you could recommend we try? Have you been to Eden Hall before? Leave me a comment below with your experiences.