Last Saturday was my 22nd birthday which is why I’ve been away for a few days. I’ve had a very laid back weekend, a big comparison to my 21st last year.
On the big day I got up and opened my presents from Tom and then headed back home to see my parents. We went out for dinner and then Tom and I went into Reading Town centre for a few drinks with some friends
The next day I got up early to meet my friends Gemma and Gillian and then we headed off to Norton Park Spa Hotel, Winchester, for a much-needed break away from it all. I’ve always wanted to do a spa break and we booked the trip a few months ago through http://www.spabreak.co.uk/ where you can find loads of spa packages across the UK. We picked up one for £99 each which included full use of the spa facilities both days, hotel room for the night, one big treatment or two small, a three course dinner, breakfast buffet and lunch before we left. To me that’s a pretty good deal.
We arrived at the hotel around midday and immediately headed to the spa. The Norton Park spa consists of an indoor pool, a steam room, a sauna and an ice machine where you rub yourself down with ice after being in either the sauna or steam room.
We must have spent around three hours in the spa before we finally tore ourselves away to collect our room key. We managed to get a triple room which includes a very nice bathroom, flat screen TV and a secret coffee stash. After unpacking we returned to the spa for our treatments.
We all picked the same treatment, the Relaxing Face and Back Rituals which includes a back massage and facial. I think we were all a little nervous because as much as I loved the thought of a professional massage, I was worried about whether I’d be able to fully relax with a stranger massaging me.
The back massage was the first part and it took me a while to get used to but when I did I really enjoyed it. The only slightly painful bit was when she found a knot and went to town on it. There must have been a mixture of lotions used. Everything felt different from gritty exfoliator to something very warm which almost made me fall asleep.
Then I turned over (as decently as a topless woman can) and she began the face and front shoulder massage. I also received a very nice head massage whilst the face mask was on.
I actually enjoyed the second part more and felt much more relaxed. The treatment lasted around 45 minutes and then we were taken into the Relaxation Room, a small room with several big chairs like sun bed but with cushions and blankets. We were provided with a selection of fruity teas, juices, dried fruits and magazines and then we were left to our own devices. After about 30 to 40 minutes we returned to the pool.
Food, glorious food
Despite spending most of our time in the spa we did need to leave occasionally for food and sleep. In the evening we went to the hotel’s Scene restaurant and with our £26 allowance we each managed to have a full three course meal from the restaurant menu. I had chicken terrine, parma ham and chorizo salad and a delicious Chef’s own cherry crumble.
In the morning we had a breakfast buffet to look forward to which consisted of a selection of cereals, fruits, toast and cooked breakfast, plus all the tea and coffee we could drink.
After another few hours in the spa we went to the Scene Bar downstairs for lunch which included carrot soup, a choice of sandwiches (I choose salmon), a side of tuna salad and a cheesecake all on one plate.
I really enjoyed the spa break and it was the perfect decision for a birthday treat. I would like to do another in future because it was really good value for money and they have many more treatments to try.
Now that I’ve been to spa though, that’s another thing ticked off my bucket list.