Life. It sometimes gets in the way of allowing us to enjoy the most simple things we seem to over look or take a pass on because of our hectic, ever growing schedules. We're all guilty of not taking enough care of ourselves and things get put on the back burner because general life and that ever growing to-do list just doesn't seem to go down. It's important to take a break sometimes, unwind, get pampered and especially for myself, to get away from social media... Just for a little while, mind! I took 2 days out from my everyday jam packed routine, to unwind and relax and enjoy some well deserved 'me' time at The Spa Hotel in Ribby Hall Village.
Upon arriving at The Spa & driving down what looked like a film set (yes, it really is that cute & perfect), I was greeted as soon as I stepped out of my car by welcoming staff where I met the 3 lovely ladies I'd be sharing this experience with.
I'm a massive smoothie lover, so I was excited to know that our day was starting out with a smoothie tasting session from Love Smoothies. They have a fab concept of delivering cut pieces of frozen fruit straight to your door in portion ready bags (which is super time saving for people on the go like me) that you pop right into your blender & bam! your done! I opted for the 'Berry Go Round' and it totally hit the spot on such a gorgeously hot Summers day! I sipped the rest of my smoothie, whilst over looking the gorgeous grounds from the hotel balcony. I was in serious awe and felt a wave of calm wash over me!
Trigger Point Pilates
[Photo Credit: Jessica Isherwood]
The day swiftly began with some Trigger Point Pilates. I exercise often, but mainly to my own pace and stamina. I've never taken the time out to go to a gym class & the one time I participated in a yoga session, I was flat on my ass for the majority of the class. Because of this, I was a little apprehensive when it was time to take part in the Trigger Point Pilates class. The last thing I wanted was to be tumbling about making a fool of myself in front of people I had just met. Luckily, the lovely Natalie, The Spa's Wellbeing Manager, eased me into the class, keeping it quite light, yet very effective. The aim of Trigger Point Pilates is to even out the bodies imbalances & to stretch out the Myofascia (fibres that run from your toes up to your eyebrows & right the way across from one middle finger to the other). It sounded perfect and just what I needed!
I suffer with tight knots around my shoulder blades as I tense these muscles without realising, so when we began using some stimulating prickly balls (yes, thats a real thing), foam rollers & stretchy bands to work out those tight areas, I could feel myself relaxing and I felt the difference straight away! I impressed myself with how well I did and by this I mean because I didn't fall over! After the session had ended, I was desperate to pee... This meant I had been doing it properly apparently! Who knew?
Time To Spa
Having time to spa was very well scheduled in. I felt incredibly relaxed after the pilates and it was defiantly time to unwind and have some me time. The adult only spa had 6 large sauna rooms, a very newly opened Zen garden, a pool with massaging water features & a outdoor Jacuzzi. Me being me, I started in the hottest sauna room possible and worked my way round the other features and of course taking advantage of the massaging water features on my shoulder areas - can't get enough knots out of these shoulders!
I had never been on a spa break, or had even visited one for a treatment, so I wanted to make sure I spent some time in each sauna room. Whilst exploring, I entered the Balinese steam room. This was by far my favourite! It was filled with thick salt sprayed steam, to the point you could only see about an inch in front you. I really enjoyed feeling the beads of water run down chest and arms whilst inhaling the almost woody scent. I felt like you could feel the steam helping your body in that instance, it was bliss!
Food In The Orangery
Having food in The Orangery was delightful. It wouldn't be possible to feel tired when entering this open space as the warm decor gives off a tranquil yet refreshing vibe that really uplifts your mood. During my two day stay at The Spa Hotel & eating each meal in The Orangery, I don't think I've ever been so well fed in my entire life. They serve healthy portions with topped up fruit infused water at the table with each meal. I was a little disappointed that the menu lacked clearly marked vegetarian options. A separate menu for vegetarian & vegan meals would have been ideal. I think the ever growing movement towards a meat and diary free life is huge on the rise and I personally feel that it would be amazing if places like this, where they focus on wellbeing, would include such options.
The NEOM Workshop
"Wellbeing is fundamentally about looking after yourself and feeling the best that you can feel" - Nicola Elliot (founder)
I'm quite new to the NEOM brand, only having heard of it quite recently I was excited to speak to the ambassadors of the brand to find out more about how these amazing candles are beneficial to our health and wellbeing and exactly how they work. NEOM was created by Nicola Elliot & Oliver Mennell. From research, they found that by 2020 the 4 top health related issues in the world would be stress related. They wanted to get to the root of why people are lacking sleep, feeling unmotivated and why energy levels are dipping.
Their candles are created using a 'Science of Scent Therapy'. Because NEOM oils are so pure, the scent hits 50 million receptors in your nose which reach several glands in your brain that store hormones which are crucial in helping you sleep, relax and feel calm. What I found even more interesting during this workshop was the scent test that we took part in. One by one, we passed around four of the NEOM candles and were asked which scent we found more appealing. From the four candles (Happiness, Tranquility, Real Luxury & Complete Bliss), I found the Tranquility scent to be the one that drew me in. Because of this, they explained that I've been lacking in a good nights sleep (which is very true), feeling a little unbalanced and in need of relaxing a little more. It was like someone was reading my mind, I was blown away at just how accurate the description was! The essential oils contained in the candles help to balance these issues out, which is why I was drawn to the smell of Tranquility! Very interesting!
NEOM essential oils are the purest legal grade on the market. The oils soak into the blood stream, giving true therapeutic benefits. As well as creating amazing scents and candles that don't leave black soot. NEOM have also introduced a range of wellbeing spa treatments. I was lucky enough to experience the Happiness treatment. When having my treatment the therapist heated the massage table for me (always a winner!) and began the treatment with a sugar scrub, following by a deep shoulder and back massage. It came to an end with the happiness scents sprayed into the air, for me to relax, breathe in & enjoy!
Ishga - A 100% ethically sourced skincare brand that is believed to contain the highest amount of seaweed on the market. The the name Ishga derives from the word 'water' in Gaelic, a very fitting and meaningful name, I really liked it! Again, I was new to the Ishga brand and really enjoyed hearing from Leon, one of the companies founders, about the story behind Ishga and the wonderful properties the products contained and how it all came about.
The Hebrides have some of the cleanest, yet very harsh, waters in the world. And because of this, the seaweed in these parts have higher beneficial properties in order to protect itself from the sever weather conditions. This was amazing to me - I could just imagine how amazing this product would be for your skin! The products are produced and developed by a close knit team (including a witty scientist) who have created a product that contains 35% seaweed extract combined with locally sourced healing water. That's the highest quantity, than any other seaweed skincare brand!
As a lover of all things ethically sourced and family run, it's amazing to hear of a brand such as Ishga that have developed an amazing, fair and well sourced product, with many more incredible things in the pipeline. I'll be sure to keep a look out!
My two day stay at The Spa Hotel had come to an end all too soon. I had spent my time with such lovely people and the atmosphere throughout my entire stay was nothing but bliss! We finished the day with more treats (yay macarons!) and a much needed caffeine boost.
As a blogger, I'm constantly on my phone (Instagram owns me) keeping up to date across all my social channels. During my stay here, I had turned all notifications off & kept myself from looking at the day to day gruelling of my social media routine and you know what? I felt much better for it! Sometimes, what we need is to take a step back, take it back to basics and enjoy having some 'me' time.
I want to say a massive THANK YOU to the lovely Stephanie, who invited me on this surreal retreat and to all the staff at Ribby Hall Village - I would 100% recommend and I will definitely be back!