As I was gently swirled, cradled, cocooned, rocked, stretched and swung into different positions in the therapeutic waters, I really felt myself go. I felt like a graceful swan. And the sounds in my ears submerged in water made me feel as if I was in some place far far away and no longer in the pool. I wasn’t brave enough to have my whole face dipped in water but I was assured with regular sessions I would reap the benefits of doing so and get an even deeper sense of relaxation.
Tall white Roman columns and glass roof dominate the small but delightful Spa Village which comprises three thermal pools, a steam room, sauna and 11 treatment rooms. With so much to do, it’s easy to rush around it without really reaping the real benefits. But a helpful refreshing ‘Bath House Circuit’ guide meant I spent my time here wisely sampling the pools of varying temperatures, and tipping crushed ice on my body in between the sauna and steam room sessions. The hot drinking chocolate made from a Georgian recipe was well received after the circuit. So much so, I just had to have seconds.
There’s something about being in a spa that makes me incredibly hungry. After my fix in the waters and a quick change, it was time to head off to the Gainsborough Restaurant with its Georgian architecture, original artwork and impressive eye-catching wine wall. Open to hotel guests and non-residents alike, the cuisine is inspired by fresh, seasonal ingredients in a sophisticated yet informal environment.
The charm of the place is extended to its staff who are helpful and warm without being intrusive. Their recommendation of food was spot on for the sautéed scallop, with king prawn, yuzu purée, spring onion and pickled radish for the starter. It was delightful and just the right portion size so I could enjoy the main. The curried tofu brought out the right flavours to bring to life what can be a bland dish. This is credit to German chef Johann Lafer whose philosophy is “dining without borders” and combines locally-sourced foods with Asian flavours. My guest Carl was equally impressed with his food swearing his duck main was the best he had ever tasted. He joked he could have eaten it again in place of dessert.
The small chic bar is another hit in this five star joint with head barman Miguel specialising in a range bespoke cocktails made from Bath gin, Bourbon and pure milk vodka to name a few. It’s a great place to hang out for a refreshing drink, pre-dinner cocktail or after dinner liqueur.