If a quintessentially English spa stay over is in order, then check in at Cheshire’s favourite respite, Rookery Hall & Spa.
The long journey from London to Crewe was fast forgotten when driving up and parking in front of the reception foyer / valet point of Rookery Hall.
We were swiftly welcomed in by a charming porter by the name of Brian, who whisked our bags out of our hands and led us straight up to our reasonably equipped executive room for the night: cosy, comfy beds, TV with a menu selection of films available to play on DVD and complimentary Wi-Fi access (although a tad intermittent). Our biggest ‘oohs’ came from the bathroom, with a TV screen fitted to face the bathtub and a multi-sensory shower cubicle with rainfall power head and body jets.
Built in 1816 by the Von Schroder banking family, with later additions in the style of a French chateau, Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa is set in 38 acres of beautiful countryside – the ideal backdrop for those who love taking long walks and want to fill the fresh scenic air into their lungs. Rookery Hall plays host to two main attractions: a luxury health club and spa and its 2 AA Rosette restaurant.
Renowned for its use of local produce, the restaurant offers a well-varied dining menu. We tried the French onion soufflé and Orkney hand dived king scallop to start, followed by wild Cornish sea bass with potato rosti, braised fennel, celeriac and tarragon hollandaise and roast mallard duckling with chestnuts, creamed cabbage and a redcurrant and rosemary reduction for our mains. Our favourite offering has got to be the well-stocked selection of local cheeses, served with grapes, chutneys and a range of crackers, biscuits and breads. We especially enjoyed the tasteful ice-cream flavours from local trader, Snugburys.
The restaurant is also transformed in the mornings to serve up a delicious breakfast that presented us with all the components to start our day with a smile. A cold buffet central stand displays fresh fruit, compotes, cereals and creamy yoghurt from nearby Tiresford Farm in Tarporley. No establishment like this would be complete without a full English breakfast, which is neatly plated up and brought straight to your table.
Now on to the best bit of our stay; the luxury spa, which has impressively received the prestigious ‘five bubble’ award by the Good Spa Guide for the last three years and recently won residential spa of the year in the UK beauty industry’s 2013 Professional Beauty Awards.
Set in a converted stable block, it offers eight treatment rooms, a private relaxation room with a waterfall feature wall; glass roofed 17m indoor swimming pool; sublime bath-like heated hydrotherapy pool, crystal steam room and sauna and fully equipped gym and café bar.
We were indulged in the Face & Body Sensation – a one-hour top to toe treatment using the spa’s preferred product of choice, Elemis. The relaxing ritual begins with a quick dry body brush to prep skin, followed by a soothing half hour hot stone massage and a prescriptive Elemis anti-aging facial with scalp massage for the second half. My highly experience therapist helped melt away the tension from my achy areas (tops of shoulders) and recommended some moisture-boosting products to hydrate my thirsty skin.
The next treat was served in the form of an express exfoliating Elemis Exotic Lime & Ginger Salt Glow (or you can choose Devil’s Mint for a less detoxifying option). After a dry body brush (more than in the previous treatment), warm oil is drizzled all over your skin and polished with the scented scrub using sweeping strokes and circular motions. A short shower and application of nourishing bath milk later and the result is utterly cleansed, baby soft, supple and radiant skin.
To book a spa day or stay, visit www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/rookeryhall
By Reena Patel