Scotland has come to Sussex today as the Good Spa Guide celebrates Burns Night.
In commemoration of this historically jolly night of festivities, Stylish Spy is sporting a very fetching tartan scarf, whist Suave Spy is returning to his Scottish roots, togged up in a traditional sporran. Sassy Spy, having not received the memo, has swiftly taken a moment to paint her nails a wonderful shade of heather grey (watch this space for the imminent announcement of our nail colour trends for Spring/Summer 2011).
Of course, it doesn't take long in this office for talk to turn to … yes, you guessed it … spa!
We could hardly resist the opportunity to regale our tales of castles and spectacular scenery in Scotland, and our most favourite treatments featuring Scottish delights.
Sedate Spy says that the elegant destination spa at Stobo Castle in Peeblesshire is not to be missed, with the most awe-inspiring views, top-end treatments and superb customer service. She also told us not to miss the treatments at Fairmont St Andrews that use locally sourced ingredients. She tried the St Andrews signature manicure that uses hand-crafted heather products. Single Spy still can't get over the serenity of the spa on the Isle of Eriska and had to mention the perfect design of the spa at Gleneagles. Salubrious Spy and Sybaritic Spy concur that Norton House and Crieff Hydro Hotel offer unbeatable value for your spa pound.
You can get a taste of the Highlands and celebrate Burns Night, even if you're not able to breathe the heathery air for yourself.
A taste of Highland honey
Honey has a cleansing and soothing effect on skin, with its natural anti-oxidant and anti-microbial properties. It also has water-retention properties, and so can help to keep skin soft and hydrated, too.
Head to the Sanderson hotel in Bloomsbury to try Agua Spa's signature milk and honey treatment. During this delicious treatment your therapist will use a blend of warm honey, sesame oil and milk and apply it to your body with a very gentle massage.
If you'd like to try an indulgent, seasonal treatment that uses organic honey, then pay a visit to the Vale Resort, near Cardiff. Their "liquid gold honey rub" promises to leave your skin dewy and deeply hydrated.
O flower of Scotland
Thankfully, we haven't yet found a spa treatment that utilises thistles (ouch!) but we've fallen in love with many a product made from Burns' red, red rose! On the list of Spa Spy favourites are REN's rose otto bath oil, Aromatherapy Associates' rose and sandalwood facial oil and the Anne Sémonin precious serum.
Celebrate Burns Night at a spa
There'll be many a Scottish destination celebrating Burns Night tonight, but we've spotted some exciting events right down as far as Cornwall!
Home to the fabulous Aquarias Spa, Wiltshire's Whatley Manor is hosting a celebration that includes a "Burns supper" created by their Michelin-starred chef, Martin Burge. The Bay Hotel in Newquay is holding a Burns Night charity event in aid of Shelterbox. Join their cèilidh and the dancing will make you feel less guilty for indulging in their three-course feast! If you have one too many drams of whisky, remember to book a detoxifying spa treat in their Fistral Spa.
And if you're busy tonight, Chewton Glen in Hampshire is hosting a Burns Night celebration on Sunday 30th January. Go easy on the haggis as you mustn't miss having a swim in their beautiful pool!
Well, we'd better get on if we are going to earn that hot toddy!
With love, the Good Spa Spies x
18th March 2014
Warm floors when you put your bare feet upon them; heated treatment beds; soft towels; attention to detail, so that your treatment room looks and smells beautiful when you arrive in it.
Cold floors when you put your bare feet upon them; therapists who use your treatment time to write up a list of product "recommendations" that they hope you will purchase.
Behind the scenes