The Spa Spy blog

What the Spa Spies loved in May

Highlights from our month include a cellulite-busting at-home treatment, forest bathing in the sunshine, a mindful massage in Newmarket, and an exclusive sneak preview of a delightful new spa before it opens its doors...

Supreme Spy’s exclusive pre-launch spa visit

I loved having a sneak preview of the soon-to-open (June 2018) The Garden Secret Spa at Ringwood Hall. This stunning, botanically inspired spa has been carefully constructed to give Chesterfield a truly special spa escape. There are exclusive treatments from Lola’s Apothecary, a Hammam, daylight filled hydrotherapy and thermal area and a tempting list of cocktails to try in the lounge. The Ringwood Hall estate has 29 acres of parkland just perfect for an afternoons mindful walk. We can’t wait to get back the moment they open!

Savant Spy wakes up to body brushing

Elemis Targeted Toning Body Moisturiser

Elemis sent me their Targeted Toning Body Moisturiser (£69) which, they say, is “clinically proven* to reduce the appearance of cellulite when combined with daily massage”. Circumspect though I am about such claims, I gave it a go along with their Body Detox Skin Brush (£21). The cream has a bright, natural fragrance, and feels cool and pleasant. Three weeks in, I can see and feel it toning my thighs and stomach, although the odd dimple remains. To be fair, I have not been doing it every night, and my massage efforts are varied depending how late I’m running (the massage is quite involved, but not too tricky). The best bit has been establishing a morning ritual: all that body brushing first thing is a fabulous wake-up, and I’ve started using Temple Spa’s It’s A Wonderful Life shower scrub, too, which releases bursts of lemon-y fragrance. If I have time, I’ll even throw in a bit of morning yoga. Beats the usual cup of volcanically strong coffee and dry shampoo.

*Independent Clinical trials, 2017. 30 women applied twice daily for 8 weeks with advised massage techniques shown on the website.

Scarlet Spy dives into the forest

Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest

My prayers for good weather were finally answered this month, so I’m loving being outdoors surrounded by nature. I was extremely lucky to visit Aqua Sana Woburn Forest, the perfect location for a spot of Forest Bathing. For those of you who don’t know, Forest Bathing is essentially being mindfully present while wandering among trees. Studies in Japan, where it is known as Shinrin-yoku (literally ‘forest-bath’), found that 15 minutes among trees can lower cortisol levels, boost the immune system and reduce anxiety. The forest setting combined with their sensory experience rooms certainly melted my stresses away. Talking of beautiful locations, I also visited Fawsley Hall, which is surrounded by miles of serene countryside. The views lowered my heart-rate even before I hit the spa. The other great thing about having these experiences is that, in stressful moments in the city, I can close my eyes and be transported back to a place of calm.

Stylish Spy enjoys a Mindful Massage

Bedford Lodge

This month I managed to get out into the glorious Suffolk countryside and visit Bedford Lodge Hotel. Located in the racecourse town of Newmarket, the bright modern spa has plenty to admire, but the highlight for me was the Mindful Massage. My therapist Elisha began by chiming small symbols over my head to open my chakras. She then asked me to take several deep breaths, holding each for three counts, then four and finally five. Nicely relaxed, she then asked me to visualise a colour and imagine it working its way down my body, from my head to my feet. I was in Spa Spy heaven. Rose quartz on my third eye and more hot towels on my feet ended what was an incredibly professional massage.