The Bamford Haybarn is a calming day retreat with a commitment to caring for the mind, body and spirit. Treatments use products from the Bamford Body Collection, a range of botanical skincare all made in England. The Haybarn also offers a range of activities, including yoga, Pilates, and meditation, to emphasise the human connection with nature, and nurture inner peace.
Bamford Body Collection
Our Spa Spy review
Daylesford is where the fashionable and ethically aware buy organic preserves, meet fellow ladies who lunch, and book yoga retreats. Created by organic pioneer Lady Carole Bamford, Daylesford has grown over the years from a farm shop and cookery school to a sustainable lifestyle mecca for the Chipping Norton/Notting Hill set. It has a canteen, high-end boutique, bed and breakfast cottages and, of course, the Haybarn Spa.
Park in front of a cluster of stylishly converted stone buildings and walk through the farm shop and courtyard. The spa, as the name suggests, is a converted hay barn with large windows and doors. Bleached wood, white stones set in grey concrete floors, scented candles, and elegantly ingenious fire and water features complement views over the orchard and forest-clad hills beyond.
What's on offer?
One important thing to note: Bamford Haybarn has no water or thermal facilities. Think more of a wellness retreat that cleverly creates the spa effect without any need to get wet. Instead of swimming, book a yoga or Pilates class; if you want to de-stress, try meditation or a forest walk.
Behind the minimalist wooden reception desk, next to a boutique selling stylish yoga outfits and products, is the Lavender relaxation room. This calm space has pre- and post-treatment chill-out areas separated by a large petrified tree sculpture. Everything is cream, stone and greige, with putty-coloured cushions, wicker lamps, creamy blinds and a large stone bowl fountain. Along the windows are sofas, wooden chairs, and recliners, so you can lie back and stare at the unspoilt stretches of countryside.
There are two individual changing rooms: simple and wooden with a curtain one side and a mirror and hooks with fresh robes on the other. Outside is a wall of very thin wooden slatted lockers opened with keys; our locker wasn't quite wide enough to stash a day bag.
The spa has been extended since we last visited in 2014, and is now almost double the size. There is a second relaxation area where you can sit and order therapeutic teas, smoothies and snacks from a free-standing bar, sit on comfortable chairs and flick through magazines, or just gaze at the countryside. This relaxation area opens onto an outdoor patio. On chilly days, you might want to stay inside and enjoy the wall-fire, encased in clear glass so you can see right through the flickering flames to the orchard gardens.
Above, reached by a spiral staircase, is a vast manicure and pedicure room with individual recliners beneath the white-painted rafters and skylights. Here you will also find the two toilets, both stylish and stocked with Bamford products.
The treatment area is in the original hay loft. It has a small changing room for groups, a sunken waiting area with white sofas, and nine treatment rooms. There's also an open-plan Pilates studio, a private studio, and a yoga studio in the modern extension.
Tell us about the treatments
We had the Bamford Body Signature treatment (85 minutes, £125).
My therapist, Lynette collected me from the Lavender room and led me up the spiral staircase to a large, rustic treatment room. I then sat on a chair and put my feet in a copper bowl filled with warm water and Epsom salts. Lynette returned, washed my feet in the salty water and explained the treatment. We discussed my needs -- including how I wanted to feel emotionally as well as physically -- and she let me choose from three oils. I chose balancing geranium.
I lay on the warm treatment bed and Lynette talked me through some deep breathing exercises. She rocked my body with Shiatsu motions, then spread warmed oil over my back. She used flowing strokes, occasionally speeding up to create warmth, then concentrated on more deep tissue work on my shoulders using her forearms. She continued down my legs -- I felt so relaxed and heavy, I didn't want to turn over.
Once I was on my back, Lynette wrapped me with towels, covered my eyes with an eye pillow, then pressed a hot stone into my solar plexus; very comforting. She washed my feet then treated them to a very long and intense bout of reflexology. Reflexology is Lynette's speciality, and it shows. It was wonderful: grounding and energising. She wrapped my feet in warm towels, massaged my legs and arms, then moved up to my face and scalp. To finish the treatment, Lynette pressed a cold stone into the centre of my forehead, or my third eye.
After pausing for a couple of minutes to come round from the blissful treatment, I put my robe back on. Lynette guided me to the Lavender room, bringing me a pot of herbal tea. I was incredibly relaxed and beautifully balanced.
We also tried a half-hour yoga taster session with Vettri, who is a bit of a Bamford legend. Lady Bamford lured him from India ten years ago to run classes, and he's still here. Vettri only had time to teach us a gentle, flowing warm-up but we loved the way he sang his instructions.
Bamford Haybarn offers facials and massages using their own organic brand, as well as body scrubs, Jade hot and cold stone treatments, reflexology and treatments for men and mums-to-be. You can also try more holistic treatments such as photo-rejuvenation LED light therapy, Reiki, life coaching, craniosacral therapy and mindfulness sessions. The team of resident specialists were hand-picked by Lady B, herself a practising yogi.
Although you can get drinks and snacks in the spa, you need to dress and head to Daylesford Café for lunch. You can watch the chefs prepare the organic, locally-sourced food at one end, while there's a coffee bar at the other.
My lovely pumpkin stew with brown rice was really tasty and quite hearty. My spa partner had a mix of three creatively combined salads with lots of nuts and seeds. There were tempting puddings, and a range of smoothies and healthy juices.
We loved / we didn't love
The rural rustic chic: The décor is inspiringly tasteful but also very comforting. Reclining on the day beds in the Lavender room watching the sun set over the tree-tops was a blissful end to the day.
Our therapist and yogi: Their experience, passion and knowledge made our experience feel very special.
We didn't love
The food in the Daylesford Café was delicious but having to dress for lunch did break our zen a little. Serving lunch in the new café area in the spa could be a nice way forward.
Who do you think would like it?
Yogis (or wannabes), Pilates lovers and wellness enthusiasts; embrace a gentler way of life.
We saw several happy groups of women taking lunch, a yoga class and an afternoon en spa.
What bubble rating did you give this spa?
We awarded Bamford Haybarn a Good Spa Guide rating of 5 bubbles. It delivers a great spa experience with style, charm and a green conscience. The treatments and products are beautifully thought out, and the relaxation spaces allow you to bathe in peace and light.
Bamford's sister brand Daylesford’s Farm Shop & Café next door serves fresh, simple dishes using Daylesford's seasonal produce. The café is open during the day, and opens for supper on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Monday to Thursday: 9am - 5pm; Friday to Saturday: 9am - 8pm; Sunday: 10am - 4pm