In the wide Norfolk countryside, Congham Hall sits between green fields and winding lanes. The petit hotel does rural; there are 30 acres of parkland surrounding the hotel and only 28 rooms so peace and tranquillity filters from the countryside setting to the hotel, restaurant and spa.
The spa is just next to the Georgian hotel, along neatly manicured gardens to the modern extension. The reception area is decorated in soft lavender tones reflecting the surrounding flora. We were greeted at reception and shown through to the spa facilities. The changing rooms are small but have everything you would need to perform your ablutions in peace.
The 12 metre swimming pool is a wonderful space, surrounded by floor to ceiling windows. A swan neck fountain and body jets pump fresh water into the pool. There are a handful of loungers to one side of the swimming pool and the heat experiences are to the other. Try the foot baths, saunarium, steam room and sauna. Then cool down in aromatherapy experience showers. The wow-moment at this spa is the outdoor hot tub. The hot tub is wonderfully warm and would seat four people comfortably. I happily relaxed in the tub gazing out over the neighbouring fields, spotting rabbits hopping around. A friendly mother and daughter said they come every other month to the spa for an afternoon treat: they often spot Muntjac deer and many species of bird. Who needs a hide when you have a hot tub?
We were visiting to try the new Herb Garden Signature Treatment (75 minutes, £70) which has been designed in collaboration with Elemental Herbology. The treatment uses herbs from Congham Hall’s herb garden where nearly 400 herbs grow. The gardens make the most aromatic afternoon walk mid spa day, you can even help yourself to an apple from the nearby orchard.
My therapist, Monica, met me in the seating area by reception, we walked upstairs to our treatment room and I took a seat as Monica handed me a ‘Minty Berry, Anti-Ageing’ Smoothie Shot with herbs from the garden. A most lovely touch.
Monica conducted one of the most detailed consultations I have ever had! She asked about my energy levels, fluid intake, stress levels and my current sleep pattern as well as the usual skincare questions. Elemental Herbology uses the five natural elements -- wood, fire, earth, metal and water -- in personality characteristics, so my answers to the questions showed Monica that my Earth element was strong. She said she would use oils and movements to keep it balanced throughout the treatment. The consultation was fascinating and Monica was confident in using the system.
My treatment began with a refreshing back cleanse, which Monica followed with a blissful back massage, concentrating on the tension in my shoulders and lower back. She used long flowing movements as well as stretches and pressures and even used hot stones was comforting and soothing. I loved the oil used in the treatment; the combination of mandarin and bergamot was subtly uplifting.
Monica asked me to turn over and cleansed and exfoliated my skin leaving it soothed and nourished. She started a facial massage on my neck and shoulders with kneading, pressure points and sweeping movements up on my face. Monica then applied a mask and continued the massage to my scalp. Once the mask had worked it magic, she removed the product and finished the treatments with a hydrating serum and moisturiser.
The treatment was tailored to exactly what I needed, Monica personalised my experience and I felt cared for and considered.
At the end of the treatment Monica walked me to the relaxation room where I found a lounger and happily sipped my calming lavender tea. I felt completely relaxed, my skin was smooth and supple, and I was curled up smelling of the hundreds of herbs from the garden. A heavenly spa experience.
26th February 2016
Behind the scenes