Ireland: Radisson Blu Farnham Estate and Radisson Blu Galway
This luxury spa and golf resort nestles serenely amongst 1,300 acres of sprawling, rugged countryside. Envisage lovely lakes, wild woodland and a gorgeously green golf course. We couldn't help but feel an immediate sense of calm and delight as we approached the handsome grey-stone buildng.
What's on offer?
Farnham Estate contains an impressively spacious spa with plenty of places to relax - emphasis here is on health and wellbeing, and we found it truly hard not to relax. The indoor-outdoor infinity pool was one of the stars of the show with its floor-to-ceiling windows and mesmerising views. You can easily while away a number of hours in the extensive Water Mint Thermal Suite, while the unusual Kniepp Walk was a fun addition to our spa day, experiencing varying temperatures underfoot with each step.
Tell us about the treatments
We tried ÓGRA anti-ageing peat facial (65 minutes, €95).
The peat from Irish organic brand ORGAis harvested from Irish peat bogs and promoted for its “rejuvenating properties”. The facial involved a truly decadent amount of face, neck and head massage. My therapist applied a peat mask and left it in place for around 15 minutes, giving her time to massage my arms and feet. The peat mask produced a slight tingling sensation on my skin, which my therapist told me was a perfectly natural response. My skin felt fresh and revitalised afterwards, and I definitely managed to relax my cares away.
Light lunches can be taken in the spa's own Pear Tree restaurant, where huge windows presented a kaleidoscopic feast of autumnal colours on our visit. In fact, the views from nigh-on every window at Farnham Estate are breathtaking.
Overnight guests dine in The Potting Shed, an intimate room for up to 10 guests. We relished the up-close-and-personal view of the hotel's chefs in action, creating a stunning seven-course tasting menu. The fluffy goat's-cheese pannacotta, slow-braised Cavan beef cheek, braised pork belly and wild elderberry sorbet were all worthy of glowing praise.
As much of the food as possible is sourced on the estate or locally, and is another string to Farnham Estate's beautiful bow. An afternoon foraging trip, with the passionate General Manager of the hotel, was really interesting - he spent time pointing out all the different produce that's harvested on the land.
A floaty, fresh-faced spy left this charming destination a very happy bean (that’s Irish for “woman” by the way).