If you love feasting as much as you love spa-ing then you’re in luck - in a bid to indulge all our senses (including the taste buds), the Spa Spies were given the arduous (*cough) task of seeking out uber-decadent spas with their very own Michelin-starred restaurants. Now you can unravel in the infinity pool, melt your stresses away in the steam room or admire your new HydraFacial glow before glamming up and working your way through a seven-course tasting menu or fine dining experience to remember. Extensive wine list optional. Bon appetit.
The Spa: Aquarias Spa, Whatley Manor
At the end of a long driveway, along a cobbled path, you’ll find the cool, calm - and rather charming - Aquarias Spa. Centred around a bubbling hydro-pool - with swan jets and swim-out pool – the spa overlooks a honey-hued terrace with all the hallmarks of the Med.
The Restaurant: The Dining Room
Not content with one Michelin-star, Executive Chef Niall Keating and his team were awarded a coveted second star just two years after the earning the first. This year they also bagged the brand-new Michelin Green Star award for Sustainable Gastronomy, with many ingredients grown in the manor’s own Kitchen Garden. The food is modern British comfort food meets Asia with dishes such as red mullet with nashi pear, squid ink guernsey abalone and chocolate frog toasted rice ice cream.
The Spa: The Spa at Pennyhill Park, Surrey
The Spa at Pennyhill Park strutted out of the 2021 Good Spa Awards clutching the ‘Best Hotel Spa’ accolade - and rightly so. But beyond the glorious pools; labyrinth of steam, sauna and ice rooms; and luxurious Natura Bisse treatments, Pennyhill has another arrow in its bow: the Michelin-starred The Latymer, with Head Chef Steve Smith at the helm.
The Restaurant: The Latymer
Scarlet Spy feasted on the six-course Discovery Menu where every single dish was as intricate as it was delicious. From the Orkney scallop, celeriac and truffle, apple and smoked eel to the mouth-watering Anyhoe Park venison, almond and cauliflower and blackberry and bitter chocolate, the creativity was mind blowing - and the dishes just keep on coming. The wine list is impressive, too.
The Spa: The Spa at Lucknam Park, Wiltshire
The ESPA Spa at Lucknam Park is an absolute stunner. Located in 500 acres of listed parkland, the secluded spa can be found in a modern, glass-fronted building within beautifully-tended walled gardens. A wristband allows full spa access to the indoor/outdoor hyrdopool, thermal cabins and - the showpiece - a 20-metre swimming pool with curved glass ceiling and a slick ribbon fireplace flickering along one wall.
The Restaurant: Restaurant Hywel Jones
The only thing guaranteed to tempt you away from the spa is dinner at Restaurant Hywel Jones, named after the executive chef who has held a Michelin star since 2006. The seasonal tasting menu offers contemporary British food with French finesse. Dine on delights such as smoked paprika roasted octopus with violet aubergine or roast Bwlch Farm venison with Agen prunes and bitter orange marmalade doughnut.
The Spa: The Spa at Coworth Park
The countryside cousin of The Dorchester is home to a superb spa with a healthy dose of high-end glamour. From the pool lined with stunning amethyst to the living roof herb garden – with plants such as St John's wort, thyme, chamomile and lavender for use in the spa and the restaurant - this is eco-spa-ing at its finest.
The Restaurant: Restaurant Coworth Park
The elegant Restaurant Coworth Park offers seasonal, modern British dishes with views across the rose terrace. Described as ‘one to watch’ by Michel Roux Sr, Executive Chef, Adam Smith and his creative force earned the restaurant its first Michelin star, alongside an impressive 4 AA Rosettes. Don’t leave without trying the signature dessert: hazelnut praline, salted caramel and almond ice cream.
The Spa: The Mandarin Oriental, Hyde Park
Leave the city humdrum behind and slip inside this decadent Knightsbridge spa. Despite the name, it’s not overtly oriental: think granite floor and minimalist dark wood walls with flickering lights and the odd blast of pink orchid. Set over two floors, the spa’s 13 treatments rooms offer everything from traditional Chinese medicine to NescensSwiss anti-ageing facials.
The Restaurant: Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
Book ahead to dine at one of London’s most sought-after restaurants, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal. Heston’s fascination with Tudor gastronomy led him to work with food historians, thrilling diners with historic, contemporary dishes - and earning himself two Michelin-stars. Lucky diners can tuck into starters like Meat Fruit (mandarin, chicken liver parfait and toasted bread), main courses of Duck & Turnip and desserts with inventive names like Tipsy Cake, all while gazing over Hyde Park.
12th October 2021
Nature-inspired spas, cold water plunges, sound baths, deep tissue massage, delicious food.
Thin walls in treatment rooms, loungers hoggers, bright lights
Behind the scenes