Last night I dreamt I went to Lime Wood
. Because during the day I actually did. And it is the spa hotel of dreams. I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. I thought it would be nice. It came closer to a religious experience.
The hotel itself is impeccably groomed, beautifully staffed and expansive in every way. It defines attention to detail. Towels in the chiller cabinet in the gym perfect after a rigorous workout. Hot towels in the treatment rooms after a massage. A curl of orange peel in the specially distilled gin made from herbs harvested from the Herbery roof garden, only sourcing the juniper berries from elsewhere.
The Herb House, or spa as it mostly is, has the scents of orange, patchouli and freshly laundered everything. It will have you at locker room. Sofas, bottled water, extensive changing rooms, Bamford products, piles of towels, robes, flip flops alongside stacks of Vogue and Tatler. You can potter from indoor pool to outdoor hot tub, steam to sauna room (possibly the most simply stylish I have ever sweated in), quick soaks under enormous hot and cold showers. Plentiful loungers to collapse wherever you want. How will I ever go back to my local leisure centre…
Some of the treatment rooms are bigger than my kitchen which it turns out, really matters. With en suite shower rooms, French doors open onto a decking area and a discreetly positioned outdoor bath. Additional luxurious touches everywhere. The Voya seaweed and mud wrap was an invigorating exfoliation, mud slide and moisturising massage with paper pants and breaks for showers. It was heaven. No chatty beauty therapists, no tricky naked awkward moments, all done with ultimate discretion.
Make time amongst the hard graft of pampering to have a proper lunch in the Hartnett Holder & Co restaurant. The Italian inspired food works brilliantly on the two course lunch menu. And while you are deciding what to order get some of the arancini – mini fried risotto balls – wild mushroom, saffron, onion and rosemary – served in a small copper pan with a glass of The Pig Hut rose. Followed by the delicious crushed hens egg with truffle shavings and prawns and a view out across the lawns. It’s like scrambled egg on a posh day out.
Even the news from home during the day that the head gasket had blown on the car didn’t faze me. I just popped my recently massaged feet up and ordered a second gin.
You will have to be pulled out by your hair.