Summertime Gladness Day Twelve: A change of plan

We all have plans. And sometimes those plans never actually materialise for a variety of reasons. My friend Sarah and I, had planned to go on holiday this summer but due to sheer busyness, we were unable to arrange it. Also flights were growing increasingly expensive and I just couldn’t comprehend the prospect of potentially paying £400 for a return flight to Spain; it was extortionate.

So we opted for a more local destination. Salisbury to be precise. For a Spa trip. Sarah searched on Last Minute.com and came up trumps with a wonderful package at the Lime Tree Spa set in the grounds of Milford Hall Hotel. It cost us a total of £189.50 for a two night stay, a complimentary bottle of Prosecco upon arrival, dinner and breakfast on both days, full access to the Spa facilities and a 45 minute back to life massage at a time convenient to us. It couldn’t have been more ideal.

I’d never really had a spa break before, in fact I’d never endured the delight of a massage either. Until last thursday. And my word, was it blissful. The trip started with a luxurious picnic at Sarah’s boyfriends house, we bought an array of delicious lunchtime treats including camembert (which we baked in the oven with a big dollop of caramelized onion chutney in the middle of it), a crisp and crunchy baguette, lightly salted kettle chips, olives, chorizo, couscous, mature cheddar and caramelized onion pastry puffs and large punnets of strawberries and raspberries to finish with. Sitting outside in the warm sun, indulging in copious amounts of food, definitely felt like we were on holiday. Holiday officially started, we said our goodbyes and hopped into the mini and commenced the drive up to Salisbury. It was pretty much a straight and wide, sunny country road, it made for a delightful journey.

Upon arriving in our room, we immediately pulled on the hotel dressing gowns, and cracked open the chocolate, the boiling kettle the opening soundtrack to our stay. After jumping on the beds and acting like the clowns that we are, we donned our bikini’s and headed for the spa. Our treatment wasn’t until the next morning but we were keen to make the most of the facilities available. The outdoor hot tub quickly became a firm favourite with us and we sat in there laughing and putting the world to rights until our fingertips resembled the wrinkled skin of prunes.

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Soon enough it was time for dinner, so we showered and dressed, eager to get acquainted with the free Prosecco we had been promised. Dinner was delicious. I ordered the langoustine, king tiger prawn and mussel pot, which came with a rather sorrowful looking iceberg wedge and french fries. I devoured it, it was utterly scrummy. I also made friends with one of the langoustines, perhaps that was the Prosecco taking effect. Pudding involved ice cream, one scoop of banoffee (which had not even the faintest hint of banana) and one scoop of coconut, topped off with one of those wafer tunnels, or tubes or whatever it is they’re called. Every last drop of prosecco drained, we headed back to the room and enjoyed some television before conking out, exhausted from the relaxing nature of our trip.

The next morning I ate a very large cooked breakfast – I seem unable to resist the calling of black pudding these days – before we got dressed into our bikinis and robes and legged it past normally dressed guests to the Spa, which sat nestled across the car park. To our disappointment the hot tub – that we’d enjoyed so much the day before – was now out of order. We were pretty sure it wasn’t us that had broken it, as all we’d done was push the jacuzzi button…quite a few times!

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We made use of the steam room, sauna and heated loungers before being called into our respective massages. Oh my word, the back to life massage was extremely relaxing! In fact it should be more aptly named the back to sleep massage as I felt like taking an hundred year nap as soon as it had finished. The massage room itself, was beige in tone, the massage bed was heated and plush toffee coloured towels lay heavy on it, complete with a white orchid garnish. There was tranquil music playing in the background and the light was dim with the flicker of golden candlelight. It also smelt of ripe lemons and some kind of essential oil that I couldn’t quite identify. After 45 minutes of back, neck, head and face massage, I felt like I was floating. (I also looked like I’d been anointed from the sheer amount of oil on my hair.) If the masseuse asked me a question I was only capable of replying with an ‘mmmm’, all words and coherence released from me. When the massage sadly came to an end, I rejoined Sarah and we spent the next few hours totally chilling in the Spa, sipping glasses of refreshing iced water.

After a much needed shower (to remove all the oil) we took a short walk into Salisbury and spent the afternoon exploring. We stopped for a giant slab of cake at Patisserie Valerie, where I was complimented on my jazzy, mermaid tail sandals. Salisbury is quaint and sweet, but my favourite part has to be the Cathedral and the grounds around it. There was a really cool light installation in the North Porch entrance to the Cathedral which was called Enlightenment. There were strings of light suspended from the ceiling and when you walked through them they changed colour. Kids that were visiting absolutely loved the multicoloured orbs of light, as they ran through them watching the colours alter, an iridescent rainbow. I found them annoying as they kept rippling through the lights photobombing all of my pictures!

IMG_4946[1]Once the fascination of the lights had dimmed slightly we took to the lawn outside the Cathedral and lay on the grass in the warm, evening sun. Before heading back to the hotel for a late dinner we ventured to a bar for cocktails. At £7 a pop, we thought they were an appropriate holiday luxury. A Rum Punch and A Clover Club (this was pretty much pure gin shaken with fresh raspberries, I love gin and I love raspberries, but this was pretty hard to swallow) later we were suitably silly and tipsily stumbled back to the hotel, eagerly awaiting dinner in the hope that it would sober us up. We were guffawing and snorting incredibly loudly and I’m not sure that the other guests necessarily appreciated all the things we found undeniably hilarious. I ordered the Langoustine, tiger king prawn and mussel pot again for dinner again, because it had been so delicious the night before. I wasn’t disappointed.

We could hear lots of music and it turned out that there was a wedding at the hotel. We walked past the event room and saw everybody dancing and so we desperately wanted to crash the wedding but we managed to resist the urge. Instead we went to the local Tesco metro to buy ice lollies which we devoured whilst watching Shallow Hal on TV.

The next day it was time to leave sadly. We had a good breakfast and then hit the round around half ten and met our boyfriends for a double lunch date. It was the perfect end to the perfect few days. Sarah and I have vowed to make the summer spa break a recurring event, preferably yearly. I can’t wait to enjoy future Spa break Shenanigans with my pal!

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