London is a busy city – there’s a lot of hustle and bustle and sometimes I need to just ESCAPE! So when the opportunity rose to head to Fishmore Hall and the new SPAshell set in the lush green countryside of Shropshire, far outside of London, I didn’t hesitate! I packed my bags and headed out – the train journey was about 3.5 hours but I don’t mind. I really love train journeys because they give me time to stare out the window, listen to music and think. Fishmore Hall is just a short 20 minute walk away from the beautiful market town of Ludlow. I had never visited Ludlow before so when I arrived I was keen to have a look around before heading to Fishmore Hall.
Ludlow is one of those quaint British towns that is full of little cafes advertising cream teas and roast dinners – the traditional stuff. It also has a castle and a cute little market that sells local fare with things like cheeses, jams and sheepskin rugs. It’s a really nice place to have a wander and of course stop at a local pub for some local beer and a good ole’ roast dinner. Follow that up with a traditional cream tea at one of the many places in Ludlow and you will be glad you made a visit. This is also Welsh border country so there are a lot of signs in Welsh – the area is actually known as the Welsh Marches. And if you visit in September there is a Ludlow & Marches Food and Drink Festival that takes place – when the town is filled with food lovers from all over the UK, and beyond. So it really is quite the little quaint foodie destination.
So needless to say after walking around Ludlow I felt the strong urge to have a roast dinner. When in Rome, after all. After filling up on a traditional roast dinner for lunch I headed out of Ludlow by foot to Fishmore Hall. It’s just a 20 minute walk along a country road to Fishmore Hall and it’s set in a rural setting away from anything else which makes it quite the escape. However, there is always Ludlow about 20 minutes by foot away if you do feel you need to get to town. What I really noticed as I headed out by foot was the QUIET. It was lovely. Nice and quiet with only the sounds of my feet hitting the ground was all I could hear. At that moment I knew my frazzled senses were really in for a treat.
Pic Credit: Trip Advisor
Fishmore Hall sits on a hill and is a large white restored Georgian House that overlooks the beautiful Shropshire countryside and the rolling Clee Hills. It was purchased as a derelict property and then transformed it into what it is today within 22 weeks in true #girlboss style (the owner is a woman).
The rooms at Fishmore are spacious and the bathrooms are really nice. I always give a place extra points if the bathrooms are nice and mine had a huge tub, walk-in shower with a giant waterfall showerhead and Elemis toiletries. Small touches that I thought were nice was that you could get complimentary homemade cookies brought to your room and the weather forecast was also printed and put in your room so you could see what the weather would be like in the area during your stay. My weather print-out pointed to rain at all hours which perfectly suited me as I was planning to spend a lot of my time in the SpaShell.
So my first thought upon arrival was that it really is a lovely location and so very quiet which is really nice after being in London. And as I mentioned, the great thing about the hotel is that it also has the SpaShell next to it which is best described exactly as that. It’s a shell that houses a mini spa with four treatment rooms, a sauna, a steam room, a relax room and an outdoor cedar hot tub. Outside you can also take advantage of the monsoon drench showers and the hammock. All of the products used in the treatments are from Elemis which I love as well.
The SpaShell is a great add on to what is otherwise a lovely, quiet escape. It just takes it that one step further. Yes, of course you can visit a country B&B for some R&R but what some of these old places are lacking is a spa facility. So SpaShell is great if you do want that added bonus of having an extra bit of relaxation.
Once checked in I headed to SpaShell to get a Lava Shells Relax experience which uses self-heated shells to use during the massage. The key with this treatment is relaxation! My treatment was really soothing – think of this as a hot stone massage but with shells which makes it a little more of a relax-based treatment due to the shape of the shells. The shells are meant to become an extension of the therapists hands, due to their unique shape and is combined with the use of the Elemis Frangipani Monoi Oil which makes you feel a bit like you are on some remote Polynesian island! Once I relaxed and got used to the shells I was able to melt into bliss. I really love massages and actually get them a lot as I tend to carry quite a bit of tension in my shoulders and calves. I can’t talk about the benefits of massage enough – I truly, truly love them. In fact, my version of heaven is a place where massages are available 24 hours a day, everyday. Bliss.
After my massage I headed into the SpaShell to take advantage of the further relaxation opportunities. One of the best things is the cedar hot tub outdoors. It feels so good to sit in a hot tub outside – body warm, face chilled from the cool breeze and with nothing in sight but green hills for miles. The scent of the cedarwood as well in the tub smells amazing. This is a great option – especially when it’s a bit cooler outside because you can really relish the cool wind on your face and the way your body feels nice and cosy inside the tub.
The SpaShell also has a mini steam room and sauna, both of which are really lovely. You can even choose to listen to music while you are inside as there is a stereo system so you can choose to listen to relaxation music. I love saunas especially for how they make me feel – my muscles literally melt every time I go in one and the tension just eases. The great thing about the SpaShell when I went is that it wasn’t really busy at all so I had the whole place to myself. Really fabulous!
Fishmore Hall also should be really commended on its food. The on-site restaurant (with a 3AA Rosette) is called Forelles and serves really lovely food and a delicious breakfast too. If you are looking for a foodie break than I would really recommend visiting both Ludlow and Forelles. The food is created by head chef Andrew Birch who took part in the BBC2’s Great British Menu competition.
I chose to have the 6 course Valentine’s Day menu at Forelles and it was simply amazing. I honestly can tell you it was foodie heaven!
First off to the table the Hand Dived Scottish Scallop with smoked salmon, caviar and parsley was served. I love scallop and this one was perfectly cooked – not overdone at all. I also loved smoked salmon and never thought about putting these two together in a dish but it absolutely works! Delicious and my favourite part of the whole course.
Next it was Leek & Potato Soup, Smoked Haddock, Chives and Slow Cooked Egg. I am a big fan of eggs – I don’t know what it is about them but I absolutely love them. I also love seafood and again I wouldn’t have thought of this combination but the soup, fish and egg all together was like a party in the mouth. The more the merrier!
Then we moved on to South Coast Pollack, Smoked Bacon, Spinach, Onions and Mustard Veloute. Seriously it was seafood heaven. The smoked bacon really added an extra edge to the fish. The combinations of the dishes are truly delightful and are really interesting. Everything is really thoughtfully prepared in the perfect portions as well so you get plenty as well.
The next course was succulent Beef Wagyu, Snails, Garlic and Parsley. Now I lived in Japan for four years and have had Wagyu before and this was seriously melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I love garlic as well and the combination of meat and garlic was a taste sensation. The Wagyu was perfectly cooked – tender and juicy. Fantastic!
For dessert there was White Chocolate Cheesecake with Passion Fruit & Mango Sorbet which was the cherry on the sundae after such a delicious dinner. I love cheesecake and the richness of the cheesecake was perfectly paired with the light fruitiness of the sorbet. Refreshing and a definitely palette pleaser.
I was so full and satisfied from the amazing food I couldn’t even squeeze in the cheese board at the end!
If you are looking for a great little getaway from London where you really want to relax and hone your senses through the peace and quiet I would recommend Fishmore Hall. The SpaShell is a great little bonus to add to your relaxation and the food is really incredible so you won’t leave hungry!
To find out more information on Fishmore Hall and SpaShell see HERE.
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