I am such a spa girl. I think I first fell in love with spas during my four-year stint in Japan, where they take bathing to a whole new level with the outdoor onsen experience. There are hot springs everywhere in Japan and public bath houses so bathing is really engrained in the culture. The bath houses and onsens are separated by gender and I remember spending hours in the spa, by myself, soaking in the herbal waters and really rejuvenating myself. It was wonderful. Perhaps that’s where my love of the spa came from – I’m a huge fan of steam rooms and saunas and there’s nothing like a heated relaxation pool to get me in the chilled mindset. So when an invitation to take a relaxing spa weekend and visit the new £10 million world-class spa facility at Spa at Carden in Cheshire (which sounded like one of the best spa breaks in the UK) I really couldn’t say no, could I?
If you are travelling from London and looking for a UK weekend getaway/relaxing spa weekend you can take a direct train to Chester in Cheshire which is a little over two hours – easy peasy. Once you arrive at Chester station, it’s about a 25-minute taxi to the Spa at Carden Park which sits in the beautiful Cheshire countryside. I was lucky enough to be able to have booked in an overnight stay and it’s something I would highly recommend if you are coming in from out of town because it will really give you extra time to relax.
My sister and I checked into our Carden Park Hotel courtyard suite which was just a stone’s throw from the Spa at Carden facilities. The suites are lovely and spacious with a comfortable (and separate) sitting area as well as a big cosy king-sized bed for a perfect sleep.
We then headed up to the spa restaurant (some of the ingredients in the dishes are grown in the garden) for lunch which has incredible views over the Carden Garden Spa. I had a delicious grilled salmon with a nice almond latte which gave me the energy I needed to then hit the spa.
And when I hit the spa, I HIT the spa. I take it seriously. I love to alternate hot and cold therapy so like to spend time in the sauna and steam room followed by a cold shower or an ice treatment. This is amazing for circulation which not only gives you a lot of energy but also makes your skin glow. And let me tell you, the spa facilities at Spa at Carden are INCREDIBLE! I don’t think I’ve ever had so many people replying to my Instagram Stories with such amazing feedback and intention to visit.
If you are serious about the spa like I am and really want a relaxing spa weekend getaway from London then I can’t recommend Spa at Carden enough as one of the best spa breaks in the UK. There are so many different thermal experiences that you can have as well as an ice fountain, spa showers, experience showers, foot baths, heated loungers and a large vitality pool. The indoor spa also looks out onto a beautiful garden space where you can also venture outside and soak away your fatigue in some of the outdoor hot tubs. There’s even a garden sauna outside as well as well as a fire pit, outdoor vitality pool and five individually-themed garden pods. It really is incredible.
In terms of the thermal experiences available at Spa at Carden there’s a Finnish Sauna, Bio-Sauna, Salt Steam Room and Tepidarium. All of them are amazing and have different health benefits so visit all of them if you do book a relaxing spa getaway!
In addition to the actual spa (where you can spend hours and hours) you can also book yourself in for a treatment such as a massage or facial. I tried the Ho-Leaf and Rosemary Muscle Melt Massage for 60 minutes of pure bliss. I love a deep tissue massage because I always have tight muscles and knots in my shoulders and neck so opting for a deep tissue massage always helps relieve these areas of tension. I love massages as well because they really help to relieve my fatigue and any built-up stress I may be feeling. It’s a way to totally zone-out for one hour and really focus on the way your body feels – almost like a meditation.
If you do get a treatment and feel totally blissed out afterwards then I would highly recommend visiting one of the relaxation rooms at Spa at Carden – they are amazing! There’s a sensory relaxation room with a giant screen that makes you feel like you are on the beach somewhere in the Caribbean, a Panoramic room which is bright and social as well as a Deep Relaxation room which is a really lovely and quiet place to unwind.
What I love about Spa at Carden is that you can book a trip there as a romantic getaway or as a girl’s relaxing spa weekend – it’s totally up to you. Or you could even go alone! Because if you are after personal wellbeing, I honestly think that you can get it here and you can tailor your weekend to do what fits YOU. So, if that means drinking champagne with your friends in the spa or going solo to do a weekend detox – you can do whatever you want. But I would definitely recommend a spa-stay experience so you can experience two full days at the spa.
And we can’t forget about food! For dinner we dined at the Redmond’s Restaurant at the Carden Park Hotel (next to the spa). I love it when restaurants source ingredients as locally as they can and that’s exactly what the team at Redmond’s do. There’s even a winery on the hotel grounds so we were able to sample the local sparkling wine as well which was delicious!
For starters we dined on beetroot cured salmon served with pickled beetroots, blackberry puree and watercress and a poached pear with blue cheese, rocket, chicory, grapes and pickled walnuts. Honestly the starters were SO good that I wondered how the mains would beat them! For the mains we had pan fried seabass with seaweed aranchini, baby leeks, mandarin, chestnuts and sea herbs which was absolutely delicious. This was followed by desserts of coconut iced parfait, pineapple carpaccio, pineapple and ginger cake and a mango sorbet as well as a Carden Tiramisu with coffee bean ice cream.
If you’ve been indulging in the spa all day there’s nothing better than having a delicious meal and a full stomach to then relax for the rest of the evening. I couldn’t recommend Spa at Carden as one of the best spa breaks in the UK – I’m counting the days when I can go back!
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for all my spa adventures and best spa breaks in the UK @beautyrocksblog.
*I visited Spa at Carden for a media review, all opinions and words are my own as always