I know they say your wedding day is the best day of your life but in the absence of a wedding ring, I’d say my brothers wedding day has got to be up there as one of my best! This was one of my first experiences of Coniston Hotel.
So, when my mum surprised me with a visit to their purpose built spa for my birthday, I was very excited! She opted for the ‘time for two’ spa day which, according to their website, is suitable for couples, friends and mums and daughters.
The day began at 11am where we were greeted by the friendly receptionist who showed us to the Nourish Brasserie to complete our medical forms. We were then shown to the changing rooms where we changed into our gym clothes to hit the fitness centre (figured it would justify the rest of the day being filled with eating, drinking and relaxing!). The gym is small but perfectly formed containing all the usual cardio and resistance machines, as well as a small free weights area.
Being a Tuesday, I pretty much had the gym to myself once my mum decided the gym wasn’t, and never would be, for her. I opted to do a 10 minute warm up jog, followed by 20 minutes of sprints. With the usual gym I frequent being a city centre gym, I’m not afraid to admit that the free weights area completely intimidates me so I thought I would make the most of the solitary time and tried out some of the weight exercises from my Clean Eating Alice book.
After exerting myself in the gym, it was time to freshen up, throw on the complimentary robe and slippers and head to the Nourish Brasserie for a cold glass of prosecco. As part of the ‘time for two’ package, we received a two course lunch…and this is where I (very geekily) got very excited. Being unable to tolerate dairy and slowly starting to realise that gluten is also an issue for me, naturally I am used to choosing from a somewhat selective menu. So, when I opened the menu to see that Nourish Brasserie specialises in dairy free and gluten free options – even desserts (!) – I was over the moon!
The Nourish menu has been developed with Celebrity Herbalist, Naturopath and Author Elizabeth Peyton to promote a healthy and nutritional food offering which extends the wellbeing aspects of the spa. Wherever possible, they buy fresh, seasonal produce from local or nearby sources and try to make it easier for guests to make a step towards a more healthy way of living.
I would normally opt for a starter however, considering I never have the opportunity to have a dessert these days and there was so much on offer, I had to go for a main and dessert.
For my main, I opted for a butternut squash quinoa risotto and my mum opted for the seabass on spiralised vegetables. Both dishes were delicious and not too heavy for a lunchtime, leaving plenty of room for the greatly anticipated dessert.
It was a struggle to choose between the desserts but I eventually opted for the lemon tart. What a taste sensation! The lemon was perfectly sweet and the dairy and gluten free base was the perfect complement. My mum went for the chocolate brownie, again dairy and gluten free, made with apples, dates, maple syrup and walnuts. When asked if she could taste the difference between that and a normal dairy and gluten laden brownie, she admitted that she genuinely couldn’t.
After pigging out in the brasserie, it was then time to enjoy the rest of the spa facilities. I can honestly say that, of all the spas I have visited, Coniston was definitely superior. Everything felt very luxurious, from the comfortable beds to the perfectly clean swimming pool and jacuzzi area. The spa also has three saunas (all slightly different), a steam room and an ice bath.
Perhaps the icing on the cake is the outdoor infinity hot tub overlooking the picturesque lake. Simply beautiful…it was just a shame that we visited on such a miserable day! We still braved the rain though to enjoy a good half hour in the outdoor jacuzzi.
The day ended with a 60 minute full body massage. The therapist was very good, applying just the right amount of pressure so that you feel it’s doing you good but won’t leave you battered and bruised.
In total we spent six hours at the spa and the time absolutely flew by. I will definitely be back. Keep up the good work Coniston!