Checking in for a bit of ‘me time’ isn’t a bad idea at this time of year. Whether you’ve got a Christmas list as long as your arm, weekends packed out with festive plans or you’re playing host over the holiday period, we can’t think of a better treat than a spa break at Seaham Hall. Book in before the festivities kickstart or plan a pamper package for the New Year. It’s the perfect opportunity to give your body that pick-me-up glow during the busy winter months.
Seaham Hall’s Serenity Spa is something so very special. A place worlds away from the worries and woes of everyday life. An away-from-it-all retreat where time stands still. And with something for everyone in terms of hydro pools, jacuzzis, saunas and steam rooms, it’s great for health benefits too. The lovely spa staff can’t do enough for you. They’ll happily take you on a tour of the facilities, explaining the benefits of each pool, steam room and sauna – making sure you get the best out of your experience.
We’re in for the Twilight Spa. An after dark experience that allows guests to switch off from busy working life and unwind in this tranquil space. Seaham Hall’s Serenity Spa draws inspiration from the Far East – focusing on Ayurvedic experiences, the process of healing and the importance of mind-body rituals. This is evident as soon as you walk through the door. Calming music, authentic aromas and a real sense that you’ve escaped the everyday. It’s a place that really engages and nurtures the mind, body and soul. It’s so very refreshing and we can’t wait to dive in.
Spa highlights include the outdoor jacuzzi where you can chit-chat with friends as you soak in a tub of warmth and loveliness beneath the stars. Perfect for a bit of star gazing if you’re lucky enough to get a clear night. You’ll also find snail showers, an Asian herbal sanarium, ice fountain, Indian steam room with amethyst crystal, salt sauna, hydrotherapy pool (which works wonders), plunge pools for a quick refresh and a state-of-the-art fitness suite – all surrounding the 20 metre pool with massage stations.
So whether it’s a girls day out, a couples retreat, a mother-daughter meeting or you just want to check in for a bit of pre or post-Christmas ‘me time’, we can’t think of a better place to switch off and enjoy a good-for-the-soul spa day.
Byron’s Restaurant is a perfect representation of hotel dining done good! It oozes opulence, it’s bold, it’s grand and it’s something of an occasion restaurant. It’s a cold and crisp Thursday evening and the place is packed with hotel guests, dressed up diners and friends celebrating. Feeling refreshed after an evening in the spa, we dress for dinner and continue to lap up the laid back vibe as we’re left in the hands of the waiting staff. Comfy armchairs in the lounge area await as we’re greeted with a gorgeous goblet of gin while we scour the menu and specials. Looking at the food offering, it’s clear that a lot of thought and preparation goes into the dishes. Hearty British ingredients are combined with seasonal favourites, making each dining experience different depending on the local produce available on that day. Spontaneous, seasonal – and constructed by a specialist team.
After advice and recommendations from our waiter, we order wine for the table and we’re guided to our seats at the centre of the buzzy dining room. With plush ruby red chairs, sparkling gold chandeliers and a feature bar screaming 1920s New York, the space allows guests to relax while still feeling fancy in the comfort of this luxurious and very welcoming restaurant.
Nothing is rushed at Byron’s. It’s all about embracing the experience – there’s no such thing as in-and-out dining. Every touch point is perfect and lots of time and effort goes into the whole process – from the food preparation to the service and the attention to detail. Once settled, served bread and water, our starters of heritage lamb and heritage beetroot arrive. The lamb (£10) is oh-so succulent, melt-in-the-mouth and is served with turnip, cucumber, anchovy and mint. The combination of fresh flavours zips through the rich meat. The beetroot dish (£9) arrives as a creative, colourful display – cooked over embers, tunworth, walnuts and apple. A light dish and the perfect palate pleaser for what follows.
Next up it’s the roasted monkfish (£24) served with chicken wing, girolles, celeriac and hazelnuts. An unusual combination – I was intrigued by the pairing of the chicken wing, but I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed with the results. A meaty companion to the light fish, it’s genius – particularly for the indecisive diner. It’s the orzo risotto (£18) for my dinner date. A plate of 36 month aged parmesan, cep, onion and nasturtium. It’s simple, it’s creamy and the ingredients blend effortlessly to create what I can only describe as heaven on a plate for the cheese-lover in you. Sides of heritage potatoes (£4) from tiptoe farm and cauliflower (£4) glazed with Mrs Kirkman’s cheese seals the deal.
With full tummies and wine flowing, we’re feeling very content but can’t face missing out on dessert. The Valrhona chocolate (£9) jumps straight off the page – so with a smile from ear to ear, we order two. A simple yet sensational mix of flavours, the dish combines chocolate with salted caramel and buttermilk. For someone who usually opts out of the dessert offering, it’s spot on – a small dish and the perfect way to sneak in something sweet to finish. After an indulgent dining experience, we finish our crisp bottle of white and retire to our suite – where more luxury awaits.
Indulgent, elegant and the perfect representation of ‘suite life’. Seaham Hall’s suites are playful, tasteful and perfectly picturesque. Splashes of colour inject a bit of fun into the rooms, while the sleek and stylish bathrooms add a slice of sophistication. We love the mismatched bedside lamps, the quirky patterns and the subtle grey hues running throughout.
The bed itself is something else – with fresh, white linen and bouncy pillows, it’s like floating on a cloud. The pretty patterned throw, floral furnishings and striking sky-covered headboard complete the look and create a happy place to retire after dinner. Dressed down in our fluffy bathrobes and slippers, we’re already planning for tomorrow’s lie in. It’s what the suite life is all about, right?
And just when we thought our away-from-it-all getaway couldn’t get anymore relaxing, we don’t even have to budge to adjust the lighting and to work the techy stuff. You’ve got all the latest mod-cons you could possibly desire and more. If you’re feeling lazy after an evening in the spa – that’s fine – you can curl up in bed and manage your lights, tv and order room service from your in-room tablet.
The suites include a large bedroom – this one with stunning views across the gardens – a luxury bathroom with roll-top bath and state-of-the-art suite, and a lavish lounge area complete with sofa, desk, coffee station and TV set up. The lounge is a luxe hideaway in itself – a place where you’ll find everything you might need for a bit of downtime. Books, magazines, TV and a cosy sofa to put your feet up. We happily while away the hours in the comfort of our suite, reflecting on a truly indulgent evening.
Breakfast is served downstairs or in the comfort of your suite. We opt for the in-room breakfast – simply because we don’t want to leave our luxe hideaway. The full works arrives – coffee, tea, fresh juices, fruit and all the English breakfast favourites. A dreamy way to start the day – and the perfect end to a flawless festive stay at Seaham Hall.
Seaham Hall, Lord Byron’s Walk, Seaham, County Durham SR7 7AG
For special seasonal offers including the Winter Warmer and Couples Cosy Up spa days visit: seaham-hall.co.uk