As we bid farewell to the sunshine filled days of summer, we’re looking forward to hunkering down indoors, lighting the candles and welcoming pumpkin spiced aromas.
Life calls for a ‘fresh start’ feeling at this time of year and as our schedules begin to shift gently back into routine, we’ve had our sights set on places to relax, recharge and indulge in a treatment or two. Cue the dreamy Ramside Hall Spa.
Situated on the outskirts of Durham, you will find the beautiful and secluded Ramside Hall – a stunning retreat perfectly blending traditional features, luxury accommodation and first-class service to create the ultimate break in the heart of the North East.
This much needed ‘me time’ opportunity couldn’t have presented itself at a better time for my sister and I who welcome this wholesome Friday afternoon with open arms.
There are so many inviting spa day packages and breaks on offer here; some geared towards couples, others designed for friends, pregnant women, those with busy schedules and individuals longing for some time away from the stresses of everyday life.
But ours was just the ticket. A 55-minute luxury treatment using only the finest Elemis products, a two-course lunch in the award-winning Fusion Restaurant and over six hours of relaxation time.
We arrive bright and early, ready for day of top to toe pampering. After changing into our fluffy robes and spa-safe flip flops, twisting our hair into buns on top of our heads and locking our troubles (and phones) away, we head straight for the outdoor spa garden pool.
After some much needed soaking and a good giggle, we slumber back into our robes and head indoors.
With two piping hot, creamy lattes in hand, we cocoon into the double egg chair and let our tensions slip away.
The purple-toned lighting sets the scene inside the contemporary spa which is decorated with on-trend rattan furniture and complemented with grey and silver finishings to give it that luxe, modern feel.
Next up, it’s a dip in one of the UK’s largest hydrotherapy pools. Sinking into the built-in seats, we let the powerful massage jets and swan necks work their magic to ease and soothe aching and tired muscles.
Slipping back into a state of relaxation, we nod off in the egg chair we’ve claimed as our own for the day before I’m whisked away to a cosy treatment room for 55-minutes of bliss.
It’s the Swedish massage that grabs my attention; a traditional massage using firm pressure to promote relaxation and ease muscle tension.
After filling in a consultation form, the therapist takes time to chat through the treatment and any problem areas to ensure the massage leaves me feeling relaxed and revived.
The full body massage using Elemis products combined with a range of techniques to target my problem areas is, without a doubt, one of the most relaxing and muscle-soothing massages I’ve experienced.
The treatment sadly comes to a close and I’m kindly left to relax and absorb all of the essential oils before being guided to the relaxation room.
A dark and cosy space, perfect for a bit of soul-soothing and taking in the affects of the treatment before returning to another sanctuary, the spa.
I’m greeted with a cup of peppermint tea, my post-treatment recommendations and left to relax on one of the massage beds.
Following my treatment, it’s back downstairs for more relaxation before heading into the Fusion Restaurant for a bite to eat.
The food offering here is sensational. Using fresh herbs, punchy spices and vibrant colours, each dish is an explosion of tastes to recreate traditional recipes from South East Asia.
Our welcome drinks arrive in the form of a bubbling glass of prosecco, followed by some icy cold water for the table.
Up first, it’s the tempura king prawns (£9.50) served with a squeeze of fresh lime and wasabi mayo. My spa buddy goes for the chicken sweetcorn soup (£7.50).
Both starters are served steaming hot and are packed with heaps of flavour.
Our mains arrive and we both opt for the Singapore vermicelli noodles (£19). A hearty bowl of noodles with king prawn, char sui pork, chicken, bean sprouts, pak choi and onions topped with chilli flakes.
When I say this is the best noodle dish I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting, I’m not lying.
Each and every mouthful is bursting with so much flavour and packs quite the punch when it comes to spice.
With our bellies filled to the brim, our new home for the day (the egg chair!) has never looked more appealing.
Home time soon arrives, but not before we test out the saunas, steam rooms and invigorating ice buckets – not to mention a few lengths in the 25 metre swimming pool.
We trade in our spa attire and layer back up in normality, but we can’t leave before indulging in another latte.
The perfect end to one of the most relaxing, wholesome, and – in fact – quite hilarious sister bonding days we’ve had in ages.