Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa

Bedford Lodge spa

Hannah Thompson felt rejuvenated and refreshed after a blissful night at the Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa

After a short train ride from London I found myself passing the famous race course in Newmarket, bound not for a flutter on the gee-gees, but for some R’n’R at the Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa. As soon as I had checked into my sleek and stylish room I was chomping at the bit to get on with all of that serious relaxation.

Once in the spa, I was given the obligatory fluffy robe and slippers and shown around the spa area. The main spa building is housed in a newly built completely glass fronted room overlooking gardens and a patio.

On the day I visited it seems Newmarket’s racecourses must have been drawing the crowds, as I found myself joyfully alone in the spa for a whole hour. I spent most of this in the state-of-the-art pool floating like a lilly pad in sweet serenity. Each corner of the pool has a different gadget, from jet propelled foot massage to classic whirlpool. Each is self-operated by controls at the side. My favourite had to be the thunderous waterfall showers that pummel out the knots of your neck and shoulders.

Hidden behind the pool are saunas and steam rooms, plus an ice-bucket-challenge-style freezing water shower. I experimented with circuits between steam rooms and rubbing ice chips over my legs in a bid to stimulate circulation, but ultimately all of this eventually gave way to the luring power of the spa pool. Is there any greater bliss than whiling away a day surrounded by healing waters?

Bedford Lodge spaWhen hands and feet were well and truly prune-like, I chilled out on the mezzanine-level loungers and waited for my therapist. I was soon guided through candle-lit corridors to a gorgeously scented and darkened room for a pre-massage consultation to find out what areas I have problems with – always my taut as a tightrope shoulders.

My fantastic therapist soothed me into a relaxed state and honestly gave me the best massage of my life. She worked every angle of my shoulders, lifting my arms to different positions to make sure no muscle was left unworked as I drifted into a soporific stupor. I left with a soft and supple back and neck that stayed with me for days afterwards.

I rewarded my strenuous efforts in the spa with a meal at the Hotel’s Squires restaurant, where dishes were interesting and ingredients well sourced. It’s here that Bedford Lodge really strikes me as the perfect out of London break, whether you want a weekend with friends, something special to do with your mum, or, like me, a much needed escape from the city. Relaxed and full bellied it was all I could do to climb up the stairs to my room and fold myself into the crisp white sheets and fluffed up pillows.

The following morning a proper breakfast of poached eggs and toast set me up for the train journey home, this time feeling lighter, rejuvenated and dreaming of a return to those magical waters.

Rejuvenate Spa Packages from £145 per person, includes bed and breakfast at the hotel

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