by Shanna F. Jones
If you want get a flavor of the lives of the British upper class there are plenty of options in London. The Ritz, a peek through the gates of Buckingham Palace, Claridges. But to do what the British well-at-heel do, not what the tourists do, you’re going to have to head out of London.
Hire a car and cruise a couple of hours up the M40 to the beautifully restored Georgian manor house, Fishmore Hall. The boutique hotel sits in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Shropshire Hills. The medieval market town of Ludlow – a British foodie landmark – is within walking distance.
The latest addition to Fishmore Hall is a new spa tucked between the hotel and rolling open countryside. Their spa package is perfect for a mother and daughter in need of a treat.
Rooms were spacious with large, luxurious bathrooms. Come dinner time and it’s a choice between Forelle’s fine dining restaurant for a la carte or country pub brasserie for homely grub.
In the spa building Scandinavian wood meets English country rose garden. Floor to ceiling windows look out onto a backyard complete with hammock and hot tub. Staff took the time to chat while handing over fluffy robes and slippers .
The Italian steam room and sauna had a choice of aromatherapy and music settings, a nice touch. Taking a dip in the outdoor hot tub at night we star gazed (Shropshire is a Dark Sky Reserve) and by day we watched Hereford cattle munch grass on the meadow.
After some serious leisure time mum and I chose our massages. I went for the Lava Shell® Thermal Rescue Experience. The masseuse used unique shells which self heat and distribute oil as they go. I was a little hesitant at having sea shells pounded into my muscles but the skill of the masseuse made it a relaxing indulgence.
Mum chose a more gentle treatment, the ELEMIS Garden of England Rose Restore Massage, which combined a micro wrap with a hydrating massage. She enjoyed it immensely, noting that the smell was sweet yet not overpowering.
The trip to Fishmore Hall was an oasis from work stress. Great food, friendly staff and a serene spa experience. (Even if the memories will distract me at my desk for weeks to come.)
Follow Shanna on Twitter: @ShannaFelicia