Stoke Park’s reputation reaches far and wide and I have been aware of the location and spa for most of my writing career – but had never been. So on a grey and wet Friday I hopped on the Slough Express (yes if travelling by train – it’s via Slough) to make my way to the spa (which is easily reached from London). Set in the grounds of a thousand year old estate, Stoke Park was the first ever country club in Britain, founded in 1908. Golf is the main attraction, but for me it was the spa. Set in The Pavillion, it combines heath club, indoor heated pool, relaxation room, Italian marble steam rooms, hair salon, nail bar and relaxation atrium with a five metre tropical aquarium. It is a huge complex, with loads of staff (who were all friendly and attentive) and a great range of treatments. I had a thoroughly good time, enjoyed working out had a great meal and excellent hot stone massage too. There’s a real country club feel going on – so don’t expect stainless steel finishes and sleek modern detail. There’s a lot of brown and marble in the gym and changing rooms which suits the site but I found a little heavy going. But that’s an aesthetic issue only and Stoke Park is definitely the kind of spa you could book your Dad into for Father’s Day and he would feel comfortable, at ease and not like a fish out of water.
Thalgo, Jessica, Terraké, CACI
I had been keen to trial a Terraké treatment for some time. It’s not perhaps as well-known as other spa brands – which is a shame and I aim to shout loudly about this niche spa brand. So I picked the Hot Stone Face & Body Massage that makes good use of hot volcanic basalt stones. Beginning with long continuous massage strokes the legs are full massaged (front and back) and then it’s onto the back, neck and shoulders. The warmth of the hot stones helps to sooth and ease tension in the muscles (and it does a wonderful job at that). The treatment oil that was used was a wonderful warming body oil called Warmth of the Earth – a relaxing oil combining rose, cinnamon and cedar. Perfect for a mid-winter’s day.
I fell asleep during the treatment (which for me is a sign of a great treatment). The facial massage gently woke me from my slumber – this was gentle and not akin to a “celebrity facial massage” but that’s nether what it claims nor what I wanted. It revitalised me and left me feeling refreshed and alive again. The heated massage bed was a god send throughout – but it got a touch hot towards the end.
- Working out in the gym next to Olympians Matthew Pinsett and Denise Lewis
- Relaxing in the spa Atrium mesmerised by the fish in the huge aquarium
- Finally experiencing a Terraké treatment
Terraké Hot Stone Face & Body Massage – 85 minutes – £120
Tel: 01753 717171