Our Spa SpyTM from The Good Spa Guide recommends the finest spa menus for foodies in the county…
Once upon a time, the spa and beauty industry treated food as a veritable sin, providing only limp salads and water – if you were lucky. Nowadays, food is no longer an F-word in the spa industry – quite the opposite. Indeed most spas have embraced good food as part of its programme.
If you want to be pampered, there are plenty of spas offering champagne in the hot tub (our favourite spa pastime), cream teas and AA Rosette fine dining as part of its package. But if you need to feel amazing inside and out, the whole wellness movement is busy proving that nutritious can be delicious, especially when the food is seasonal, organic and freshly plucked from your spa garden.
In East Anglia, we are lucky to have some of the best locally produced food in the country, and happily our local spas are taking advantage of this. Here, in our opinion are the county’s finest spas for foodies, from gourmands to vegans.
The Spa at Bedford Lodge
A spa butler is on hand to serve you between treatments in this romantic hotel spa in the heart of horse racing country. Feast upon lunches and light bites and a good selection of Champagne while overlooking the pool and stables. Hotel guests can eat in Squires restaurant, where the food is locally sourced, modern and oh-so-special.
Bury Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7BX
tel: 01638 676130 www.bedfordlodgehotel.co.uk
Ufford Park Hotel, Golf and Spa
It’s not just the facilities that come in top notch at this Suffolk countryside retreat; the food is pretty amazing too. Residential spa breaks include use of the sumptuous thermal suite, which offers a series of heating and cooling experiences, the lavish deck-level swimming pool and dinner and breakfast. The Park Restaurant chefs look after the taste buds with a seasonally changing menu and its full English breakfast is impressive too, and has even been has awarded with the Visit England Breakfast Award!
Yarmouth Road, Melton, Woodbridge, IP12 1QW
Tel: 01394 383555 www.uffordpark.co.uk
After its £2m refurb, new(ish) award-winning head chef James O’Connor is determined to earn some Rosettes for this legendary village boutique hotel/gastropub. The Hoste’s lovely Beauty Spa is an oasis of calm amongst the bustle of Landrovers and Boden-clad families, with its own private courtyard garden with hot tub, and Clarins and Gatineau treatments.
The Hoste, The Green, Burnham Market, Norfolk, PE31 8HD
tel: 01328 737 022. www.thehoste.com
Imagine Spa at Blofield Heath
You can relax in the stunning gardens of this stylish day spa and watch them pluck fruit and vegetables for your super fresh spa lunch! The menu caters for pretty much every taste, from hearty indulgence to superfood and smoothie detoxing. Try the Après Spa package (from £99 per person) which includes a bespoke tasting menu.
Willow Farm, Field Lane, Blofield Heath, Norwich, Norfolk NR13 4RP
tel: 01603 712 550. www.imaginespa.co.uk/blofieldheath
This chic health and fitness retreat is more for the discerning detoxer than indulgent gourmand, with an in-house Naturopath and health experts on hand. The modern Spa Café Bar opens onto a peaceful view of the delightful Lifehouse Heritage Gardens. Sip your smoothie and feel virtuous while drinking in the plush greenery.
Frinton Road, Thorpe-le-Soken, Clacton-on-Sea, Essex CO16 0JD
Tel: 01255 860050 www.lifehouse.co.uk
The Days Spa at Hotel Maison Talbooth
This is food and spa with a view in the heart of Constable County. After your spa treatment and swim, have lunch in the Pool House, then, perhaps after a relaxing wallow in the outdoor hot tub helping yourself to the honesty bar, let a Range Rover transport you Le Talbooth restaurant to enjoy its award-winning menu on the riverbank.
Stratford Road, Dedham, Colchester CO7 6HN
Tel: 01206 322367 www.milsomhotels.com/maisontalbooth
This magnificent mansion has been used in many TV shows and films, including Four Weddings and a Funeral. The Werner Restaurant is like stepping into the past, serving food ‘from a bygone era’. The bright and elegant ESPA spa with its infinity pool overlooking the gardens is served by the more contemporary Adam’s Brasserie. Work it all off in the estate’s 1,065 acres of countryside.
The Mansion House, Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 3TQ
Tel: 01582 734437 www.lutonhoo.co.uk
Sequoia Spa at The Grove
The impressive Grove Hotel bills itself as a hedonists’ heaven, and with good reason. From gourmet to home-cooking, light bites to 10-course feats, the 70 chefs here are passionate about quality and seasonality, hand-picking fresh fruit and veg in the walled garden. Collette’s Head Chef Russell Bateman recently scooped a National Chef of the Year award. The five-bubble spa is a sensory delight, with lunch served in a Bento box in the adjoining juice bar.
Chandler’s Cross, Hertforshire, WD3 4TG
Tel: 01923 882952 www.thegrove.co.uk
The Varsity Hotel & Spa
The historic 17th Century building has been giving a new lease of life by Conran & Partners, and offers views of the river Camb from the Elemis Spa, restaurant and hotel bedrooms. Relax in the Jacuzzi and watch the punts go by, and enjoy breath-taking views as well as delicious food and cocktails from the Roof Terrace. The River Bar Steakhouse & Grill looks over Magdalene College and serves traceable and sustainable prime beef, fish or vegetarian options as well as seriously tempting desserts.
Thompson’s Lane (off Bridge Street) Cambridge CB5 8AQ
Tel: 01223 306030 www.thevarsityhotel.co.uk
The Cambridge Quy Mill Hotel Spa
Four miles out of Cambridge, the Quy Mill boasts a 2 AA Rosette kitchen that is passionate about sourcing local produce. It serves The Imagine Spa, which has lots of lovely indulgent treatments, especially for couples. If staying, dine at the The Mill House Restaurant with its stunning views over the gardens.
Church Road, Stow-Cum-Quy, Cambridge CB25 9AF
Tel: 01223 293383 www.cambridgequymill.co.uk
Like the sound of these spas? Discover more on www.goodspaguide.co.uk