Hartwell House Hotel and Aromatherapy Associates – Anti-Bucket List 2015 Update

Health & Beauty, The Anti-Bucket List, What's Happening?

One of the best things about putting ‘visiting Spa’s’ on my Anti-Bucket List is getting to do one of my favourite things…. visit spa’s!

Last weekend I had the complete joy of visiting a new spa near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, at Hartwell House Hotel with my lovely friend L.J. Ross.

Our rather stunning room

Our rather stunning room

The old manor house has been turned into a hotel in the most beautiful way.  It has retained the feel of a house, keeping four large drawing rooms with fire places for guests to relax in (or read and write within as was the case with us – what can I say, it’s all rock n’ roll when two writers go away).  With such a number of drawing rooms and a library available to use, it never feels crowded.  There was more than one moment when I felt like I was in Downton Abbey, especially when walking down the engraved, ornate staircase.

The Spa is in the old stables and has been wonderfully converted, again very sympathetically, complete with the required beige stone and soothing music.  The Spa uses Aromatherapy Associates a product that surprisingly, I hadn’t tried before.  The smell was delicious, not as fragrant as other products but I think that is a good sign.  It shows that there aren’t high levels of chemical perfumes added.

Unknown-3I had the Aromatherapy Associates Essential Rose Facial with Back Massage.  Starting with the back massage the therapist focused on my shoulders after I told her it was my area of concern and then went into the facial, complete with an amazing head massage.  I honestly felt like a new woman and my skin looked so clean and radiant, wonderful.  My wonderful co-assistant reviewer had an Indian Head Massage which she enjoyed but would have liked more time spent on her head and less on her shoulders as her back is so ticklish.  Thank God I don’t have that problem, couldn’t imagine not liking back massages!

I was very impressed by the products and went on to buy the Rose Face Mask and Rose Facial Tonic, which I am enjoying using.

Overall, I loved Hartwell House Hotel and Spa.  So much so that I am planning on taking husband there and it is high on my list of favourite hotel.  An amazing big tick of the Anti-Bucket List 2015, but I think I will happily add it again and again! 🙂

Make my day and follow this blog by hitting FOLLOW on the right hand side (at the bottom if you are reading this on your phone).

You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter

Breathing Space Spa, Harpenden & ESPA Review

Beauty Treatment, Health & Beauty

Walking into Breathing Space, you walk into a busy cafe selling delicious healthy juices and meals, with a buzzy reception desk and people heading to Yoga or Pilates in their studio but as you walk upstairs you are transported into a wonderful calming haven.  Large sofas with luxurious throws.  Dark, beautifully carved wooden furniture that looks like it has just arrived from Bali.  Dimmed lighting and  the obligatory calming music means you could only be expected to do one thing, relax.

I hunted out Breathing Space because I am in love with ESPA treatments.  I don’t mean the products (which I also love) but the actual treatments.  ESPA have very specific training and way of doing treatments they expect all therapists who use ESPA to keep to.  Having trained in them myself when I worked The Spa at the Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge, London, I really do know just how fantastic they are.  One of my favourite things is their philosophy that a treatments should be holistic and dedicated to you.  Their treatments are also very effective but non-invasive, a perfect combination.  I could go on and on about how fantastic ESPA is, but I think you get the point.

As with all things, an ESPA treatment is only as good as the person giving it.  I had a massage and facial and both were fantastic.  They upheld ESPA’s high standards perfectly and my skin felt and looked radiant afterwards.    The therapist took an interest in what I wanted to get from the treatment and could adapt the treatment to make sure that was what she focused on.  In the massage that was a lot of extra work around my shoulders.  In the facial, using regenerative and hydrating products and doing a lot of draining and massage on my face to help clear the layers underneath the skin and tension I hold in my jaw.

I do think Breathing Space is quite expensive, but I do think that you are paying for quality and in this case, it was worth every penny.

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 7 – Steam Clean Your Face

Beauty Treatment, Health and Beauty Tips

Give your face a spring clean

Spring Health & Beauty Tip 7 – Steam Your Face Clean

Steaming your face can be a non-invasive way of opening the pores, unclogging and deep-cleaning your face.  Brilliantly, it is very easy to do at home.

  • Boil a kettle of water and pour into a large bowel, ideally wider than your face, but leave for a few minutes.
  • Lean over the bowel, but not to close, about 18inches away and put a towel over your head and the bowel so that all the lovely steam stays in the area, working its magic on your face.
  • You can add a few drops of essential oil to help, Rosemary is particularly good for unblocking pores, Lavender is great for the skin and relaxations generally and the two go really well together.  A couple of drops of each in a large bowel will be plenty.
  • After 4 – 10 minutes (no longer), wash your face with clean water as the cold water will help your pores to close again.
  • To finish tone, to remove any dirt that has been dislodged and make sure the pores are closed and moisturise.
  • Finally, admire your gorgeous skin!

Unknown

As with all these things, don’t do it to often as it can overstimulate the skin and produce more  of the dreaded oil.  Once a week is fine.

Happy Steaming! x

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 17

Beauty Treatment, Health and Beauty Tips
Holly

Holly’s attempt at a yougart face mask! 🙂

Love the Skin You’re In

Easy Quick Healthy Tip 17 – Give Your Skin A Treat

Especially the skin on your face can take a serious battering everyday.  We have already discussed the effects of anti-oxidents on your face, so every now and then you need to give it a real treat with a lovely mask so that it can recharge and get loads of lovely nutrients in it.

Here are some simple – make at home – natural Face Masks.

  • All Skin Types:  Mix together a tablespoon of honey, 3 tablespoons of yogurt & a few drops of lemon.
  • Cleansing Mask:   Smear honey on to damp skin.
  • Normal / Dry Skin:  Crush a banana with a fork & smooth on your face & neck.
  • Oily Skin:   Crush 6 strawberries with a fork & smooth on you face & neck.
  • Mature Skin:  Mix 1 avocado, 1 teaspoon of clear honey, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice & 1 teaspoon of plain yogurt, mashing it all together with a fork.  Leave in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Always apply your face mask to freshly washed skin.  Another good tip is to exfoliate your skin after cleansing but before your mask to get rid of all the dead skin first.

Let me know how you get on and post any piccies of your masks in the comments. xx