Mummy Diaries | Spa weekend at Stratford Manor, Stratford-upon-Avon

Mummy, Mummy Diaries, Hen Do, Hen Weekend, Stratford Manor, Q Hotel,
Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 April 2019

It seems so long ago now, as I no longer feel relaxed and rejuvenated, and we’ve since been to the wedding, but I attended my friend Rebecca’s hen-do and just had to post about it. It was a spa weekend in Stratford-upon-Avon at the Stratford Manor. We paid for overnight accommodation with breakfast, lunch on the first day and dinner on the first night, as well as two spa treatments and the usual use of the facilities. As you’ll see, I only took photos of the evening, but wish I’d asked to take some in the treatment rooms. Never mind.

The hotel
Stratford Manor is a 4-star hotel and part of the Q chain. I was impressed with the size of the bedroom and en suite and even though we were in classic twin rooms (sharing, of course), the room had a desk and chair, to get ready for the evening, as well as two arm chairs to relax in. The tea and coffee facilities were adequate, but the bonus biscuits were a game-changer! The beds were really comfortable and despite getting in from our night out after 3am and waking up, under five hours later, I had the perfect slumber – made better by no toddlers coming to join me, sit on me, or kick me in the night.

The spa
I can’t comment on the pool itself, or any of the leisure facilities, other than the gym. The girls managed to get a corner together in the pool area, with loungers and space for our robes and bags and bits. 

The spa uses ESPA branded products, which is one of my personal favourite brands and I’ve been to spas before that use ESPA, as well as having previously bought products of my own. I wish I had checked out their stock, because the eye cream is just life – and well worth £40!

My therapist was called Minella and I’d booked in for the salt & oil scrub and the express facial, which are 30-minute treatments. We could have opted for 1-hour treatment, but I personally would rather have the two. 

I had the salt & oil scrub first, which was full-body. My therapist began by using a body brush to remove the dead skin, before a mixture of sea salt and essential oils were applied, one side at a time; starting with my legs, before moving to my body and then my arms. After washing it off in the shower, my skin felt much softer and more supple, and I was really pleased with the outcome. It was the perfect base to apply my fake tan for the evening and it was a gentle reminder to self that I should exfoliate more.

I then had the facial, which is often my go-to spa treatment of choice and in fact, I’ve had several ESPA facials in the past. I have to say that this was one of the best though. After explaining my skin type and any problems, the products were applied. I wish I had taken note of what was used, because there was a really nice cleanser applied around my eyes and when my therapist was finished, she used this lovely lip balm. I even got a head massage, which was so relaxing. My skin looked so much brighter afterwards, healthy and glowing. Having been makeup free all day too, I probably looked 10 years longer!

The gym
Yes, I visited the gym – and even managed an hour session. The gym was quite small but thankfully, for the majority of the time, we were the only ones in there. I used the rowing machine, the bike and the treadmill (although I still have no idea how it worked, because it’s nothing like any treadmill I’ve ever used before!). There wasn’t much floor space, but a couple of mats and swiss balls, so I did a mini-HIIT workout afterwards, before admitting defeat and deciding to get ready for the evening instead. 
Mummy, Mummy Diaries, Hen Do, Hen Weekend, Stratford Manor, Q Hotel, Shakespeare Restaurant, Food, Foodie,
Mummy, Mummy Diaries, Hen Do, Hen Weekend, Stratford Manor, Q Hotel, Shakespeare Restaurant, Food, Foodie,
Mummy, Mummy Diaries, Hen Do, Hen Weekend, Stratford Manor, Q Hotel, Shakespeare Restaurant, Food, Foodie,
The restaurant
We had lunch on arrival, which was a buffet – but compared to other spa days I’ve had, there wasn’t much choice on lunchtime fare. I started with a bowl of leek & potato soup, before having chicken drumsticks and salad. Oh and a naughty brownie for pudding!
Dinner was a lot better and we had pre-booked our meals from their a la carte menu and our £28per person allocation we had included in our package. I had planned on just having a main and dessert, but after seeing others opt for three courses, I did too! And I was pleased I did, even if I couldn’t manage it all.

I began with the crispy squid, which was great – not at all rubbery or chewy and the batter wasn’t soggy. I will never understand chilli mayo, so I could take it or leave it, but I loved the fresh coriander mixed with the chopped red chilli. 

I followed with the 8oz bavette steak, which I had medium rare. It was cooked well, but had so many accompaniments, I didn’t know where to start! The chips were really chunky and I couldn’t manage them all; I loved the crispy onions, which topped the steak and my rocket salad; but I wasn’t so keen on the horseradish cream and would have much preferred a peppercorn sauce, or even cafe de Paris. 

To finish, I chose the cherry & vanilla cheesecake, which was unlike any cheesecake I’ve ever had before. It was incredibly light, which was nice. But the base was sponge and the ‘cheesecake’ element, a mousse. It came served with crumbled pistachio sponge and a sour cherry sauce. A great combination of flavours but not what I was expecting at all. I also tried some of the ginger crème brûlée and wish I’d gone for that instead – it’s my favourite dessert. How can something so simple be so tasty?!

We had breakfast the next day, again in the Shakespeare restaurant. It was a fairly standard hotel buffet with plenty of choice and we were able to order poached eggs or omelettes, should we wish. I went healthy to begin with, with fruit salad; before going nuts at the pastry counter and finishing with a cooked breakfast (bacon, fried egg, sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms). No complaints from me!

In all, I had a lovely weekend – but also wish I’d checked out the pool and other leisure facilities. The staff were great in putting our bottles of prosecco and champagne in ice buckets in our rooms; we received free fizz at dinner; and we played games in the bar and restaurant without any complaints or problems from the staff, or other guests. I definitely think I’d stay at Stratford Manor again.

Love, Lucy xx

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Love, Lucy xx

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