While I am more than happy to jump on a plane and fly to various destinations across the globe, some weekends call for a more relaxing itinerary. Champneys Tring is a world famous spa retreat nestled in the greenery of Hertfordshire and, at just an hours’ drive from my flat in London, was the perfect place to escape to for a weekend away from the city.
As Britain’s original health spa, Champneys Tring certainly bears all of the hallmarks of a 90 year-old establishment, albeit with a modern twist. The original house sits within 170 acres of prime Hertfordshire countryside and maintains many of the period features from the time it was built. Even the driveway is dramatic; it must have taken a good five minutes to get from the main gate to our parking spot. If you want seclusion, then this is it.
We were booked in for an afternoon massage, which gave us a few hours to explore the grounds and also pop our heads into the large temporary tent that had been put up for a Children in Need charity event. While the resort was exceptionally busy due to the large attendance, there was still plenty of acreage to explore; the perfectly manicured garden was earmarked as a good photoshoot spot for the next morning. Back inside, as the rain clouds gathered overhead, we checked in to our room and unpacked our overnight bags.
4pm soon approached, and we made our way into the more modern extension of the resort. Donning fluffy white robes, we decided to sign in at spa reception half an hour early. We had been told that the pre-massage relaxation area had a jacuzzi and waterbeds and it was the perfect place to completely switch off. Then, as our names were called, we made our way upstairs to the massage rooms. The service was excellent (from what I remember) and an hour later I left the room completely at ease and half-asleep. All I now had to do was change into clothes for dinner. After a quick session in the steam room and sauna, of course.
Food that evening was served in the on-site restaurant. All the menus contain fresh and healthy options, a kind of detox if you will, although I couldn’t resist a glass of red wine with my steak. The duck salad starter was a really fresh and tasty option and my ribeye steak was perfectly cooked to medium-rare. For dessert, the delectable sticky toffee pudding may have pushed the boundaries of “healthy eating”, but was the only choice for the both of us.
The next morning, we woke early to make the most of the abundant sunshine that had filled the grounds. Naturally, we dressed for breakfast, although most of the other residents and guests opted to stay in their robes to eat. I though this was quite a nice touch, and we will definitely follow protocol next time we stay at Champneys Tring. The breakfast selection was vast, and we certainly ate our fair share of the healthy breakfast foods. The blueberry muffins deserve a special mention, as does the fresh fruit salad. It was a nice change from my usual order of scrambled eggs.
With the sun at it’s highest point in the sky, we then headed into the garden to shoot. My outfit for the day was autumnal to say the least, and took inspiration from typical Seventies styling. I absolutely love this Burnt Orange Aviator Bomber Jacket from ZARA and it has become a mainstay in my current wardrobe. It may be faux leather and faux fur, but the quality and insulation is perfect and it is a great addition to my autumnal colour palette. Underneath, a chunky knit Camel Wool-Blend Jumper from H&M added further warmth and perfectly complimented the autumn look. Keeping the colours basic, I paired the orange with this pair of Skinny White Jeans, available from GT Shopping, to keep the look clean and minimal along with a pair of suede camel boots.
With the shoot over and the day getting older, we quickly headed back inside for a spot of lunch before making the short trip back to the city. We jumped back in the car feeling refreshed, relaxed and ready for the week ahead. It’s a rarity to switch off in the blogging world and we both agreed, there and then, to book in a spa day every couple of months. A healthy mind and a healthy body is the only way to avoid burnout and Champneys Tring is a very convenient place for us to escape to. I could even be tempted to move in.