I’m hoping as I write this week’s blogisode that I’m not the only who likes to make the most out of my birthday? Kinda make it last as long as I can!
So it is time to make a start in my birthday celebrations, slightly tender from Friday night drinks, we began with a little spa and cocktails trip. Now I’m not going to lie, we only went to Sheffield but it still felt like a little holiday! We found a good deal on the website SpaSeekers for the Mercure St Paul’s Sheffield hotel. Even though spa deals can sometimes seem quite expensive when you first consider the price, as we enjoyed our welcome drink (alcoholic!) we were contemplating how good the deal actually was! Included in the price of the deal (the time together package) was the overnight accommodation in quite the swish room, the welcome drink I mentioned earlier, as well as a 40 minute treatment each, a three course evening meal, breakfast and use of all the spa facilities.
We decided to start with a little trip to Meadowhall to start the day and indulged in a little shopping. I say indulge, if you know anything about my shopping habits from my previous blogs, you’ll know that I very often go shopping full of ideas about what I could treat myself to and then come home with nothing but a bag full of Hotel Chocolat goodness. Perhaps one day I’ll break the habit but unfortunately not on this occasion. I did stock up on my favourite Mac lipstick because I was almost empty, but other than that my shopping bags were full of my favourite chocolatey treats! Oh! Plus I shouldn’t forget that I treated myself to a massive indulgence…. A £1 toothbrush from Boots!
All shopped out we headed for the car. Yes that’s right. You heard it. The car. We were going into a city centre, and we were going in a car! Don’t panic, I wasn’t driving! Otherwise Katie might not have survived to tell the tale. Katie had opted to drive to make things easier, the hotel is in a great location to access by train, but having the car meant we could go for a shop without having to drag our suitcases around the shops! Now my previous experience of driving in cities has been disastrous, but you’d be amazed when I tell you that we made it all the way to the car park near the hotel in a stress free way without getting lost! It was almost easy! We also had the bonus of discovering that because we stopped at the hotel, we got a 25% discount at the car park!
Having checked in, we headed up to the room and settled in. Of course we got our priorities right and the first thing we did was put our champagne on to chill in the fridge! We then got our costumes on (I’m not a massive fan of bikinis these days) and got our robes on and headed to the spa. Is it just me who loves the feeling of being wrapped up and cosy in one of those towelling spa robes? Although we only got one pair of those cheapo slippers, we decided against having one slipper each and sacked them off in favour of our flip flops. Off to the spa we went…
Oh and I just remembered I treated myself to a couple of bits from Primark (not my usual style but they have Harry Potter merch) and managed to spend a whole £10.
Before telling you of our next little adventure, it’s worth mentioning that the spa is set out over three floors. The reception is on the ground floor, then down one floor you get the treatment and relaxation rooms, a further floor down is the pool and main spa facilities. Seeing as though our treatments weren’t until 6pm (late I know, but I much prefer having treatments after time to explore the spa) we decided to bypass the spa reception and go straight to the spa (two floors down) only to discover we needed a code to get in… So we went back up one floor to ask a group of ladies we’d seen in the treatment rooms what the code was. All set with the code, we went back down the flight of stairs to the spa. Code entered and we got in! Only to find that you needed a key from reception to access the lockers. So two floors back up, our legs were burning and we managed to get ourselves a locker key and were finally ready to hit the spa (after we’d got our breath back to go back down the stairs).
Working the lockers is a whole new issue altogether!
We found ourselves an empty locker, loaded our things up and then attempted to lock it. With no success. So we moved our things into another open locker and tried again. Again we failed. We tried the third and final locker and still had no success. We had been warned beforehand that they didn’t have many lockers so when we ran out of empty lockers, we decided to head to the spa with bags in hand, and silently fuming that one of us would have to stay with the bags at all time!
The spa was absolutely heaving! We only managed to get a seat after a couple left and offered us their seats. Got settled and set to work accomplishing the standard spa selfie (harder work than it looked) while also keeping an eye out for ladies returning to the changing room in the hope of bagging one of their lockers. A group of three ladies were just leaving the showers so Katie hopefully headed in. Finding herself still unsuccessful, she asked the ladies how they managed to get their lockers working. It wasn’t until they pointed out that the lockers all had numbers, with a key to correspond to that number that we realised our mistake. We just randomly tried our key in any empty locker. Didn’t think to actually check if the key had a number!
Like I said earlier, the spa was heaving. There were a few people swimming lengths and having a natter, one guy was swimming rather enthusiastically, splashing everyone unfortunate enough to be in his wake. Then there were the large group of women on a hen party who clearly thought they were at a Vegas pool party, perched on the poolside all skinny and glamourous making me pleased I was tucked away inside my robe! I must admit they were all wearing rather lovely, trendy looking bikinis that wouldn’t look out of place in a Hello magazine photoshoot, but I couldn’t help thinking that those straps all over the place would make for rather unfortunate tan lines… Is that just me?
So I avoided the pool, opting to be lazy and read my book. After a while, Katie finished her lengths and we went to explore the facilities. It must be said that they had better spa facilities than I’ve seen in any other spa. As well as the standard sauna and steam room, they were equipped with an aroma grotto, an experience shower and an ice igloo!
I opted to have a back, neck and shoulder massage as my treatment which was much needed! I won’t bore you with all the details but it was a pretty good massage. I do find it interesting that she pointed out afterwards, how prominent the knots in my shoulders were! She helpfully pointed out that it would be worth stretching them out, perhaps doing a little exercise, maybe even trying out Yoga or Pilates. Even if it was just a video on Youtube. She seemed quite insistent! Why is it people are so keen to encourage me to exercise? Anybody would think it was good for you! As you know I am quite good at avoiding exercise….
All pampered out we headed to our rooms, poured ourselves a champagne cocktail (in the glasses they give you to brush your teeth, because we are classy like that) and prepared ourselves for the evening ahead! Join me in next week’s blogisode to find out why I was so disappointed with the meal and how the rest of our girl’s weekend went…