I realised something a while back. I realised that since the Big PE of 2010 and the Big Break-Up of 2010 I hadn’t had a day off work, other than 2 days to move my stuff out of the flat and trust me that was not relaxing time off.
I figured I deserved a break. Nearly dying and turning your life upside down are the kind of things that allow you to take some time off work.
But I don’t have any money, and didn’t want to take a day off work to just sit at home. Luckily lastminute.com came up with the goods. A random e-mail from them pointed me in the direction of some spa deals that they had on and when I saw that they had an amazing deal for £20 to spend a day at Titanic Spa in Huddersfield and I could bring a friend with me for free I was sold.
I gave Culture Friend a little e-mail to see if she would be interested because she had said she wanted to try out a spa, and also she has been through a tough time lately with looming redundancy (thanks Conservative government!) hanging over her head. Plus, you know, she has a car.
So last Friday we set off to the wilds of Huddersfield to spa it up. And when I say the wilds of Huddersfield, I mean it. This place is in the middle of nowhere (which we should have figured, relaxing spas tend not to be in the hustle and bustle of a city centre). Also you have to factor in the fact that we are from Hull. Hull has no hills. And I really cannot emphasise this enough. It’s honestly the flattest place you’ve ever seen, there are only about 2 places driving instructors can take you to practice hill starts. We’re mostly below sea level. We do not cope well with hills. Huddersfield. Is hilly. Very hilly.
It’s probably also very picturesque but neither of us were looking at the lovely views given that we were both pretty certain that we were going to die on the narrow twisty turny country roads. This was not helped by the ever-friendly sat nav who wanted to take us off-roading down a road that clearly had not been driven down in about 10 years. Eventually we saw the spa far below us in a valley so we knew we just had to keep going down and we’d get there in the end. All I can say is at least we were heading for a spa – you’ll need it after the journey there.
The spa itself was brilliant and right up my street. For the £20 we had access to the gym, swimming pool with steam room and sauna, lunch in the bistro, use of the relaxation room and use of the Heat Experience – a spa area with foot spas, experience showers, sauna, steam room, ice chip room, plunge pool. All excellent.
I did have a minor freak out when I discovered that Culture Friend didn’t like steam rooms or saunas. Or gyms. Worrying. Thankfully she booked herself a facial (she wasn’t being profligate, she found out the day before that she has a new job, hurrah!), otherwise I was really afraid that the day was going to be horrific for her. I hope it wasn’t because I was loving it.
I did book myself a treatment, a body cleanse for an extra £35. Really wish I hadn’t bothered, it wasn’t really worth it. I got body brushed, which I admit did leave my skin feeling tingly, although it was on the borderline between pain and pleasure, and then had an oil applied to my skin. It was nice but not £35 nice. Plus I had to cope with nakedness (why didn’t I think I was going to have to take my top off?!) and noisy bitches in the spa who clearly didn’t get the memo about the spa being a relaxing, quiet place.
I felt more than a little refreshed after gymming, swimming, steaming and sauna-ing myself and having a nice long shower in the changing rooms after all that. Then it was in to the relaxation room which was just a low-lit room with lots of cushions and soft seating about where you could have a little read or a little sleep. I did both (and only got mildly irritated by the guy who had stolen all the pillows from the sofa and was lying on them) and it was so nice to just take the time out to relax. I know you say to yourself “I could do this at home” but you never do, do you? There are always going to be too many distractions getting in the way. It was beyond soul-restoring to be able to just lie there and not think about all the stressful things and people and instead think about the people and things that make me happy.
Having said all this I feel I need to point out that only paying £20 for this deal was the thing that left me feeling really good. Normally you would pay £65 per person for what we experienced (body cleanse not included) I really really have my doubts as to whether I would pay that amount of money out. It seems a little steep to not even have a treatment thrown in.
But what I shall be doing is keeping it in mind if I ever come into a great deal of money. And I’ll be keeping my eye out for special offers, there is a hotel attached and they have some offers on that include a night’s stay, breakfast hamper, lunch and dinner, use of the gym, swimming pool and Heat Experience, that could be worth looking at. (At the moment lastminute.com is doing a 2 for 1 offer on the £65 per person deal OR a 2 for 1 offer for £99 which includes everything we had, plus the overnight stay, breakfast hamper and meal in the bistro.)
But I really can’t put a price on taking the time out to begin to get my head together and really I’d have paid any amount if I’d have known how good I was going to feel afterwards.
Culture friend’s opinion?
"Facial was amazing, including a hot towel/massage to the feet-cleanse-tone-exfoliate-shoulder/neck/face massage-face mask (with lovely eye cooling pads on) and then moisturised. Was very chilled afterwards and my skin felt lovely. I think it was worth the money but do wish these things were available cheaper so they could be a regular thing!
I really enjoyed the day but was a bit disappointed by the Heat experience area (it smelled like a gym changing room, yuck!) and not being a gym bunny only really made use of the pool which appealed to my being a shorty/having a fear of deep water as it was an even 1.2m all the way across meaning my unfit lungs could take a break half way across without swallowing half the pool! I therefore wouldn’t have been as impressed if we had paid full price I must admit! I would love to spend a weekend there (with half a day full of treatments…clearly when the lottery win finally comes in!) I will certainly be keeping an eye on the email offers! Favourite parts of the day: facial, lunch and relaxation room book reading time!"