DANESFIELD HOUSE HOTEL & SPA

BATD ON May 29, 2014 AT 3:52 pm

by Annie Vischer

Danesfield House

Danesfield House

There is never a bad time for a spa visit. Ever. So when I was invited by Danesfield House to visit and sample the delights of their Marlow based hotel and spa, I was more than happy to oblige. I persuaded a not entirely reluctant friend to join me and we set on our way one chilly January day. Both professional girls walking the walk in London, we were submerged in the depths of the January blues, and the Danesfield House invite appeared as a sparkling white life belt to lift and revive us. And that is exactly what it did.

Bags packed we hopped on at Paddington for a quick journey to Marlow. An even shorter taxi ride later we were crunching up the long drive towards our destination. As Danesfield House came into view we both took a girlish intake of breath. A bright white castle of a hotel beamed at us and we immediately wished we had brought fancier luggage. And a chauffeur. Not that it was intimidating, far from it. Peter, whom we loved on the spot, greeted us and took us to our twin room which boasted beautiful views of the gardens below, two televisions (not that that impressed us cultured girls…ahem) and one seriously inviting bath.

We took a cup of tea together in the drawing-room-esque area of the room before swiping our bikinis from our bags and heading to the spa. The spa is situated at the other end of the house, joined by a walk way flanked by full length windows on both sides preceding it. After signing in we fed our ‘good girl’ sides and took to the gymnasium. It is small and compact in that perfectly delightful health club sort of way. There are no heavy-weight lifters grunting and dramatically dropping weighted bars and no yoga fanatics twisting barefoot on sweated-up mats. Everyone was working out serenely and quietly. And effectively of course. We spent some time working up a ladylike sweat before showering and making our way to the steam rooms, pool and jacuzzi.

Pool, Danesfield House

Pool, Danesfield House

If you thought chatting over a coffee in Starbucks was relaxing, try it reclining on a wood bench in a sauna in the middle of January. It really hits the spot. We stayed there getting pinker and pinker until we it was all a little too much and we had to hit the pool. The Danesfield House swimming pool is one of those delicious royal blue types that give you the impression that the water is of oceanic proportions. Devoid swim lanes and floats it is, especially in the dark light of the evening, a relaxing haven. The chitter chatter continued as we alternated between resting at the side and making smooth and easy lengths together across the pool. And of course we finished our session off with the jacuzzi, a beautifully babbling finishing touch.

Inevitably we had spend far too much time enjoying ourselves in the spa and had fallen slightly behind schedule, so some quicker than quick preparations followed before we made our way down to The Orangery for our evening meal. The staff were as courteous as ever, as they showed us to our seats and talked us through the seasonal menu. The Orangery overlooks the house gardens and although it was dark, the feeling of being closer to the countryside outside set a fresh ambience for the evening. I started with the hand dived scallops which were blissful, my friend opting for a parsnip veloute, which kept her quiet for a good few minutes, so it must have been rather lovely. We both opted for the pork for the main, and whilst I finished with a pistachio parfait and chocolate sorbet, my friend chose a selection of cheeses. All of this was accompanied by a house white wine, which was well-chosen by our waiter for the night, and set us on a rather tipsy path as we were in the midst of ‘dry January’. This was a treat pass night incidentally. We topped off the night with a Bailey’s coffee each in the bar area. The barman had walked over, confidently promising he could make us whatever we wanted. We didn’t tax him too much with our coffees.

The Orangery, Danesfield House

The Orangery, Danesfield House

Thoroughly relaxed, talked out and tipsy we flopped into bed, waking headily in the morning to make our way down to breakfast. Which was wonderful. In fact it entirely sabotaged our health kick plans. We had skipped our way down to The Orangery in our gym kit, ready for an early morning session, but when faced with the hot breakfast selection and the sumptuous buffet we ended up spending only having time for a ten minute spurt on the cross trainers before our treatments. Don’t judge! It was worth it.

We both enjoyed an Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Escape treatment which, at 55 minutes long, consists of a tailored facial and massage. My therapist talked to me to decipher what my skin needed and gave me a selection of oils to choose from, which determined the nature of my massage. As always the 55 minutes were up far too soon, but I was entirely relaxed (to the extent of being dopey) and my skin felt fresh and tended to. My friend and I were reunited, both lead sleepily by our therapists to the relaxation room, which had its own steam room and sauna too. We lounged on chaise longues before steaming, sauna-ing and reluctantly shuffling back to change and ready ourselves to leave.

The gardens, Danesfield House

The gardens, Danesfield House

After an Austen-esque turn about the gardens we bid goodbye to Danesfield House, The Orangery and its staff. There is a lot to be said for a hotel and spa so conveniently situated between deep countryside and London. It is one of those places you can decide to treat yourself with at the drop of a hat, especially when just a single night there is worth the journey.

Danesfield House Hotel & Spa, Henley Road, Marlow-On-Thames, Buckinghamshire, SL7 2EY. For reservations, please call: 01628 891010 or visit www.danesfieldhouse.co.uk.

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