Thursday, 28 January 2010
I cannot deny the total smugness on the face of both Dulwich Mum and myself last weekend when we stepped from our London Cab onto the gravel drive outside The Grove...we had arrived!
Bea and I have been thinking about a luxury Spa break in January for some time. I felt like a wound up clock ready to burst open, springs flying in all directions, last year was one tragedy after another and I just felt desperate for the world to stop and let me get off for a day or two and this was just perfect.
The setting is beautiful, one is driven down a long drive over a private bridge. Oak Trees and manicured gardens are either side and surround the beautiful buildings and walled garden (with private beach...how cool is that!)
Our arrival was met with a flurry of excitement, as one would expect with a celebrity such as Dulwich Mum in their midst. Our cases were whisked away and once we were checked in, the receptionist personally took us to our adjoining rooms.
I was so delighted (until Dulwich Mum insisted I give a £20 tip to the Bell Boy).."Well surely you don't expect me to tip the serfs! James always takes care of that sort of thing".
The Reception and hallways are graced with contemporary pieces of art in many forms. Each space within the building gives way to new images to feast upon, each piece in a minimal and well lit setting. The most recent addition to the collection can be seen in the oldest part of the building in one of the Halls leading through to the Lounges and Library. It is a short film in which Dulwich Mum was captured during the summer wandering around the Grove gardens in her birthday suit, donning just a straw hat and basket of flowers, I found it all rather shocking, but DM simply smirked and marched on towards awaiting Champagne.
We had a very civilised chilled glass of fizz, served with good grace and humour by a waiter in one of the lounges. They are perfect...open fireplaces, antiques, low lighting for complete relaxation, it was super splendid in every respect.
Two bottles of Champagne later we walked gracefully and in a ladylike manner to The GlassHouse Restaurant, for a buffet dinner. I have to admit I was a tad disappointed to be told it was a buffet, but, OHMYGOD!! it was amazing!
There was a huge Chocolate Fountain in the middle just waiting for me to leap in! There was food for almost every palate and we were assured that if there was something in particular we would like to eat, just speak to the chef, he's there to please. At this point DM cast her eye over the kitchen staff in such a way I thought she'd order one of them as her starter! The staff were super efficient, polite beyond words, but warm and formal at the same time.
I asked what breed the beef was..'Aberdeen Angus, Madam'..gosh I felt at home.
It was delicious.
Well our first night ended at a very civilised 9.30pm.
Dulwich Mum continued to receive calls from both James and the mystery man, 'her barrister' all through the night. Thankfully the walls are so well built I was blissfully unaware of such things and slept like a baby...Oh, and did I mention the pillows? I must mention the pillows...there is choice of pillow...feather, memory foam, hard, soft, support...I was so happy! I had left my super expensive pillow at home under duress (Darling Husband told me not to be so bloody stupid!) and was worried about neck ache the following day, but ha! I found the perfect pillow, snuggled up and slept warmly and comfortably while DM juggled her love-life next door!
To be continued....
“Best Life” Retreats will take place on the following dates:
Friday 19 – Sunday 21 February
Friday 5 – Sunday 7 March
Sunday 21– Tuesday 23 March
For £480 per person (based on two people sharing) the package includes:
•Two nights accommodation in the West Wing
•One hour treatment in Sequoia Spa
•Unlimited use of all the facilities with Sequoia Spa
•Two "Best Life" workshops and a copy of The Life Book by Nina Grunfeld