For over 11 years now, the grand Fishmore Hall hotel has been luring in guests with its tantalising six and nine course tasting menus paired with fine wines at its award-winning restaurant Forelles. But now residents can flock to this 15-bedroom boutique hotel situated in Shropshire to lie horizontally in its brand spanking new spa.
A first in the UK, this pre-manufactured modular SPAShell, was customised by Spa Creators and delivered in sections on seven lorries before being craned into place. Sitting in the hotel’s grounds, the wooden exterior of the spa is in stark contrast to the main hotel building which once functioned as a school in its former life. But with its floor to ceiling windows, you can be rest assured that with this Scandinavian spa experience you are never far away from the rolling countryside. What’s more, you’ll feel closer to nature watching cows grazing in the field next door just feet away. A highly therapeutic experience in itself in my opinion.
The stylish building boasts four treatment rooms and a cosy relaxation area which also houses a sauna and steam room. The terrace area has been cleverly designed to feature a six-seater outdoor cedar wood vitality pool with massage jets and colour-changing lights, an outdoor drench shower and a bucket shower. A gigantic huge hammock and lounging area ensures further R&R. Come winter months, guests can still enjoy the outdoor space thanks to it being heated.
Owner Laura Penman, who restored the derelict building in 2007, said she felt there was a huge need for this revolutionary spa solution because offering treatments in the hotel bedrooms was no longer viable. I couldn’t agree more. I would have felt guilty turfing out my friend Charlotte while I indulged in a spa treatment in our oversized bedroom!
Elemis treatments are plentiful in its four treatment rooms. From massages to beauty treatments there is ample choice but their lava shell massage treatment is definitely a draw. Having never had one, I opted for this experience, which uses self-heating shells as devices to massage the entire body head-to-toe. I clearly got too relaxed as I dozed off midway and had to be awoken by the therapist to turn over! Suffice to say,I will have the same treatment in the future when I’m in need of complete downtime.
The spa can be used by overnight guests or be booked out by groups looking for the ultimate in relaxation. It would work well as an ideal getaway for a few hours for a birthday or a hen do. Add in the hotel’s offering of afternoon tea and you can stretch out your stay at the hotel for at least half a day.
A spa experience always makes me hungry, so after a quick change in our spacious room, Charlotte and I headed for the 3AA Rosette restaurant Forelles. The aforementioned tasting menus are designed by Chef Andrew Birch, whose name you may recognise from BBC2’s Great British Menu. But if like me you are a bit picky about what you eat, you can choose from the normal menu, which offers good wholesome traditional in-season dishes from the local area. Portion sizes are just right too, so you don’t have to feel at all guilty about the indulging in pudding.
The charm of Fishmore Hotel is that it just makes you want to stretch out the evening as much as possible and its cosy drawing room with its oversized chairs and sofas is the perfect way to extend it. Waiters are more than happy to serve you post dinner drinks late into the evening while you wile the hours away admiring the paintings on the wall and indulge in all important gossip. Any hangovers in the morning can be cleared with a gentle walk in the countryside. Alternatively, you can feed it with a trip to the foodie market in Ludlow town, a mere 15-minute walk away. Food here which ranges from paellas to pizza to home cooked curries and hog roasts, the perfect tonic for setting you up for the day.
Bedrooms are from £150 (per room per night on a B&B basis).
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