I know it’s not just me who finds the endless winter season difficult. Between the stress of Christmas, the rain of January and the endless short days… urgh. I crave spring and summer like you wouldn’t imagine.
Back in December I was getting close to breaking point. Between all the children’s commitments and my own personal carousel of busyness the whole month had me like the roadrunner. Something had to give – either me or Christmas – and as I had 2 children under 6 and a cupboard full of remote control helicopters and Horrid Henry books, it had to be me.
So I made the decision to get the hell out of dodge (i.e. Milton Keynes) and found myself at The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa in Bath for some desperately needed down time.
The Royal Crescent is the exact kind of place you need when you’ve reached breaking point: it’s escapism, pure and simple. Upon arriving and having your motor car whisked away by concierge you’re on a different planet, a planet where nothing is too much trouble. A planet where roaring fires and lazy afternoons with endless cups of tea, magazines and homemade biscuits are the order of the day, a planet that produces the best dirty martinis and bar banter I’ve ever experienced. A planet that should probably be named after me, actually.
The first thing I was impressed with at The Royal Crescent was the room. Dominated by a ginormous bed it had three different seating areas and beautiful antique furniture, totally not my taste at home but on planet me it could not have been more welcome or feel more decadent.
First things first, after ogling the room I dumped my luggage and jumped into swimmers and a fluffy towelling robe to head down to the spa.
If there’s one thing I love more than a bath it’s a swimming pool that’s as warm as a bath, and that’s exactly what you get at The Royal Cresent’s Spa. Situated at the bottom of their garden in a glorious building leading out to a terrace, it’s easy to spend an afternoon floating away your worries in here.
When you get bored of the pool there’s a tepid and hot tub to dip in and out of, as well as a steam room and sauna. Everything your stressed out heart desires.
Smoked salmon starter
Venison with berries and beetroot
After an afternoon luxuriating in said pool it was time to eat, but I didn’t have to go far: reservations had been made at the triple AA rosette restaurant, The Dower House, on the hotel property. I went for the seven course tasting menu (because why the hell not?) and enjoyed the sommelier’s recommendation of both white and red wines. I think. It all got fuzzy by the end of the evening and I was happy to have only a little wander upstairs to collapse in that massive bed with a full happy belly.
The next day Bath was calling and the morning was spent strolling around the gorgeous honey-coloured streets. Bypassing Bath Spa itself (I’d been there once before and this trip was purely for re-fuelling purposes) and instead settled for meandering around the shopping area with cups of mulled wine and, it being England in December, big umbrellas.
The afternoon was reserved for spa treatments and I could not wait. The relaxing aromatherapy massage I was given was other worldly, transporting me to somewhere between consciousness and dreamland, a place where I felt I was floating on clouds. My facial was similarly gorgeous, a fact I realised when I woke myself up mid-facial massage by snoring loudly. The therapist promised me it happened all the time.
Dinner that night was The Olive Tree nearby, not such a wonderful experience, wouldn’t return – floating on air, though that may have had something to do with those pesky dirty martinis again. Delicious.
All in all The Royal Crescent was the entire package: a dreamy bed, sumptuous room, heavenly spa, snooze-prompting treatments and top-notch restaurant. It’s not a cheap break but I promise you’ll return to real life, as I did, no longer feeling like cancelling Christmas. I re-discovered myself at The Royal Crescent and I’ll most certainly be back the next time I feel a bit lost. Or if I can think of another excuse, much much sooner.
The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, 16 Royal Crescent, Bath, BA1 2LS