We are all guilty of not looking after ourselves. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times, we have not been raised as a generation of people for whom taking time and giving yourself a bit of self care has been an innate part of our routine. We have to really force ourselves to take the time we need and really, truly relax. I’m as guilty of this as anyone, so when I was offered the chance to go and hang out at Bedford Lodge Hotel and Spa for 24 hours, I practically had my bags packed before we’d even set a date.
Tucked away in the Newmarket countryside, about an hour out of London, the Bedford Lodge Hotel is a 4* Hotel with a luxury spa just over the way. You never really think about it until you have to, but having been diagnosed with breast cancer has an impact on being able to enjoy a lot of things, long after you’ve finished treatment, and that includes having spa treatments. Many practitioners are apprehensive about giving treatments to those who have been diagnosed with cancer and often refuse to do so, but over the last few years “Wellness for Cancer” centres have been popping up all over the country, allowing those who’ve had a cancer diagnosis to be able to enjoy a range of treatments, regardless of those mutated cells that tried to kill ’em.Bedford Lodge is one of those “Wellness for Cancer” centres, so I was invited along to try out its facilities and lemme tell you, this is one of the best things I’ve been asked to do for my blog so far. As soon as I arrived, I immediately slipped into relaxation stations. It was midweek. I was alone. I had absolutely nothing to do and no-one to answer to. My main objective was to try and shake off the busy few weeks I’d had and I planned to do as little as possible.
After checking in to the hotel, I made my way across the courtyard to the Spa. The facilities at Bedford Lodge are extensive – there’s a steam room, a sauna, two “experiential” showers with different settings, an open air hottub on the roof and an incredible hydrotherapy pool. I made sure to try all of them out (more than once).
I was also given the opportunity to try the Bowen Technique treatment – a non-invasive remedial therapy which uses only the thumbs and forefingers to apply very gentle pressure to certain points throughout the body. It’s kind of hard to judge the efficacy of the Bowen Technique treatment having only been able to experience the one, but it was interesting to try something so unique.
The other great thing about the Bedford Lodge Hotel, gorgeous spa aside, is that it’s home to a pretty incredible restaurant, Squires. Clearly created with food lovers in mind, this restaurant offers the same high quality food you’d expect to find in London, but nestled away in the middle of the countryside. I sat down to a three course dinner with high hopes and I was not remotely disappointed. I tucked into melon and parma ham to start, followed by cod and chorizo with squid ink risotto and finished off with “textures of apple” – a dessert so decadent I felt like I was a Masterchef restaurant critic.
Overall my stay at the Bedford Lodge was the perfect antidote to city living in the aftermath of cancer. It gave me an enforced opportunity to slow down and listen to my body, even though these things combined to remind me my body is still healing. But whether you’ve had cancer or you’re just looking to get out of London for a memorable spa break, I can heartily recommend the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa
DISCLOSURE: I was a guest of the Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa, invited by their PR Company to do a review, but I wouldn’t be blogging about this place if I didn’t think it was worth its salt.