SilverSpoon London is a fun and fabulous blog fusing London life, foodie adventures and luxury travel. The blog gives a low-down on London’s hottest new restaurants as well as cool and inspiring destinations globally.
It had been over ten years since the last time that I visited Amsterdam and when the opportunity to return presented itself, I couldn’t wait to see those distinct gingerbread canal houses, pretty vintage shops and to explore the unique culture of the city. The perfect city break, it was less than an hour’s flight from London Gatwick and within half an hour we had arrived at the city centre at Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam.
It turned out that our arrival time was perfect as after a speedy and friendly check in we were quickly shown to our room in the stylish boutique hotel, the first in Europe for the Kimpton brand. There are 274 rooms in the hotel but you wouldn’t really know it, the feeling is intimate and the staff are friendly, remembering our names and breakfast preferences.
Our junior suite was like a stylish studio apartment, entering via a staircase you can really see that design is at the forefront of this Amsterdam hotel. With a soothing palette of blues and greys, the room is all clean lines and funky angles. Huge floor to ceiling windows mean that light floods through and you can look out watching the trams glide by and the cyclists rolls past.
Something I really noticed during our stay at the Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam was the attention to detail; there’s a bottle of prosecco, tulips and macarons in our room on arrival plus the thoughtful inclusion of umbrella, a yoga mat and inspiring books about the city.
Local artworks line the walls…
While the bathroom tiles are inspired by the art of Dutch graphic artist, M. C Escher and local Marie-Stella products are there for your use. If you want even more privacy, book the three-storey Little House, which was originally the childhood home of Dutch playwright P.C. Hooft.
Remember I said we arrived at just the right time? Well 5pm is wine hour at the hotel and after settling into our room, we headed down to take advantage of free wine and snacks. At this time the lobby was buzzy and friendly as people relaxed various cosy nooks around the hotel to enjoy their wine. And if wine isn’t your thing there are free tea and water stations around the reception – it’s those little things that really make a hotel.
As you can imagine this is a hotel that doesn’t take itself too seriously and there are lots of witty touches around the interior. Such as a feature vertical garden with a neon ‘and breathe’ sign.
There’s also an indoor / outdoor garden area, the perfect place to hang out with swing chairs and hanging plants cascading from the ceiling.
The design was the project of Ave Bradley, global senior vice president and design and creative director of Kimpton Hotels along with London-based firm Michaelis Boyd. Whilst planning the hotel Ave was keen to keep local culture at the forefront and give interior an authentically Dutch feel with a twist. With the building actually being two 17th-century houses (albeit in an eighties shell) there are still those historic details present such as the exposed beams in some of the rooms and stained glass.
The result is a lobby that mixes cosy comfort with contemporary design and those all important Dutch elements meticulously woven in.
For example the blue and white tiles that are a distinctive feature of the lobby have been inspired by Delftware, the famous blue and white pottery made in the Netherlands.
Is there a city that’s in such a state of constant flux as London? Restaurants come and go every week, with some beloved places shutting their doors for good. That’s why it’s always fantastic when a place stands the test of time and is lovingly revitalised with a facelift. The Trafalgar St James Hotel has been there as long as I can remember, with a prime position over looking Trafalgar Square. Right on the corner in London’s famous pigeon filling piazza it’s both a convenient and stylish place to rest during a day of sightseeing. The Trafalgar Dining Rooms is the new restaurant and gone are the dark interiors, replaced with caramel coloured booths, bright mirrors and blue walls. It’s stylish but also feels like a relaxing sanctuary away from the crowds outside.
The new bar is gorgeous too, brass fittings and marble counters are utterly elegant with beautiful art deco elements reflected in the menus typography.
Taking a comfortable seat in one of the banquettes, we’re right by the window with the square in view. We ordered up a few things from the nibbles menu. Pitta bread has just the right amount of salt and oil and it’s served with a trip of delicious dips: taramasalata, tzatziki, and a spicy sun dried tomato. More bread (cos you can never have too much) is served with a beautifully fragrant oil.
The menu at Trafalgar Dining Rooms is billed as Mediterranean with a London twist, as ingredients are as fresh as possible and mostly local. Choosing three starters to share, we loved the rich flavours of the the sardines, perfectly enhanced with a drizzle of oil, green chilli and just the right amount of garlic.
I’m a huge fan of aubergine and I really enjoyed these wraps stuffed with a romesco sauce. I loved the drizzle of balsamic but personally the apple batons didn’t work for me and I would have preferred it without.
My favourite dish of the day was the courgette fritters, I really recommend ordering these. Warm and crisp on the outside with the mild taste of courgette inside these were perfection especially alongside the broad bean and garlic yogurt.
My salmon and brocolli was beautifully cooked, but the jury was out on the chraimeh sauce, a tomato based accompaniment which I personally found too sweet.
There’s plenty of choice for the side dishes and we went for raw artichoke and herb salad as well as broccoli with garlic and chilli, both lovely.
Mr S pulled lamb burger seriously looked the part but it was in reality quite dry. The sweet potato fries were excellent though – a reason to return alone!
Desserts ran the spectrum from light and refreshing to more hearty. A palate cleansing roasted pineapple with coconut and lime sorbet was the virtuous option whilst buttermilk panna cotta with clementine and granola was my favourite providing a satisfying contrast between silky smooth and crunchy.
I didn’t try the warm date and walnut cake but Mr S found it reminiscent of a sticky toffee pudding- one of those..
If there’s anywhere in London that I can rely on to put a smile on my face, it’s Dalloway Terrace… and the beautiful restaurant at the Bloomsbury hotel is back in bloom!! The spring installation is one of the best yet with vibrant florals, honey bees and some new items on the menu.
I seriously defy anyone not to fall absolutely head over heals in love with this place both for the gorgeous surrounding and the excellent service at this indoor outdoor venue. And with so much prettiness present, it was the perfect place for a group of bloggers and Instragrammers to get together and catch up over breakfast.
Taking a seat in the secret garden underneath the honeybees, the ladies and I ordered up a feast!
All perfectly photogenic of course!
In the spread was pancakes, avo on toast, acai bowls…
Porridge, shakshuka and a beautiful pastry basket! All delicious and perfect to start the day.
You honestly can not go wrong here and what’s more you can return for lunch and dinner too. There’s even a special new Honey Bee Afternoon tea which takes inspiration from bees and their environment. Of course there’s plenty of honey on the menu but the pastries are based on the four habitats that are crucial to the existence of the bee. It’s only £35 and there’s also an optional donation to The London Beekeeper’s Association
As I said at the beginning, I never leave the Dalloway Terrace without a happy smile and this morning was no exception! A big thank you to the Dalloway Terrace for their hospitality.
16 – 22 Great Russell Street
020 7 347 1221
Our breakfast was complimentary and love for Dalloway Terrance my own.
Love it or hate it, TripAdvisor can be an incredible useful tool when planning your travel. As a forum made up of user-generated content it is of course incredibly subjective and many people discount it as useless. Personally, I think TripAdvisor shouldn’t be so easily disregarded but it should be read in certain way to get the best out of it for you. For the purposes of this post, I’ll be telling you how I use TripAdvisor from the perspective of a luxury traveller. FYI I have no association with TripAdvisor or any other travel forum and this post is written totally independently.
What are the main reasons to use TripAdvisor:
It’s the world’s largest travel site and contains 600 million independent reviews meaning there is an almost endless spectrum for researching your next trip.
It’s written by travellers not travel professionals or journalists meaning that a very raw opinion is given. Whilst a professional might use polite synonyms such as ‘initmate’ and ‘cosy’ a TripAdvisor contributor will just say a room is small!
Reviewers can be very specific down to which room they stayed in which really does help when booking.
What are the main reasons to exercise caution:
There are 70,000,000 members of TripAdvisor and 315,000,000 monthly users compared to 2,700 employees at TripAdvisor and only 270 employed to prevent fraudulent reviews.
Accusations of racism and perversion are made on a regular basis as well as claims of food poisoning, assault and theft. The people who post those claims will for the vast majority of the time have no evidence that they even stayed there let alone that these things happened.
People can make up fake names and email addresses. Even fake venues that don’t exist have been added to TripAdvisor and made their way up the rankings. You’ve probably heard the story of how a garden shed became a best rated restaurant on TripAdvisor.
Things like the size of a room, quality of food, service levels are subjective and relative.
Hotels can be penalised or receive negative reviews based on being too costly. This may not apply to luxury travellers who are looking for something ‘reassuringly expensive’
Hotels can pay for a ‘Business Listing’ package which will give them greater visibility on the site.
1. Use the Rating as Rough Guide.
Regular users of TripAdvisor will know that users can give a rating of 1 to 5 bubbles to hotels and restaurants depending on their experience with five being the highest and one the lowest. Now if you take the example of a luxury, five-star hotel that has been open for a while you can bet the majority of people will give it a five-bubble review. And why is this? That’s because TripAdvisor has 315,000,000 monthly users and the reality is 300 million people do not stay in luxury hotels on a regular basis. A luxury hotel is generally a special treat for a special occasion, birthday or honeymoon and if a five-star hotel is not the norm for that person than the likelihood is they’ll find it amazing and give it five bubbles. By contrast a regular luxury traveller might find more flaws in the room, service and food and not agree with this rating.
For example a five star hotel that I found terrible (and will remain nameless) has 559 five bubble or excellent reviews on TripAdvisor whereas I would have given it a three bubble or average review. There are only 37 average reviews for this hotel so if I based my choice on the majority of positive reviews, I personally would have been disappointed. Now I can see why this hotel would be rated excellent by some – the rooms were huge, the beach was beautiful and the service was friendly. But I found the grounds and decor in poor condition, the food was terrible, the service not five star and the pool and public areas were crowded. For this particular hotel the descriptions the two and three star bubbles reflect my feelings much more than the five bubble reviews.
So personally I look at the two, three and four stars bubbles first and read the five star bubbles with caution. One bubble I also read with caution as they are usually very bad one offs, for example for the aforementioned hotel a couple found a very poisonous snake in their room! A person that gives an average rating to a five star hotel will generally be more discerning and I feel like will give a more trustworthy opinion. Also make sure to check out the manager’s response to see if they give a credible explanation or if they come back with a passive aggressive ‘apology’.
Also remember hotel rankings are not actually based on the quality of the hotel. The hotel will appear higher in the rankings compared to a local counterpart based on number of reviews this mean that I personally find these comparative ratings to be unhelpful. The best restaurant in town can appear to be the local coffee shop while the three Michelin star choice gets buried in the rankings. Looks at hotels in London for example, the Nadler in Victoria is a room only four star hotel and comes up higher than the Ritz and the Dorchester, two of London’s finest luxury hotels.`
Also remember that the bigger and more commercial the hotel the more five star reviews it will have. Fact: Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas is the hotel with the most five-bubble reviews with over 9,500 but it is also one of the world’s biggest hotels.
Also remember to check the date of a review and don’t give too much credence to one that is over two years old. A hotel could have taken on board previous criticism and made the necessary changes.
2. Check out the Reviewers
A great way to see if you can trust a particular reviewer is to look into their background on TripAdvisor. Click on their name and you can see their history.
Have they stayed at a hotel that you’ve stayed at before and also loved it? If that’s the case you can probably trust that you’ll also like the particular one you’re researching. You can also check where they’re from as people from the same country might have similar expectations to you. In certain countries people have super high expectations, so you can cross reference that too.
Users can also select one kind of traveller they are eg ‘beach goer’ ‘nature lover’ ‘vegetarian’ ‘family holiday maker’ so you can keep your eye out for people that use the tag ‘luxury traveller’
If a reviewer has little or no track record for reviews, there’s a chance they’re fake and have only added a review to boost their own hotel or defame a competitor. Alternatively it could be real but that reviewer would probably lack the experience that a frequent traveller has. A reviewer can also be given ‘helpful votes’ and the more of these they receive, the more likely they are to be trustworthy.
3. The Pictures
A picture can’t lie but it can be misleading. If I ever ask Mr S to look at a potential hotel for a holiday, rather look at the varnished perfection on the hotel website – he’ll go straight to TripAdvisor. Personally I like a happy medium of looking at bloggers photos which are beautifully taken and stylised but still show the reality of the hotel more than the actual website.
I find the ‘traveller’ photos that are grainy phone snaps, often featuring unmade beds and half eaten breakfasts rather off-putting. I would certainly recommend looking at the photos but again look with caution and cross-reference with a blog post or Instagram if you can.
When researching a particular hotel start looking of patterns. If most of the reviews say the food is bad, its loud at night and there’s a funny smell in the kitchen then chances are this is true.
It’s finally happening! My trip to South America that I’ve been dreaming of for so long! Now unfortunately as neither Mr S or I are digital nomads we have to squeeze quite a bit into a short amount of time but we are prepared for numerous internal flights and long drives. So here’s how it looks:
1. Buenos Aires, Argentina
With a short amount of time in the capital of Argentina, we fully intend to make the most of our stay. We’ve booked into the top hotel in the city and have dinners planned at some of the world’s best restaurants. Mr S can’t wait to get stuck into some steak at a traditional Parilla and I can’t wait to visit a real life tango show!
2. Mendoza, Argentina
Next stop will be Mendoza, the heart of Argentina’s wine country, and a stay in a beautiful boutique winery. We will be touring some of the region best wineries, sampling Malbec, Torrontes and other locally produced wine as well as dining in some of Argentina’s best restaurants including 1884 by Francis Mallman.
3. Atacama Desert, Chile
Next we have a quick layover in Santiago before catching our flight out to the Atacama Desert! Located in the Northern part of Chile, the Atacama desert is the driest desert in the world. The lodge that we’re staying in assigns each guest their own private vehicle and guide for a totally flexible and bespoke itinerary. There is so much to do there from geyser visits to canyons, spotting flamingoes and seeing the salt flats. It is also one of the best places in the world for star gazing!
4. Santiago, Chile
It’s then back to Santiago for a chance to see the highlights of the city such as the colonial architecture, museums and shops set again the backdrop of the Andes.
5. Torres Del Paine, Patagonia, Chile
Our final stop is Torres De Paine, one of the most beautiful national parks in South America. Here we’ll be seeing some of the worlds most breathtaking mountains, forests, rivers, lakes and glaciers. As well as relaxing in a gorgeous lodge enjoying glorious food made from locally sourced ingredients and in room spa treatments.
I seriously cannot wait for this trip of a lifetime in four weeks. Have you been to Chile or Argentina? Do you have any tips for me?
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Biscuiteers make the best biscuits in London and that their biscuit boutique and icing cafe is an utterly Instagrammable.
Despite London facing Snowmageddon, I was not going to miss the launch of The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Gifts at the Northcote Road boutique. Having never actually been there before but seeing so many pictures, I was excited to take a look around.
Started by husband and wife team Harriet Hastings and Stevie Congdon who came up with the idea while on holiday in New York. The concept was to develop great tasting biscuits using natural ingredients in different ranges or seasonal collections. When the collections launched the mantra was why send flowers when you can send biscuits?
The simple idea was a popular one and the business grew and grew and the team launched exciting brand collections and sold the biscuits in Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and Harrods. Despite the success every biscuit is still hand-made and individually iced. There are now two cafes, here on Northcote road and a Notting Hill branch where you can try your hand at icing yourself.
As well is the original biscuits, you can now buy cakes and chocolates, with everything being absolutely beautifully presented.
The back of the boutique is utterly gorgeous and it was all set up for our special icing class. We were introduced to one of the expert icers who explained the process for icing the biscuits.
And here’s some she made earlier! You can book into one the icing classes here or in Notting Hill and learn all the techniques and ins and outs of icing.
They think of all the special extra touches such as a personalised biscuit to hang on your prosecco!
Ok, so art was never my forte and I don’t think any of the expert icers will be worrying for their jobs with me around but it was super fun icing my own biscuits! It’s actually rather therapeutic – a bit like an adult colouring book! Plus it’s the taste that’s really important right?
At the end of the icing class we were all gifted with a copy of the new book…it’s absolutely gorgeous inside with details on how to bake your own biscuits, make coloured icing and some of the cake recipes used in the Biscuiteers bakery. There’s also lots of idea of how to make biscuits reflecting various themes and occasions, there’s seriously something for everyone in there!
A huge thank you to everyone at Biscuiteers for having us and for all the lovely biscuity treats!!
Back in October last year I finally got to try the much acclaimed restaurant, The Dairy in Clapham. After an absolutely fantastic lunch there, I was keen to try sister restaurant, The Manor – unfortunately as is often the case in London, The Manor closed its doors and I never had the chance to eat there. Fortunately when one door shuts, another door opens and the restauranteurs behind the Dairy opened Sorella in its place. Lauren kindly asked Mr S and I come and join her and her boyfriend for her birthday lunch at Sorella and I couldn’t wait to celebrate and also try the food at the newly opened restaurant. It’s actually the third time we’ve celebrated her birthday together, I can’t believe how time flies.
In terms of interior design, the bare walls give a rustic and casual feel – it’s pretty much your friendly local and the service has that feeling too.
Sorella is a true celebration of an Italian neighbourhood restaurant with much of the cuisine being inspired by Chef Restauranteur Robin Gill’s time in the Amalfi Coast. Co-owner Dean Parker also honed his skills in Italian kitchens and the team put the idea of family as the central thought to their restaurants. The word Sorella even means sister. Lauren and I absolutely love small sharing plates so we went ahead and ordered some to start. Beginning with some excellent prosciutto…
And Jersey milk ricotta with black olive and parmesan, having been to Jersey, I know how creamy and rich the milk is and this cheese dish certainly didn’t disappoint.
Chewy semolina sourdough came with olive oil and was the perfect accompaniment to our starters…we may have ordered two baskets of this …
I don’t think you can really have a cicchetti spread without arancini and these truffled balls were utterly delicious.
Lauren and I were both taken by the crab linguine, fennel and chilli which was fresh and beautifully homemade. The portion is small but that’s a good thing, leaving room for plenty other courses.
With it being a Sunday, there was no way Mr S was having anything other than the rib of beef, which was cooked perfectly.
And came with all the trimmings…
Andy was also very happy with his fish dish of ‘Lady Hamilton’ cod, squid ink and chard.
We were all very full, but what’s a birthday without dessert / cheese.
We absolutely loved the tagleggio with pear and sunflower seed biscuits.
But were less sure about the sweet – the Pump Street chocolate mousse was fabulous but none of us were big fans of the fennel gelato.
There was one last treat for the birthday girl, kindly arranged and beautifully presented by Sorella.
Really the perfect birthday lunch!
148 Clapham Manor St
020 7720 4662
I discovered a hack to the Instagram algorithm… the secret key to unlocking the engagement that us bloggers are looking for.
The answer was actually simple… one word – wisteria. Yes, that beautiful purple hanging plant. Everyone has #wisteriahysteria so simply post a picture of wisteria and the likes will come flocking. Having seen pictures of the beautiful Aubaine restaurant in Selfridge’s I had to get a picture on my floral feed and an invitation to try the mother’s day brunch was the perfect opportunity. Now quite honestly I gasped and my heart did a little happy dance when I saw the beautiful interior of Aubaine, the wisteria covered ceiling really is so pretty.
The furnishings and table setting are beautiful too, it’s perfectly feminine making the Selfridge’s setting totally ideal. It’s actually in the shoe department, does it get any better? The usual menu here and in the other seven London restaurants is a nod to modern French cuisine with dishes such a croque monsieur, lobster brioche and salade de chèvre chaud bringing to mind the French bistro culture.
The afternoon tea menu is an utter bargain at £15 and includes a selection off finger sandwiches made up of chicken, avocado and basil, ham and cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber and brie and truffle. There’s big fluffy scones too with jam and clotted cream…
But everyone really comes for the cake don’t they? There’s a chocolate and peanut s’more, a dulce de leche eclair, raspberry tart, pecan brownie and carrot cake. It’s very generous for the £15 price tag and for £5 you can add prosecco, champagne is £10.
If you’re in the market for a great gift, take a walk about ten minutes down the road to Pulbrook & Gould, one of London’s most luxurious florists for over 60 years. Founded by Lady Susan Pulbrook and Rosamund Gould in 1956.
With the highest quality florals and an A-list of contacts, the business flourished and the first shop was established on Sloane Street in 1957. Pulbrook & Gould soon started winning extremely high profile contracts such as the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent and the wedding of HRH Princess Alexandra.
Lady Pulbrook spearheaded the business until her retirement in 2000, aged 94. In 2014, Pulbrook & Gould relocated to this gorgeous shop in South Audley Street sharing the space with Thomas Goode purveyors of fine china, glass and silver. There’s also a spectacular show room in Battersea for bespoke consultation for events and interior design projects.
As well as these gorgeous fresh flowers, Pulbrook & Gould produce incredibly realistic silk flowers to enhance interiors. Honestly I couldn’t tell what was real and what was faux!
The store is an absolute feast for the eye with colour pops everywhere as well as gorgeous vases and sculptures! The perfect place to buy a gift for mother’s day.
400 Oxford Street
At Thomas Goode
19 South Audley Street
I’ve mentioned The Capital Hotel a few times on this blog; a boutique beauty, no more than a stone’s throw from Harrods and under the remit of Small Luxury Hotels. Regular readers will know I’m a fan of the hotel’s headline chef, Nathan Outlaw having eaten at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, his two Michelin Star restaurant in Cornwall as well as right here Michelin-starred restaurant Outlaw’s at The Capital. With his passion for the produce in Cornwall, it’s no surprise that Nathan Outlaw specialises in fish and one restaurant I’m still yet to try is his Michelin-starred Fish Kitchen in Port Isaac, Cornwall.
But tonight that was to change as I would be sampling the Fish Kitchen right here in London without having to make the long journey south. Tonight a special pop up at The Capital would see Nathan joined by Tim Barnes (Head Chef, Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen) and Andrew Sawyer (Head Chef, Outlaw’s at The Capital) to serve a menu inspired by dishes served in the style of The Fish Kitchen.
With our glasses filled with local Camel Valley Sparkling wine from Cornwall we tucked into the first course, a rather excellent sourdough served with salted butter, smoked cod’s roe dip, smoked paprika and olive oil. As we enjoyed our bread we heard from Nathan Outlaw himself who told us a little about Fish Kitchen, located in 15th century fisherman’s cottage overlooking the harbour of Port Isaac, apparently the restaurant is so small that 6 foot five Nathan can’t even fully stand up. I’m a huge fan of very special rustic places and of course a big fish lover so Fish Kitchen sounds right up my street! It was my third time meeting Nathan and he’s always so jovial and friendly!
And in keeping with that rustic tradition, our food is served family style with careful dietary requirements made for anyone needing them. The pickled herring with red onion, orange and chilli dressing was strong in flavour and definitely one for fish lovers.
Served at the same time was the cured brill with cucumber and watercress which had the refreshing flavours of a ceviche.
The crab fritters with brown crab mayonnaise were a resounding favourite around the table and the baked scallops were juicy and firm. It comes as no surprise that all the fish used across the restaurants is local and sustainable and Nathan is a huge advocate for sustainability and limiting the impact on the marine environment.
The monkfish tandoori had a beautiful char on it and it was just perfect with that extra twist of lime and the cauliflower pickle for notes of acidity.
The baked turbot really was the main event and like the rest of the dishes it’s a simple, familiar dish with Nathan Oulaw’s signature flair! Onions and cider with tarragon and anchovy butter make up the sauce and there’ s delicious roast potatoes with rosemary and garlic on the side. Personally I would have added a touch more seasoning to this dish but we enjoyed the rich and hearty flavours.
The only non-fish dishes on menu were two desserts to share. Rhubarb and blood orange pavlova was sweet, light and fluffy where the sticky toffee pudding with boozy prunes and a blob of Cornish cream would satisfy the keenist sweet tooth.
I think just as Nathan Outlaw intended, the Fish Kitchen at Outlaw’s at The Capital was a fab night with great food and wonderful company! Thank you to The Capital Hotel for having us.
If you’re looking for a the perfect relaxing holiday, isn’t an incredible spa the cherry on top? A place where you can truly get you balance back and reboot your mind, body and soul? With wellness being our theme for the travel link up, I thought I’d count down the world’s best hotel spas that I have personally experienced.
1. Sense, A Rosewood Spa at the Rosewood Mayakoba, Mexico
I was immediately taken by the setting of the Sense Spa at the Rosewood Mayakoba. Located on a private island, in a secluded tropical jungle this beautiful haven of relaxation blends with the natural surroundings of gorgeous hotel. Its huge (17,000 square feet, 12 treatment rooms and eight spa suites) but it feels intimate.
Not only does the spa make the most of the natural environment but the treatments are inspired by local culture and the natural element used by ancient Mayans.
I had the Kuxtal Sensory Garden Ritual and it was perhaps the best spa treatment I’d ever had – starting in the spa garden I chose the plant that I felt the best connection with which was than blended into a custom oil to be used in a full body massage.
2. Meera Spa at Gili Lankanfushi, The Maldives
The Sanskrit word for ocean, the Meera Spa is a pure haven of bliss! The very best thing about the spea located in Gili Lankanfushi in the Maldives is that the treatment rooms and spa suites are located above the water with a window into the ocean. With this in mind, the brands used at the spa are Voya and Sodashi which are created from organic ingredients and plant extracts.
I highly recommend a couple massage whilst taking in the marine life below.
3. T Spa at Grand Hotel Tremezzo, Lake Como, Italy
The T Spa at Grand Hotel Tremezzo sits adjacent to the main 18th Century Villa and had been perfectly created by ESpa. Just like with the rest of the hotel, the focus is on Lake Como itself and treatments feature herbs that are grown on the shores of lake or even fragrant flowers from the Grand Hotel Tremezzo garden.
There’s a 100 square metres of space featuring a hammam, infinity pool, special heat treatments and a yoga studio. But best of all was the couples T Spa Suite which we had to ourselves for a morning.
The suite alone has a whirlpool tub, sauna and Turkish bath with contrast shower and cascade jets. When we had our treatment we were provided with home made biscuits, chocolates and fresh fruit.
4. The Scarlet, Cornwall
I totally fell in love with this eco-friendly, adults only hotel in Cornwall when Mr S and I visited a few years ago. What really sets The Scarlet apart from other spa hotels in the UK is the indoor / outdoor nature of the spa and the cliff top swimming pool, sauna and hot tubs.
Those cliff top hot tubs have to be my absolute all time favourite. The spa treatments themselves have a foundation in holistic wellbeing but there’s a local twist as Cornish ingredients such as seaweed and salt are incorporated into the treatments.
5. Sugar Beach – A Viceroy Resort, St Lucia
One of the most beautiful and unique spas that I ever visited was at Sugar Beach in St Lucia. Passing through a candle lit walkway, you arrive in a rain forest with small thatched huts serving as treatment rooms.
Our couples massage in a special room was absolutely gorgeous and many of the treatments use ingredients from the volcanic springs and cocoa plantations. But they also use luxurious products from brands such as Natura Bisse and Swiss line, Valmont.
After our treatment a door opened up at the back of our treatment room so that we could enjoy a gorgeous hot bath in the beautiful rainforest setting.
6. Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine, Spain
What really set apart the spa at Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine was the unique spa sommelier concept. The spa itself is a beautiful underground sanctuary and when you first enter a beautiful wooden mobile ‘bar’ is bought over to you and the sommelier conducts a tasting ritual. Based on your wine preferences the Spa Sommelier is able to ascertain the treatments and experiences that would most suit our needs.
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