Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review - Buy a gift Spa Days

Spa days are the very much the Mummy bloggers panacea, the kind of review opportunity that you reply to straight away, even more so when you can text one of your closet friends on a rainy Monday morning and ask if they fancy joining you for a day of luxury including lunch and treatments.

So, on Easter Monday Natalie and I found ourselves on the way to Clarice House, a small spa hotel in Bury St Edmunds courtesy of Buy a Gift.com. We had been provided with their Spa Day for two package which would cost £99 and I was interested to know how this was going to compare to spa days that we'd attended elsewhere, which had been considerably more expensive.

The process to activate the e-voucher and then contact the venue by phone had been really straight forward and they confirmed it all to me in writing, when I also found out what time our treatments and lunch were. The package includes a mini facial and either express manicure or pedicure for both parties and a lunch consisting of a starter and main course.

We were slightly disconcerted by the fact that the package didn't include a robe, which we both commented was unusual and I think this small detail made us a little sceptical about what kind of standard we could expect. As it turned out this really was a minor detail and if it is the non-provision of robes that helps keep the price down then I am all for it.



Clarice House is a small country house hotel, with lots of comfy chairs and wood panelling in the lounge area where we enjoyed a cup of coffee while we made our lunch choices, of which there were many. We then got down to the serious business of relaxing. The spa area is fairly basic, consisting of a lovely large pool, with a waterfall, a steam room, jacuzzi and sauna. There are plenty of wooden loungers to sprawl out on, although they could have done with a cushion on them. I certainly couldn't see myself falling asleep on them. However, we spent a very indulgent couple of child-free hours, chatting and putting the world to rights, which these days is a rarity.

I was really impressed that our treatments had been booked at the same time so we could chat while having our nails done and they were just before our lunch slot, so we didn't waste precious time going between one thing and another. We were both really happy with both treatments and my pedicure, using Opi products, is still going strong.

The most surprising and impressive part of the day was lunch. We had both been to spa days before where lunch was so meagre that you had to buy additions just to make it a light lunch rather than a snack, but Clarice House blew us away. We both started with duck and orange salad and I followed these with a Leek Tart, new potatoes and green beans. Natalie couldn't resist burger and chips, mainly I think, because of the novelty of having this on a Spa menu. Puddings were available at extra cost and if I couldn't managed one I would have. They looked spectacular.

There was a little more time left for a quick jacuzzi and steam in the afternoon, although we could have done without the gentleman who decided to get rid of his cold by putting olbas oil in the steam room. Seriously, who does that?!

Overall, we had a fantastic day at Clarice House and I would thoroughly recommend it as a great way to treat yourself and catch up with a friend. Our only criticism was that the changing rooms didn't have any body lotion in, which is such a shame as that small detail was picked up by both of us and we both felt it would make quite a difference.

Nevertheless I'm sure we will go back, only this time we will take some body lotion.

Thanks to Buy A Gift.com and all the staff at Clarice House for a lovely day which they provided free of charge.