the garage spa

we’ve been breathing in the mountain air, enjoying the powder and making the most of the perfect skiing conditions in meribel over the past few days and we will be blogging about our trip very soon.

but while we sort through our photos and attend to spots of mild sunburn (i managed to fry the parting of my hair – who does that), i realised we never got around to posting about our a recent(ish) mini spa break.

a little while ago (ok it was a fair few weeks ago now – where does the time go?) we escaped the hustle and bustle of london to pay a visit to the garage spa in greta bridge, near darlington.

the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

after a two and a half hour train journey from london and a short taxi ride, we arrived at the morritt hotel, a rustic 18th century stone building on friday night, perfectly timed for a feeding.

we dumped our bags in the room, admired that humungous bed, and made our way downstairs for dinner. gillroy’s award-winning restaurant awaited us, and the menu looked extremely promising. IMG_6871IMG_6872IMG_6873

after a glass of wine relaxing in front of the fire while sprawled out on a red leather sofa we were seated at our table. dinner proved to be quite the big event. there was only one other table in the entire restaurant, which given the amazing food seems like a total waste, but andrea and i enjoyed having the full attention of our attentive waiter.

we started off with a little amuse bouche, andrea looks devastated about it doesn’t she?the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

next came succulent tuna steak for me…tuna steak, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

ang ordered scallopsthe garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

my main was quite the show-stopper, cod dressed with squid, flowers and sea foamcod, squid, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant cod, squid, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

andrea kept things simple with steak, onion rings and chips (most of which i couldn’t help but devour)steak, onion rings and chips, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

 we couldn’t pass up a pudding and creme caramel and ice cream proved to be the grand finale of our meal…creme caramel, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant creme caramel and ice cream, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

but the petit fours proved too tempting and this little macaroon caught my eyemacaroon, the garage spa, the garage spa in greta bridge, spas in darlington, gilroy's restaurant

totally stuffed after our five-course meal, which was as delicious as it looks, we retired to bed. i slept like a baby. the next morning we woke feeling thoroughly rested and headed to the spa ready for our m.o.t. and a spot of serenity.article-2292226-18A0E196000005DC-720_634x477the garage spa, greta bridge

we enjoyed a dip in the mud pit and an hour-long scented massage (which was pure bliss) before exploring all the various hot tubs, steam rooms and saunas on offer.

the log-fire shepherd’s hut situated in the secret garden was my favourite, while andrea favoured a soak in the big metal tub with views of the countryside.

all too soon it was time to get dressed and return to london feeling ever so relaxed and raring to get back to the rat race.

the garage spa IMG_6902IMG_6914IMG_6909IMG_6916IMG_6930

 you can read my full review for the mail here and you can find the garage spa here

bonjour from meribel…

just checking in!

sarah and i are currently negotiating the slopes of beautiful meribel in france. peanut buttered in meribel, france

we’ll be back next week to tell you all about our adventures on the slopes, and in the meantime there are some six spoonfuls coming your way tomorrow.

until then, a bientôt!

xoxo

a blissful break in suffolk

i love the hustle and bustle of london but sometimes the country calls and there’s nothing quiet like escaping for a few days.

last weekend was spent time drinking red wine, nestled down in front of a log fire and having plenty of giggles with the girls. it proved to be the perfect tonic to a hectic week at work.

country house in suffolk

our home for two days was an utterly charming six-hundred-year-old house in suffolk, thanks to poll’s very kind in-laws.

i arrived on saturday and with els, clem and lou off for a 15-mile run as part of their marathon training, polly, hannah and i set off on a walk, which was only ever slightly shorter than the girls’ run. honest.

walking in the suffolk countryside walking in the suffolk countryside walking in the suffolk countryside walking in the suffolk countryside walking in the suffolk countryside walking in the suffolk countrysidecountry house in suffolk walking in the suffolk countryside

our sense of direction failed us and we did getting a little lost. but as it turned out we were embarrassingly close to home – in the farm yard right next to the house. we make hopeless orienteers that’s for sure. walking in the suffolk countryside farm yard in suffolk

after all that exercise and fresh countryside air a hearty lunch felt well-deserved. with plenty of wine, of course.
lunch cheese board lunch

we all found some room for lu’s delicious home-made pudding…chocolate and banana dessert

before settling down in front of the fire to watch the rugbylog fire log fire

i enjoyed the most restful night’s sleep here…
bedroom in a suffolk country house

we rose early the next day and enjoyed breakfast
hunter wellies bookshelf and telescope

before poll challenged me to a game of table tennis in the barn…table tennis table in the barn table tennis bat

she may have *cough* beaten me,  before my next opponent stepped up the table. she looked rather determined. table tennis table tennis

the game got quite tensetable tennis

…but i was narrowly beaten again. boo.

elen proved to be a humble winner and seemed sympathetic to my shattered pride. she didn’t do a victory dance back to the house or anything.

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after i got over losing. and i do hate to lose, we took a few group snaps…IMG_7076 IMG_7077 IMG_7079

with the the table tennis outcome forgotten (and really what is in a game anyway), we set off in search of a nice country pub for lunchwalking in the suffolk countryside thatched roof country house in suffolk snow drops snow drops

we made it to the swan in hoxne, a grade II listed building that dates back to the 15th centurythe swan, hoxne

as the red wine warmed next to the fire we, mulled over the menuthe swan, hoxne the swan, hoxne the swan, hoxne

the girls tucked into a beef roast beef roast dinner elen and i chose salt-baked cod and chorizo
salt baked cod salt baked cod

els wasn’t excited by her plate of food at all…
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with our stomachs full and satisfied we headed back to the house to pack up and make our way back to london.

a perfect weekend with great company, yummy food, much-needed fresh air and beautiful surroundings. we must return soon (once i’m up to speed with my table tennis skills!)IMG_7097 IMG_7098