Weddings are beautiful occasions; sun shines, doves sing and love is in the air amidst a sea of heart-shaped confetti.
But us lot at LNOF understand that planning weddings can’t half be stressful sometimes.
Especially when Aunty Margaret and Cousin John need to be put on tables a mile apart, and you just know that there’s going to be drunken Uncle slurring compliments at the bridesmaids and who thinks of himself as a bit of a Tom Jones on the microphone.
Add in booking the venue, designing the invites, choosing menus, table decorations, chair covers and multiple dress fittings and it’s no wonder that the hen party fancy a bit of well-deserved swanky spa treatment before the big day.
We know that it’s all about the finding the perfect balance of Feeling Good + Looking Good, which is why we’re on a mission to find, try, test and select the finest indulgent spa packages in the country.
For pure relaxation, we’re seeking out serene spa retreats where the stresses and strains of modern life will simply melt away… For preening and pampering, we’re hunting out the country’s top beauticians and treatments - we know that you want to look swish for the photographs (not to mention the handsome gentleman who are out of their jeans and suited and booted like James Bond) – and for an afternoon of champagne and gossip, we’re searching for afternoon teas in palaces fit for a princess. Or if you’d like all of that rolled into one, with a three-course dinner and a four-poster bed thrown in, we’ll find that too!
Only the finest will do for our hens, you know.
LNOF Review Matfen Hall, Northumberland
Afternoon Escape Package
When one is in need of some relaxation and pampering, one needs a spa package befitting of one’s high-class needs.
Well you’re in for a jolly good show with some royal treatment courtesy of the grand Matfen Hall in Northumberland. Set in 300 acres of parkland, this magnificent 19th century mansion lends itself spectacularly to pretending you live in Downton Abbey (if you want).
Alternatively, one can fully indulge in some luxurious spa treatments…
Matfen Hall Spa have plenty to choose from, but we decided to go for their Afternoon Escape package – perfect for hen parties.
You begin with a welcome drink of your choice, then the lovely staff will show you around and set you up with the fluffiest white robe you could dream of. You’ll be shown to the Relaxation Room, where the lights are dim, gentle music soothes you and you can sit back with a cup of herbal tea before being taken to your treatment room.
The Afternoon Escape includes a 30-minute hot stone back massage. The expertly trained masseurs use high-grade Elemis essential oils, the treatment will melt away your troubles and tension - and it's not bad value at £55.
‘But alas!’ you cry, ‘what if one wants more?!’ Fear not, old chum, for a £20 supplement you can add on a further facial treatment, to ensure one’s fully relaxed and pampered from top to toe.
After that, slink off to the intimate spa facilities where you can sit back in a bubbling Jacuzzi, dip into the pool for a swim, and flaunt your fabulously replenished physiques in the sauna and steam-room until one’s appetites are ripe for a dining experience fit for queens.
Ladies who lunch? But of course, madam! You shall retire to the dining quarters for a quintessentially British high tea, with delicate finger-sandwiches, miniature deserts, scones with clotted cream and preserves and an endless supply of tea.
Of course, you could upgrade to champagne... Lift your dainty little fingers with a glass of bubbles and congratulate yourself on a thoroughly spiffing day.