Spa review - The Spa at Portal Golf and Spa, Tarporley


Massage - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Spend a weekend of relaxation and indulgence.

Sometimes we forget just what weekends are for: re-charging the batteries after a busy week and ahead of another. It’s all too easy to pack every moment with home and garden ‘things to do’ and enter Monday feeling somewhat windblown.

I have found an excellent solution – enforced idleness through pre-planning. Like the concept? Here’s how.

Book yourself a late afternoon spa treatment at Portal Golf & Spa in Tarporley, turn up in time for lunch and then lie around doing as little as possible for the rest of the day. Genius, hey?

Lunch is a leisurely affair, hot sandwiches and burgers swiftly chosen and equally swiftly delivered. This is an immediate indication of the truly excellent service provided by all the staff we met. The food is good; hearty and satisfying best of all – cooked by someone else.

With Father’s Day fast approaching, the search for a sock-beating gift could be over; ‘here you go dad: an afternoon of doing nothing at all, ooh and we booked you a massage too.’ Trust me, it’s a winner.

After our relaxing lunch, my husband (and dad of three) and I investigated the saunas and steam rooms, but avoided the pool; too much like hard work. We then pootled off to the dimly lit, softly scented and does-what-it-says-on-the-door Relaxation Room, where we curled up with Kindle (me) and i-Pad (him) till our treatment time arrived. After a very pleasant hour of nothing happening (no lawn-mowing, no car-washing, no shopping, no tidying, nothing but pleasing ourselves) it was treatment time.

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I had chosen a Deep Tissue Massage for Mike; regular complaints about a stiff back and dismay about losing his golf swing being the trigger. Immediately afterwards he was a little shell-shocked, describing it as ‘extremely vigourous and very thorough.’ He hadn’t found it at all relaxing, but as his muscles were in a state of almost total revolt, that’s no surprise. The next morning he proudly showed me all the ways he could move that he’d been unable to for months and admitted I’d done a good thing after all.

My treatment was altogether more of a pamper. When in doubt, pick the Signature Treatment I say, as it’s clearly something the Spa is pretty proud of. At Portals this is the Top to Toe Ocean Radiance: a deep tissue back massage, anti-aging facial and foot treatment. Like Mike, I found the back massage a little less than relaxing, but oh-so-good. Using her elbows and forearms, Emma, my therapist, swept away tension down the length of my back and really got stuck into the many knots in the muscles around my neck and shoulders, making it her personal mission to deny them power over me any longer. The facial was utter bliss. As an Elemis Spa, you know you’re in for a treat here, and I wasn’t disappointed. Using the brand’s Pro-Collagen collection, including their awesome Marine Cream, the cleanse, tone, massage and hydrate ritual left my skin plump and glowing for days.

So, that’s Father’s Day sorted, all I need to do now is think of a reason to do it all again next month. Enforced idleness – it’s the way forward.

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