Spa treatments are the perfect Christmas present and Yorkshire has plenty available
Are you panicking over what to buy your wife or girlfriend this Christmas? Chris Titley may have the perfect solution
Men, can I please have your attention for a moment. Women, could you kindly skip a couple of pages if you’d be so kind, this is not for your eyes, thank you…
Have they gone? Good. Look guys it’s nearly that time. You know, the moment in the year which generates more stress, cold sweats and heart palpitations than three tournaments’ worth of England penalty shoot outs.I’m talking about choosing your partner’s Christmas present.
I’ve known all-powerful chief executives who could wipe millions from the share price with one duff decision. Guys who can close factories and buy companies without turning a hair. But when it comes to selecting a gift for their wife, they turn into a quivering blancmange.
Get it right and you are a superhero. Get it wrong and you’ve all year to contemplate your mistake.
Sometimes your other half can help you out. Mine once not only told me the jacket she’d like and the shop it was sold in, she drew a floorplan of the store complete with arrowed directions to the clothes rack where I’d find it. On the big day I was still a bundle of nerves that I had misread the map and bought the wrong one.
In my experience, that sort of precision is unusual. Usually we are left to fend for ourselves. That’s why, come the week before Christmas, you see so many broken men wandering blank-eyed through lingerie departments, or bulk-buying scented candles from the market.
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But I come to tell you all your troubles are over. I have the perfect gift idea, one which will earn you enough brownie points to pay for two dozen poker nights or one mildly flirtatious text to a female colleague, whichever happens first.
Spa treatments. Women love them. They cannot get enough of facial scrubs, mud masks and lying face down while a stranger drops hot pebbles upon their naked person.
Aha, that’s no big revelation, I hear you say. We know about spa treatments, we’ve seen The Only Way Is Essex.
And it’s an easy win: buy a spa voucher online, no present to wrap, more time in the Red Lion.
But I’m not just talking spa treatments for the woman in your life: I’m talking joint treatments. You go together, make a day of it, have his and hers facials. Not only does she get some perfect pampering, she also enjoys real quality time with her man. And maybe a nice meal and a posh night away on top.
What do you mean, never in a million years? Look chaps, we’re all metrosexuals now. Yep, even in Yorkshire. Blame my lookalike, David Beckham but the truth is that these days, real men moisturise. And pluck and exfoliate.
And you might get to enjoy it. So, to save you some work, I’ve checked out what’s available. Turns out there’s quite a few of these spa thingies in Yorkshire, which offer some great opportunities to double up.
Housed in an old industrial mill, the Titanic Spa at Huddersfield (titanicspa.com, 0845 410 3333) is a place which even the most macho man would be happy to enter. It offers exclusive treatments that most women would love, including the Decleor Fruit Herbal Velvet Sensation, which promises to lull them into a deep sense of relaxation using aroma massage on a heated plinth.
But the Titanic has a selection of men-only treatments too: the Elemis Skin IQ+ Facial is said to be the ultimate overhaul for male skin ravaged by the daily shave.
Head for award-winning Eastthorpe Hall at Mirfield (eastthorpe.co.uk, 01924 498507) to have your chakra balanced, a manicure, pedicure and deep tissue massage. Most of the treatments are available for men and women except understanedable the From Here To Maternity pre-natal body massage.
If ever there was a place with a name to make men feel at home it’s the Potting Shed Spa at Batley (thepottingshedspa.co.uk, 01924 450402).
It takes its gardening theme to heart with lots of references to pruning and the like. There’s a whole section dedicated to Manscaping, where you can be tweezed, plucked and waxed into shape.
An Englishman’s home is his castle. If you book into swish Swinton Park at Masham (swintonpark.com, 01765 680900) you can be king of that castle for at least a day. With six treatment rooms, a jacuzzi and a sauna your partner is spoiled for choice.
Us chaps, meanwhile, can head into Man Space – Swinton’s name for its male treatments. The Sportsman’s Massage is perfect for recovering after a rugby match.
Highly acclaimed and totally luxurious, the spa at Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate (ruddingpark.co.uk, 01423 871350) offers irresistible packages like the Lazy Sunday and Nurturing Body Bliss.
But there’s also Just The Two Of Us: you and your partner can ‘enjoy a side by side full body, head, neck and scalp massage, followed by a cleanse and exfoliation to the face in our couples room’.
With its 13m swimming pool, exercise area, spray tan room and activity studio, both sexes are well catered for at the Thorpe Park Hotel and Spa, Leeds (thorpeparkhotel.com, 0113 264 1000). And while she’s enjoying a facial and body polish, you’re getting Lifesaving Back Treatment, complete with body-brushing and exfoliation.
The famous Verbana Spa at the Feversham Arms Hotel, Helmsley (verbenaspa.co.uk, 01439 770 346) takes the whole experience to a new level with its exotic wraps and rituals.
And its man spa offers something of particular interest to blokes in this part of North Yorkshire: the Anne S�monin Fishing & Hunting Remedy (a marine mineral mud treatment for the back, neck and shoulders to soothe those post-hunting aches and pains).
Just south of York, the Parsonage Hotel and Spa (parsonagehotel.co.uk, 01904 720519) offers a Men’s Urban Cleanse facial alongside all manner of waxing, tinting and other beauty treatments.
And in York itself, the Middlethorpe Hall luxury spa (middlethorpe.com, 01904 661317) recently introduced the exotic-sounding Madagascar Treatment ‘especially designed for ladies tired of the usual massage routines’ – but also has a full programme of treatments tailored for men. As Middlethorpe is a short walk from York Racecourse, time it right and you could follow a facial with a flutter.