Pass a few perfect hours all about you...

The Manor House hotel is one of those rare things, a family-run business, which means the owners can do as they choose, set their own service standards and ensure their guests are treated as they would like to be treated themselves. In the family since 2013, The Manor House is now run by the second generation of hoteliers, who last year decided to open their very own spa, and as destination spas go, it’s a corker.

I headed their, with my spa buddy Amanda (seriously, everybody needs a spa buddy) on the first truly warm day of the year, and for one moment bemoaned the fact that rather than lounging in my garden, I would instead be sitting by an indoor pool, before an indoor lunch and a treatment (obviously indoors) I had forgotten, or overlooked, the fact that The Manor House spa has a spa garden – with two pools, much seating, including swinging beds, and views across the Cheshire countryside. Sunny day bliss. All the beds and seating is also under clear cover, with heaters above, so it would work beautifully on a less glorious day too – and my, those pools are warm! We particularly liked the one with the swim up bar...

Great British Life: A sizeable indoor pool offers yet more space to relaxA sizeable indoor pool offers yet more space to relax (Image: The Manor House Hotel & Spa)

We had booked an Ultimate Summer Spa: seven hours of lounging about, a 60-minute treatment, and afternoon tea.

On arrival we were provided with a map (this is an extensive spa) and a bag with our towel, dressing gown and flip flops. We changed swiftly and headed outside, keen for some sunshine before our treatments. Grabbing coffee from the bar, we curled up on comfy sofas in the sunshine, and boom, there it was – the first stirring of pure relaxation. It came in huge part from the wonderful service of everybody we met. This spa does not scrimp on staff, there’s always someone close by ready to make you feel looked-after, whether that’s bringing coffee or a cocktail, clearing towels from beds or delivering a seriously awesome massage.

After our lazy, sun-bathed chat (gossip), it was time for the grand event – for me, the Signature Manor House & Temple Spa massage, and for Amanda the Temple Spa Drift Away massage. Asked how I would like my massage, I asked for deep tissue, on the basis that my muscles are somewhat a pickle and I need all the help I can get. Amanda, less brave (or possibly more wise) asked for medium. The Drift Away massage promises: ‘this deeply relaxing top-to-toe massage, formulated with a dreamy blend of Mediterranean essential oils including frankincense, lavender and patchouli, is guaranteed to have you drifting away.’ Sure enough, she did. My own would have been very hard to fall asleep to; oh my, my therapist knew how to find a knot and squeeze the life out of it. It was however, despite being somewhat flinch-inducing on occasion, fabulous. Using copious amounts of CBD infused massage oil, she used hands, thumbs, forearms, and hot ceramic pebbles to stretch, release and relax every muscle from my feet to my fingertips. Not bliss, precisely, but I’d absolutely do it all again.

Great British Life: Afternoon Tea at The Manor House Hotel & SpaAfternoon Tea at The Manor House Hotel & Spa (Image: The Manor House Hotel & Spa)

I thought, with all the oil that had been lavished onto my body, I might feel a little uncomfortable heading to our next treat, but miraculously it had simply left my skin soft and silky (hot stones and firm hands will do that, I guess), so we headed off for a Manor House afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea is one of the very best things we do in this country, and The Manor House didn’t let us down. It was very generously proportioned, with so much deliciousness we were momentarily silenced. Sandwiches, a truly excellent sausage roll, multiple cakes and the vital scone with clotted cream and jam... Bliss. And I learned something about Amanda, too – she's a jam first person. Seriously? Surely the cream first option makes more sense? Accompanied by a glass of Prosecco and enjoyed in the poolside bar, it was a Sunday afternoon joy.

Following our meal we headed back outside into the sunshine, commandeered a hanging daybed, and settled back with our Kindles for more chatter and gossip. We spent our last couple of hours at the spa in the pool (ordering our complimentary mocktails at the swim up bar), investigating the Salt Team Chamber and fragrant Potting Shed Herbal Sauna, relaxing in the circular Jacuzzi pool and enjoying a guided meditation in the Himalayan Salt Shed. There’s also a very attractively presented cold water plunge bath and bucket shower, but I kept a safe distance from these.

Great British Life: Take the plunge...Take the plunge... (Image: Newsquest)

This was my first spa day of the year, and I have already committed to the regular repeat of spending a full day where it really is just all about me. Manor House, we’ll be back.