Oh wow! If there’s one treat you should add to your ‘Must Do Before I Die’ list it is a Ragdale Hall experience. You may remember a year ago I spent 24 hours as a 1930’s Housewife, a challenge put forward by P&G. ‘Banish your everyday products and try Life before P&G‘ they said. Well I did and I had great, fun but blimey was I cream crackered by the time it was over!
My treat for taking part was a voucher for a spa day. Shortly around that time mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and I wrote about my worry. I was so humbled when P&G got back to me and said they would pay for BOTH of us to spend a day together and phoned mum straight away.
She completed her treatment and went off to Sardegna to check on the house and relax a bit only to come back with a cough she couldn’t shift. A routine x-ray showed cancer on the lung! So the best part of 2011 was spent in and out of hospitals, an operation to remove the bugger and then an intensive chemotherapy to stop this aggressive form of cancer it in its track. Her consultant had clearly said that due to her low immune system (which takes a knock during chemo) she couldn’t spend time in a spa. So our Ragdale Hall experience was put on hold again.
How happy were we when she got the all clear just before Christmas? Talk about feel blessed! She’s only 66 and I’m not ready to say my goodbyes just yet.
So it was over a mince pie or two that we decided mum would start looking into our break, Grandad had even kindly offered to pay for us to stay the night which we didn’t accept but boy did I kick myself on the day and you’ll see why.
March 10th we were booked in. Grandad dropped us off at 9am and we were ushered by the concierge into the bright welcoming cafe area. Everything has been carefully thought through, from the comfortable colour schemes to the Five Fruit and Wheatgerm shot that was offered alongside our coffees. A lady came and talked us through our day, she would have shown us around too but we didn’t need the tour as mum knew exactly where she was going! Ragdale Hall gives you a pack of information to go through and there is a timetable of all the various classes that you can attend. Exercise pool classes, two studio fitness schedules to choose from and outdoor activities too. We settled for Cardio Splash in the morning and Hula Hooping in the afternoon.
The Spa centre was our first stop whilst we waited for Cardio Splash to start. I just had to access the outside pool from the inside, I remember seeing one of these years ago in Austria when I was with my ex and we were looking for spa ideas. In actual fact he’s added one similar to Alpen Hotel Eghel You enter the pool on the inside and go through a plastic flap covered entrance (to prevent cold air entering the spa) and you’re outside but in lovely warm water. Can you imagine that when it snows? It must be beautiful.
I was amazed. We tried the Thought Zone, the Volcanic Salt Bath, the Rose Sauna, the Colourful Cave, the Scented Room and each one was divine. To have this time dedicated just to ME – no kids, no ‘Make us a cup of tea, love’, no blog, no shopping lists, dusting, hoovering, nothing. Just me. There was even a wishing stream at the beginning where you picked a pebble, caressed it and through it into the stream to rid you of your negative energy, I chucked a bolder in for good measure.
We did the cardio splash and I can’t believe how many times I surreptitiously turned round to check the clock, exhausting work out. Shame on me!
Then for our Lavendar Body massages, we changed out of our wet costumes and used the swim suit extractor to spin the water out and then spent the rest of the day in our dressing gowns. Sophie was my beauty therapist, she comes from Cleethorpes and has been working at Ragdale for a year. She did a brilliant job on me and after had her photo taken with John Crane’s granddad. Thank you Sophie, you were utterly fantastic.
Then it was time for lunch, we treated ourselves to a celebratory bottle of wine because you can ask them to keep the wine you don’t drink in the fridge till later and the menu was delicious; I went for the Red Pepper Frittata, Turkey Curry and Mango Panna Cotta with Raspberry Coulis, lip smackin’ good.
Hula Hooping was my next challenge and my God what a laugh! The hoops are heavier than the children’s toys we have at home which allows you to swing it round so much better. I surprised myself at how I managed to keep on hooping continuously, I managed side steps, turning rounds and walking forwards and backwards, won’t take me long before I have a little routine going. I did try again with the girls hoop on Sunday in the garden but no good, I need the heavy one and sorry couldn’t take photos of me doing that as I was concentrating too much!
There are shops in there too! Beautiful clothes, bags, jewellery, a whole shop just for beauty products and a gift shop. I treated myself to some jewellery which will look wonderful with a sun tan and for the wedding we’re going to later this year. I told myself it would be my Mother’s Day present but somehow till now I have forgotten to mention it to Paul….
Last appointment of the day was our Leighton Denny manicures that mum had treated us to. Melanie looked after me, she’s been at Ragdale for five years and is one of the top beauticians. She came all the way from South Africa to work here! She also, like many of us, juggles her two year old son with nursery and work and I loved listening to her SA accent as she told me about the two families who run Ragdale Hall. Did you know they are the guys who used to own Our Price Records? Wow! I used to live in our local store back in the day and now I’d quite like to live in their Ragdale Hall.
Yes, yes, yes GO! Save your pennies and treat yourself because this was an experience that will stay with me forever, I was conjuring up all sorts of ideas to get me back. A bloggers meet up? My future Hen Party if I ever get round to it. Definitely another mother-daughter day as one day, just me and mum, no kids, husbands, brothers or anyone to interrupt allowed us to share some top quality time together so Thank You P&G for making this happen and thanks mum for always being there.
Did you read my mum’s blog post by the way – here’s part 1