Saturday, 21 May 2016

Relaxing in: Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel & Spa

I love living in London. It's actually one of, if not the best decision I ever made. It's incredible but there's nothing quite like getting out of the city for the weekend and so thats what I did when I headed down to the Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel & Spa* for a weekend of nothing but relaxation. 

Based in Camberley, near Farnborough in Surrey, this spa is the perfect getaway from London as it's not too far - but far enough for you to feel like you're 'away'. I headed over there on the train with my boyfriend and it was super easy and not too far at all. A few snacks for the journey and a window seat to see the view turn from 'city' to 'countryside' is just the perfect way to start the weekend. 

The hotel is just what you imagine (and hope) that it'll be like. The exterior is just beautiful and on a nice day with lovely weather I can imagine it's just perfect for sitting outside with a drink. Check in was easy, and the room was just incredible. One of the best bits about staying in a hotel is that moment when you put the key card in the door and open it up to see your room for the first time. It's just so exciting. Our room overlooked the grounds outside the front of the hotel and with the lovely weather it was just beautiful. 

All guests have access to the spa - and with its swimming pool, poolside loungers, sauna and steam room we headed there very quickly to relax. There's also a gym too which looked lovely but I have to admit that we didn't use it (and opted for the sauna a little more instead). The spa didn't have any robes left and the receptionist told us she'd bring us some shortly as they were on their way but I just wanted to flag that this didn't happen. We went out to ask again mid way through, but again she said they didn't have any at the moment. I was a little disappointed if I'm honest, but as there was little we could do we just got on with it... On a Saturday afternoon - the pool was filled with children (which was as expected as it's a family friendly hotel) so I must admit it was a little less relaxing than hoped, but we got past that and enjoyed the swimming and sauna and steam room anyway minus the robes. 

We then headed back to the room to get ready for dinner (and have a bottle of champagne - because why not?). I tried having a bath, but the water just wasn't hot enough - so that's one thing I'd flag but I'm sure this wouldn't be an issue all the time. I opted for a luke warm shower instead, but it was refreshing after our swim so I didn't mind too much. 

The restaurant was beautiful and just as we'd hoped. We sat down, ordered our wine and our super attentive waiters sorted us right out with our drinks and some incredibly tasty bread. Try the brown bread and the tomato bread - it's so good we went back for some more later in the meal. 

We both ended up going for the soup - and I'm so glad we did. The soup was poured into the bowl around the arancini at the table and and oh my was it delicious. If a soup is done well, it's usually my favourite part of the meal and honestly it blew me a way. Whatever soup they have on the menu when you go - you must must must try it. 

Joe ended up going for the beef with polenta and I went for the fish with samphire. Both tasted delicious and as a big samphire fan I just couldn't get enough. 

Dessert was another highlight. I mean, just look at the beauty that was on our plates? They almost looked too good to eat... But we very much did and they were incredible. We went for the lemon tart and the chocolate dessert and oh boy, they were delicious.

A delicious meal and incredible service, would highly recommend!

After dinner, we went through to the bar for a drink before taking it up to our rooms. The bed was incredibly comfy and with the black out curtains I slept perfectly. It was one of those 'I don't want to get out of bed moments' in the morning, but knowing we had breakfast and our spa treatments waiting, I just about managed it. 

Breakfast was a buffet, not as tasty as the evening meal but still great with the usual english breakfast choices, toast, pastries, fruit, cereal and meat/cheeses with all of the usual drinks. Really recommend the potato scones on offer!

After breakfast, we went back up to the room to pack and check out of our room before we headed over to the spa for our treatments. Sadly saying goodbye to our oh so beautiful room we headed to the spa in the building next door (making sure to bring the robes from our room with us as we didn't want to be without them this time...). We both opted for a 30 minute back massage and it was great. Super relaxing and a nice way to start the day! We then went through to the relaxation room to relax and rehydrate before heading down. It was super chilled in there with a few magazines to keep you occupied. One thing worth noting was that I'm not sure how often it was cleaned as I noticed a bacon sandwich that someone had left in one of the chairs next to us but after we'd sat down a little further away with a drink, we just ignored it and it was all fine. 

Back down to the swimming pool and sauna and we were so happy to see how empty it was. It felt so much more like a spa as the people that were there were there to relax. I'd really recommend going for an early Sunday morning treatment and then heading down afterwards. After a quick swim and a go in the sauna and steam room we took to the poolside loungers to read some magazines and just switch off. I just can't tell you how incredible this was. It's so hard to do when you're in London and so this very much was one of the highlights. 

Before leaving and sadly heading home, we decided to treat ourselves just once more with an Afternoon Tea - which too was just delicious. As I don't eat meat, they were more than happy to swap out the meat sandwiches for me with meat-free alternatives. I was super excited to see that instead of adding one of the ones that was already included, they went a step further to make something else to ensure all of my sandwiches were different. The scones were absolutely to die for and one of the best bits about my trip (I feel like I've said and thought that about many things however - there's just a lot to love okay?). With the clotted cream and jam, I just couldn't get enough. With the small chocolate eclairs, lemon and basil tarts, coffee and pistachio macarons and more, we were just blown away. It was the perfect end to the trip and I'd highly recommend (even if it is just for the delicious scones...). 

I'd really recommend heading to Macdonald Frimley Hall Hotel & Spa for a weekend away. It's perfect to getaway or just for a special treat. I highly recommend!

Lorna x

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