Tag Archives: Cowley Manor

Total Bliss at Cowley Manor C-Side Spa

December has been a buy old month, a family trip to London , a new job and saying goodbye to my 30’s has left me feeling pretty dazed and exhausted. A Spa Day at Cowley Manor’s C-Side Spa was precisely what the doctor ordered. A few hours on my own, being pampered in luxurious surroundings is something that I don’t get to experience too often so my plan was to savour every minute.

From the moment you pull up the drive at Cowley Manor it starts to feel festive, with an amazing light display around the hedges and the house. You feel a bit like Alice whisked away to an enchanted Christmas Wonderland.

The Spa is set away from the main house and is incredibly modern in design compared to the rest of the surroundings, but like everything else at Cowley Manor, this eclectic approach makes it seem even more of a unique place. Think 1960’s Bond villain lair meets noughties design elements and you get the mix.

Cowley manor

The spa has both an indoor and outdoor pool (but this being December I chickened out of taking a dip outdoors, but others were) with the temperature inside so warm and cosy that I nearly fell asleep before my treatment I was so relaxed.

Cowley Manor swimming

All the treatments at the  C-Side Spa use products from Green & Spring which I am slightly obsessed with since our first stay at Cowley Manor a while back. My treatment was the signature Green and Spring Facial which takes about an hour.

Designed to repair and rejuvenate, the facial begins with a process of intense cleansing to stimulate and increase blood supply to the skin. This is followed by an energising scrub and secondary exfoliation with the unique Green & Spring Gentle Face Refiner which scavenges dead skin cells and brightens. Soothing local honey and skin-clarifying milk are massaged into the skin with a hot, herbal compress filled with lavender, calendula and wheatgerm to heal and remove toxins. A deep, toning and nourishing face massage is given followed by application of an antioxidant face mask to help heal, nourish and repair leaving the skin glowing and youthful.

Cowley manor Spa

Before your treatment starts you are offered a menu of the music you would like to listen to. It is these little touches that make the whole experience of visiting the C-Side Spa a really magical experience.

I have recently been reading Finding Your Way in a Wild New World by Dr Martha Beck  (Martha is Oprah’s Life Coach) Martha Beck

Finding Your Way in a Wild New World reveals a remarkable path to the most important discovery you can make: the knowledge of what you should be doing with your one wild and precious life. It’s the thing that so fulfills you that, if you knew what it was, you’d run straight toward it through brambles and fire. Martha guides you to find out how you got to where you are now and what you should do next, with clear instructions on tapping into the deep, wordless knowledge you carry in your body and soul.

This book is a fascinating read and I have been trying hard to ‘quiet my mind’ and be less verbal, which is much harder than it sounds! My day at Cowley Manor’s C-Side Spa certainly helped me to relax and achieve a sense of peace and calm I haven’t experienced for such a long time. By the end of my day at C-Side Spa the only thought I was having was trying to work out when I could come back next……

 


A Very Cowley Christmas with Cowley Manor

christmas tree image

cowleymanor_full_logo_rev-5One of the signs that Christmas is around the corner is the annual charity fashion and shopping event held in November at the fabulous Cowley Manor near Cheltenham.

CowleySnow

This year the event is being held on Wednesday 25th November 2015 from 6pm – Midnight when the whole of Cowley Manor is transformed into a boutique shopping venue with each of the hotel bedrooms being taken over by various sellers and businesses.

Garden Room 2

Showcasing …

We have a cosy feel to the show this year with luxurious silks and sumptuous knits and a decadent food hall filled with gourmet delights, from wine tasting and artisan chocolate to cocktail masterclasses and much more.  Perfume counters, antique fine jewellery and inspired beauty sparkle are sure to get everyone in the spirit of things, alongside gorgeous Christmas wrap, crackers and floristry… there’s really no place like A Very Cowley Christmas!

HEADLINERS

HARVEY NICHOLS

MARY BERRY KITCHENWARE * THE HAMBLEDON * WILLIAMS CHASE * KNIGHTSBRIDGE ROCKS * HIPANEMA * BOTTLETOP * JESSICA FLINT RUSSELL* WILDASH * LAW & COMPANY and many many more

 

Not only is this is a great chance to do a spot of Christmas shopping and catch up with friends but it is also one of the few chances you can have to wander around this amazing hotel and if you are anything like me, enjoy having a nose around some of the finest hotel rooms in the Cotswolds!

Exceptional Room Best Room (2)

This year the charity that is being supported is Winston’s Wish the leading child bereavement charity in the UK which was founded in Gloucestershire in 1992.

Tickets

General admission tickets are £5 in advance or £7.50 on the door, with all proceeds donated to Winston’s Wish Children’s Bereavement Charity.

Tickets to ‘A Fashionably Late Feast’ at 10pm with 3 courses and a fashion show – £45 per person.

To book, email tickets@cowleymanor.com or call +44 (0)1242 870 900.

Information and images courtesy of Silver Ball PR


The Great British Picnic

Getting all our kit together for our holiday this week got me thinking about picnics and everything you need for a great British picnic. My dream picnic would look something like this picture I found in The Telegraph but realistically ours are more of a nice rug and a good spot.

Beautiful picnic picture

Living in the countryside we tend to enjoy picnicking by the coast or near water as it feels totally different for us.

Cherry Good JuiceCherry Good Juice recently did some ‘picnicking’ research to celebrate International Picnic Day.  It revealed the nation’s top picnicking preferences to uncover the recipe for the perfect Great British Picnic ‘Brit-nic’.

Apparently over 10 million Brits picnic at least 5x a year and according to this research we are a nation of traditionalists opting for a classic chicken salad on white bread with crusts left on…but they must be cut into triangles!

What’s more, we spend on average £29.55 on our picnic hampers, with 1 in 5 of us including luxury items on our picnic shopping list. Almost 1/4 of those in Northern Ireland and London are prepared to pay over £50 for the perfect ‘Brit-nic’.

My Top 3 Picnic Spots in the South-West

Cornwall beaches Fowey1. Readymoney Cove, Fowey, Cornwall

This is perhaps one of the most child friendly beaches I know. A small sheltered cove in Fowey where you feel you are in the setting for a Famous Five novel. There are plenty of rock pools to explore and when the tide is out plenty of beach to sit on.

 

 

Best picnic spots South West

2. The Front Beach, Lyme Regis, Dorset

We had the most  wonderful afternoon here totally unplanned when we were  in the area for my brother’s wedding in 2012. We were staying at The Alexandra Hotel and wandered down to the beach not knowing what to expect. We ended up having an amazing afternoon eating crab sandwiches from a little sandwich shop by the sea front and it was G’s first real beach experience as a toddler. Very happy memories.

south west picnic spots

 

 

 

best beaches in Cornwall for picnics

 

3. Pridmouth Cove Beach, Nr Fowey, Cornwall

Before we had G we used to love going on long hikes. When we visited Fowey one year we walked some of the South West Coast path and came across the spectacular beach of Pridmouth Cove. Pridmouth Cove is quite an isolated spot with access to the beach a 15 min walk from the car park. It is also the inspiration for Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, with the house on the beach serving as the backdrop for Rebecca’s beach hut escapades. I read Rebecca at school and it has been one of my all time favourite novels ever since. I try and re-read every 10 years or so. I think my Du Maurier obsession is why I love visiting Fowey so much.

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

 

 

 

 

The most luxurious picnic I have been too was when I went to the Longborough Festival Opera, an annual event held a few miles away from us here in the Cotswolds. I was invited by my great friends, Barry and Finbarr who had prepared a fantastic feast for us to eat in the interval of the opera we had gone to see. We thought we were pretty organised until we started seeing silver candelabras coming out on the tables next to us!!

My dream picnic though is to book a ready made hamper from my favourite place in the Cotswolds, Cowley Manor and take off into their amazing grounds, with a bottle of something chilled and a good read.

Cowley Manor, Cheltenham

The picnic hamper menu just makes my mouth water reading it and although not cheap would be lovely for a special event. For me this has all the elements of a Great British Picnic.

COWLEY PICNIC HAMPER

£60 for two people

Graze

Ginger beer & vegetable crisps

Black pudding Scotch egg & Sausage roll

w Cowley ketchup

Manor smoked salmon & cream cheese

on sourdough

Tuck in

Roasted Poussin

w jersey royals & house dressing,

green bean salad w shallots & walnuts

Heritage tomato & Laverstock farm mozzarella salad

Keep Going

Fruit scones w jam, clotted cream

& a cup of tea

Elderflower & strawberry jelly

& a selection of Turkish delight, inspired by the gardens

Cheeses, chutneys & freshly baked crackers

Do you have any great picnic suggestions or places to go? If you had to create and organise your dream picnic what would it be? I would love to know!


Instagram tips with Emily Quinton

flowers in a window

Last Friday I was lucky enough to go to a workshop on Instagram tips with the amazing Emily Quinton. The workshop was a double whammy as not only is Emily one of the most talented and inspirational photographers about but the event was held at The Hambledon, a gorgeous shop located within the grounds of one of my favourite places in Gloucestershire, Cowley Manor.

The Hambledon is one of those shops where you feel as though you could move in and be quite happy to live there. They have a great range of quirky home ware, coffee table books to die for and the most gorgeous selection of clothes. I really had to restrain myself and only bought a couple of items and my copy of Maker Spaces.

Maker Spaces by Emily Quinton

Emily has just published her first book called ‘Maker Spaces’. The book showcases the homes and studios of some of the worlds finest ‘makers’, highlighting their style, inspirations and what drives them in their creativity.

(If you click on the image it will take you to Amazon)

Emily Quinton Maker Spaces

The Hambledon, Cowley

The workshop group was very small so we had an amazing opportunity to ask Emily tons of questions and find out how she works. The one thing that amazed me the most was that all her pictures on Instagram are taken with her iPhone and not some super expensive camera.

Emily is very much known for her images of flowers and all things floral, posting a flower based image to Instagram each morning. She talked through how to get inspiration from props and colours and to not be afraid to experiment. The workshop has really made me think about

  1. how I use my phone to take pictures
  2. how I think about the light and texture in my pictures
  3. what I take my pictures of

If you have a look on my Instagram account I think you will see a definite shift in my style (which I hope you think is for the better 😉 ) Emily really stressed about listening to what you like and what inspires you rather than trying to follow a certain tribe or style. I think being real to yourself is brilliant advice in any area of your life and not just blogging/photography.

 

Do you use Instagram? I am hooked and really love looking through peoples images, in fact since last week I have been far more on Instagram than twitter. I would love to know how and why you use Instagram.