Luxury lounging, outdoor spas and fizz

Rudding Park spa cafe

Rudding Park spa cafe

There are spa days, and then there are super luxurious spa days in five star surroundings with decor to die for, making you feel like you haven’t just had a day out in Yorkshire but a weekend away on the Amalfi Coast.

That was how I felt after a day at Rudding Park Spa in Harrogate last week, when I was lucky enough to be invited by my friend Lisbet to go with her for a day of pampering.

I’ll say now that this was not a gifted experience in return for a review and this is in no way sponsored. I just loved the day and wanted to share some of the photos I took during the day, even though they were all taken on my iPhone as I was trying to totally switch off and not take my camera along.

Lisbet had been to the spa before and raved about it to me on one of our weekly meetings at the side of a swimming pool as we watched our sons have their lesson. Somehow sitting by the pool in my old secondary school, which has remained unchanged in the 20-odd years since I was a pupil there, made the pristine pool and garden spa at Rudding Park sound heaven sent.

Rudding Park pool

Rudding Park front outside Lisbet

There’s no doubt it was a far cry from the overheated school pool with the communal showers every schoolgirl dreads.

We began the day with a coffee in the Horto cafe at the spa, which is decorated in such a way that made me want to take photo after photo and mentally redesign my living room in a similar style as I sipped my skinny flat white. Lisbet and I are both trying to lose a few pounds but had decided to put the diets on hold and enjoy every bit of the lunch menu – and the prosecco – while we were there. I have to say the food was amazing and all part of the indulgence factor for me. Relaxing girlie days are certainly not about deprivation!

It was a Wednesday and really quiet in the morning, to the point where we had the entire indoor swimming pool to ourselves. I’ve always thought if I was super rich the most important thing for me to spend my cash on would be to have a pool like this installed in my house. I love swimming and how meditative it is, and I don’t make time for it enough these days.

After the pool we went up to the rooftop garden and spa, by which time the sun had come out and we could chill out in the heated outdoor spa pool and soak up some vitamin D at the same time. There are two saunas up there, one inside and one in its own glass room in the garden, as well as a steam room, foot spa area, experience showers (with sound effects and flashing lights just in case you wanted to feel like you were in a tropical rain storm) and sun loungers and sofas on the decking.

We had an hour of chilling out with a glass of prosecco (which at £12 a glass we weren’t going to get drunk on!) and some magazines, the sun on our skin and smiles on our faces.

Rudding Park outdoor sauna

Horto cafe

You can pay just to use the spa facilities but we had a treatment each as well. I had a facial which was lovely, as was the chill out area afterwards. It has a mini library full of coffee table books, an audio area where you can sit in a pod and listen to music through headphones, and a darkened room where you can sit on a beanbag and watch views of beautiful places, while half-squinting to pretend you are there.

I’d love to go back to this spa and think I’d happily pay just for the experience without having a treatment next time if I didn’t want to splash out on a day package.

I made it home about 5pm, managing to convince my mum to be on kids’ swimming lesson duty this week. She arrived at our house about an hour later, taking a deep breath, laughing and saying “Wow, you look relaxed!” in stark contrast to the last hour of her day.

Maybe I should take her with me next time…

x Julia

This post is not in any way sponsored. Thank you to my friend Lisbet for asking me along.

Jules in dressing gown

Rudding Park spa outside view

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