Wednesday, 18 April 2012

SHE SELLS SANCTUARY: Daylesford's Hay Barn Spa

No pain without gain goes the saying: but after months of surprisingly arduous and - as you lovely regular readers of this blog will know - at times bruising wedding planning I find that some real TLC is in order. Not just a generous glass of wine having cracked the whip over the wedmin again, or a slab of mum's finest cake post negotiating like a fiend (all in a bid to shave a few pounds from the budget that's so overstretched, it's practically Lycra).

Oh no, I'm talking restorative, fortifying, recharge-your-batteries-to-Duracell-bunny-standard soothing. The kind that can only come from the Hay Barn Spa. The setting alone is placating, nestled among the rolling hills and vales of lovely green Englishness that are the Cotswolds.
I'll confess a little something here, but prior to my time as a bride, I was a spa novitiate. I'd barely stepped in a sauna, let alone one of these temples of calm I'd heard so many effusive things said about. But the further into planning our wedding I've gone, juggling the day job and stresses so many brides shoulder the more I've felt this unmet need for something more. And a whole jumble of new knots across my back that have me hunched and aching, too. So I decided to listen to the sage advice of my pro wedding planning peers, who urged me to head to a spa, pronto.

Under pressure: stress gets a good seeing to.
Thank goodness I did, because my therapist's way with shiatsu energy massage and healing hands worked near miracles. In just 60 minutes, she had pinpointed precisely where the trouble lay (shoulders like a board, apparently) and pushed every last inch of tension out from me. She seemed to intuit my mood, and eased me into the treatment with warm, light conversation and assurances that the wedding would turn out just fine, she could tell - and this was before she'd even touched on my rock-like back, made rigid with all the planning that would get me such lovely nuptials. Using botanical infused aromatherapy oils - the herbs and flowers plucked from local farms - she swept and palmed, rhythmically kneading away that worn-out, yet bristling feeling I hadn't been able to shake. I won't pretend it was always the comfiest of massages, but needs must and it certainly packed a calming punch. My head felt clearer than it had done in weeks, and there was a new lightness in the way I moved, freer perhaps than I had ever been.


A quick stop off at the Daylesford farmshop and its infamous room of cheese later (worth a visit for alone) and I skipped back to my wedmin a bride refreshed and raring to go.

Upper-body massage - £65 (60 minutes) at the Hay Barn Spa.
Book yours at Daylesfordorganic.com or call +44(0)1608 731 703

So, what are your Keep Calm and Wedmin On tricks? We'd love to know....

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