I'm already saving for my next spot of pampering

In a world where we all seem to be rushing around like headless chickens the majority of the time, it seems more important than ever to escape.

Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 6:01 am
Ashley says her spa treatment reminded her of the Ice Bucket Challenge

To get away from the stresses and strains of modern life, slow the pace and take some quiet time for ourselves.

This is what I did recently when I checked myself into Careys Manor in the New Forest for a spot of pampering.

I’m a girlie girl and love make-up and trying new products, but I’ve never had so much as a manicure.

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So I was excited to try out the facilities of the hotel’s SenSpa.

The Manor has an interesting history. Charles II used to hunt in the forest, riding from one lodge to the next, and in the 1660s he gave the manor to a gentleman named John Carey (hence its name).

In later years it was demolished and a new one built in its place.

In the Second World War it was used to house Welsh soldiers.

I stayed in a beautiful room that reminded me of the Kings Theatre in Southsea with its gold décor and red velvet chairs.

Donning my robe, I headed down to the hydrotherapy pool, where the warm bubbles worked wonders on a pulled muscle.

I also tried the saunas, a herbal one which smelt divine and a sweltering crystal one.

My favourite was The Ice Room, where I was soaked in freezing cold water (a reminder of those Ice Bucket Challenges) as some amazing storm sound effects echoed overhead.

It apparently removes impurities, but I think it would have taken more than one drenching to get rid of what the previous weekend’s wine intake had left in my system!

The most magical thing of all, though, was my ‘Narnia’ experience where I stepped through a door into a Parisien-style restaurant with vintage blue and mustard décor, complete with pavement tables and even a French car.

Finding Careys was like discovering paradise.

All you ladies and metrosexual men out there, I would thoroughly recommend treating yourself to a bit of pampering.

I’m already saving for my next trip...


I love Sunday mornings in bed with a passion, especially if the wind is howling and rain is hammering down outside.

Even better if my felines are snuggled up close to me.

I usually stay there until midday, when I manage to drag myself out of my cosy pit and head down to the nearest Costa for a bacon butty, a strong brew and a peruse of the Mail.

Last Sunday, though, I woke to blue skies and birds chirping.

After a few minutes, guilt set in so I hopped out of dreamland, donned my fitness gear and went for a run.

And do you know what? It left me feeling so invigorated.

Lazy days are fabulous, but nothing beats running in the sunshine.

Now where is that bacon sarnie?


Huge congratulations to Chloe and Dan, who have just become proud parents to a bouncing baby boy named Harry.

He is believed to be the first child born to parents who both work at the Kings Theatre.

Yes, with a sprinkling of fairydust and some theatre magic, marketing executive Chloe fell in love with Dan from front of house.

Harry’s nan Alyson also works at the theatre, so it was an exciting occasion for everybody there.

I’m sure Chloe and Dan are looking forward to many years of bringing him to children’s shows and the pantomime.

Although I’m not normally someone who goes gooey over babies unless they’re kittens. he is certainly a cute little dude.