I was spending a long weekend at this gorgeous 43-acre resort near St Austell for my dear friends' wedding down the road at the Eden Project.
So ahead of what turned out to be The Wedding of the Century TM, I thought I'd have a bit of R&R and to whip my sorry self into a more sparkling state, whilst realising that any benefits would be ruined that night at the pre-wedding bash and at the spectacular ceremony and post-nuptials party the day after. Hey ho. It was all worth it...
I booked the Ultimate Cornish Trilogy at the lovely Clearing Spa, a separate building adjacent to the grand white mansion that houses the main hotel, but equally adorable and impeccably turned out within the original walled gardens.
As usual, I was given a robe to go and get changed into at reception, but had to ask for slippers which was a bit tsk. The changing rooms are fine though could do with more private spaces to get changed in. I used a loo. The upside of this not being quite five-star luxury though is that it is really relaxed comfortable - you can just be yourself and properly relax and not worry if you look like a sleep-dribbled beetroot after your treatment.
The particular treatment is billed as rejuvenating and 're-mineralising' your whole body. I'm not sure what the latter means, or even if it's scientifically possible without taking pills. However, it's said to leave you feeling physically and spiritually refreshed and rejuvenated, which was enough for me.
The first part of the treatment saw the very sweet therapist Alex use divine-smelling Aromatherapy Associates body scrub to sand my skin from top to toe. It's the most invigorating and intense exfoliation session I've ever had and could almost feel years of dead skin cells being sloughed off while my circulation became almost caffeine-fuelled - Alex has magic hands.
After the scrub, Cornish mud, clay and plant oils were rubbed into my skin all over my whole body, which again, felt like the equivalent of 100 bracing clifftop walks in a force 10 gale, whilst at the same time being totally delicious.
After the mud and gunk have sunk in a bit, I was ushered into the neighbouring shower to wash everything off - using the amazing Aromatherapy Associates products again - then you're back on the bed for the deep tissue massage.
It was a deeply relaxing treatment rather than a proper painful tissue task force, but to be honest, that was what I was in the mood for. It still got rid of some knots and ironed out some muscles, and a lovely touch at the end was a brief facial massage and having some gorgeous essential oils wafted under your nose at the end. The relaxing massage oil Alex used smelled incredible too, and I am saving up to buy some.
Afterwards, I was sent through to the relaxation room with a selection of day beds, magazines, a selection of tea sachets and jugs of water. Again, a properly luxury spa touch of freshly made pots of herbal brews and some fresh cut fruit would have been nice.
I felt so zoned out it took me a while to realise the door said push and not pull to get out of the spa. And my skin was as buffed as a baby's - deeply soft and rather pink, though the colour went down within the hour.
If I'd had time, I would have taken advantage of the beautiful indoor infinity pool, overlooking some wonderfully wild-looking Cornish gardens, or the aroma steam room and sauna. Or visited the neat little gym or had an amble around the acres of woodland surrounding the Cornwall. But I had a party to get ready for...
There is no way you could ever recreate this experience yourself unless you had access to Cornish mud etc, and Inspector Gadget-style extendable arms to properly exfoliate yourself. Buying some Aromatherapy Associates body scrub would be a first step I guess. But you could never replicate this lovely treatment in a lovely spa in a truly lovely part of the world.
If you do want to book a stay at the Cornwall Hotel rather than just use the spa, I can thoroughly recommend sharing with friends at one of the splendid self-catering woodland lodges in the grounds (it works out cheaper than staying in the main hotel particularly if you take along your own food and drink rather than eat your meals in the hotel). However, whichever part you stay in, the food in the hotel is fantastic, service is impeccable and the whole place is just wonderful. As for the treatment, is seems good things do come in threes…