I’ve been meaning to visit Seaham Hall for years (about ten years to be honest). I remember going to its sister restaurants in Newcastle when I was at University, and knew I needed to go there based on its literary history (Lord Byron first visited in 1814). When I delved more into its history since then I was amazed. Built in 1791, since 1821 it has been a military hospital, a secret whiskey bottling centre, a tuberculosis sanatorium, the home of the first hospital radio. a nursing home and a hotel owned by a variety of different companies.
|Talk about a grand entrance!|
I think what had held me back from visiting was reading things about the spa being tired, but when I visited this was absolutely not the case. I saw an offer for the Twilight Spa on Facebook (two for £40) and took my chance to pay a visit. My friend and I pulled up to the spa and I was immediately taken aback by the architecture. The reception area is almost temple or church-like in its design, I couldn’t stop looking up at the ceiling and the detail involved. I was immediately impressed with the staff, and from the second you are welcomed they bent over backwards to make you feel welcome. The reception staff were excellent – we were offered tea/water as soon as we arrived. They explained everything thoroughly and guided us to the Ozone restaurant, and took us on a tour of the spa. I was immediately calmed by being so well looked after.
We arrived at 6pm for the Twilight Spa package which involves:
- Full use of the spa facilities until 10.00pm
- A delicious two course meal in the Pan Asian restaurant
- Complimentary use of robes, towels and slippers
You have the option of eating as soon as you arrive, in the middle of the evening or towards the end of the evening after you’ve used the facilities. I thought it would be best to eat first so we could relax afterwards, which was the right decision in the end so we weren’t rushing around. Some people were in the restaurant in their robes which raised our eyebrows a bit, but I liked the fact that it was so relaxed and there was the option to do that.
|We enjoyed the mixed platter, Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry|
The Ozone spa restaurant is beautifully decorated with nods to Asia to reflect the delicious pan-Asian cuisine. Your eye is immediately drawn to the central cocktail bar, with a collection of different shaped lights hanging above it. In front of it to the left is an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs in action. There’s also an outdoor terrace which has a great view of the surrounding grounds and gardens, perfect for summer dining al fresco.
After perusing the innovative menu, we chose to have starters and main courses, and decided upon the mixed tapas sharing platter (featuring onion bhaji, chicken satay, tuna fishcakes and vegetable spring rolls). This was served with a selection of dipping sauces (sweet chilli, raita and hoisin) alongside prawn crackers. I am a sucker for a good Pad Thai (I got addicted to it in Thailand) and went for the Tofu version, and my friend had the Beef Kaeng Khiao Wan (Thai Green Curry), which was served with a pyramid of rice. My Pad Thai was delicious and filling, and my friend thoroughly enjoyed his curry, if anything we were both a bit too full. I had a glass of wine but I definitely want to come back for cocktails (there’s a buy one get one half price offer on during the week).
|The stunning pool area|
After being given the low-down about the spa I got changed. I was impressed with the changing rooms (towel, robe and slippers in your locker and more towels easily available) and couldn’t wait to get into the pool, which is really impressive. Featuring a large metallic centrepiece, this twenty metre pool is surrounded by comfortable loungers and includes hydro stations which are great for back pain. Enjoy the warmer weather in the outdoor hot tubs, or detox in the numerous saunas, steam room and hammam (basically a jacuzzi in a steam room). I dared my friend to try the freezing cold plunge pool but he chickened out (i went in up to my knees before I had to get out). I think my favourite was the salt room, with its pink and orange himalayan salt bricks set into one wall. I definitely felt like I could breathe easier afterwards.
Unfortunately we didn’t have treatments this time but when i go back I’d love to try Rasul Mud Therapy or the Champagne and Truffles Deluxe Facial. The spa has recently started using Temple Spa products which I love, and also uses ishga, which combines Scottish Seaweed and natural spring water. I also love the fact that they offer Cancer Touch Therapy Treatments for those recovering from cancer. I managed to take some time after I’d discovered all the different areas to have a rest on a lounger and read some magazines, which I was very kindly allowed to take home.
I was glad I’d bought some comfy clothes to go home in because I was falling asleep in the changing room, I was so relaxed. The whole experience was a joy from start to finish, combining delicious food, excellent helpful staff and first-rate spa facilities. I’m already organising my trip back which will definitely involve a longer stay!
Find out more about Spa Packages and Treatments at Seaham Hall click here