As part of our trip to Norfolk we treated ourselves to a relaxing stay at Congham Hall Hotel in Grimston which is just thirty minutes from Hunstanton (which is where my parents live). We arrived in the midst of a busy Sunday lunch but despite this we received a warm welcome. We chose to head over to the spa and rather than being given directions we were taken there - this was refreshing as the bar, restaurant and surrounding rooms were clearly busy and it would have been easy to point us in the right direction and let us get on with it!
The decoration throughout the hotel was calming and in keeping with the Georgian property, but yet it retained some quirkiness:
The Secret Garden Spa was great too, arriving at lunchtime could have been a smart move on our part as there was only one other couple in the spa and they left part-way through the time we spent there. A further two couples arrived just before we headed off to our treatments.
But first let me tell you about MOH's first spa visit. We started by using the experience showers - wow - a tropical rainstorm with lights, scents, jets of water and a cold mist - it really had to be experienced. Then some time in the bio sauna, which didn't have the dry heat of more traditional saunas, and I found I preferred it. Out of the sauna and back in the experience shower for another tropical rainstorm.
Knowing MOH struggles to sit still and relax, my plan was to keep him occupied with each of the offerings of the "thermal suite" - cunning hey?!
I'd spotted an outdoor hot tub which was "steaming" away at 38° and was keen to try that. It was lovely to be sitting in a hot tub with a great view over the Norfolk countryside in March and to be honest it felt just a little bit decadent!
Back inside and next up was some time in the steam room, which is my all time favourite (well apart from the outdoor hot tub!). MOH did well here too but this kind of heat really isn't his thing and after ten minutes or so he was all set for something else... Another experience shower perhaps!
After all of this activity it was time to relax on the loungers with a good kindle for a bit... Bliss.
But there was still the swimming pool to try, while it wasn't huge - at twelve metres it suited me fine as I'm not a strong swimmer and like to bob around a bit in between lengths. But even I could manage lengths in this pool! On one return I discovered a button to turn on the underwater jets and spent the time they were on alternating between giggling as I struggled to keep my bikini bottoms on or "swimming on the spot" as I tried swimming towards the jets. Then it was some time under the jets pummelling my shoulders, amazing. Which left just enough time to use the foot bath and a quick change into a dry cossie before we were collected for our massage.
I'd booked us both an hour of Rosemary Muscle Melt Massage, which was intense. We both chose the tension relief option, rather than relaxation and at times it was verging on painful. However both of us have less knotty muscles as a result of the massage and neither of us ached as we thought we might. Usually it's my neck and shoulders that build tension but the most tender point for me was my calves this time round, not sure why - I don't think even I can blame my 500 miles challenge for this, I mean it's hardly intense activity!
I'd say it was a successful first spa day for MOH and I reckon I may manage to book another one at a later date, perhaps not immediately but at some point in the future. Yay!
Heading back to the hotel, we checked into our room which like the public rooms, had some great touches:
Back downstairs it was time for afternoon tea in the Library, in front of the open fire:
The hotel is renowned locally for its herb garden and herbs were very much evident on the tables in the restaurant.
We had a great meal, although I tend to agree with MOH's verdict that "you wouldn't get fat eating here" and both of us were impressed to be given the wine menu on an iPad; it seemed fitting to end a great day with a Digestif.
The next morning, after a fantastic room service breakfast (another first for us) we took a wander around the grounds and herb garden which was just starting to come back to life, I bet it smells fantastic later in the year.
All in all we had a great overnight stay, which was both relaxing and decadent and definitely something we'd do again. Thanks to everyone at the Congham House who made our stay so enjoyable.