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One of the more traditional country spas, Ragdale is famous far and wide for it's revolutionary treatments, top of the range therapists, varied exercise classes (70s Boogie, Billy Elliot and Line Dancing to name a few) and views across the county, so I was more than happy when I rocked up on a rainy afternoon, knowing that I wouldn't have to spend another moment in the wet and windy weather.
Not that I stayed dry for very long; the moment I spotted their impressive pool, I decided to take a dip. Often in spas, the pools can be a bit of a lost entity and are more like large baths, but Ragdale's did not disappoint. With enough space to swim or just have a splash about under the waterfall feature, it felt good to do a bit of exercise whilst I was waiting for my treatment. It also heightened my hunger pangs too which I dealt with after my water workout.
The restaurant at Ragdale is spacious to say the least and is very much like a hotel eatery in my eyes, with impressive chandeliers and silver service settings. With a huge buffet, you can pick out healthy salads or indulge in more than one course of hot food.
Once lunch was over, it was off to try out one of their signature treatments, the Avocado and Lemon Reviver. Not an exotic smoothie, but an exfoliation treatment fresh from their Natural Balance range. The scrub is made from a concoction of bran, oats, avocado and lemon oil which provides enough roughness to slough off dead skin. Warm avocados and grapefruit essence are then smoothed on before I was bound in a body wrap. Whilst I was lying there motionless, the therapist performed a pressure point scalp massage which helped to take my mind off the slightly itchy scratchy feeling of the bran and oats against my skin.
Once the head massage was over, it was into the shower to wash away all the dirt and debris before having a mixture of cocoa butter and avocado smoothed on to keep the skin soft. Although it wasn't the comfiest treatment I've had, (I felt I was impersonating a cereal bar) it did leave my skin feeling soft and it felt good knowing that the treatment had been fashioned from totally natural ingredients.
Because Ragdale Hall is a traditional health spa and so well renowned, I did feel slightly out of place at times and I think this was down to the vast scale and slightly older clientele. Although I wasn't a spa newcomer, I did find it a tad more intimidating than some of the city spas I've visited but the staff did their upmost to make me feel comfortable and relaxed at all times. Sitting on my own dressed in a towelling robe also felt like it would be more suited to a beachside bar rather than an elaborate dining room, especially when there were fully clothed folk on the table next to me!