Your Cheshire and Merseyside Wedding - May/June 2023 (Issue 69)

FIND OUT MORE The Montagu Arms | 01590 612 324 Careys Manor & SenSpa | 01590 624 467 ON THE ROAD AGAIN Incredibly sad to leave the hotel and it’s charming, friendly and helpful team, we set off after a hearty breakfast and hit the road again. Our destination was a mere six miles away in beautiful Brockenhurst: Carey’s Manor Hotel, The Montagu’s sister establishment. Although downhearted to see the latter in my rear-view mirror, it didn’t take me long to turn my thoughts to the planned day ahead spent in SenSpa at my next destination – the excitement was back! It’s worth pointing out at this juncture that residents of The Montagu Arms can enjoy complimentary access to SenSpa, including it’s indoor pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and gym, with treatments and access to the hydrotherapy pool available at an additional cost. The kind folk there even offer free transfers. The choice of where you decide to rest your head is, purely down to your personal style. Where The Montagu Arms is intimate, boutique, tranquil, and secluded; Carey’s Manor offers 18th-century grandeur, vibrancy and a myriad of spaces to enjoy from the aforementioned spa, to its three restaurants, including modern British brasserie Cambium, traditional French bistro Le Blaireau, and authentic Thai restaurant Zen Garden. PERFECTLY PAMPERED On arrival, I wasted no time whatsoever in heading straight to the awardwinning SenSpa. A world-class Thai spa focusing on holistic wellness, inspired by ancient Eastern rituals, it was unlike any I’d been to before, so I was interested to see what the experience would have in store. We’d been treated to Hydrotherapy Pool access, and I was like a kid in a sweetshop. But where to begin? Across two floors, this state-of-the-art facility features the pool itself, crystal steam room, ice room, experience showers, herbal sauna and so much more. Adding this to your visit is something I would most definitely encourage as it’s not to be missed. My treatment was booked for the afternoon – a relaxing, full-body Thai massage using SenSpa’s very own natural products, which lifted me away on a cloud of aroma and ultimate relaxation. My therapist was incredible and really listened to me when I talked to her about problem areas and the amount of pressure I’d like. I headed back to the pool with a spring in my step, feeling revitalised and light as a feather. There’s a wide range of spa packages available, so there’s bound to be something to suit you both and help you unwind following the highs of W-day. BON APPETIT By the time I managed to tear myself away from the calming waters of SenSpa, there was just enough time to pop back to our gorgeous suite to brush up for dinner. Mum and I were thrilled by its two bathrooms, meaning we could both get ready in double quick time without fighting for mirror or sink space! The hotel has 77 bedrooms and suites all designed with tranquillity in mind. Some Manor Rooms in the main house feature a four-poster bed – honeymoon romance goals. Meanwhile, The Garden Rooms are more contemporary, each with a balcony or patio overlooking the grounds. The newly-designed suites offer a luxurious escape with features such as a roof terrace, spacious living area and chic, marble bathroom. Our table was booked in Le Blaireau, which promised a menu of regional French food. Given it’s location at the other side of this vast hotel, and the fact the rain still hadn’t let up, we were happy indeed to hear that we didn’t need to set foot outside and could cheerfully wend our way through the cosy corridors to reach the restaurant. As I pushed open an unassuming door at the end of a corridor, I let out a gasp of delight. Was this the Hampshire equivalent of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe? It was as though I’d stepped into the cobbled streets of Paris with the iconic Art Nouveau Metro sign in front of me and shop fronts complete with awning to my right. Past a vintage Citroen DS, lies the main restaurant, every bit the classic French bistro of a bygone era. So... much... fun! The menu here is humble and indulgent – fine by me – I was ravenous after such a tiring day in the spa! I dined on a soufflé au fromage, a tasty burger from the specials board and crème brulee, all washed down with a glass of French wine, before going to bed full, relaxed, completely content, and dreaming of those illusive New Forest ponies. HONEYMOON REVIEW 89