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Funky and stylish - The C. Side Spa

PUBLISHED: 15:31 16 June 2009 | UPDATED: 15:38 20 February 2013

C. Side Spa

C. Side Spa

Wendy Carter finds a top-notch spa literally buried in the grounds of a traditional English manor

It would be fair to say that we did not have a memorable summer on the weather front. So my shorts and swimwear have been gathering dust, until recently when I jetted off for a few days to warmer climes. Despite my best attempts at being healthy and keeping an eye on my weight, many of my summer clothes seem to have shrunk - one of life's mysteries?



So that means I have a great excuse to support the local economy and purchase a new outfit for the party season - which obviously includes new shoes and handbag. Now all I need is my skin repairing and I am ready to party - cue Cowley Manor, the venue for this month's review.



Cowley Manor's discerning reputation precedes it, even the signposting and entrance is discreet



The exterior of Cowley Manor is very traditional and certainly does not provide any clues to its contemporary interior which contains an eclectic mix of British handmade furniture. It is certainly worth taking time to visit the main house even if you are a day spa visitor.



My colleague and I had a light lunch in the main house whilst taking in the amazing views across the fabulous grounds. We had a nosey around the manor and then made our way to the spa.



The C.Side Spa is housed separately from the main house and is discreetly built below ground. The spa was recently opened up to day guests, on the day of our visit there was a mixture of hotel residents and day guests.



Treatments at the spa are bespoke and designed by one of the UKs leading aromatherapists using their own exclusive range of products, which are available to purchase.



The indoor and outdoor pools are truly amazing; the day of our visit was rather chilly, the steam emanating from the heated outdoor pool just invites you to dive in, so I did - bliss. The steam room is worth a visit to relax those aching muscles



The gym is well-equipped although I must be honest and say that I only glanced in.



I was booked in for Cloud 9 -a signature treatment. The name set the scene. My friendly therapist asked me to choose the background music to be played during my treatment - Norah Jones seemed apt. (Not sure who would pick Coldplay, but they are on the list.) The treatment room was airy, if not a little cold.



After checking if I was comfortable with the applied pressure, my therapist proceeded with a full body massage. Pressure points were squeezed and muscles relaxed. Reflexology was used on my feet. The facial and head massage was heavenly - even my hands were not left out. The treatment lasted for 1 ½ hours - it genuinely felt as though it was over in five minutes. My skin felt softer and I was so relaxed that I fell asleep on one of the loungers by the pool.



My colleague opted for a facial. With a bewildering choice she lazily left the decision in the hands of her tactful therapist. After talking through the merits of Cascade (for hydrating dry skin), Contour (to lift and tone - she got the impression this was for the 'more mature' skin) and Care (for sensitive skin).



So, in her own words: "We settled on Clear, which has the subtitle of 'deep cleansing'. We had hesitated over Contour, but while we both agreed this was a strong contender (with my mature skin, obviously) the consensus was that my embarrassing shortcomings in the exfoliating department tipped the balance in favour of Clear.



"We started with a gentle lavender and almond facial scrub, which smelt heavenly and was far too kind to be called a scrub. After that a mask (sorry, masque) of green clay and something called propolis was slapped on and left to cook while my scalp was given a thorough going-over. Scalp massages usually delude me into thinking all my mundane worries are minuscule, or at least irrelevant, and this was no exception. I was told later that this one included lymph drainage and acupressure, but whatever it was it certainly cut the mustard.



"My face was then covered with a piece of gauze over which hot paraffin wax was poured, apparently to ensure that the benefits of the masque were soaked up. While this was going on, my feet suddenly came in focus and were soaked in rosewater before being given a tough but effective manipulation with heavy emphasis on pressure points. Whatever the science, I have definitely noticed more flexibility in my creaky toes since then.



"Perhaps the deep cleansing went deeper than the promise in the brochure. I can only say my face was exfoliated like never before and my feet felt like a million dollars."



The C.Side Spa dcor is funky and stylish, its bespoke treatments award-winning, and the therapists make all guests feel like VIPs. If you are lucky enough to live within driving distance I would certainly recommend taking advantage of the new day spa packages.




Cowley even has its own luxury boutique - The Village Shop - so I decided to pay a visit - maybe I could complete my relaxing day with some retail therapy and find my new party outfit.




Day spa packages at C.Side Spa start from £105, including lunch. Contact Cowley Manor 01242 870 902


It would be fair to say that we did not have a memorable summer on the weather front. So my shorts and swimwear have been gathering dust, until recently when I jetted off for a few days to warmer climes. Despite my best attempts at being healthy and keeping an eye on my weight, many of my summer clothes seem to have shrunk - one of life's mysteries?



So that means I have a great excuse to support the local economy and purchase a new outfit for the party season - which obviously includes new shoes and handbag. Now all I need is my skin repairing and I am ready to party - cue Cowley Manor, the venue for this month's review.



Cowley Manor's discerning reputation precedes it, even the signposting and entrance is discreet



The exterior of Cowley Manor is very traditional and certainly does not provide any clues to its contemporary interior which contains an eclectic mix of British handmade furniture. It is certainly worth taking time to visit the main house even if you are a day spa visitor.



My colleague and I had a light lunch in the main house whilst taking in the amazing views across the fabulous grounds. We had a nosey around the manor and then made our way to the spa.



The C.Side Spa is housed separately from the main house and is discreetly built below ground. The spa was recently opened up to day guests, on the day of our visit there was a mixture of hotel residents and day guests.



Treatments at the spa are bespoke and designed by one of the UKs leading aromatherapists using their own exclusive range of products, which are available to purchase.



The indoor and outdoor pools are truly amazing; the day of our visit was rather chilly, the steam emanating from the heated outdoor pool just invites you to dive in, so I did - bliss. The steam room is worth a visit to relax those aching muscles



The gym is well-equipped although I must be honest and say that I only glanced in.



I was booked in for Cloud 9 -a signature treatment. The name set the scene. My friendly therapist asked me to choose the background music to be played during my treatment - Norah Jones seemed apt. (Not sure who would pick Coldplay, but they are on the list.) The treatment room was airy, if not a little cold.



After checking if I was comfortable with the applied pressure, my therapist proceeded with a full body massage. Pressure points were squeezed and muscles relaxed. Reflexology was used on my feet. The facial and head massage was heavenly - even my hands were not left out. The treatment lasted for 1 ½ hours - it genuinely felt as though it was over in five minutes. My skin felt softer and I was so relaxed that I fell asleep on one of the loungers by the pool.



My colleague opted for a facial. With a bewildering choice she lazily left the decision in the hands of her tactful therapist. After talking through the merits of Cascade (for hydrating dry skin), Contour (to lift and tone - she got the impression this was for the 'more mature' skin) and Care (for sensitive skin).



So, in her own words: "We settled on Clear, which has the subtitle of 'deep cleansing'. We had hesitated over Contour, but while we both agreed this was a strong contender (with my mature skin, obviously) the consensus was that my embarrassing shortcomings in the exfoliating department tipped the balance in favour of Clear.



"We started with a gentle lavender and almond facial scrub, which smelt heavenly and was far too kind to be called a scrub. After that a mask (sorry, masque) of green clay and something called propolis was slapped on and left to cook while my scalp was given a thorough going-over. Scalp massages usually delude me into thinking all my mundane worries are minuscule, or at least irrelevant, and this was no exception. I was told later that this one included lymph drainage and acupressure, but whatever it was it certainly cut the mustard.



"My face was then covered with a piece of gauze over which hot paraffin wax was poured, apparently to ensure that the benefits of the masque were soaked up. While this was going on, my feet suddenly came in focus and were soaked in rosewater before being given a tough but effective manipulation with heavy emphasis on pressure points. Whatever the science, I have definitely noticed more flexibility in my creaky toes since then.



"Perhaps the deep cleansing went deeper than the promise in the brochure. I can only say my face was exfoliated like never before and my feet felt like a million dollars."



The C.Side Spa dcor is funky and stylish, its bespoke treatments award-winning, and the therapists make all guests feel like VIPs. If you are lucky enough to live within driving distance I would certainly recommend taking advantage of the new day spa packages.




Cowley even has its own luxury boutique - The Village Shop - so I decided to pay a visit - maybe I could complete my relaxing day with some retail therapy and find my new party outfit.




Day spa packages at C.Side Spa start from 105, including lunch. Contact Cowley Manor 01242 870 902

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