Tag Archives: Friday

Review: Heading to the Aqua Sana Spa to feel revitalised after a busy weekend

After a busy weekend meeting up with my university friends, a crazy night out of dancing in high heels, drinking cocktails and a day of eating food that is very bad for me, it was time to detox. With Friday and Monday off either side of the weekend, I was excited to have a few days off work to really relax and let my body catch up on itself. A big part of this was booking a spa day at the Aqua Sana at my closest Centerparcs (Elvedon).

My friend and I booked the pair’s Spa Day with Decleor Aromatherapy Mind and Body Re-energiser treatment. This gave us all day to enjoy the spa and all of its gorgeous steam rooms, sauna, outdoor heated pool and waterbeds. My favourite steam rooms are the Turkish Hammam to start because the menthol scent is great for clearing the lungs with some deep breathing. This followed by the Indian Blossom room, which is my absolute favourite – the scene is divine! Then the Japanese Salt Steam which is also  gorgeous and great for building up a sweat before a cool shower and heading outside to the newly-refurbished pool.

We enjoy a spa day every few months as a treat, but it has been closer to a year since the last one – life just got in the way this time! But it was great to go back after a longer break because the pool had clearly been replaced with brand new pressure jets, seating areas and massage sections which were amazing. Plus the fact that this time it was rather cooler outside meant the heat of the pool was completely enveloping like a warm blanket. But I think one of my favourite parts has to have been the nap I had on one of the water-beds – I definitely need one of these in my life! They offer total relaxation and within seconds of laying my head upon the pillow, I am drifting away into a deep sleep.

We had breakfast and lunch at the Vitale restaurant in the spa, both provided as part of the deal we booked. We enjoy a delicious raspberry and vanilla pastry with hot chocolate and coffee. Later, at lunch, we enjoy fresh paninis in soft, white bread with fillings such as roasted vegetables with grilled halloumi and pesto, and roasted peppers with brie accompanied by fresh juices and water. We followed this with a treat of a chocolate, hazelnut praline truffle cake each – to die for.

After a few more hours relaxing around the spa and warm showers, we headed to the treatment rooms for our Decleor Aromatherapy Mind and Body Re-energiser. Described as “A heavenly massage of easing the tension from mind and muscles. Skin is treated to the wonderfully soothing sensation and exquisite aroma of a warm Decleor Aromaessence Balm. The expert touch of your therapist’s hands melts away stress and eases tense, tired muscles to unwind body and spirit leaving you with renewed energy.”

The treatment was divine, it started with a back massage that led to arms and legs being moisturised and massaged with oils, before finishing with a facial. For one hour I was truly in heaven and my muscles were oh so grateful after the stresses and exertions of the last few months. My shoulders appreciated the massage more than anything and it was lovely to have my face pampered and left softer than a baby’s you-know-what after the oils, masks, creams, lotions and potions had been applied.

I had a wonderful time at the spa and for the money we paid – £90 each – it was incredibly good value. We had a treatment worth over £70, two meals, access to the spa, steam rooms, sauna and pool all day and robes and towels provided. I have been to other spas in the area and have yet to find one that offers quite as good a deal, and such good quality  every time. Elvedon also offers far better a spa than the Sherwood Forest spa in Nottinghamshire, from my experience. I’m already counting down to when I can book the next one!

Pictures from The Good Spa Guide.

Making my plans to run away with the circus – then realising I can’t juggle

Growing up, I was a bookworm. The sort of child who took a book down to the dinner table and who lay on the floor in the supermarket reading all the magazines while my mum did the food shopping each week.

This love of books stemmed particularly from my mother introducing me to the  imaginative children’s stories by Enid Blyton, which were packed full of pixies and adventures. I used to save up my pocket money and go to a book stall on the local market to buy second hand books – usually Famous Fives, Secret Sevens, The Adventures of…, The Magic Faraway Tree collection, Mrs Pepperpot, Malory Towers etc – all the classics.

I would then plough through the books at lightning speed and be forced to read them over and over again until I could save enough for some more!

So imagine my delight when, after writing a story about a circus coming to King’s Lynn, I was offered free tickets to go along. I went along on Friday night, and despite my previous unease around clowns and the like, I was very excited to watch what I had been told was a “traditional circus designed to reignite childhood memories”.

Mr Fip’s Wonder Circus certainly delivered – from the moment I entered the big top, I was transported back into the pages of my Famous Five and The Adventures of… books where circuses were packed with magic, amazing acrobats and feats of contortion – of freak shows and hypnotising dancing girls. It was a fantastic night out and, for the official price of the tickets, very good value for money.

Despite the tent being packed out with families with young children, I think myself, my boyfriend and our two friends we took along, were having even more fun watching the acts. I can honestly say I didn’t stop laughing from the moment I entered the big top to the moment I left – it was hilarious and awe-inspiring throughout.

My favourite acts were the chap on the unicycle who impressed with his superb cycling skills as he bounced the contraption up and down flights of stairs and dribbled inbetween cones. He then switched to a smaller version of his cycle which was just a wheel with pedals, before challenging himself with a unicycle that was double the height. Amazing talents.

My second favourite act was the beautiful Arabian Nights performance by a young woman dressed in her stunning costume (similar to Jasmine’s in the Disney film, Aladdin). She was a hula-hooping extraordinaire who showed the audience all kinds of tricks which saw her hooping with around 30 huge hoops at the same time and then upping her game by setting them on fire. Her movements were hypnotic and I couldn’t tear my eyes away – especially later when she returned to the ring for her other act, which saw her dangling from a ball that was hung from the ceiling and performing acrobatic moves.

Finally, an act which deserves a fantastic mention for leaving me in pain for laughing so hard – my ribs still ached the next day from such hysterics! Mr Fips and his father performed their double act, The Brenner Clowns, which saw the comedic duo throwing water, soap and other messy liquids all over each other – and the audience! It was hilarious and through the art of mime they managed to tell a story while doing it. The piece was incredibly well scripted and practised until perfected – yet still retained the feeling of complete spontaneity. It was a wonderful break from the main show and the pair should be applauded (as they were, and very heartily from the audience) for their amazing chemistry in the ring.

A fantastic night out and totally changed my opinion of both clowns and circuses. Before now I had not been to the circus for several years and had based my opinion of them on what I saw in the news and heard from others – mainly relating to animal cruelty and creepy clowns. I am happy to admit that all of those beliefs were wrong and instead I found an amazing show that brings some incredible talents together. These dedicated individuals put their all into performing the very best possible show for you and they have an amazing time doing it. I would heartily recommend visiting this circus as it makes it’s way to Downham Market and beyond.