Mill Wheel Spa in Staffordshire
PUBLISHED: 06:00 23 March 2016
Katrina Davies visits the Mill Wheel Spa in Staffordshire for a farmers’ sauna, Heaven Bee Sting facial and a good covering of mud!
There was a time when a visit to even a luxury spa could be perhaps a little ‘vanilla’. Wherever you went, you could expect to find many of the same products being used and many of the same treatment options. But how things have changed. Today, more and more of us are travelling further afield for unique spa treatments, and frankly, who needs much of an excuse for a pampering away day.
Which brings us to the Mill Wheel Spa in the Staffordshire Peak District, which boasts an indoor beach hut (and beach), a farmers’ sauna and a relocated, stone animal barn (details to follow). Other than the reason that you don’t need much of an excuse to escape for a spa say, I was taking the trip with my sister-in-law, who is heavily pregnant and getting rather familiar with the phrase, ‘best avoided while pregnant’.
The aim of our trip was, like most people, relaxation with a few treatments so that upon leaving, we would feel refreshed, rested and wrapped in flawless, beauty magazine skin as we floated out of the spa after 24 hours of mud baths, steam treatments, facials and plunge pools.
Still in fear of the ‘best avoided while pregnant’ barrier, my sister-in-law was immediately put at ease. As well as suggestions as to how she could safely experience as many of the facilities as possible, such as making sure the outdoor hot tub had the jets turned off, the manager of the Mill Wheel Spa, Katie, had tailored treatments to suit, which included a range of massages and facials. My sister-in-law had the Heaven Bee Sting facial, an anti-ageing treatment into which the therapist incorporated not just a scalp massage, but also a foot and calf massage – a perfect combination that rejuvenated both a tired complexion and aching limbs.
For me, I experienced an amazing herbal steam massage, which used a heated steam pad to help relax muscles, which was very much needed in my case! I also had the enjoyment of using the rasul. In a nutshell, this treatment involved applying a variety of mud to your face and body, and then sitting in a steam room for 20 minutes before a rain shower washes the mud away.
Our treatments were interspersed with opportunities to experience the various rooms within the spa, including the beach hut experience which involved lying on warm sand, listening to sounds of the sea while the lighting takes you from sunrise to sunset in about 25 minutes. We were told that this experience is especially good for people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. There was also a farmers’ sauna, with pine needles on the floor, a huge copper and stone oven as the centrepiece, and a stone bath, which was set in an original Peak District stone barn which had been relocated to the spa.
Of course, what spa review would be complete without mention of the delicious food on offer? We were lucky to have a table in the exquisite Stables restaurant, which treated us to specialties such as sea bass and crab and chocolate ganache with blood orange, interspersed with palate cleansers and homemade bread rolls.
And so came the time to leave; refreshed, rested and wrapped in flawless, beauty magazine skin. Well, that was at least how we felt!
The Mill Wheel Spa at Three Horseshoes
Buxton Road, Blackshaw Moor, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 8TW, 01538 300296