Mill Wheel Spa at The Three Horseshoes Inn: Herbal Steam Massage

Zane Henry experiences the relaxing power of country life in the stunning Staffordshire Peak DistrictWednesday, 25 May 2016

By Zane Henry

Zane Henry experiences the relaxing power of country life in the stunning Staffordshire Peak District

The spa

Our two-day spa experience started with the Beach Hut, which involved lying back on warm sand in simulated sunlight while recordings of sea birds and breaking waves lulled us for 25 minutes. This was followed by a head-to-toe couples' mud bath in the rasul, where we slathered gently exfoliating and moisturising organic mud on each other in a steam-room environment. We loved the owners' ingenuity in fusing traditional Staffordshire elements such as a working mill, Victorian steam bath machinery and authentic masonry with Austrian-inspired beauty regimes and the minerals that formed the base of most of the beauty products. The second day was dominated by a more traditional combination of sauna/steam room and soaking in the outdoor vitality pool.

The treatment

The Herbal Steam Massage used a combination of Kurland products and a fancy steam massage machine to turn my tense body into a satisfied pile of cooked spaghetti. The treatment started with hands-on massage using a base oil, followed by a thorough steaming using a beer pad and herbal oil. I wish I could say that I resisted licking my arm to test the combination of beer and herbs, but I can't. It was delicious.

Sleep

A huge four-poster bed presided over a Scottish Highlands-inspired bedroom. The bath was essentially a whirlpool bath, gleaming with many chrome nozzles. The second hot dip of the day was in a Scandinavian-style wooden hot tub in our private garden facing the stunning Staffordshire Peak District.

Eat and drink

The food was one of the biggest highlights of our visit. Us vegetarians can often be the bane of chefs, but our menu was definitely not an afterthought tacked on to cater to a minority. Equal care and attention had been given to the flavours and the presentation, while the attentive waiting staff kept us supplied with all manner of palate-teasing morsels. A great selection of whiskies gleefully matched our expectations based on the Scottish decor.

Best for

The entire visit felt perfect for a romantic couples' weekend — from the pointed assurances of privacy in the hot tub and rasul, to the focus on intimate meals in hidden nooks.

Verdict

The place is family owned, and you can tell. Being a guest feels like being surrounded by a family that's actually happy to see you, and that are happy to pamper you thoroughly.

Essentials

Overnight Rise & Shine Spa Break from £120pp. ‘Serenity' Spa Day from £99pp.

millwheelspa.com



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