I love relaxing and being pampered as much as the next person: I’ve been to commercial “Health Spas” and luxury hotels with spas. They’re great and I leave feeling relaxed and re-charged. However, I’ve never experienced a retreat before and was keen to visit Middle Piccadilly to have a great break.
I arrived: driving down a long track to a picturesque cottage surrounded by stunning autumnal trees. Dominic – the co-owner, took me to my lovely room for the two nights stay. It was complete with a four poster bed, tea making facilities and was really cosy. Once I was settled I was ‘checked in’ to see what my aims of the stay were, as well as recommendations for treatments, and I have to say that they were spot on with the treatments and benefits to me!
Normally when I arrive at a destination I’ll call my husband, switch on the TV or radio; but not only did my phone not work, but there was no TV or radio at the retreat. Although this took a while to adjust to, it was BRILLIANT to be detached from streams of emails, and media entertainment. There was a WIFI room, if you wanted to check emails, but I decided to spend a minimal time there. Instead I relaxed, read and walked.
The food was all home produced, vegetarian and was DELICIOUS! Not only was it of a high standard flavour wise, it was beautifully presented, and you just KNEW it was doing you good! It was served in the kitchen/dining room of the retreat. Breakfast was a buffet, lunch was salad with soup, bread, cheese and fruit and dinner was a substantial vegetarian dish with delicious dessert and fruit. I didn’t miss not eating meat.
One of the features of the retreat is that it offers tailored treatments with the individual in mind. When I’ve had treatments in the past, I was one of a number of clients booked in with a therapist. At Middle Piccadilly, each treatment room was set up with the client’s needs in mind. I suspect the aromas used would be different for each individual. I had a massage on the first day – goodness, it was the best massage I’d ever had. I also had a spa bath with Thai herbs in the water. I was so relaxed and had the best sleep I’ve had for a long while. On the second day I had a “Hand on Heart” treatment, which unblocked my energy, and a chocolate wrap! Both made me feel incredible. As well as treatments, the retreat also has a spa room that you can book with a sauna.
I took advantage of the good weather to do a recommended walk. This was invigorating and cleared the mind. The surrounding area is lovely and I enjoyed the rolling Dorset hills.
I loved the experience of staying at the retreat. Nothing is too much trouble for Dominic and Lisa; they are very flexible – in fact the lunch was served early, to ensure I ate before I drove home. They are guest centred and their aim is to ensure every guest is able to relax and feel at home whilst staying at the retreat. I certainly felt very relaxed and rejuvenated when I left. I drove, but there is the option of being picked up from the local train station (Sherborne). I would recommend taking the train as the drive is long (there are lots of maniacs driving on the A303!)
Would I recommend the retreat: definitely. If you are looking for a Five Star Hotel Spa with fluffy bathrobes then this won’t be for you, but if you are looking for a bespoke experience allowing you to relax and be detached from a busy life, then this is perfect.
Would I return: my husband and I are planning to return next year!