Spend a blissful pre-birth weekend being pampered, indulging in exquisite food and taking in the idyllic scenery
Ella Day, 28, six months pregnant, and her partner Will, 29, from Leicester, enjoyed everything from pampering to falconry displays at Bovey Castle estate, Dartmoor National Park. After a hassle-free two-hour First Great Western train journey from London Paddington to Exeter St. David's, and a 30 minute ride in Bovey's 4x4 jeep, we made it to the beautiful grounds of Bovey Castle manor. What struck us both was the relaxed nature of the staff in an unashamedly grand hotel and that family dogs are welcome as guests. It felt like a real home away from home.Daily falconry displays add a rustic charm, and while some of the optional extras (such as rock climbing and hot air ballooning) are not suitable for expectant mums, Sundari’s flagship spa is well equipped to pamper any mum-to-be. My treatment, the Sundari Aadi - First Beginnings, was a dreamy 75 minutes of relaxation and rejuvenation. After starting with a warm foot scrub, I was then propped up on my side for a luxurious back massage, but given a pillow for comfort and support. A warm tummy wrap followed, along with a soothing leg massage, and sensual facial. The spa includes a pool overlooking the golf course, a sauna, steam room, and Jacuzzi. It really is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Grand rooms, such as the Cathedral and Mulberry rooms, offer the perfect spot to curl up with a book, or chat with Beaky the resident parrot. The impressive balconys, with sweeping views of the expansive golf course, are the perfect place to enjoy afternoon tea. We made the most of the lovely weather and ordered pots of tea to sun loungers beneath the terrace.
In the evening, Will and I enjoyed a three-course dinner in the Edwardian Grill, although the food is very rich and wouldn’t necessarily suit families with young children, or if you're suffering pregnancy sickness. However, the Castle Bistro more than caters for families and is open for lunch too.
Our room was very chic, complete with mini fridge, TV and a kettle. The large bathroom had the essentials all stocked up - including thick white bathrobes to wrap up in come evening. There was the option to hire a lodge in the grounds for larger groups, too. Bovey offers a luxurious escape with a homely feel, and is an ideal escape for any expectant mums with her buddies.
For more information see boveycastle.com/spa.html.
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