INSIDE THE TREATMENT: MY HONEYMOON AT COWLEY MANOR, AND THE C-SIDE SPA
Carla Valois Lobo
Rafael and I married recently, but we could only spend our honeymoon some time later. As we had just a few days available, we decided to stay in the UK, where we live, and so we went to Cowley Manor, located in Gloucestershire, south west England. Relatively isolated – the closest town, Cheltenham, is 10 min by car –, the hotel, built there is over 100 years old, and quite cozy and has more than 2.000 m² of gardens, besides a renowned spa, called C-Side, which holds four treatment rooms, two swimming pools, a sauna and gym.
After we left our luggage in the room, which we liked immediately, we went down the stairs to the ground floor to have our afternoon tea, a courtesy offered to every newcomer guest. Very traditional here in England, the afternoon tea comes with sweets, sandwiches and scones, served with clothed cream and jam. In spite of the rainy day, we went walking among the gardens of the hotel that, according to tale, inspired Lewis Carroll to write “Alice in Wonderland”, his masterpiece, published in 26 November 1865.
Cowley Manor’s rooms has LCD screen, DVD and Blue-Ray players, iPod docking station, a Nespresso coffee machine and, especially, Green & Spring bath products, made with ingredients found in mainland UK as well as on its islands; Man, Jersey and Guernsey. The brand, used also in all C-Side treatments, doesn’t use parabens, formaldehyde and synthetic colours. All its packaging is 100% recyclable and very charming, illustrated with different shades depending on which collection they belong to (“Relaxing”, “Indulging”, “Revitalising”, “Repair & Restore” or “Skincare”).
I tested the shampoo, conditioner, bath oil, shower gel and body moisturiser, all from the “Relaxing” collection. I also tried on the C-Side spa some skincare products on the first treatment taken, “Mini Facial”, which comes along with a hair and neck massage, and the application of a face mask made with extracts from blueberries, geranium, rose, sage and carrot oil. Afterwards, I had a body exfoliation done with Green & Spring body balm, made with camomile, sugar, beeswax and rosehip. I felt almost as floating on my way back to my room!
It is also worth mentioning that Cowley Manor’s restaurant is amazing. The breakfast has só many options, cold and warm; I even had the courage to finally try the English Breakfast, even thought it was only in the vegetarian option,. We also dined there every night: the service is excellent, the food delicious and the wine list does not disappoint, neither does the Bloody Mary. Although the English weather is quite unpredictable, there is no reason to worry as the hotel has a generous collection of books, magazines and DVDs and, for those who prefer outside activities, offers Hunter wellies to walk through its gardens.