Situated in the famous horse-racing town of Newmarket, Suffolk, the 80 room hotel is nestled in three acres of beautiful greenery and secluded rose gardens and adjacent to some of the most famous paddocks and training stables in the world. Our room, in the Mews House next door to the main hotel had excellent views and we were able to see the horses being groomed and exercised. The bathroom was light and airy, complete with his and hers sinks and a huge free standing bathtub and walk in shower. Room amenities were good, fresh fruit juice, a jug of Cotteswold milk, Nespresso machine and homemade lavender shortbread (all provided complimentary).
After a swift check in we made our way a short walk through the grounds to the spa. Housed in a separate building, it has it’s own restaurant with a light menu, perfect for a pre or post treatment snack. The Norfolk crab salad is worth an order as is the smoked salmon wrap. We sat in comfy tub armchairs and enjoyed a glass of champagne whilst we waited for our appointment. Clad in a fluffy robe I wandered down to the treatment room ready for an indulgent 2 hour pamper. The treatment list is extensive and offers everything from Jessica manicures to reflexology and the Bowen Technique. The Bowen Technique is a non-invasive remedial therapy using very gentle pressure and can help with anything from musculoskeletal and respiratory conditions to headaches and posture realignment. I opted for their signature treatment – the Lavender Poultice which begins with a 20 minute body scrub, followed by a quick shower before being massaged by a mix of traditional massage technique and poultices which are in effect, muslin wraps tightly packed with herbs and heated to help warm up your muscles. The treatment was heavenly and finished with a scalp massage which lulled me into the most peaceful sleep.
The spa itself is set over two levels and features a large hydrotherapy pool, therapy showers, sauna and steam room with marble Hammam table. You can easily while a day away here, starting by experiencing the 5 ‘zones’ in the hydrotherapy pool, ranging from reflexology to the relaxation bed. Upstairs, there’s an outdoor roof terrace with a hot tub, and a lounge area, perfect for a spot of sunbathing should the weather permit. The spa is quiet and not over run which so often seems to be the case and when I speak to the therapist she explains that they try to stagger the treatments as much as possible to ensure that the area remains calm and tranquil.
Feeling sleepy post massage we went back to the room to get ready for dinner. The hotels’ 2 AA Rosette restaurant – Squires, offers both an A La Carte menu with dishes like beetroot cured cod and bacon dust pork fillet and a restaurant and bar menu, with options to mix between the two. We ordered rib eye steaks, (I’d been craving one for weeks and was impressed by the selection on offer) and 24 hour braised ox cheek, with Nobashi prawn tempura and wasabi mayo to start. The food was incredible, which is rare for me to say as I’m often disappointed that many restaurants don’t live up to my husband’s home cooking.
Back in our room we clambered into the king-sized bed with glasses of red left over from dinner and settled down to watch a film tempted by the box of complimentary chocolates left as a gift in our room. We woke the next morning well rested- and after a quick breakfast back in Squires restaurant we dragged ourselves to the gym as penance for all the good food we’d indulged in the night before.
For a relaxing overnight stay, just 2 hours’ drive outside of London Bedford Lodge pretty much ticks all the boxes.
THE CHECK OUT
ACCOMMODATION CATEGORY: Classic English
ROOM PICK: We like the Mews House
RESTAURANT/BAR: Breakfast is included in your rate. Squires is great for dinner
FEEL: Country escape
RATES: Starting from £120 per night, prices hike during horse racing events
POOL/GYM/SPA: The spa isn’t available to hotels guests so you will need to make an appointment to use it (although there is a separate gym and pool for hotel guests to use free of charge)
LOCATION: Newmarket, Suffolk