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THE TOP TEN BEST GASTRO SPAS

Nikki Bayley

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Once upon a time, going to a spa was a one-way meal ticket to carrot juice and cottage cheese. You were expected to have a rumbling tummy and suffer to be beautiful. Thankfully, those days are gone. Nowadays, a trip to a spa can be a culinary treat too. You can enjoy 'spatisserie' menus of champagne and cakes or Michelin-starred cuisine in five star surroundings, with not a celery stick to be seen. Here's ten spas guaranteed to tempt your taste buds.
The Vineyard

Any spa that has a Michelin star chef, Daniel Galmiche (Saturday Kitchen regular) whipping up culinary delights and more than 30,000 bottles of wine in its cellar is bound to be a place that will make foodies happy. Add to that stellar treatments, a pool and gym, plus rooms with wonderful art (thanks to the owner's rather amazing personal collection) and you have a spa that will delight all your senses. Go for the seven course tasting menu, with each course matched to a French and Californian wine for the ultimate treat.

Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa

Just six miles from Bath, set in elegant parkland, Lucknam Park boasts a Michelin-starred restaurant with an award-winning chef, specialising in local and organic produce with herbs fresh from the kitchen garden. Stay overnight to enjoy the decadent country house luxury. The spa is one of the UK's best with a brilliant indoor and outdoor hydrotherapy pool area, thermal suites and divine Carita and Anne Semonin treatments.

Lakeside Hotel on Lake Windermere

On the southern shores of Windermere in the Lake District, the four star Lakeside Hotel deftly blends an old-fashioned country house welcome with a zippily modern spa and uber-cool Modern British 2AA Rosette restaurant. It's all about the location here with both the restaurant and the 17m pool overlooking the calm waters of the lake. The restaurant specialises in Cumbrian cuisine with delicacies like Holker Hall pigeon breast with bacon jelly and new twists on old favourites like Melting Ginger Parkin.

SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel

I love this fantastic spa hotel in the heart of the New Forest with a wonderful Thai-inspired spa - and delicious Thai restaurant too. After making the most of the extensive thermal and water facilities and trying one of their award-winning massages, tuck into a Thai feast served up zingingly fresh and spicy.

Ockenden Manor Hotel & Spa

The Ockenden manor spa opened in January 2012 to complement the hotel's Michelin-starred restaurant, which serves outstanding fine dining cuisine with the delicious produce sourced from Sussex whenever possible. The new spa is inside the estate's original walled fruit garden offers REN, Ila and Electric Body treatments. Keeping things nicely natural, the pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and rain showers are fed by the hotel's underground spring.

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