Muddy Reviews Relax at the Retreat
Feeling in need of a little facial rejuvenation? Muddy's Jayne Horton tries out an holistic facial at this private therapy studio in North Warwickshire.
Tucked away down a single-track road yet just a 5-minute drive from the M42 in Hunts Green, North Warwickshire, Relax at The Retreat certainly lives up to its title. You would be forgiven for thinking you were in the wrong place as this peaceful haven is hidden at the back of owner, Victoria’s, lovely cottage and certainly was a cool and calming welcome relief from the blistering heat (no I’m not complaining about the weather!).
Having been a professional make-up artist and therapist for 22 years Victoria decided to step away from her own successful salon in Sutton Coldfield to concentrate solely on developing her own products and treatments – and delivering them personally. Throughout the eight years that Victoria has had The Retreat her priority has always been to provide an escape from the outside world and each treatment is carried out without the time constraints usually found in spas and salons.
Unlike many of the lovely clinics and salons I have visited, stepping into Victoria’s therapy studio was more like going to visit a friend who also happens to be extremely skilled in holistic therapies. There is no requirement to pre-book the exact treatment you require as Victoria is very happy to put together a bespoke package for you on the day depending on how you are feeling as you walk through the door, be it at the end of a stressful week requiring some Reiki to re-balance, or maybe just in need of a good old pamper with a luxurious facial. Or maybe a combination of both is in order.
Having built a loyal clientele, leading to her success in reaching the finals of this year’s Muddy awards, Victoria has also found herself fulfilling requests for bespoke workshops teaching everything from meditation to making infused oils. These have been taken up by groups of work colleagues looking to unwind from stressful jobs to ladies looking for unique Hen Party activities. Always a fab idea when topped off with a cream tea and Prosecco and can be run either at the studio or in your own home. As if Victoria’s diary is not full enough she also runs The Academy at the Retreat which offers an extensive range of Guild accredited courses for professional therapists to share her expertise. How in demand can one person be?
The ‘Divine Bliss’ Holistic Facial
All the products used at The Retreat are from the exclusive Inlight range which are made by Cemon Homeopathics in Cornwall from raw, whole ingredients and are all oil based, rather than water based so no dehydrating effects. Inlight steep the oils for several months with a mixture of plant extracts ranging from Wheatgrass, Rosemary, and Rosehip to Camomile and Victoria has also worked in partnership with them to design her own signature facial.
Being completely organic and free from any chemicals Inlight products are approved by the Soil Council and are also energetically balanced to complement the Reiki therapy.
I was lucky enough to experience Divine Bliss, no, not an intervention from a spiritual being (though Victoria may qualify as such), but an amazing facial using products combined with an Indian head massage, neck, shoulder, hands and arm massage. Victoria’s skill as a Reiki Master meant that she then uses Reiki to deepen that state of relaxation while allowing time for the products to do their work.
THE MUDDY VERDICT:
Good for: After cleansing, toning and applying several masks, all with the lightest, gentlest touch I have ever experienced, Victoria sets to work, with an appropriately firmer touch, easing out the tension of the day. During the Reiki I can’t honestly say where I was, but it was somewhere between deep relaxation and only a vague awareness of my surroundings. Wherever it was I would happily like to revisit there as often as possible! At no time did I feel rushed and it was the little touches such as the footbath before the start of my treatment that really made me feel spoilt.
Not for: A Monday morning! I would say that treatment is a great rejuvenating and relaxing treatment, although I personally feel drained for a few days after Reiki so best at the end of a week.
££: Treatments range from £65 for a 75-min Divine Bliss Facial with Inlight to £35 for 1hr Reiki, a 30 mins Thai Neck and Shoulder massage is £20 and a 60-min Arabian Spa Skin treatment, £50. You can also create your own 1hr Mix and Match treatments.
Words by Jayne Horton, Commercial manager, Muddy Warwickshire