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Elan Spa Break, Mallory Court

Elan Spa at Mallory Court Country House Hotel near Leamington Spa nabbed the very first coveted Muddy Warwickshire Award for Best Day Spa. Here's why...

Elan Spa is the first new spa to open in Warwickshire for a whole decade and has bagged an exclusive partnership with Cotswolds organic natural beauty range Ila, which counts Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman and Rachel Weisz among its celebrity fans!

Yep, and now only two months since opening in April, Elan Spa nabbed the coveted Muddy Warwickshire Award for Best Day Spa.

Surrounded by fields and 10 acres of carefully-tended landscaped gardens and woodland, Mallory Court Country House Hotel and Spa is just place to totally switch off and recharge your batteries. It’s a beautiful, turn-of-the-century listed 43-room manor house hotel, spa and award-winning restaurant just outside Leamington Spa. I couldn’t wait…

Escaping the world (& our kids/partners/pets) for one night my nurse friend Anna, and I definitely felt in need of an Ila Spa Break, which includes overnight accommodation, a 55-minute treatment, three-course dinner and a full English breakfast.

The spa itself is in a separate new building, The Orchard House a few minutes’ walk from the main hotel

We were staying in the brand-new Orchard House, which has 12 new luxury en-suite spa bedrooms and received a wonderful welcome, with a personal chalkboard message and all matter of delicious treats in our tranquil boutique twin, along with Nespresso machine, mini bar, slippers and a USB charger point, complimentary Wi-Fi, digital TV with Freeview and bathrobe. Woo-hoo!

In the photo below you can see a collection of gorgeous ESPA toiletries and an abundance of fluffy towels in the stylish bathroom. There’s also a huge walk-in shower on the right when you open the door.

Our windows overlooked the breath-taking Warwickshire countryside and tennis courts behind a row of trees. Landscaping was currently ongoing, but garden trails, wellbeing/mindfulness retreats and open-air yoga are planned for summer.  A perfect setting for calm-inducing walks and meditation.

Mallory Court, part of the Eden Hotel Collection, has established a reputation for exquisite food, awarded three AA Rosettes for the Main House Dining Room. Former head chef Paul Foster left in February to set up solo venture Salt in Stratford-upon-Avon and Paul Evans, formerly of The Burlington Restaurant at The Devonshire Arms Hotel & Spa, Bolton Abbey, is his newly appointed successor.

As Anna and I -looked through the menu for our three-course dinner we sipped a complimentary glass of champagne and munched on these yummy canapes. Like Peter Rabbit I love radish! You can see how extremely beautifully presented our seasonal dishes were; it seemed almost a shame to upset the design!  My first spring asparagus starter, cod main with fennel and cheese and cheese and crackers were delightful, bursting with flavour and felt very nourishing. Much of the produce is organic, grown in Mallory Court’s own kitchen garden. We also shared an impressive crisp house white. The waiting staff were very courteous and polite.

The gardens are absolutely gorgeous, for a sunset stroll or to sit out with a glass of something cold and chilled. If you’re feeling energetic the very informative Mallory Times newsletter for guests has a Walk of the Day – ours including a 5-and-a-half mile circular in Henley in Arden, 25-mins from Mallory Court – it also has the day’s weather forecast and places to visit.

Breakfast is served in Elan Spa’s own cafe The Kitchen, a light and airy contemporary space, separate to, but, overlooking the indoor hydro pool. There’s the choice of a buffet breakfast with a superb choice or cereals, fresh fruit and Greek yoghurt or a cooked breakfast ranging from Hass avocado on thick cut sourdough toast with Severn and Wye smoked salmon and poached farm egg (£15) to Waffles with maple syrup and crisp pancetta (£9.50).

This boutique spa has seven exquisitely appointed treatment suites on the top floor of the Orchard House, including the VIP suite where loved-up couples can be massaged side-by-side.

I’d been burning the candle both ends with the Muddy Awards, life in general and being a mum-of-three so after discovering I’d been booked it for a 75-minute Ila Kundalini Back Treatment -“ideal for emotionally exhausted souls”. Were they telepathic, or are all journos constantly in a state of burnout?

This experience is more of a ritual and began by taking tea before my feet were warmed in a bowl of hot water.  It had so many different well-thought out elements. I could feel myself completely de-stress as warm Herbal compresses were massaged into the back of my body! 75% of our emotions are generated by what we smell and my excellent therapist Krissy used the amazing Ila Inner Peace Collection Body Oil and Body Balm packed with Jasmine, Damascena Rose Otto and Sandalwood.

The Kundalini Back Treatment also involves Ancient Marma therapy – an Indian Ayurvedic practice whose focus is the manipulation of subtle energy (prana) in the body for the purposes of supporting the healing process – Ila core back massage, chakra-balancing, and back of the leg massaging. It did have an incredibly soothing and restorative effect. This is a luxury, sensory treatment and it more than lived up to my expectations.

Clean living: Ila celebrity fan Gwyneth, here on Instagram with fresh organic carrot ‘farmagritas’

If you’re not familiar, Ila is the brain child of former nurse Denise Leicester and her husband, a health-positive, organic, luxury beauty firm which has grown from inception in an Oxfordshire barn 10 years ago to a global business.  Spa products are ethically-sourced from wild-harvested plant and mineral ingredients and created by hand in the Cotswolds. The ESPA spa range and ORLY nail care products are also used in the spa.

The spa is on the ground floor staff couldn’t have been more welcoming, showing me to the changing rooms where fluffy towels, robes and slippers awaited. And there’s a nail bar and bijou gym, too, though running on a treadmill and pumping weights was just about the last thing on my mind in this pampering haven.

After a swim in the stunning indoor hydro pool – the temperature was just right – I checked out the excellent indoor sauna, steam room and Rhassoul mud room.

Anna and I sat in the heated vitality pool basking in the sun with a glass of elderflower and mint-infused Prosecco in hand. It was bliss. With my chakra’s rebalanced and body nourished it was time to get back to reality and start writing.

Good for: Everyone can enjoy this back massage, but especially “good for emotionally exhausted souls” – it does live up to its name!

What else?: The spa offers rather exotic treatments, you’ll struggle to find elsewhere – not only the Ila Wellness Experiences which include Couples Connect, a sensual ritual designed for couples to experience together (£260 per couple), a 115-min Bio Rhythms Treatment for jet-lag or when feeling out of sync and the 115-minute Dreamtime Journey for insomnia and restless minds, as well being the only spa in Warwickshire to offer the organic Ila brand, which is firmly on my Christmas list. There’s also the Ila Rhassoul Treatment (35mins for £85 per couple) a traditional spa experience using therapeutic Rhassoul mud from the Moroccan Atlas Mountains and a personal in-room evening bathing experience. For hands and feet ORLY’s Hand and Foot Collection includes manicures and pedicures from £25, including a Men’s express and and nail or foot tidy (£30 for 25-mins, good for a birthday or Christmas pressie).

And if you live in or near Leamington, lucky you! The pool and fitness suite has a limited spa membership package. They also do Ila, ESPA and hen-do spa-day packages.

Mallory Court Country House Hotel & SpaHarbury Lane, Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV33 9QB,, Tel: 01926 330214


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