Those who chose stay-cation breaks for the last few weeks will have been grinning with delight, for how often can it be said that the weather is as good in jolly old England as it is elsewhere in the world?
Last weekend I was in the smug club, having booked a two-day trip to Bath to sample the delights of the Roman town. I could have been in the Italian capital itself, so impressive was not only the weather, but also the food, wine and general sight-seeing.
After a day of sampling what the city had to offer – including the Roman Baths, champagne afternoon tea at the 18th century Pump Room and a three course meal any Michelin starred chef would have been proud of – it was time for the big event. The main reason The Boy and I had chosen the location to mark our second year anniversary. Spa day. Never the girliest of girls, spas have never really appealed to me. For most of my younger years, I associated the name with a corner shop, not a place of rest and relaxation.
The idea of having to dress in a questionable robe and disposable slippers, only for someone to rub unidentified lotions and potions on to my skin and prod and poke at my muscles, well, it didn’t really appeal.
But when in Bath (as the Romans probably didn’t say) one has to give it a go. And on this occasion I have to admit, I was wrong. What better way to start a sunny Monday morning than by sitting back in a roof top pool, catching a few rays while admiring a lofty view of Bath Abbey.
Then on to steam rooms to clear pores of the grime of city life, while breathing in the scent of lemongrass, lavender, mint and eucalyptus.
Then the big event: a full body massage. The part I’d been most apprehensive about. And to begin with, my fears were realised. For despite the fact my massuese was less than five foot tall, it still felt as though a mini steamroller was making its way across my back.
On more than one occasion I had to bite my lip to stop from screaming out in pain, tears coming to my eyes as the mini-massuese managed to find knot after knot in my back, and work on them as I expect a baker would with particularly unruly dough.
An hour later and the massacre – sorry, massage – was over. Was it really worth the pain?
Indeed it was. Stay-cation. Spa-cation. My kind of vacation.