Beaut.ie reader Red is a firm fan of pampering - and sure who could blame her? So last week she went on a mission to get more relaxed than ever before. The scene of Red's pampering crime was the Temple Spa in Moate, Co. Westmeath, and this is what she had to say:
What I have realised over the last few days, is that you canâ€™t have just a little taste of heaven & come away unscathed, because, ladies, I tell you, I had a 24 hour taste of heaven & I may never be the same againâ€¦
Not much more than an hours drive from Dublin & slap bang in the midlands lies a little piece of paradise on Earth called Temple Country Retreat & Spa. Now the clue lies in the name, because as you drive down the twisty country road to Temple & walk through the doors, a sense of calm descends & it does feel like a true Retreat & Sanctuary from the stresses & strains of modern life.
Temple had a successful revamp & expansion less than 2 years ago and feels fresh & light, the dÃ©cor is soft & unobtrusive and you canâ€™t wait to sink into a couch or big armchair by the open fire in the lounge. The bedrooms are simple & bright & the bathrooms have a bath and separate shower with a balcony looking out over rolling green fields.
We arrived a bit early, just in time for lunch (we didnâ€™t plan that at all, really! ;-)) and had our first taste of the amazing food on offer in the restaurant overlooking the enclosed gardens in full bloom. Fresh, healthy & where possible organic ingredients mean that you can eat until you burst & still feel you are behaving yourself. After lunch we donned our uniform for the next 24 hours, our fluffy bathrobe & slippers and I went to try out the vitality pool before my first treatment. This was bliss. Powerful jets pummelled my back & shoulders and I could feel the weight of the world lift as I sank into the warm waters. Too soon it was time for my body wrap & I popped across the courtyard garden to the treatment suite.
My therapist Mary was a natural healer & on top of the fab warm wrap of seaweedy gunk & lotions, I was treated to a scalp massage & a little bit of reflexology before the session was over. This was a wonderfully relaxing treatment, unlike uncomfortable â€˜slimmingâ€™ wraps Iâ€™ve had before & I dosed off cocooned in seaweed and plastic and a heated blanket. A toasty hot shower to wash off the mess and then Mary massaged gorgeous-smelling oils all over to finish.
I floated back up to our room and resisted the urge to sleep. Lazed for a bit then we forced ourselves to don trackie bottoms & head down for a Do-In Class. For the duration of your stay at Temple, there are drop-in events scheduled; yoga classes, guided walks, posture classes or bums-&-tums. Do-In is as low impact as it gets. Based on the principles of Shiatsu and was a nice relaxing class that encourage awareness of your body and how you hold yourself. The rest of the evening was spent chilling & indulging in the delicious three course meal (all main dishes served with divine Champ potatoes) and sipping a glass of baileys in the lounge.
Day two began with an early delicious breakfast and optional walk around the grounds. We chose another option, and lazed on loungers by the vitality pool until it was time for our facials.
Even though we were only on an overnight package, lunch on Day two was included and we were assigned a locker after checking out of our room so we could use all the facilities and participate in the classes for the rest of the day.
My Le Grand Classique Facial was relaxing, yes, but also the deepest cleansing facial I have had in a long time and I emerged with skin glowing, but not sticky from over-moisturising as can be the case after some facials. The therapist thoroughly assessed my skin & my problem areas and gave me a record of every product used. My skin hasnâ€™t felt as good in a long time, Iâ€™m definitely a Yon-Ka convert!
So, my 24 hours in Paradise drew to a close and it was with heavy heart that we hit the road. This is an amazing get away, but donâ€™t be surprised if you feel a bit down when you realise real life is sitting still waiting for you when you leave...