Sometimes we all need a day to relax, be pampered and revitalise our bodies and our minds. After a long week of illness, a relaxing weekend away from the stress was something I definitely needed. A few weeks ago I was asked by the Radisson Blu Edwardian Sienna Spa* in central Manchester if I wanted to come down and see their facilities and this weekend I decided to take them up on the offer. With one of my best friends in tow, we set off for a girls luxury pamper day in Manchester not knowing what to expect from the Sienna Spa, but when we left our emotions were both of sadness and joy - sadness that they day had to end at some point and joy that it was one of the most relaxing, beautiful spas both of us had ever visited.
Our day started with spa treatments in the Sienna Spa treatment rooms. I opted for the 30 Minute Back, Neck & Shoulder Massage plus a 30 Minute Express Facial. After being poorly all week, I had aches and pains that needed soothing and my skin had reached the point of dehydration. The spa therapist started with an initial consultation asking questions about my daily skin routine, my lifestyle and the treatments I particularly enjoyed, followed by a sensory test to discover which massage oils and creams would benefit me the most. It was no surprise that I subconsciously picked the 'relaxation' oils and after being left to get undressed, I was led over to the table. I'm often a little bit nervous about getting my kit off during a massage, but the therapist was highly professional and kept me relaxed throughout the entire treatment. I opted for a 'medium' pressure massage which suited my aching muscles to a tee and after the treatment ended, I was left with soft skin and most importantly, I felt ache free for the first time in days. The therapist then proceeded to the express facial. I've had several facials in the past where I felt that the products used had been too heavy for my skin, but the ESPA products this particular salon used felt great. Each product had a distinctive scent and sent me on a sensory journey throughout the facial. I can recall essence of lavender and different types of herbs, followed by sweet scents such as roses. My skin was left glowing after the treatment and several hours later. my skin still feels as soft as baby's bottom.
After a casual swim and visits to the sauna and steam room, Lizi and I headed upstairs to the Opus One Bar and Restaurant where we were served an Afternoon Tea. To start with both us of were presented with a complimentary glass of Champagne to set the mood and were then given the menu to help us decide on our luxury treats. The Opus One Bar and Restaurant has two types of Afternoon Tea - a classic afternoon tea with sandwiches, scones, desserts and tea and a Gentleman's Afternoon Tea which instead has mini Yorkshire pudding, warm pork pie, mini fish and chips, a selection of sandwiches and homemade scones and preserves. Lizi and I both went for the Traditional Afternoon Tea which catered for our specific dietary requests - mine being vegetarian and Lizi's being gluten free. The staff were more than accommodating and went above and beyond to ensure we had a pleasant time.
When we were presented with our Afternoon Tea's I couldn't quite believe my eyes. There was so much choice and everything was beautifully presented.
My vegetarian option had four types of sandwiches - egg, hummus, cheese and onion and cheese, with the hummus one being my favourite. It was so full of flavour, yet light enough so you could eat more.
These scones were probably the nicest scones I had eaten in a long time. Fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside. The scones were served warm with sides of jam and butter, which combined melted in your mouth and left you wanting more.
The desserts were every sweet tooth's dream. I was served a Banoffee pie, a lemon cheesecake, a brownie and a Battenberg. There's no way I could eat them all, but I did my best to sample a spoonful of each. The Banoffee pie pictured in front was creamy and indulgent - my only criticism was that it seemed to lack much toffee in the bottom. The brownie was rich, but served in a small enough portion to handle and the Battenberg was perfect in every way. The one dessert I couldn't stop eating had to be the lemon cheesecake. The cheesecake was light and fluffy with a seductive tangy lemon flavour. I'm not usually a fan of desserts, but here I could eat every one of them.
As if the Afternoon Tea and Champagne wasn't enough, we were then presented with the new Opus bar Halle cocktail. The Halle cocktail had been named after one of Britain's most renowned Orchestras, the Halle Orchestra in Manchester. The cocktail was made up of Chambord, Vodka and Raspberries topped with Raspberry foam and fruit. It was a sweet, summery cocktail and was something that I'd often go for on a night out. I can imagine too many of these would rather sickly, but one or two would go down a treat.
Lizi and I had the most perfect day at the Sienna Spa at the Radisson Blu Edwardian in Manchester and I would go back in a heartbeat. All the staff were friendly and accommodating and the atmosphere felt relaxed and inviting. If I had to pick out one criticism it is probably that the women's changing rooms is a little bit on the small side, but that would be nitpicking. The spa is faultless for those looking for relaxation in the big city and with a hotel on site, it's the perfect location for a weekend break. At £79pp for a Luxury Pamper Day with a spa treatment, use of the Health Club, pool, a light lunch and champagne it is one of the most affordable spas I have visited but felt no less luxurious than some of the most expensive spas I have visited also. If you're planning on visiting Manchester soon, I highly recommend this place.
*This visit was complimentary and arranged by the Radisson group. All views are my own, if I didn't like something I would say.