Guest blogger Dawn Maidstone heads to The Norfolk Mead Hotel for a spot of R&R.
I was well overdue for some TLC when I came across a package for afternoon tea and a spa treatment at The Norfolk Mead Hotel.
My typical Saturday involves two gym classes in the morning, so an afternoon of treats is the perfect way to balance the day. I couldn’t resist booking a relaxation session for me and a friend.
Upon arrival at Norfolk Mead, we confirmed our treatment choices to the staff and were shown to the ambiently lit treatment rooms. The massage table was draped in large fluffy towels, scented candles burned and calming music filled the air.
We both selected back, neck and shoulder massages, but these were tailored to our requests and body needs. I asked for medium-to-firm pressure, concentrating on my lower back and shoulders, while my friend opted for something lighter and softer. The beauty therapist gave us a choice of three natural oils, and they all smelt delightful.
It was blissful – my only complaint was that 30 minutes passed far too quickly. Next time I’ll book an hour!
Having been to a wedding at the Norfolk Mead last year, I know how lovely the gardens are. Unfortunately the weather was so awful that we couldn’t take afternoon tea outside. A leisurely stroll around the extensive grounds was also out of the picture.
Instead, we sat in the aptly named Lounge. It’s full of large, plush chairs and sofas, decorated with fresh flower arrangements and a beautiful chandelier.
Feeling incredibly relaxed, we were shown to some seats near the bar area, where we both enjoyed a pot of tea (green for me and breakfast for E), while the kitchen finished preparations for our afternoon tea.
It was presented on rustic pottery plates housed in a copper stand, accompanied by fresh pots of tea, crisp white napkins and cutlery.
First up were the traditional finger sandwiches. Egg-mayonnaise and cream cheese with cucumber, both on white bread, plus ham salad on granary bread. Smoked salmon was on offer, but we chose to avoid it because E is allergic. The ingredients were delicious and on such fresh and fluffy bread, I could have eaten a few more and been satisfied.
Slightly warm-centred scones followed. There were both fruit and plain varieties, accompanied by pots of clotted cream and strawberry jam. At this point we were feeling the pinch of our jeans, but desperately wanted to indulge in the desserts!
After a bit of chit-chat, we pushed on through to the sweetness of the top tier. There was a selection of mini desserts to suit all palettes including honey sponge cake, popcorn macarons, lemon posset and chocolate brownie.
The honey sponge wasn’t for me and while popcorn wouldn’t have been my first choice of macaron, it was a good flavour. The chocolate brownie, however, was a rich slice of heaven. The lemon posset was my favourite though. It was the perfect combination of sweet and sharp, served with a fresh strawberry and blueberry on top.
The whole experience incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. There were other appointments and events taking place while we were there, but we never felt rushed or that a request was too much trouble.
I may have to make this a regular afternoon of self-indulgence!
Read more: Food and drink in Norfolk