Fishmore Hall Hotel is a privately owned boutique Shropshire country house hotel on the outskirts of the medieval market town of Ludlow and offers views of the beautiful Shropshire countryside. Originally a school and later left to rack and ruin until the now owners bought the property in 2007 and turned it into the stunning countryside hideaway that it is today. At the beginning of November the perfect addition of the SPAshell was opened on site and I was invited along to check it out. I love spa breaks – getting away from it all, chilling out and forgetting the stresses of daily life, with the perfect companion – a friend that you haven’t seen in a while. So my friend R and I eagerly headed to Fishmore Hall Hotel ready for a long overdue catch up.
The hotel struck me as a very impressive building as I pulled up to it, it looked beautiful surrounded by the autumnal foliage with plenty of free car parking available. Walking through the front door felt like walking into a friend’s home rather than a hotel. We were greeted with a warm smile and shown directly to our room. We had full access to the lounge area where we could relax. In the lounge we found a number of information leaflets giving details of what we could do in the area. Unfortunately, ours was a flying visit so we did not get the chance to explore further than the hotel’s grounds – but there looked to be lots to do for longer term visitors. The hotel also has a well stocked and inviting bar area where we could enjoy a pre-dinner (and post dinner) drink or two. With lovely high ceilings and floor to ceiling windows letting in plenty of light, the hotel oozes charm and character. The hotel is also dog friendly, meaning you can bring your furry friend for an evening/weekend of relaxation too.
The Georgian property has been lovingly and beautifully restored, especially their 15 bedrooms which have been individually styled. Our room (Room Four) was massive, as was our bed which had been made in to twin beds for our stay. Our room also had a small seating area, large wardrobe, a desk and views through a huge sash window across Ludlow and Shropshire’s rolling countryside. The extras included flat screen TV with freeview, free wi-fi, coffee and tea and a mini bar full of local goodies for us to enjoy (chargeable). We also found fresh milk (not the usual yucky UHT you find in most hotels) in the fridge for our morning cup of tea. When we retired for the evening after dinner we were pleasantly surprised to find our beds had been turned down which we thought was a lovely touch and although we were throughly full, a cheeky little chocolate on the pillow wouldn’t have gone a miss 🙂
The bathroom in Room Four was equally as massive as the room, with a huge walk-in shower, double-ended bath and delicious Elemis toiletries. There was no way I wasn’t taking advantage of such a large bath tub, living a busy life means sacrificing long soaks in the tub over a quick scrub in the shower. So to lay back and relax for 30 minutes or so added to my already very relaxed mood. The bathroom was complete with fluffy towels to dry off with and dressing gowns to relax in – perfect!
SPAshell Spa Cabin
Like any new addition to the family, the spa is gorgeous! Even on a rainy November day it still managed to look beautiful and inviting. We were warmly welcomed by the therapists and given a run through of what was available to use and how to use it. We opted for our treatments first followed by a full afternoon of relaxation. The spa boasts four treatment rooms, which combine to create two couples rooms, a steam room and sauna, as well as an outdoor Cedar wellness pool which was fantastic and an oversized hammock on the decking, which unfortunately wasn’t up when we visited as fishing touches to the outdoor area where still being made. There is a lovely little seating area inside where we spent a lot of time relaxing and chatting. We were the only visitors to the spa on the day we visited, meaning we had free run of it, which was lovely and added even more to the relaxed and tranquil atmosphere of the whole stay.
No visit to a spa is complete without having a treatment and since the weather has turned wintery I have certainly felt my 30 plus years and my skin, especially my face, has felt dry and tired. So when I saw the treatment list, there was one in particular that jumped out at me – the Elemis Superfood Pro-Radiance facial (55 minutes £65) – A nutritional boost rich in superfoods and essential minerals designed to pack stressed, dull skin with energising, detoxifying actives. Clinically proven to leave skin plumper, radiant and lit up with good health. We were shown to the locker room where we could get changed into lovely fluffy robes and slippers. The central heating was on and the cabin has underfloor heating which made it lovely and toasty. Consent forms read and signed, I was shown into the beautiful treatment room, where my therapist Darrianne explained exactly what she was going to do. Well I can confirm she is a magician because my face has never felt better since my facial! Following my treatment she brought through all the products that she had used on me of which I bought a great everyday Elemis cleanser. R had a Lava Shell® Thermal Relax Experience (55 minute £65) – This unique signature treatment for the SPAshell uses the Hot Lava Shell massage to create a sense of deep relaxation. The result is sparkling vitality with the added bonus of intensely hydrated skin which she couldn’t stop raving about the whole afternoon.
I love afternoon tea and what better way to top off our afternoon then to have it delivered to us in the spa cabin. Laura, the owner of Fishmore Hall Hotel, couldn’t have been more accommodating. She checked if we had any dietary requirements before bringing it over to us and of course no afternoon tea is a complete without an accompanying glass of fizz!
Sandwiches – tuna, egg mayonnaise, ham and cream cheese and cucumber
Scones – fresh warm plain and fruit scones, served with cream and jam
Petit fours – macaroon, lemon drizzle cake topped with meringue and coffee profiteroles
After a great and extremely relaxing afternoon we were ready to get dressed and head down to Fishmore Hall Hotel’s restaurant – Forelles – the domain of the Head Chef Andrew Birch. We were shown to our seats and presented with wine list and menu. With half a dozen or so choices available for all courses we quickly chose what we wanted and ordered. Forelles is a beautiful dining space with great views over the countryside and obviously very popular in the local area as a number of diners were not residents of the hotel.
As dessert is my favourite course of any meal. Even though we were full to burst from all the delicious food, as soon as I saw the chocolate option on the menu, there was no way I wasn’t ordering one.
- Selection of cheeses, forge cottage apple and plum chutney, homemade biscuits, sour dough
- Potted chocolate, honeycomb
After a lovely night’s sleep and before our mammoth journey home there was time for a hearty breakfast, served in Forelles. We took our table and placed our order for tea and toast. We grabbed some fruit juice and perused the continental breakfast table, which contained numerous cereals and fruits. All of which looked great, however when offered a full English, I find it impossible to say no. We happily tucked into our bacon, sausage (which was amazing), scrambled egg, mushrooms and tomato – the perfect start to any day. It was very tasty and very filling!
We could not have asked for a better girlie break away. From the second we arrived to the second we left we were made to feel welcome. We found this lovely rural hideaway a relaxing haven where we could get away from it all. From beautiful decor to the amazing spa and of course not forgetting the delicious food it is easy to see why it is a popular spot, there really is something for everyone. Perfect for any occasion – romantic trip with your beloved, hen or stag weekend, family getaway or even a wedding. By the end of my stay I was so relaxed, I didn’t want to go back to the real world. I could not recommend Fishmore Hall Hotel & Spa enough if you are looking for a great countryside retreat, it really should be at the top of your list.
- We were hosted by Fishmore Hall Hotel & Spa on a complimentary basis in exchange for honest review.