As I get older I find it increasingly difficult to think of things I’d like for my birthday (gone are the days I would excitedly sit down as a child and turn down every page in the toy section of the Argos catalogue). I much prefer ‘doing’ presents now, a night out to the theatre or a weekend city break. But this year I knew exactly what I wanted. As a new Mum to 3 month old baby Max I spend 12 hours a day holding him, bouncing him, bending down blowing raspberries in his face, and my muscles have taken a bit of a beating. It’s Adam’s birthday a few weeks after mine so we asked both families for money towards a spa weekend so we could escape for the night and have some well deserved pampering.

Fast forward a few weeks, Max went to his Nan’s for a sleepover and we were on our way to Life House Spa & Hotel in Thorpe-le-Soken. The design of Lifehouse Spa & Hotel is modern and simple and is surrounded by 12 acres of English Heritage gardens. There’s 89 rooms in total and we were lucky enough to have one of the ground floor garden view rooms.


We had our own private terrace and a gorgeous view of the grounds. The room itself was fairly simple but clean and featured all of the amenities you’d expect, Freeview TV, tea/coffee facilities, hairdryer etc. The bathroom was stylish and featured a walk in shower and luxury toiletries. Once settled in our room we slipped on our complimentary robes and slippers and made our way to the spa area.


The first treatment we booked was a no brainer for me. I suffer from tension headaches so decided to go for an Indian Head massage. This 45 minute treatment concentrates on your head, neck, shoulders and face and was heaven. The use of Lavender oil added to the relaxation and I came out of there feeling like a new woman already.

After a quick lunch of avocado, tomato and mozzarella bruschetta for Adam and the biggest club sandwich known to man for me it was off to the pool for a quick swim followed by a soak in the jacuzzi.


Our package included a 25 minute facial but there was a promotion on where you could upgrade to a Clarins 70 minute facial for just £20. This was by far the best treatment of the weekend. I went for the Radiance Reviver which is designed to recharge dull, tired and stressed skin, perfect when you’re baby wakes at 3am thinking it’s party time. Every lotion used had an amazing smell and my favourite had to be the face mask which smelt of marshmallows. Adam was slightly sceptical ahead of his facial as he thought it was a bit feminine but he loved it and he actually came out of the room ‘glowing’.

After a quick nap back at the room it was time for dinner. The highlights of the meal had to be the Thai Green curry for me and the dark chocolate and raspberry torte for Adam. We washed all this down with a few cocktails and went back to the room for a full 9 hours of uninterrupted sleep.

After a full English breakfast the following morning it was time for our last treatment, the Lifehouse Hidden Sanctuary Experience. This is described as ‘A unique hidden retreat experience just for two’ and it certainly was. The experience began by entering our very own personal spa area, complete with our own pool and being treated to a Decléor fruit seed full body scrub by our therapists. After a quick shower we were taken to our private warm pool and served herbal tea and fruit and left to unwind for 45 minutes. We were then taken to a double treatment room where we enjoyed a 60 minute Decléor aromatherapy full body massage. The experience ended with some well-deserved time to ourselves in the sleep retreat area for an hour.


The only downside to our weekend was the temperature in our room. It was a very hot night and the room had no windows or air conditioning. As we were on the ground floor we couldn’t leave our patio doors open overnight so we did have a slightly uncomfortable and sticky sleep.

Overall though we left with full stomachs, cleansed minds and relaxed muscles. It’s so important to have some ‘you’ time, especially when you become parents. We definitely won’t be leaving it long before we book to stay again.