Are you in dire need of some rest and relaxation? Is your life getting a bit too hectic, and you fancy taking a step back and just chilling out? Am I beginning to sound like a TV advertisement? Anyway, if you are looking for somewhere to go when you just want to get away from all of life’s responsibility and be pampered to your hearts content then I would completely recommend Sketchley Grange.
Sketchley Grange is located in Hinckley and set back enough from the main roads to make you feel that you are truly alone in the countryside. The building is idyllic, made from beautiful brick, and featuring ivy and floral pretties all around the grounds. There are large trees that cover the outside world, and you can even hear and see cows and more when you are there. There is a restaurant, bar, hotel, spa and space for events. These are all on the grounds, but in different sections, sometimes making it a little confusing on where you are going, but that’s just the fun of it when you’re hunting for the swimming pool!
I don’t know about you but I LOVE spas. Well, actually, I love swimming pools and jacuzzis. Don’t get me wrong, I really like swimming as a whole but there’s something so delightful about floating on your back without having to worry that you’re in somebody’s way who is adding to their fitness goals. The Romans Leisure spa at Sketchley Grange is, obviously, based around the Roman baths and has lovely intricate detailing and architecture in and around the building. There is a sauna and a steam room, although neither myself nor my guest stayed in either of those for too long. I’m not entirely sure how ones body gets used to it, but I’ve heard that they are supposed to be incredible for your skin.
So the spa entails;
- 17m swimming pool
- Steam room
- Health and fitness specialists
- Fully equipped gym with Precor cardiovascular and Natutilus resistance products
I urge anyone that is visiting Sketchley Grange to have a back massage. Perfect for if your shoulders are feeling a little tense, and perfect if they aren’t. My guest and I were welcomed into a room (we were asked whether we wanted separate rooms but we were fine together) that was dark yet lowly lit, and the perfect temperature. We layed down on the beds and popped our heads into the hole in front of us for comfort. Now before I go on, let me tell you, as a plus size woman I am always worried that I am going to turn treatment tables into toothpicks, but the beds at Sketchley Grange were quite robust and comfortable which put my mind at rest instantly. The beauty therapists had studied the forms that we filled out, and began their magic, all the while checking to ensure the pressure on our shoulders, necks and backs was ok. It was so dreamy to have someone pulverising all of the tension out of my back and shoulders. I work on a computer for around 12 hours a day, if not more, and so have developed a painful tension in my right shoulder and at the back of the neck from craning over my keyboard. My therapist went to town on this part, and while it hurt a little at first, I haven’t felt a twinge since which is fantastic! I feel like the treatment time of 25 minutes was the perfect time. Anymore and I definitely would have fallen asleep.
25 minute back massage (usually £28.00)
After our swim and treatment, we headed to the restaurant for lunch. As we both felt super healthy and like our bodies were temples, we both opted for salads, but my my what an amazing salad they offered. I chose salmon, my guest chose chicken. Each meat was on a bed of leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, onions and also the much welcome addition of feta and croutons. It was so delicious, and would certainly be an easy dish to recreate at home- although I don’t think I would feel half as relaxed eating it at home as I did after my spa session.
Before dinner and after lunch, we headed upstairs to our room to unpack and just have a general chill. I’ve never felt so entirely relaxed in my life, and my body must have felt the same because I had a quick 45 minute nap before starting to get ready for our main meal. We headed downstairs to the bar where we ordered our drinks before being sat in the restaurant. There were two weddings on that evening but I was so impressed with the speed and efficiency of the staff at Sketchley Grange. They made sure they tended to their regular guests as well as catering to the wedding stragglers (they did have their own section, and their own bar, but a few obviously spilled into the main bar to try and get served quicker).
For starters, both myself and my guest chose the chicken liver pate. It was rich and meaty and the perfect topping to the crunchy toasted bread. The sweet yet tangy onion chutney was also a lovely addition and stopped the pate from being too sickly. Top marks for the starter, I was excited for the main.
For the main, I chose mushroom gnocchi and my guest chose pan fried chicken supreme. If you aren’t sure what gnocchi is, it’s a small dumpling often made from semolina, or potato and are really filling. I actually think they could have easily halved the portion of the gnocchi as I sadly had to leave a lot. The dish was delicious though. It was creamy and filling, and would be the perfect choice for a wintery evening. The mushrooms were fresh and filled with taste. To be honest, mushrooms are my favourite, so anything mushroomy is always going to be a winner for me.
I taste tested my guests food in the name of research of course and the chicken was lovely. It was pan fried, so was a little smokey, which worked perfectly with the mushroom and taragon sauce, as well as the pickled carrot and potato gratin. I half wish that I had opted for this dish too, as it was certainly yummy and filling, but a little less heavy than my dish. I think perhaps when dining on 3 courses, a whole plate of carbs as one of those dishes is not ideal.
For desserts we chose a chocolate fudge cake (now what did I say about those filling and stodgy foods?) and lemon tart. Oh my gosh both of these desserts were goooood. The warmth and gooeyness of the chocolate fudge cake was perfectly complimented with a simple vanilla ice cream, and the tartness of the lemon was a great finisher after a three course meal. It’s safe to say we returned back to the bar for one more drink, and then had to retire to our rooms for fear of us exploding with fullness!
So you’d think after all of that food, we’d skip breakfast the next day. But no, lovely readers, we didn’t. That is how dedicated I am to my reviews, and my food. The breakfast ranged from full english to pastries, cereals, toast and fruit. The wide variety of food meant that everyone was catered for, and once again, although it was busy, the service was impeccable. Plus, as a big fan of hash browns I was super excited to see them on the menu. Yum!
We stayed in a Contemporary Executive double room, styled specifically with the profession in mind. There are warm chocolate and crimson fabrics and walnut furniture complemented with modern artwork and eye-catching sculptures. There are also two king sized beds plus black out blinds. With a modern, pristine bathroom and plenty of space, you’ll have everything you need during your stay. After our relaxing day, and after our mammoth dinner, we wandered up to our room satisfied and happy. I had brought my laptop with us (naughty I know but I cannot do a digital detox for the life of me) and we watched a film on my bed before having an earlyish night. The beds are HUGE. Much bigger than mine at home- and I have to share that with my boyfriend normally. In this bed I literally starfished all night and it was so delightful. I slept like a baby, and definitely could have slept for longer if it wasn’t for my guest who is the earliest bird you will ever meet!
Not only can you stay at Sketchley Grange and visit the spa it is always used as a;
- Wedding venue
- Conference centre
- Leisure club
If you are Leicestershire based and are looking for somewhere peaceful that you can forget all of your troubles then I would certainly recommend Sketchley Grange. I will absolutely be back.
Sketchley Grange Hotel & Spa LTD, Sketchley Lane, Hinckley, Leicestershire, LE10 3HU
*In collaboration with Sketchley Grange