Today I want to talk about a place unlike any I’ve been to before.
Just 40 minutes down the road from Sheffield is an absolute oasis in the form of The Spa at Ye Old Bell in Retford.
The whole place has a distinct sense of luxury about it. From the open-plan bar and restaurant area, to the log cabin style outdoor area complete with rugs and fireplaces.
I was incredibly lucky to be invited to the spa for a review on the blog and I can’t wait to take you through my experiences there.
We started off by having a seat in the bar area whilst we decide which of the three menus to go for. The menus were brilliant as you had the choice of three light dishes, three medium dishes and then three heavier, more indulgent dishes.
They all looked amazing but Chaz and I, being us, went for the heaviest of the trios which was delicious three-course lunch in the restaurant area.
For starters we had wood pigeon with black pudding, beetroot textures and rhubarb, for main we had roast rump of lamb, fondant potato, peas, confit of garlic and mint crumb, pan jus and for dessert, we had dark chocolate mousse, orange, pistachio soil and black cherry sorbet.
As you can tell from the menu, the food is super decadent and beautifully put together.
It tasted amazing and I didn’t expect such amazing, restaurant-standard food in a spa – I’ve never had food during a spa day before but from what I’ve seen of other places, it’s often a light lunch, sandwiches etc.
I can’t wait to come back and try the afternoon tea!
The spa itself is absolutely gorgeous. As soon as you walk in, it really takes your breath away, from the high ceilings to the beautiful bar area.
When you walk into the spa you are greeted by the indoor part of the pool as well as around 7 different rooms.
They’re designed for you to go in in order and range from dry heat to wet heat, a snowstorm experience and salt room.
There really is something for everyone and it was amazing being able to spend time in each of the rooms.
The pool starts off indoors and them goes outside too. What I love about this place is that you can have cocktails served to you in the pool which, let’s be frank, is the epitome of life goals!
Also in the outdoor area is this gorgeous wooden cabin style seating, complete with open fires and blankets. It feels so rustic, like you’re not even in England.
The whole place is an absolute oasis that really, you need to experience to fully understand its charms.
Chaz and I were lucky enough to be treated to two 30 minute treatments at the spa. We chose a mini turkish ritual massage.
I am a huge fan of massages and get one every month from Julian Therapies in Sheffield, so I was intrigued to try one a little different to my normal swedish massage.
The turkish ritual massage was subtly different, with personalised aspects like you picking the fragrance that matches up to your chinese year sign.
There were also elements of pulling the joints and different movements that left me feeling SO relaxed. It was a thoroughly enjoyable 30 minutes, I could happily have stayed there for 90!
After we got to relax in our own special private room that has an outdoor balcony with views over the outdoor pool.
Words can hardly describe just how phenomenal the service at Ye Olde Bell Spa was from start to finish.
As a blogger, when you’re invited to places to review, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t wonder if people make a special effort because they know you are there to do a write-up
But from overhearing the staff with other guests, I could tell that the level of service they gave me was genuinely how they are with everyone which is incredible.
Michelle looked after us so well from start to finish and really went the extra mile – she made us feel like nothing was too much for her.
It was by far the best service I have ever had anywhere to be honest.
So would you go back?
Absolutely and in a heartbeat. I feel so lucky I have found this absolute gem of a place and so easily accessible to Sheffield – we hopped on the train and it only took 40 minutes to Retford.
In terms of pricing, it starts at £95 for a full spa day but that includes a two-course lunch at the restaurant. Considering that’s how much you’d pay for a band average spa in any hotel chain, it’s amazing value for the quality of the food, atmosphere and service provided.
They also cap the visitor number so you will never be there and absolutely over-ran with other people, which just proves how much they care about customer experience rather than solely profits like a lot of businesses.
Our treatments would have cost £40 for half an hour which, although a tad pricey compared to salon massages, are still competitive prices compared to other spas and hotels.
We had the most idyllic, relaxing day at Ye Olde Bell Spa and I would highly recommend you head there to see for yourself what a magical place it is.
As always, thanks for reading!