My invite for an evening at Seaham Hall’s Serenity Spa last week came at just the right time, after I had an intense week of work travel, what was left of a cold, and a pretty manic week both at work and waiting to find out if we got the flat we found. I’d never been to Seaham Hall before, but their evening of well-being and mindfulness sounded like the perfect antidote.
Disclaimer: Seaham Hall invited me to this evening spa experience, so all experiences and treatments were complimentary. All opinions are genuine as always.
It was mental health awareness day last week, which was the reason behind Seaham’s evening, and I’m genuinely not just saying this but I was having one of those overwhelming weeks myself.
Nothing too bad or beyond the normal levels of life stresses, but everything just came at the same time and it massively took its toll on me. Sleepless nights, easily distracted and loss of appetite for a few days, just a few of the things that I’ve talked about previously here.
When I’m feeling run down a spa day is one of the first things I think of to switch off for a bit, but the evening Seaham planned wasn’t just a relax in the spa. They’re offering a whole host of experiences in addition to standard spa days and treatments, all of which are designed to get you feeling good about yourself.
The Tea Enthusiasts began our evening, by providing us with a few different teas to try while we were filling in our treatment cards. I drink tea in the winter, and I’m so fussy especially when it comes to flavours.
I tried the lemon and ginger sencha tea which I really liked, it didn’t taste like lemsip at all which I often find with lemon teas. I could easily drink it and although strong, it wasn’t overpowering. The Earl Grey was popular with some of the other guests, and so was the orange hibiscus.
Some of the health benefits of these teas include uses for anti nausea, anti inflammatory and to soothe sore muscles. Seaham Hall are working with the Tea Enthusiasts to develop their own signature tea, and a point that is often looked at these days – all the packaging is environmentally friendly. Find them online or the tea enthusiast instagram here.
While we drank our tea and filled in our treatment cards, the spa manager told us a bit about the spa. It’s huge, with plenty treatment rooms, relaxation areas, steam rooms, saunas, a pool and a gym. Separate to the main hotel, you’re free to wander around in your robes and slippers while you enjoy all of the facilities.
Our first mindfulness session was called a Mind Calm Hypnotherapy Session, and it was with Sylvia Mather of Hummingbird Hypnotherapy. Sylvia is a trained therapist with over ten years experience. She explained the session was to be able to relax your mind, clear your thoughts and declutter everything going on in your head.
We all had to sit on the floor, and we were talked through what we should think about and how to relax. I found it quite hard initially, to go from a fast paced day into that environment was difficult, but I got there in the end and did feel a lot more relaxed.
It’s not hypnotherapy as you might imagine, you aren’t unconscious or being controlled, it’s more of a de stress session to allow you to process your thoughts more clearly.
From here we were taken into the relaxation lounge, where there are a few places to lie and relax on big heated loungers, under warm blankets. I loved this bit, with views out over the gardens.
After some time here, a healthy vegan dinner was served in Ozone restaurant, the Pan-Asian themed restaurant within the spa. It’s a really striking restaurant, with open kitchen and sunken cocktail bar in the centre. The orange and carrot booster juice was really refreshing, I love healthy juices and smoothies like this and we sipped on those while waiting for the food.
There were people coming in and out in their robes, so it’s obviously fine to do that within the spa environment, and we could see the outdoor spa pool and jacuzzis outside too. It’s beautifully designed, with terraces, plenty of loungers and enough space so that you can enjoy your own privacy despite it being such a big spa.
Being a meat eater I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the vegan platters on the menu, but with the exception of one out of four of the taster dishes I really enjoyed them. I’m just not a tofu fan, but the vegetable skewers, the beetroot baji and dip and spring rolls were very nice.
I’d love to go back and try some of the other dishes sometime. They do an Asian inspired afternoon tea, as well as coffees, cakes, and proper main dishes.
After our meal the next session was the one I was most looking forward to – an Ishga massage taster treatment, specifically designed for those who are stressed, anxious, suffering with long term illness, exhaustion or depression. The Ishga treatments basically use products and oils containing seaweed extract, for their nurturing and healing properties, and are combined with a massage of your choice.
We experienced the In Good Hands treatment, which involved a hand, arm, neck and shoulder massage for 30 mins, but there are other alternatives and areas of the body to choose from. This treatment was my favourite of all the experiences we had at Seaham Hall.
Massages are so relaxing, and like any good spa the therapist discussed everything from how you felt beforehand, to pressure strength and gave plenty of advice for aftercare. This treatment was the one that really got me to relax properly and I came out of it forgetting all my stresses from that week.
There’s a full display of the Ishga products, oils, moisturisers etc in the main entrance of Seaham Serenity spa, if you were interested in buying any for yourself to take home. They also send you away with guidance on using them for an at home spa if you wanted to give it a go yourself.
Our final showcase of the evening was a yoga session with Zoe from Blooming Bamboo Yoga, and this is the one I was most nervous about. I’d never done yoga before and truthfully I was a bit sceptical. There were a few in the group who had done it before quite a bit, including my sister, so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel attempting it in front of everyone.
I actually thoroughly enjoyed it, and was totally surprised by how difficult it was. Zoe was so lovely, she made everyone feel very relaxed, talked through everything we did and you can tell she’s just a really nice person. If you were interested in starting yoga, I’d really recommend speaking to her.
I had a chat with her on instagram afterwards, and she’s so welcoming of anyone regardless of ability. Have a look at her instagram here.
With all our treatments and workshop sessions completed, the rest of the evening we were free to enjoy the spa facilities. I wish it had still been daylight to really see the outside pool areas properly, but it was dark by this point, although they were still being used by guests.
We relaxed by the huge pool instead, flicking through the full spa brochure picking out treatments and experiences for future. As I said before, I did leave feeling much better about myself both mentally and physically. Just a few hours away from reality being pampered and in such beautiful surroundings is good for the soul. I’d challenge anyone who says otherwise!
If you’re interested in either a spa day or spa break at Seaham, or even one of the evening sessions then take a look at their full hotel and Serenity Spa website here.