EAST LOTHIAN, SCOTLAND
BEST FOR: THOSE LOOKING FOR SEA AIR AND A SUMPTUOUS SPA
NOT FOR: AN URBAN FIX. IT’S TRULY RURAL HERE
Ok lets be honest, when it comes to spas, Scotland is probably not on your radar yet – but it should be. Archerfield house (a snappy 40-minute car ride from Edinburgh airport) is a beautiful baronial estate set on the blustery east coast. It is a place of rolling skies, rugged rocks and pine forests. This is where Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island and if you are lucky enough to stay at the Marine Villa, a six-bedroom cottage on the edge of the estate, you can sit at his desk and watch the lighthouse cast shadows across the bay. But we digress. You’re here for Fletcher’s cottage spa and what a treat it is. Exposed brick walls, rustic chandeliers made from chicken wire, and a fresh carrot juice served in sherry glass around the large wood burning stove, give it a cozy, cabin feel. Most of the treatment rooms have views out onto the walled herb garden, which proffers the soothing aromas of lavender, fennel, thyme and lemon balm – it looks particularly pretty with a frosting of snow in winter.
Head out in your bathrobe and wellies to the bath huts for a Voya Seaweed bath in front of a crackling log fire. This is the real deal. Therapists are dispatched to the east coast of Ireland to help harvest antioxidant rich strands of Tangleweed and Bladderwreak, which are added to the steaming roll top baths. Lying in the briny water you feel like a mermaid as you are encouraged to rub strands across your body and pop the pods to release iodine and minerals which are said to lower blood pressure and be particularly beneficial to the skin. There is a rasul for detoxing and wonderfully comfy relaxation areas with king-sized beds and duvets that make proper deep sleep an option.
When you do stir The Head and Heaven massage which concentrates on the scalp, neck and shoulders is a must. It really works to quietens the most buzzing mind with long powerful strokes and light dancing movements. While more organic treatments feature heavily – Aromatherapy Associates, Voya and Spieza – Dr Rita Rakus, one of London’s most sought after cosmetics doctors, visits monthly for injectables and high tech Hydrafacials, Pelleve skin tightening and Vela shape body contouring treatments performed in a magnificent Rose coloured Himaylan salt brick room which release negative ions into the air. Expect your glow to last weeks rather than days.
CONTACT: 01620 897 050; www.archerfieldhouse.com
PRICE: From £185 per night
NEAREST TRAIN STATION: North Berwick
DRIVING DISTANCE FROM LONDON: 393 miles
First-Hand Visit Write-Up By: Olivia Falcon