For someone who works for themselves, taking a mid-week [sneeky] break from the office is so self-indulgent… but that is just what I did. I’ve spent 24 blissful hours in the Farnham Estate and I didn’t realise how good and rejuvenating a mid week over night break would be!
Full disclosure I was invited [with a guest] to stay by the lovely people in Farnham Estate in the hopes that I would review the hot spot and share my thoughts with you all. I wasn’t paid but did receive a complimentary stay in a very plush suite, an amazing facial and delicious dinner.
So how did we get on at Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort?
Short answer – it was sublimely serene… but of course that is not enough for you or them 🙂
We spent exactly 24 hours there, which wasn’t enough. I arrived stressed and left relaxed and wishing we had another 24 hours.
It’s mid [wedding] season for me and I’m up to my eyes in last minute details for several imminent weddings. There never is a good time to take some time off in the Summer and James happens to have the next 10 days off work so we went for it! And I’m glad we did.
It struck us immediately, within the first 30 minutes of arriving, that the lovely staff at Farnham Estate are really big on interacting with their guests and pretty much attending to their every need or whim. I’m always a little sceptical at first by this type of behaviour. Especially when I’m there as their [non-paying] guest that perhaps they’re laying it on because they’ve all been warned I’ll be writing about them and heads may roll. But as quickly as we noticed the excellent service, we noticed that it was universal and to each and every guest.
One terrific example is; during dinner, James [rather rudely I might add] got up to go to the gents as soon as our dinner was served. Me being the lady I am, of course, waited for him to return. A passing waiter, who was serving a different section, noticed and offered to bring the food back to the kitchen to be kept warm. This was nice, really nice, he wasn’t even working in our area and he took the time to care.
What does Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort look like?
The Farnham Estate, located in Co. Cavan has a long and rich history. The current Lady Farnham is a Lady in Waiting to the Queen of England! The hotel itself is a beautifully blended building of the original period Estate House and a modern [massive] extension. We stayed in the original house, in the Francis Johnson Suite. Like the whole property, our Suite was a lovely mix of period & modern decor.
A nice large room, with two massive sash windows overlooking the garden. A very generous bathroom with a modern rolled bath tub, marble and glass shower and toilet cubicles plus another great sash window. Oh! and a weighing scales that tells me I’m only 9 Stone [it is now my new best friend!]. Ps, I am definitely not 9 stone.
Some Pet Peeves…
Our room, while lovely definitely had some practical design/ set up flaws. Sockets were a plenty. There were even two decent full-length mirrors on the wardrobe. A lovely desk too. But unfortunately, the desk was without a mirror. It did have a fancy coffee machine and a delicious bowl of fruit. The wardrobe with both sockets and mirrors had its ‘desk’ space covered with the tea making facilities [although not the sugar, which we later found hanging out with the fancy coffee maker] and glassware. Those of you who like to use a hair dryer, straightener, products, and brushes will identify the struggle… do you rearrange the setup and move all the tea making facilities elsewhere or try and squash everything into the space? I squashed, which was grand, but annoying because of course, tea addict James wanted a cup just as I was drying my hair. [Interesting side note, within the time it took to boil the kettle my hair was about 75% dry… not bad at all for a hotel hair dryer!]
An absolutely fantastic Health Spa
In their press release, Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort describe their spa as ‘one that nobody who has ever visited will ever forget’ and truly they are not wrong! A-MA-ZING is all I can say.
For one, it’s beautiful. Which you can’t always say. It’s the type of place you want to go ‘to spa’. They also promote robe use… which I love. We were invited, on check in, to attend the spa in our robes [or indeed get changed there if we preferred]. But if you’re going to a spa, you want to know that it’s acceptable/allowed/common/ok for you to saunter through reception in your fluffy white robe! It’s always nice to know these things from the start.
While there, as I said, I was treated to a personalised Epsa 60 Minute Facial… it was heavenly! My Therapist, Uruzla, had the hands of an angel! And was very thorough in explaining what she would do and the products she would use. She really took the time to read through the form I’d filled in and talk to me about my skincare and how what she would do would help.
She wrapped me in a wonderful hot towel cocoon and I could feel the stress of my next 7 weddings melt away! Just thinking about the facial and the back, neck shoulder and head massage that was part of it is making me re-live those wonderful 60 minutes.
Delicious Dining for Two
We ate in the Botanica Restaurant and I was hard pressed to find fault with the food! [Not that I try and find faults, but you want a review to be balanced… not just all – they are amazing at everything!].
The only ‘fault’ I could say is that my steak was over cooked. I asked for medium rare and it arrived medium well done. Normally I would send it back, but guys, this steak was seasoned so perfectly and accompanied by the most delicious pepper sauce, I couldn’t part with it! So you see, it was hard to find fault! [For those of you following my Slimming World Journey, this meal was not ‘on plan’ by choice but easily could have been.]
This is what James ate…
This is what I ate…
Point of interest for any vegetarians – there was a specific menu already included in the menu book to cater specifically to vegetarians, I thought this was really nice!
After dinner, we retired to the Lobby for Digestifs. I just love how the period house has been incorporated into the Lobby as a functional feature!
Unfortunately, our Digestifs were a little more interrupted than we would have liked. The reception phones never stopped ringing and there was only a night porter and receptionist on duty, so they rang pretty consistently throughout our sojourn. In hindsight, we should have headed downstairs to the Wine Goose Cellar Bar which we totally forgot to visit.
After that, we retired for the evening to the comfiest king bed!
Ps. the hotel room is super quiet… we didn’t hear a peep from any neighbours or well anyone!
An early breakfast…
By morning we still had to visit the Infinity Pool, Thermal Suites and attempt at least 1 of the amazing walks that surround Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort and so an early breakfast was in order.
Breakfast was self-service with any amount of choice! Continental, Full Irish, Pastries and Fruit… even a Gluten Free specific section. An impressive amount of herbal teas and was delighted they had both large and mini muffins… so I could have 1 and still feel like I was being good 🙂 [It’s the little things, literally, that count!]
Another Pet Peeve though… the sausages, while cooked, weren’t brown on all sides. Still tasted great!
To Infinity Pool & Beyond…
[See what I did there? No, ok, I’ll get my coat!]
We’d been told to pack our swimsuits, that the infinity pool was a must, and it really is!
After breakfast, we loosely packed our bags, changed and dawned our robes again to head back to the Health Spa where the pool and Thermal Suite are located too. You ‘sign in’ at the spa reception, use of the pool & thermal suite is included in your stay, but for anyone living locally to the Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort you can also get a day pass. On ‘sign in’, they will give you the worlds smallest pool towel. [At the pool, I noticed some had brought their own towels and I certainly suggest this. Unless you are 3 foot and size zero, the towel just isn’t going to cut it.]
The pool is both in and out doors, with a small sliding door in the glass wall dividing the in and outdoors. It was a busy area, but still plenty of loungers and room in the pool. While it was a July day, it was not a hot July day by any account so initially, I was a little slow to leave the indoor heated pool and pass through the sliding door [same pool] to the outside and the infinity pool. But actually, it was as warm, if not warmer outside! And such a treat to have the sun [ when it popped between clouds] shine down on your face, in the fresh country air, surrounded by bird song!
By now, we were conscious of time… we probably spend much more time than we had in the pool and left very little for the Thermal Suites, which really I wish we’d had more time in! We really only ducked in and out of everything. My advice, allow yourself a couple of hours, at least, for these alone!
And ps.. the Thermal Suite is Adult Only! A total bonus for me. Hey I like kids, but I’m sure like me, you all like to spend time away from kids too!
In the Thermal Suite, they have…
- Water Mint Thermal Suite
- Aroma Steam Bath
- Amethyst – Salt Inhalation Room
- Snail Showers
- Kneipp Walk
- Finnish Sauna
- Ice Fountain
- Reflexology Foot Basin
- Relaxation Areas
Each area, item, space, room or basin had a notice to explain what it was, the benefits of using it, how long to use it for and most importantly how to use it 🙂
My top tip: bring a book if you plan on spending real time here. Unless of course you just want to let your mind wander!
Time to stretch our legs!
After our world-wind tour of the Thermal Suite, we checked out, dropped our bags in the car and headed in the direction of the walks. There are about 1,300 acres that surround the estate with 5 marked walks available to the those who wish to spend a pleasant afternoon exploring the countryside.
Starting at the hotel we took Lord Farnham’s Walk to the Lake Walk and looped around to join the Ladies Walk which brought us back to the hotel… ravenous!
One Last Meal…
When we were having our pre-dinner drinks the evening before in the lobby bar, I spied guests tucking into the most delicious looking burgers. I’d been fantasizing about these burgers since then. As we were starved with the hunger after our walk and it was 1.30pm in the afternoon we thought it would be rude to leave without one last meal at Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort and so, I had the burger, with the chips and the onion rings and it was heavenly! And the perfect way to end our 24 Hours in the Farnham Estate Golf & Spa Resort!