Baking and Bathing

Inspired by ‘The Great British Bake Off’ on BBC One (how did I miss the first series?!) I’m really into baking lately. Chocolate brownies (for F and the Noble Family), a chocolate-chilli cake for my little brother and sister-in-law before they left for the shores of Abu Dhabi, and this weekend, mini bakewell tarts.

I think you will agree they look pretty darn tasty… and guess what? They were!

It didn’t stop there though, as F also rustled up a delicious vegetable quiche for dinner.

With Tim and Nat’s departure we find ourselves the very happy owners of their car. While it doesn’t get much use during the week, we wasted no time in getting out of Manchester this weekend. First stop, the outskirts of Chester and the Double Tree spa at Hoole Hall.


Use of the spa facilities (multiple saunas, indoor/outdoor pool, terrace, and lounge areas, fluffy gown, towel and slippers, glass of sparkling wine) without any treatments cost only £50 for the two of us, which judging by the prices of other hotel spas I’ve been to is pretty cheap. We arrived at 2pm and enjoyed three hours of calming relaxation. It was the perfect way to end the weekend and we’ll be visiting again. It was also surprisingly educational. As a German (read: nude) spa convert I learnt a few things:

1. It is digusting to take a sauna in your bathing suit. Not only do you sweat into your bikini but you also can’t get yourself dry properly afterwards and you end up sitting around in wet clothes – yuck!

2. Many people appear to have no idea how to use a spa. They enter (often not closing the door properly behind them), sit down (never using a towel), express surprise that it’s ‘rather hot’ (even if the sauna is only 45 degrees) and promptly exit after a few minutes (usually leaving the door ajar again).

3. The said same people return to the sauna one minute later, only to repeat the whole process again.

4. Having left for the second time, the said same people plunge their sweat-ridden bodies into the swimming pool without taking a shower – double yuck!

Take home message: I am a spa snob!


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