As many of you will know, finding time to nurture your adult relationship once you have children is hard. Since our youngest joined the family 14 months ago Matt and I have developed a relationship where we tag team childcare, bark schedules at each other and a night in involves starring gormlessly at our chosen device. We needed some ‘us’ time. A few months ago I was lucky enough to win a spa break with a promotion for Medley Moments with Cadbury’s. We decided to use this prize at the East Sussex National, a spa hotel right on our doorstep that allowed us to make the most of our child free time and remain close enough to the Grandparents should we be called back on duty.
The East Sussex Hotel is a large hotel, spa, health suite, golf course and conference centre set amongst miles of glorious Sussex countryside. The venue is spacious, modern and smart. From the moment you enter through the glass doors into the vast reception area there is a sense of luxury. This is the ideal place for a special occasion or an indulgent break.
Matt and I booked the Celebration Package. This is a package designed for couples which includes:
- overnight accommodation for two
- handmade chocolates on arrival
- glass of champagne and cream tea served in your room
- 40 minute Rhassoul mud room experience for two
- full use of all health suite facilities
- three course a la carte meal for two in the Pavillion Restaurant
- full English breakfast
We checked in with ease. The member of staff on the front desk was welcoming and helpful. Our room was large and airy with views over the golf course right down to the South Downs. I think as soon as we chucked our bags down we started to relax. Being set in the middle of the countryside it really is very peaceful, making it all the easier to unwind. Within a few minutes of settling in we were greeted by room service delivering our cream tea and champagne…well do come in! What a welcome sight! The scones were warm with generous portions of both jam and clotted cream. Being able to enjoy the tea secluded on our own balcony whilst sipping champagne really was special and allowed Matt and I to catch up with each other purely in the comfort of our own company. We never saw those handmade chocolates though…..unless Matt scoffed them both without telling me!
Just over an hour into our stay we were booked in for our 40 minute Rhassoul mud treatment. We’re not the types who indulge in beauty treatments so neither of us really had any inkling as to what a Rhassoul mud treatment involved….well…I’ll tell you..! We were welcomed by our therapist and told to put on our swimwear and gowns.We were then led to the Rhassoul treatment room where the process of the mud treatment was explained. The treatment room was divided into a shower area where we could wash and cool off, and a hot steam room where we could apply the clay like mud whilst being exposed to very warm steam. The therapist left and Matt and I looked at each other and giggled. The treatment was not only great for the skin but it was good fun and a real bonding experience. There really is nothing like being taken out of your comfort zone to bring you closer together! The treatment worked through a cycle and the steam room erupted into a warm shower to complete the experience. As much as the Rhassoul mud treatment was fun, I think we were both relieved to complete the process as the steam room was very hot.
Skin softened and feeling giddy from the high of the mud treatment we decided to spend an hour by the pool before getting ready for dinner. The pool area at East Sussex National is light, modern and has plenty of poolside seating to accommodate weary souls in need of some chill time. The 20 metre pool is clean and spacious. I love a pool that allows you to get a good distance in a single length and this is certainly large enough for a proper swim. At the far end of the pool there is a large jacuzzi, a sauna and a steam room. An hour by the side of this pool goes pretty quickly!
Having worked up an appetite in the pool we arrive for dinner slightly early. The perfect excuse to enjoy a pre dinner drink and nibble in the bar area. The bar lounge is open and relaxed. We stayed on a Friday night and there was a happy buzz in the bar with golfers, guests and families all enjoying the same space. We settled down with a bottle of Prosecco and some complimentary nuts and rice crackers.
Although the Celebration Package description includes a 3 course a la carte meal, we were offered the set Market Menu. We were really pleased with our meal but only later realised that we may have been given a slightly more restricted menu choice. Highlights of our dining experience included a delightfully flavoursome Smoked Haddock starter which came with a poached quail egg and fennel foam; pork in Parma ham with Dauphinoise potatoes and a Malbec jus and a beautiful red berry crumble with ice cream. The service was absolutely fantastic, the staff throughout the evening made us feel special and welcomed. A wonderful evening to finish off a thoroughly relaxing day.
I often find that staying in a hotel can mean a heavily disturbed nights sleep. This wasn’t the case at the East Sussex National. Admittedly this may partly be down to the fact that we have a 14 month old baby and are eternally knackered but both of us slept heavily and well. The beds are large and comfortable and the rooms are very dark and quiet. We slept through until 8am….the longest sleep we’ve had in over a year!
We concluded our stay with a hearty breakfast. Again we found the service to be excellent. We were delivered hot drinks within minutes of sitting down and the hot buffet was consistently topped up with all the requirements for a Full English. As sad as it was that our luxurious stay was coming to an end, it was nice to miss our children and look forward to being reunited again. Matt and I felt refreshed; relaxed, well fed, well slept and we had forged a renewed closeness. The only problem now is…when can the Grandparents fit the next sleepover in!?
The Celebration Package costs £165 per person. We received our stay as a prize for the Cadbury’s #MedleyMoments promotion. All opinions are our own.