Review: Grayshott Health regime

A regime lunch at Grayshott

A typical lunch at Grayshott while on the digestive cleansing regime

We were a mixed bunch gathered at Grayshott spa in Surrey on a sunny winter morning – 16 of us in total, ages ranging from 30s to 80s, all female apart from one man with his wife.

The conspicuous blue rubber bands around our wrists marked us out as a ‘special group’ – not exactly ‘nil by mouth’, but we faced a week of challenging food restrictions as willing participants on the spa’s ‘digestive cleansing’ regime.

The premise of the Grayshott programme is quite simple – if your gut is not working, then neither will anything else. As the Grayshott team state: “Get your digestion in good shape and all other systems in your body can restore, cleanse, and balance.”

Sounds great. Now what do I actually get to eat?? Continue reading

Review: Voya’s seaweed bath

Voya's seaweed bath

Voya’s dried seaweed package expands to five times its volume when immersed in warm water

I first encountered seaweed while living in Japan, way back in the, ahem, 1990s – the nori in sushi rolls, the wakame in miso soup and the dark hijiki used in salads. Growing up in Wales, I guess I should have been used to eating traditional laverbread (a variety of seaweed, sometimes mixed with oatmeal) for breakfast, but that particular tradition seems to have passed by my particular hometown on the North Wales coast.

It’s fair to say, I’m pretty sold on the taste and nutritional benefits of seaweed.
But bathing in seaweed? Now that’s a new concept to me, and probably to most other people too. So it was with a little trepidation that I unwrapped the beautiful biodegradable box that contained Voya’s dried organic seaweed bath (you can read more about the great background to Voya here). Continue reading

Seaweed’s green goodness

The benefits of seaweed

The coast off County Sligo is rich in natural seaweed, that is carefully hand harvested and now used in a variety of beauty and health treatments

Seaweed. Not only is it one of the true superfoods, rich in sea minerals and delicious (in my opinion!) to eat, but it appears to be a pretty effective topical product too, suitable for treating all sorts of complaints, from eczema to rheumatic pains.

I recently interviewed Mark and Kira Walton, who run the renowned Voya seaweed baths in Strandhill on the rugged west coast of Ireland, and have an international seaweed beauty brand of the same name (Voya).

I’d love to visit one day, not least because the west coast of Ireland looks like one of the most spectacularly beautiful places on earth. I have to confess I’ve never ventured further than Dublin, my father’s birthplace, on my three visits to the Emerald Isle.

In the meantime, Voya have kindly sent me all the ingredients to recreate a wonderful seaweed spa treatment in my own home; a box of their hand-harvested, organic seaweed (it expands like magic when immersed in hot bath water), an organic beesewax candle with essential oils to ensure your bathroom smells like a super-posh spa, and a natural reed diffuser for the home. Continue reading

Ice cold in Austria – my journey to minus 110 degrees C

Whole body cryotherapy

How low can you go? The Icelab at The Alpen Hotel takes you to the limits of cold tolerance

So the heatwave in the UK continues (I can hear our Australian friends chuckling about our ‘searing’ 30 degree heat!) and while I don’t want to complain about the fab weather, I’m feeling a little bit uncomfortable and hot under the collar.

So I thought I’d take the temperature down a bit – well quite a bit actually. This post is about a spa trip to Austria, where I was effectively locked in a freezer, a really, really cold freezer – all for the benefit of my good health of course…. Continue reading

Spa time in Marrakech

Marrakech spa

Les Bains de Marrakech: A rose petal-filled bathing room

As a leisure and wellness journalist I often get the chance to visit some beautiful spas, both near and far. Overseas travel has been on hold for a while as I’ve been enjoying my first year of motherhood. As I gradually get back to more writing assignments, I’d like to share with you a few stories from past trips. It might be a memorable treatment at a boutique spa somewhere, or a trip to a medical wellness resort, or a little known yoga retreat. All good places to be. Continue reading