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Tried and tested
THERE'S nothing quite like a visit to a health and beauty spa to make you feel rejuvenated and revigorated.
And after the Christmas chaos has died down, it's even more essential to take time out and really start the New Year afresh.
Add to that the stresses and strains that come with being a first time mum-to-be and I was in desperate need of relaxation.
Having been plagued with morning sickness and various aches and pains throughout my pregnancy, the much-anticipated blooming' period appears to have bypassed me entirely - despite the occasional sympathetic comment from elderly relatives that I'm looking well'.
Thankfully Rookery Hall, near Nantwich, provided the ideal retreat.
The elegance of the Worleston hotel has been reflected in its new health club and spa, which opened last summer, offering a variety of facilities including swimming and hydrotherapy pools, a crystal steam room, sauna, gym, lounge and relaxation suite.
Many of the treatments available are out of bounds for pregnant women, but fortunately Rookery offers a three-hour mum-to-be package - which turned out to be a perfect pre-natal pick-me-up.
Specially designed masssage techniques are used to treat muscular aches, fluid retention, stress and fatigue while also working to improve skin tone and elasticity to prevent those dreaded stretch marks.
Whether it succeeded in that department or not has yet to be proven, but it certainly leaves the skin feeling toned and the whole body relaxed.
My skin was then treated to a personal blend facial' and reassuringly, the treatment avoided the use of essential oils that are frowned upon during pregnancy.
A choice of Espa or Clarins products are offered, but I opted for the Clarins nourishing oils which breathed new life into my somewhat tired complexion.
A luxury manicure specifically tailored to the needs of my own nails (which I'm somewhat ashamed to say have been neglected recently) completed the package, leaving me re-energised and able to enjoy a refreshingly smug sense of well-being.