Checking In: Moddershall Oaks, Stoke-on-Trent

Nestled in the Staffordshire hills, just outside of Stone and around half an hour from the M6, is the beautiful Moddershall Oaks Hotel & Spa. A warren of glass, red brick and oak beams sprawls across the grounds creating a single level hideaway that is the perfect weekend escape.

I was lucky enough to have an overnight visit booked by my wonderful family for my birthday, so mum in tow, we set off for 24 hours of pampered bliss.

We were welcomed with a smile and Raspbery Bellini’s, always a winning combination, and with sun streaming into the cafe we sorted out the paperwork for our massage the next day.  We checked into our rooms, with twin beds and super comfy white bedding and it was time for a quick change into our fluffy grey robes, grabbing the magazines and making straight for the relaxation room.

Relaxation rooms are probably amongst my favourite spaces at spas, gentle music, sofas sprawling, a fire burning and soft white curtains providing a sense of privacy made this one an absolute dream. With views out onto the outdoor pool area it was easy to while away a few hours reading, snoozing or indulging in a quiet hobby. A table of ladies across from us were sat patiently embroidering and I immediately wished I’d brought something to do with me. It’s never dawned on me before, but what a lovely idea!

Then as it hit golden hour we decided to venture out in the show stopping outdoor pool area. This oversized jacuzzi is STUNNING and kept at a toasty 37 degrees. sitting in the courtyard, surrounded by fields you can order your drinks straight to the pool and its only a short few steps to run from lounger, to pool, to the sauna to dry off! With pink gin in hand, and the sun disappearing, snow started to fall, and I have never experienced such surreal, magical bliss as I did at that moment. It was the perfect start to our visit.

Dinner that evening was just down the corridor in the restaurant, it was quiet and intimate, a balance that Moddershall have really got right. I’ve often found that spas at big hotels can feel quite corporate. You can often feel as a visitor that you are on a bit of a conveyor belt, but not here, here it feels special, there aren’t too many people about, you aren’t fighting for space, in fact we often ended up with whole areas to ourselves. The restaurant was much the same, softly lit and just a handful of tables, you get a really personal service from all of the staff that makes you feel like a VIP. For dinner I tucked into a gorgeous bowl of gnocchi with butternut squash, wild mushroom, peppers and a kalamata crumb (YUM) followed by a coconut and banana tart with passion fruit sorbet that was to die for!! They might not have the most vegan friendly menu, but the bits they do do, they do well!

The next morning we woke up relatively early to make the most of our day. Check out is at 11am but you are invited to relax in the facilities until 5pm which is such a luxury, so I went for a walk around the grounds in the sunshine before heading up to the Made cafe for breakfast. I should point out Made is a stand alone business on site at Moddershall. It is a health cafe and fitness studio, with gym and yoga classes available, we headed over there, not to work out (although I’d love to test out one of their day retreats) but because I had done some online stalking and spotted smoothie bowls on the menu..! Whilst breakfast was included in our stay, I’m a little difficult to feed as not only am I plantbased but I also can’t eat bread, so all the usual easy vegan options go out the window. So the temptation of turmeric lattes won and it was so worth it! I could have eaten the entire menu, and when lunch time rolled round later it was an easy decision to go back for seconds, grabbing buddha bowls and green juices to take out and eat around the pool!

After a delicious massage, 25 minutes of essential oils and some serious tension releasing, we finished our afternoon by the indoor pool. Under a double height ceiling with sunlight pouring in you can relax in another beautiful jacuzzi space, take a nap on heated tiled loungers, or, like me, make a beeline for the steam room and alternate between blissful calming sessions meditating in the steam and taking laps around the pool.

I enjoyed every minute of our stay at Moddershall, and would return again tomorrow if I had the option, knowing that I’d have a stay that would always feel special but also be different every time with so many treatments and facilities available to tailor your visit perfectly. Thank you to all of the staff there for being so welcoming and accommodating and to my amazing Mum for the dreamiest minibreak. I can’t wait for the next one.


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