Nearly two years after my last visit to the wonderful Seaham Hall Hotel – a real gem in the North East’s crown –  because of the coronavirus pandemic, it was with open arms and ready-to-be-pampered muscles that I returned for a much needed spa day.

This time around I was joined by my husband Paul, who was preparing to turn 40 three days after our visit (I’ll not say he was celebrating exactly, more reluctantly accepting of the milestone birthday)…

Anyone who knows me knows there are few things I enjoy more than a spa day.

I have been lucky enough to experience breaks in some beautiful locations, but right up there with my favourites is Seaham Hall Hotel – a mere 30 minutes’ drive from my home in Stainsby, Middlesbrough.

It’s a beautiful hotel and spa, located a stone’s throw from the Seaham coastline and is without doubt one of the region’s most luxurious facilities – with previous guests including Take That, Little Mix and a host of premier league footballers.

So whenever I am booked in for a visit, I know I am in for a real treat. A chance to drift away from the pressures of running a business and being mam to two kids (I’ll be getting wrong off my daughter Darcey right now for calling myself ‘mam’ rather than mum!) to indulge in a day of rest and relaxation, lovely food, a cheeky glass of wine and the highlight, an indulgent treatment.

For this latest visit my companion was my husband Paul, with the day being the start of a long weekend without the kids to mark his 40th birthday.

To say we were ready for it was an understatement – I think we can all agree it’s been a pretty torrid time since the coronavirus pandemic started in the early part of 2020 so a day of doing nothing except moving from lounger to pool to jacuzzi to restaurant was just what the doctor ordered.

The sun was shining too, which made the outdoor space that is a real added bonus at Seaham Hall even more appealing.

After having a nice swim in the indoor pool and a laze on one of the comfy beds, we headed to the external hot tubs for a chill in the warm July sunshine.

I cannot tell you how nice it felt – lying back with the sun on my face, my husband next to me, the bubbles massaging our weary bones. It was as if someone was telling us life was finally returning to normal and better times lay ahead.

When lunchtime came, we headed to the Ozone restaurant where we were treated to a two-course Asian fusion meal, with a bowl of prawn crackers as an introduction.

As we always do, Paul and I shared courses and our choices were, for starter, duck spring rolls and battered squid, both served with a light salad and a sweet chilli dipping sauce, while for mains we opted for king prawn red Thai curry with rice and sizzling beef with noodles. Drinks were a rioja for Paul and a sauvignon blanc for me.

Everything was cooked beautifully and tasted so fresh (you can actually see the chefs prepare the food which adds to the experience). Although it was a lot for lunchtime, being on a three-day ‘holiday’ meant we didn’t really care. It’s a tough life at times!

Afternoon saw us sample all of the spa’s facilities including the sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and even the freezing cold plunge pool – an interesting experience to say the least.

The final part of the day was, as it always is, the best: massage time. Included this time around was a 60-minute full body ishga massage. Ishga treatments combine the purest Scottish seaweed with natural spring water, which help create youthful, healthy and glowing skin – it was like they knew!

Sadly, the hour went much too quickly (time flies when you’re having fun as they say). I was in heaven and I didn’t want it to end. Every muscle seemed to drink in the oils that the masseuse used and I could feel the knots which I always have in my shoulders and back disappear.

My husband was equally complimentary about his experience – as someone who suffers with his back, he said the next few nights he slept the best he has for a long time, which he put down to the treatment.

It really was the perfect end to a fabulous day – and the perfect start to a long weekend which saw us heading across to Port Carlisle for a three-night break while our children were with their grandparents.

Now lockdown is over, I can rest safe in the knowledge that it won’t be 2023 when I’m next back to Seaham Hall for a spa break. In fact, I’m already planning my return with my usual spa companion, Danielle – we have both turned 40 this year after all so what better excuse than to treat ourselves to a day of doing nothing but relax and unwind!