Spa review - Hale Country Club and Spa
PUBLISHED: 00:00 02 September 2014
Hale Country Club and Spa isn’t just about fabulous treatments it’s about taking a holiday from the everyday too as Janet Reeder discovers
I love Hale Country Club - for the simple reason I feel like I’m on holiday when I am there enjoying the view from the infinity pool while sipping on a glass of freshly squeezed carrot juice, before heading over to Fuzen for a deliciously indulgent lunch.
Admittedly, I am not one of those who’ve been working up a sweat during the “Insanity” or whatever fitness class is in vogue at the moment (it’s the kind of club to keep ahead of all the on-trend workouts) but a visitor. I’m here with my partner for a treatment and relaxation. It’s a mini-break on my doorstep!
We’ve decided to have a Dual Thermal Rasoul mud experience as it is something we can do as a couple and doesn’t take the significant other out of his comfort zone in the way a massage might do. Plus it sounds fun.
And it is. Not quite the mud-wrestling scenario we’d envisaged but still, Exfoliating ourselves then smearing on mud in the special chamber reserved for the treatment makes us a little bit hysterical. We sit there and wait for it to dry then a knock comes on the door and we wash it off. And that’s it really, except we feel a whole lot cleaner, skin feels softer and we definitely get the supercharged “detox” feeling that we are promised.
We like the spa so much we loiter in the various chambers - variations on steam and sauna rooms. Our favourite is fire and ice, a room so hot, it’s volcanic! We sit there for a few minutes then grab handfuls of ice and rub it on our bodies to cool down. Invigorating or masochistic. Whatever. We feel a whole lot more alive when we finally drag ourselves away and after a shower in the luxurious changing quarters head to the restaurant for a well earned lunch.
Fuzen is fantastic. This Japanese Izakaya restaurant presents its Pan Asian flavours with panache. Taking centre stage is what’s billed as “Rockstar Sushi” which lives up to the hype. The presentation is terrific and the flavours are bold.
We kick off a tour of the menu with Louis Roederer champagne (which we continue to drink throughout the meal) and steamed Edamame beans, salty beans you pop out of their pod and into the mouth, a quirky alternative to boring old olives.
Then we kept the dishes rolling: Haloumi cheese with Spiced Nut Relish was a fusion triumph as was the selection of vegetarian sushi rolls, highlights for the meat-eater included fabulous sashimi and sushi that included the uber glam Playboy Sushi, an imaginative take on “surf and turf” comprising poached lobster, mango and coriander topped with rare beef Tataki and spiced mayo ramping up the wow factor on looks and flavour.
For pudding (well we were on “holiday”) a delicious Vanilla and Coconut Panacotta and a Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Brownie.
This was food we couldn’t stop talking about. Fresh, imaginative and delicious. Plus you can do healthy or have staples like burger and chips if you wish and it’s all produced from one tiny open kitchen which is quite remarkable.
‘The concept is British/Japanese fusion and sushi and sashimi is a big part of what we do although but it still has to have a country club vibe to it. We try to be a lot of things to lot of people,’ says restaurant boss Scott Gavin.
‘ Our menu evolves constantly and we have at least eight specials on all the time. ‘I’ve got a great team and make pretty much everything from fantastic ingredients.’
Scott explains that while the restaurant is 100 per cent about its members, they love outsiders coming into the restaurant too.
‘We welcome them in all the time. We do like to bring the barriers down for those who are not members,’ he says.
Alas for those who would love to gain access to the champagne bar upstairs, there’s a waiting list now for the elite Country Club membership, however for a £25 fee outsiders can use the facilities and a fee isn’t necessary to gain entrance into Fuzen.
‘If I was asked to describe my favourite job - it’s this,’ adds Scott
‘It’s a lovely environment and with the open kitchen and with the members as well getting to know people and having a good relationship with our members. I love it.’
Hale Country Cub and Spa
Cheshire WA15 7AF
Tel: 0161 904 5939