Wouldn’t it be good to have a little more time, time to do something other than work or life admin that seems to fall to women – remembering all those small things, especially at Christmas? I know that my female friends feel the same. I’ve found a great answer to giving a little more time and a short cut to Christmas gifts for anyone and everyone. Red Letter Days got in touch and asked me to review one of their gift experiences, perfect for Christmas and a most other occasions when you are short on ideas, (to be honest, thinking of ‘ideas’ is the hardest part).
Browsing the Red Letter Days website, there are options for Christmas gifts or for her or him. Headings give a flavour of a host of possibilities; Adrenaline, Food and Drink or Pampering. You could easily tick off your whole Christmas list in one place, with a range of prices and options.
Food and drink were tempting, locally there is a tea blending workshop. I love tea and I thought mixing tea would be fascinating. This was a gift for a friend and I wanted to give her some time out, time to slow down. Clicking on the Pampering section, I found possibilities from manicures to make-overs, including a gift for two, perfect for friends. We never seem to have enough time for ourselves, just to relax and have adult conversations. A spa day is a great gift, a spa day for two is even better. Time out from the routine, with pampering.
Once selected and ordered via the Red Letter Day website, I received a big bold red envelope, with a gatefold card explaining exactly how to redeem my gift (a small self-congratulation, that this started as a gift for a friend and has become a something for me too).
Day organised, we headed off to experience our pre-Christmas gift. Being handed a big fluffy robe and fresh towels, then being asked what you’d like to pick for lunch. Knowing you’ve nothing to think about or organise, (except remembering to leave on time to be back for respective parents evening appointments at school) is immediately relaxing.
We started with a swim, to unwind and stretch out some muscles. Followed by a taster treatment, the choices included massages, manicures or body scrub. We both opted for the express facial, a calming 25 minutes of face pampering tailored to individual preferences.
With some time to spare before lunch and wrapped in our super soft spa robes, we parked ourselves in the lounge area and grabbed a complimentary hot drink. Two course lunch is all part of the package, we picked soup and salad. The service was a little slow, but by this time, we were feeling pretty relaxed, so it didn’t matter too much. When the food arrived it was accompanied by apologies for the wait and was fresh and tasty.
Feeling fairly righteous about swimming and salad in the same morning, a slow afternoon was the only way forward. Catching up on life in the Jacuzzi, followed by sauna and steam rooms. Then relaxing on the poolside loungers with a herbal tea, enjoying uninterrupted conversations and time to ourselves, as a parent that is priceless.
A big part of the spa experience, in my view is the changing room facilities. A nice showers, ample hair dryers and additional towels. A supply of body lotion, shower gel and bags for wet swimwear. Throughout the day the changing rooms were tidied and checked by staff. Everything felt cared for, which when you are giving an experience as a gift and you’ve invested in treating someone else those details are important. It makes it feel above and beyond the everyday.
Reluctantly, we left on time, but by the time we’d reached the car park, we decided on more days to ourselves and spent the journey home planning another spa day at the same venue. Time out has given me more energy to tackle the 101 things on my to-do list before Christmas.
Red Letter Days is an established brand, with 29 years of experience. There are options for instant e-vouchers for last minute gift-solvers. The website is simple to navigate with useful location settings and the ability to organise by price or review. Give at Christmas and re-deem when the sun shines. With plenty of time to redeem gifts; afternoon tea when in long days of May or tour a vineyard in August when the vines are heavy with fruit. Experiences for families and kids which make for memorable alternatives to more toys or games consoles.
Note: At time of writing there are BLACK FRIDAY DEALS
Disclosure: We experienced the Spa Day at Aztec West Hotel and Spa in Bristol. Red Letter Day Spa packages start at £55 and are available at locations across the UK. Our spa day was gifted by Red Letter Days for the purpose of this review. Words and opinions are completely honest and my own.