R&R in a rural idyll


This isn’t usually a lifestyle blog, but sometimes you have an experience you just have to share.

January is always a grim sort of month, but when you’re just finished a major project, you’ve been burning the candle at both ends fairly solidly for a year, and you suddenly find yourself exhausted and with a lot more free time, it’s important to take a couple of days to re calibrate.

Grove Health Spa is located in the beautiful countryside of North Cork, just outside the village of Shanballymore. I was lucky enough to get vouchers for Grove Health Spa as a wedding present, so my buddy Lisa from Lucy On Henry Street joined me for a day of R&R perfect for banishing the winter blues.

Owner Jacqueline O’Farrell has created something really unique at Grove house. Locally sourced organic food is lovingly home cooked – we had tasty, warming sweet potato and quinoa soup with delicious salads and homemade breads, plus a dessert of baked fruit and yoghurt. All delicious and healthy too, it set us both up for our day.

Lisa chilled in the relaxation room – a view out onto Jacqueline’s beautiful garden and a really soothing atmosphere makes this ideal for a snooze – while I joined therapist Anne for a holistic full body massage and a facial using Thalgo products.

The massage was much-needed. After a really busy week in which I spent a long time driving and started back at yoga after a month long hiatus, my shoulders were crying out for some TLC and they got it. I trusted Anne to find the sore spots and she did – I was so comfortable and relaxed I fell asleep during the facial. That’s always the key for me!

While Lisa took her turn, I snoozed in the relaxation room after enjoying delicious homemade carrot cake and peppermint tea.

We left Grove Health Spa around 7pm after a thoroughly relaxing day. Having first visited around 2009, I’ve been more and more impressed on every visit with the determination to make a success of this thoroughly rural award-winning business. It’s a working farm, staff are local and much of the food comes straight from the farm. We even got a little “pet therapy” meeting Jacqueline’s lovely dog! I try to support local family businesses where I can and it’s hard to find a spa that ticks all those boxes.

We followed up yesterday with a class at my regular yoga studio Himalaya Yoga Valley today, where Lisa’s visit got a reaction something like what Pippa Middleton would – her exceptionally toned bum was recognised from her blog!

If you’re interested more health and fitness stuff, check out Lucy on Henry Street.

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Photo via Lucy on Henry Street

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