Stobo Castle spa is a popular retreat for those who want to chill out for a while. In particular, women – it’s perfect for hen parties and special celebrations, or simply for spending quality time with family and friends.
I was invited along to try out the facilities at the spa, so mum and I drove the two hour journey to spend the day experiencing the Ladies Day package (a celebration of Musselburgh races ladies day). On arrival, we were shown around the castle and spa. It was strange to feel totally zen while surrounded by traditional Scottish castle interiors. For example, there was a room for relaxing but, instead of beds and magazines and dim lighting, it was all a bit Downton Abbey – a posh drawing room with old fashioned (but beautiful) armchairs and antiques, a grand fireplace and high ceilings. It was very quiet and peaceful but it did feel odd being in our bathrobes when Lady Mary would have been in all her finery!
Our package included access to the spa, lunch and two mini treatments over the course of the day. We spent the morning in the spa (which was smaller than expected), relaxing in the various saunas and steam rooms before nipping up to the rooftop hot tubs. It would be fun to drink champagne in those hot tubs, definitely a fun thing for more subdued hen parties.
Before lunch, we took a dip in the pool, which had the most incredible view over the gardens thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. I could easily have spent hours lying poolside, looking out at that view but, instead, did my thirty lengths to try and compensate for the big lunch on offer.
Speaking of lunch, it was delicious. We were given a glass of Prosecco and the ever-present sinful basket of bread (which we thoroughly enjoyed after our swim!). The food (sea bass, followed by panacotta) was excellent and – aside from spending time with my mum – was actually my favourite part of the day!
Once we’d had our treatments we decided to hit the road back to Dundee. Because of the journey (and the rushed atmosphere that came with having the package treatments) I would say Stobo Castle is better as a two-night retreat, rather than just a day at the spa. The castle is so spectacular that it’s a shame not to have the time to enjoy the surrounding area, where there are lovely walks and activities to enjoy. It’s also worth staying overnight so that you can enjoy the food at Stobo! As much as I enjoyed the day at the spa, I’d rather enjoy it as part of the whole experience of Stobo Castle.
P.S. The ladies at lunch with us told us about an amazing chocolatier in Peebles called Cocoa Black. Being a chocoholic, I made mum take a detour and we found it, just in the nick of time – they were about to close! We bought a bunch of chocs (the marzipan with dark chocolate was my ultimate fave) and dashed off to find the motorway. The forty minute hunt was totally worth the treasure. Especially after such an exhausting day.