A midweek break at Carey’s Manor in The New Forest is a sensational experience and a real treat for a couples retreat. Safe in the knowledge that most of the world is at work whilst you can indulge in pure relaxation and some well earned rest. Lets face it, life is hard going sometimes and weekends can be as hectic as the weekdays, so having a little break in the week really is a thrill.

From the moment you check in you’ll become aware of the pleasant aromas that fill the hotel, instantly calming your senses (you’ll find their signature scent in the oil burners throughout). Exploring the hotel is a joy in itself, with an orientation tour before you get to your room which is a lovely personal touch by the hotel.

The Garden Room at Carey's Manor

The Garden Room at Carey’s Manor

The spacious Garden View Rooms offer a huge bed, sofa and a table, with patio doors leading out onto the private terrace. If you’re visiting for a special treat then why not order a bottle of Prosecco to the room for your arrival, this 4 star hotel will be only to happy to accommodate.

Once settled take a walk down the corridor where you’ll discover a very unassuming door that opens up onto a Paris street! Yes really!! Le Blaireau restaurant is at the end of the corridor, well worth a stop to have a baguette and some frites. Service is cheerful and they have an extensive french menu (sampling more of the french wine would be nice!).

Duck starter in the Cambium Restaurant

Duck starter in the Cambium Restaurant

Walking back into the hotel, head towards the Senspa to find out more about treatments and the facilities. You can find out what’s on offer from their website, but a chat with a member of staff will help you discover the best option for you. In The Southampton Guide’s case a relaxing 1 hr facial and a full body massage!

The Thai therapists are amazing at explaining what is going to happen and work with great expertise. You will feel amazing after your treatments. The spa also offers a range of classes including yoga. No need to worry about not having the right attire with you, the Senspa staff can lend you traditional cotton Thai trousers and top. The classes are great and further help to relax you into your #midweekminibreak .

Time for a quick change and wake up shower before heading for dinner.

Strawberry dessert in the Cambium Restaurant

Strawberry dessert – Cambium

You can enjoy dinner in the Cambium restaurant, snap out of your haze a little in order to get dressed for a fine dining experience. Fine dining with its 3AA stars is fabulous, the dishes on offer have choice and are not pretentious, local good ingredients brought together with care and complimented with wines that really showcase the flavours. You can speak to the sommelier about wine choices . The restaurant team really are fantastic, un-stuffy and friendly, but respectful and on hand.

Retire to the guest lounge where you can order a cocktail and Gin (from an extensive selection – 17 no less) and celebrate the success of the day in front of the open fire and as you sink into the comfy sofas.

The next morning, if you’re an early riser you may wish to make use of the gym. The state of the art gym equipment has just been renewed it is only 3 months old, top of the range computer screen systems with connectivity to the internet, Google and live TV. The Gym is cool with aircon and the experience is enjoyable.

Breakfast Buffet - Cambium

Breakfast Buffet – Cambium

After your work out it’s time for a well earned buffet breakfast in the Cambium restaurant. Carey’s Manor make their own sausages and baked goodies, which all taste fantastic, home made jam, locally sourced butter, everything is there.

The second day means time for the pool and hydro spa facilities. Hydrotherapy here is very good, the large pool with multiple jets, sauna, steam room, rainforest shower , ice room, dark room, hot beds, crystal steam room. Relaxation lounge with drinks… oh and use of the normal pool too. It is brilliant! Water jets pummel your muscles, you can cool off, warm up, enjoy a cold shower! But most of all there is time to chat, time to think and time to just be silent….doesn’t happen often.

The Lounge at Carey's Manor

The Lounge at Carey’s Manor

After all the watery fun, take a walk to see a little of The New Forest in the surrounding area, round the corner is the open forest where you are likely to spot The New Forest ponies, see ancient oak trees, and take in the fresh air. Most of all there are no crowds and no traffic, because a midweek mini break means you are ahead of the crowd – relax….

You will leave Carey’s Manor wanting to come back, if for nothing else but to sample the Zen Garden restaurant and its amazing Thai food, but you should always leave something worth coming back for…The Southampton Guide will definitely be back.


For more details on Carey’s Manor and SenSpa visit their website.