Being surprised with a Spa day in Reading the day before you go on a two day trip away to Brighton was a lovely curveball by my Husband! I had been chatting all year about booking to go to Thames Lido day spa (based in Berkshire) and swooning over their outdoor pool and positive reviews from other Spa guests on social media.
I had visited twice before for networking drinks and loved the laid back vibe and quirky-cool grade 2 listed outdoor pool. How the designers have expertly fused the original Edwardian building with the new contemporary facilities is really interesting and very credible.
It’s definitely not your average spa and has a wonderful mix of being ‘cool’ but totally friendly at the same time.
On our visit (late due to Reading traffic) we were welcomed by smiley receptionist who seamlessly switched Paul and my appointment around so he went first and I second. He was being a total sweetheart and wanted me to have more ‘treatment time’ as our lateness had eaten into one of the appointments we had pre booked on our spa package. (we had the Birthday Spa Package)
So that left me with 45 minutes to explore the poolside (and take sneaky photos on my mobile) without making him feel awkward.
There are no locker or group changing facilities at the Lido, you check your coats and baggage into reception and are provided with an easy to wear wrist band. The changing rooms are adjacent to the pool area, some inside and some outside. They are all separate, and from what I could see most with showers in. I changed into my robe and towel and had a walk around to the sauna, relaxation and pool area.
It was raining on the day of our visit, which I was rather excited about, it’s not often you get to swim outside in the rain! It all looked mega inviting and the outdoor pool was surprisingly warm to swim in. There were a few serious (swim cap) swimmers mixed in with day spa guests, but the place was pleasantly bustling and not overcrowded for a weekday morning. The outdoor Jacuzzi Hot Tub was so much fun and I didn’t want to get out, except to jump in the sauna…
Oh the Sauna! I think it might be one of my favourite Saunas ever. I don’t know about you, but there are not many with windows and a view. I find ‘normal’ saunas easy to get a bit bored in or feel I have to make awkward small talk with random strangers?! These Sauna’s ( 2 of them!) were different as they had a gorgeous outlook onto the pool area and felt so cosy and relaxing. I could of sat there all day had I not had a treatment to go to.
I had a massage booked with Christina and as I had not booked a specific type (hot stones/deep tissue etc…) I was expecting a ‘normal/average’ massage. Christina layed her hands on me for less than 30 seconds and swiftly suggested exactly what she thought I’d benefit from. I was surprised to be turned over onto my back for some of it and have some light stretching performed on my back, neck and arms. She really impressed me and I will certainly ask for her next time.
The treatment room was nice, music was played however there were 1 or 2 points during the hour when I could hear the outside guests and doors, which did take me out of my ‘massage lull’. Not something that is easy to manage for staff, but worth noting if you are hoping for complete and utter tranquility.
Paul enjoyed his massage and enjoyed the relaxation room an awful lot. After my massage I found him in a daze, bundled up on morrocan style cushions staring out of the window sipping fruit tea! His first words to me were “this is the first time this year, that I have sat and paused without any noise, phone, t.v and just relaxed” (it was October) I said, “haha! do you want me to go then?” We smiled. It was a nice moment and one I’ll remember.
After our treatments, we pottered around the pool some more and stared inquisitively at the funky showers! We got changed and headed for our glass of prosecco and lunch in the restaurant. The waiters were very quick to notice and seat us and incredibly attentive. We had food from their set lunch menu, the Aubergine dish was delicious. I found the food very flavourful and rich, definitely rich and ‘Mediterranean’ with a little bit of drama added in.
All in all it was an experience I’d certainly go back again for. I’d likely go on a weekday again, as i’m worried it could possibly get a little busy and it’s only so big… Next time I think I might go in the morning for a brunch and then pop into Reading for shop. If you are looking for a nice place to take someone special that’s relaxed and different but has a friendly and attentive vibe, I’d certainly recommend paying them a visit!
Visit their website here and make sure that you follow them on social media as they do some amazing offers and crazy competetions. I find their posts really entertaining! Especially the facebook ones.
27 October 2019