Sharon Reid


The last bank holiday of the summer should be spent wisely; after all it is technically the end of summer so should not be frittered away. With this thought in mind hubby and I made our way down to Ludlow in the Shropshire countryside for some well –earned R&R at Fishmore Hall.

Launched in 2007, Fishmore Hall is a Regency-style hotel, owned and run by Acorn Award winner Laura Penman. Committing a real labour of love, Laura purchased Fishmore Hall as a derelict property, just 22 weeks later; this once rundown building was transformed into a stylish 15 bedroom boutique hotel.

We were fortunate to stay in one of the sought after luxury rooms; the coveted room seven, a lovely open –plan, spacious room, the pièce de résistance  is a bath adjacent to the large, comfortable bed. With a wall separating, the shower, toilet and sink – I wouldn’t recommend sharing this room with anyone you are not on intimate terms with!

A recent addition is a new rural spa, SPAshell™, nestled in the gardens of the hotel with stunning views of the rolling Shropshire countryside and the Clee Hills, this is where we intended to fully relax and luxuriate.

Spa Treatments/ Facilities

Spa enthusiasts are well catered for with four tranquil treatment rooms offering comfort and tranquillity. As for treatments, guests are spoilt for choice: from facials; specialist pregnancy treatments and packages aimed at male grooming.

SPAshell™ has created a number of signature treatments including the Lava Shell® massage. We opted for the Elemis Garden of England Rose, a lavish hydrating massage and micro wrap, comprising of Rose, Camelina and Poppy seed oils. Rosie, my massage therapist was particularly skilled at kneading out the knots in my shoulders – she did warn me that I could feel some discomfort the following day, this didn’t happen; I was still feeling super –chilled thanks to Rosie’s sterling work.

SPAshell™ has been designed by renowned designers, Spa Creators, a UK based specialist spa design consultancy. Kudos to the team for maximising the space, the sleek design of Siberian larch wood is nicely juxtaposed with the surrounding countryside.

Hubby and I found both the steam and sauna rooms particularly ‘micro’ we were both stretched out on the respective benches top and tail style which proved to be a pretty snug fit. The sauna was my preferred spot; I found the sprinkler system in the steam room a tad distracting (admittedly we both struggled with the controls)  – as the temperature wasn’t high enough, the sprinkler didn’t turn into steam and the effect was annoying chilly drizzle as opposed to balmy steam.

Ordinarily the outdoor relaxation space is ample which boasts an outdoor Cedar wellness pool, oversized hammock on the decking and monsoon drench shower. However, during our visit a hen party had taken root on the sun loungers so we chose to retreat to the relaxing lounge area where we sipped on chilled cucumber infused water between repeated bouts in the sauna.

Forelles Fine Dining

Being a vegan outside the London metropolis can be challenging, fortunately, the team at Fishmore Hall accommodated hubby (the vegan), by creating a special vegan menu.

Hubby enjoyed an amuse bouche consisting of Pea soup, his starter of Tomato with black olives – didn’t quite hit the spot due to the minuscule serving. However, all was forgiven by way of his indulgent main course of Celeriac risotto topped with shaved truffle.

Forelles reputation for being one of the finest restaurants in Ludlow did not disappoint! A special shout out has to go to the Scallops – fresh, firm textured and tasty. While the Halibut with mussels and sea vegetables were simply manna from the gods!

More Vegan

Again, the team had fulfilled hubby’s special dietary requirements and organised a vegan breakfast of: Veggie sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, wilted spinach and beans, which looked so good that I decided to hitch a ride on the vegan wagon and promptly ordered one.

If you are looking for a nice, relaxing spot for essential R&R, a romantic getaway or short family break, I prescribe a stay at Fishmore Hall for the spa, food, and scenic views.

Overall verdict:

Price – From £125 for a single room and £275 for a luxury room. Elemis Garden of England Rose Massage £65 for 55 minutes.

Service – Very good – super impressed with the way special dietary requirements were handled and the staff’s overall commitment to customer service.

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