It was an early start for the spa day at Whittlebury Hall, I had to be there by 9am. Setting my alarm at the crack of dawn to travel up to Northamptonshire for a day of relaxation did seem a little harsh, but once I arrived I could see why they asked me to be there so early - I had a very busy day doing nothing.

Whittlebury Hall is a stone's throw away from Silverstone. So motor racing enthusiasts can combine a day of watching fast cars with a massage and steam, while motor racing widows can leave their other half at the track and indulge in a day of sheer pampering .

The place is set in rambling countryside and the large hotel boasts 211 bedrooms.

Although Whittlebury Hall is a spa, it definitely does not mean you end up eating lettuce leaves and celery during your stay, instead it is very proud that it has an fine dining room which was awarded two AA rosettes, as well as two other restaurants serving continental and Mediterranean cuisine.

There is a sense of grandeur in the decor with flickering mock Grecian flames flanking the staircase and pillars.

My spa day began by slipping into a fluffy white dressing gown and slippers which was the dress code of the day, and wandering up to the large airy therapy reception room overlooking the golf course where I waited to be called for my treatment. There's a plethora of treatments you can indulge in with Elemis and Espa as two of the main products used.

I decided on the Sacred Nature face and body ritual, and as the name suggests it was a ritual rather than just a massage, and one of the best treatments I have had. Firstly, my body was cleaned, exfoliated, polished and massaged. The massage wasn't deep, instead it worked on the lymphatic system which is great for combating aging. Then a similar process was done to my face. The whole treatment took one and half hours, and by the end, I was totally relaxed, and all I could muster was to walk to the dimly lit relaxation room to lie on one of the beds, snuggle under the duvet and have a snooze.

With such a busy morning having a treatment, I was ready for a well-deserved lunch at the Terrace Cafe where I met my companion. During the buffet lunch, we compared notes and treatments. It was quite busy with young couples, mothers and daughters and groups of girlfriends on what seemed to be a hen party outing.

I thought my afternoon should be slightly more energetic, so I headed for the heat and ice experience. In the middle of the spa area there is a large bubbling whirlpool, then all around are a number of heat treatments derived from ancient Roman, Greek, Turkish and Finnish rituals. There's the caldarium, a Roman hot bath, which wasn't too hot but the warmth penetrates the body, a salt steam bath, a sanarium which was slightly less hot than a conventional sauna and a Hamman.

In between trying out all these heat treatments, I cooled down by either walking into a room which was literally the temperature of my fridge at home, or dared to have a bucket of freezing cold water thrown over me, or going into one of the showers which gives the sound effects of being caught in the rain in the Amazon.

Having sweated out my toxins, tension, and stress, I made my way to the swimming pool area and flopped down on a chaise longue to have another well deserved rest. The pool area has a decadent feel to it with its fresco of a crumbling Tuscany terrace.

What made it even more relaxing was the thought that I only had to wander up to my bedroom in the hotel and not jump into the car and the end of the day.

Before dinner we had a drink at the bar, where you could not escape the fact that Silverstone is just down the road with the walls adorned with racing memorabilia.

There are three dining areas - the Bentleys an informal restaurant, Murrays an award-winning a fine dining room and Aston which served continental cuisine. We chose Astons which was perfect after a relaxing day - and thank goodness not one for the diet conscious, but the menu was equally healthy and not too heavy.

And to bring the perfect day to a close, we went into the lounge area and sat on the comfy sofas for a nightcap before heading up to our room.

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