Rachel was a guest of Solar Springs and Double Edge PR.
Everyone I know with kids has urged me to take a babymoon, and I don’t need to be told twice. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll see I have been taking babymoons left right and centre as Mr Chick and I indulge our love of fancy hotels while we can. So, it was with much excitement that I accepted an invite from PR Clare to join a trip of bloggers at gorgeous NSW health retreat Solar Springs last week.
On the trip I met Simone from Honey and Fizz, Helen from Grab Your Fork and Marcia from Not So Mumsy who I knew would instantly be great value (just what you need on a girl’s trip). None of them said boo when I ignored the Solar Springs afternoon tea portion control notice (one for me, one for the baby is always my motto when an almond chocolate slice is involved.) And, as Simone and Marcia are both mums of sons (3 in Simone’s case!), they were more than happy to talk boys, babies, pregnancy and birth (oh boy, did we go there) in between all the healthy noshing and relaxing by the fire. For a pregnant gal like me, it was basically bliss.
A note about the food. I try, really I do, to shoehorn as many nutrients in to the chicklet that I can on a daily basis but some days, my diet is quite heavy on the vegemite toast. So I relished the chance for someone else to feed me healthy food for 48 hours. And the Solar Springs kitchen, helmed by French chef Francois Razavet, does just that. For brekkie, the buffet offered baked eggs, herbed mushrooms, beans, porridge, fruit, yoghurts and seeds. Lunch was a tasty Dahl, rice and salads (pumpkin and spinach, cashew and cabbage) on one day, and chicken wraps with salads the next. A platter of freshly baked breads were served. And for dinner we noshed on carrot and ginger soup, poached chicken with pesto and green beans and baked ricotta for dessert. Healthy, but not so much that you feel deprived. There’s olive oil and vinegar for the salads (your choice) and wine with dinner (if you so desire).
There are lots of different room types (some with shared bathroom if you’re on a budget), and my warm, cosy upstairs ensuite room had a beautiful view over the front garden. I spent my two days at Solar Springs doing laps in the indoor pool, reading by the fire in the quiet room, and putting my face and head under the practiced hands of day spa beautician Rachel, whose head massage pretty much sent me into a pleasure orbit. The spa menu is amazing. There is so much on it and I wish I could’ve stayed for a month to try out everything on it. I also had a session with the inhouse naturopath, Bek, who gave me heaps of preggo-related advice and my first ever iridology session. Apparently, I am super healthy (even with all the vegemite toast). Go figure.
There are also heaps of optional activities for joiners – stretch classes, boot camps, bush walks, archery and even nighttime excursions to the nearby glow worm tunnel. Or, you can just cosy up in the Quiet Room or potter around in nearby Bundanoon, which is endearingly stuck in the Seventies (has this place heard of EFTPOS? I suspect not) but that’s all part of its charm. Make sure you browse the homemade jumpers, scarves, jams and pickles in the The Good Yarn or the knick knacks and homewares in the Bundanoon Bloomery or Bruce Pryor’s pottery.
Verdict? A great two days and I urge anyone to check it out if you’re thinking of a babymoon, girls’ weekend or mother-and-daughter getaway. Perfect Mother’s Day gift too, if you’re struggling for something really awesome to get your mum this weekend. Check out packages and more about the retreat here.