Relaxation. Tranquility. Zen. Peace and quiet. If these words are practically foreign to you, you’re not alone. As time and technology move forward, the more fast paced and stressful life becomes, but you didn’t need me to tell you that! While it can be incredibly difficult to ‘keep calm and carry on’ it is really important to just take a step back and remove yourself from stressful situations for some well-deserved respite, which is exactly what I did a few weeks ago in Mercure’s Ardoe House in Aberdeen.
I opened up my business Betty and Bee with my business partner almost two years ago (can you believe it?!) and I can honestly say if I’ve had a few days off that wasn’t Christmas, I’ve been lucky. Like most business owners, I am a workaholic and find it incredibly difficult to walk away if shit needs done. It’s the nature of the beast and to be fair, it suits my personality, but that doesn’t mean that every once and a while I need to hit the reset button.
When Ardoe House asked me to come and join them to try out their Spa and brand spanking new restaurant menu, it really couldn’t have come at a better time. I was about to start a REALLY hectic couple of weeks that was seeing me work an average 12 hour day from Glasgow to London, so getting out of the city was a dream come true. Ardoe House really takes your breath away as soon as you pull up. It is a castle after all! With stunning views and grand fixtures, it felt like the perfect getaway for two city gals.
To say I’m a foodie would be an understatement. I mean, I’m not the best cook in the world but dammit i know how to eat! The fact that Ardoe House were proud of their new locally sourced menu really appealed to me, as we all know, shopping local is something I believe really strongly in. It is for this reason that I was a little upset with the quality of the cooking in comparison to the produce. I really don’t mind paying more for something that sustains local businesses – particularly farmers – but think that if you are using the best of the best, you need someone who knows what they are doing with it. I was hoping that our dry, lackluster sandwiches on arrival were the exception to the rule, but unfortunately, our bad luck continued with every meal. From overcooked steaks to undercooked eggs to side dishes arriving after finishing our £29 underseasoned meal. I hate to talk negatively about anything at all on my blog, but if anything, it made me feel sorry that the high-quality produce was not fulfilling it’s delicious destiny as the farmer intended.
The rooms themselves were very comfortable with a really deep bath (on request) and massive shower to boot. On our last day, we went to the spa for some treatments and oh boy did these ladies make up for the somewhat disappointing food. I ended up going for a relaxing head massage (where I hold most of my tension) and a hot stone massage to take me to my happy place. My therapist was incredible and made me feel like I was floating home with not a care in the world. The effects lasted for days after and she really knew how to werk those knots! My girl Bee went for a deep tissue back neck and shoulders and couldn’t help but gush about her treatment too, so looks like the Spa in Ardoe House really, can do no wrong, well apart from maybe needing a lick of paint here and there!
Overall, getting out of Glasgow and seeing a new part of Scotland really was lovely and relaxing. Would I recommend Ardoe House? Maybe not for food, but if you are looking for a Spa Weekend with a comfy room then this fits perfectly. Would I go again? Probably not. On our quest for some tasty food, we visited Food Story on Thistle Street which was the perfect example of local produce done right. With loads of vegan, gluten and wheat free options, as well as plenty for the carnivore (dem sausage rolls though) I couldn’t recommend this place more. With everything made in house from local producers, they could certainly teach Ardoe House chefs a thing or two about how to treat that tasty meat – and veg! Have you ever visited Ardoe House?