Worcestershire has a wonderful new spa, which nestles in an idyllic setting between Cradley and Suckley. The Clover Mill is a very special spa. Arrive stressed and tense and leave feeling relaxed and wanting to learn a whole lot more about Ayurveda.
I approached the Mill along a little track then rounded a bend to find a Tudor cottage and a stunning Cotswold stone mill. The grounds are beautiful – wild flowers, fruit trees and a lake. There are three eco-lodges for those lucky enough to be able stay for one of the Clover Mill’s speciality ayurvedic, yoga or meditation retreats. Alpacas, bunnies and birds completed the picture.
The treatment rooms are in the lovingly restored water mill. The millstone, water wheel and mill workings are displayed behind glass panels en route to the steam room. A biomass boiler supplies under floor heating. Once I entered the serene treatment room, the eco credentials of the spa became apparent. I was surrounded by natural materials; wood, cotton and linen.
Before the treatment began, a questionnaire and chat allowed the therapist to assess my “Dosha”. The questions were interesting and I was amazed at how well the assessment characterised me. The choice of oil and nature of the massage was tailored to my Dosha. I placed my clothes in a grass basket and popped on a crisply ironed sarong. There was even a little box in which I could store my jewellery – a lovely touch.
The massage was blissful. The oil was gently warmed and had the most divine, subtle aroma. A warm pad on the couch ensured that I remained toasty throughout. It was one of the best massages I’ve ever had – the therapist has been doing massage for many years and it showed. She was technically superb, intuitive and passionate about ayurveda and it’s the focus on wellness. Stress drifted away and muscles that had been stiff for months melted. At the end of the massage there was a warming cup of herbal tea.
After the massage I had a light, healthy lunch made by the spa owner, Julie, who is a passionate cook. Most of the ingredients for the meal were harvested from the garden. Julie had even gone to the trouble of whipping up some gluten-free courgette and pinenut muffins to accompany the delicious beetroot and elderberry soup. There was a divine lemon polenta cake to follow.
I left The Clover Mill in a warm glow, skin soft and lustrous, feeling relaxed, nurtured, happy and planning the next visit.