There's always time to spa...

You know when you just want to press pause, or you basically just want to shut down and escape? Those days are best spent dropping everything and seeking solace in a spa. If like me, you don't relish/have the time to drive miles and miles to escape to a country house retreat - there is a little spa right in the heart of the toon. Mineral House, Crowne Plaza Newcastle (NE1 3SA) is just by Central Station - perfect to get to if you're short on time and can only spare a couple of hours away from daily life.

Taking a much needed early finish away from the office, I checked in to Mineral House for a couple of hours. The Crowne Plaza; a towering modern city centre hotel, houses an underground serene spa - a world away from the hustle and bustle of town. On my visit, I opted to spend most of my time in the pool and jacuzzi followed by an Orly manicure. The spa products used are Germaine de Capuccini, a luxurious skincare brand - definitely one to explore.

I loved the pool - perfect lighting if you're not especially body-confident (why are some spas so starkly lit?) and is much more flattering. Steam rooms are always a winner, and love how much better my skin feels after a quarter of an hour in there. Overall, poolside facilities are great, and a perfect afternoon retreat.

The gym is very small compared to other gyms in Newcastle, however you just need to pick the best time to visit. Let's face it - no one goes to a spa day to go to the gym do they? One thing I would very much like to see change is the changing rooms. I love getting ready after some spa time; but there was no where to put on your make up or do your hair, other than a little shelf with one lonely hairdryer. There are no cubicles to change in, bringing back harsh memories of public changing rooms in Topshop (remember those and how hideously scary they were?) so again, maybe wait until the changing rooms are empty to make sure you have enough space to get ready.

What Mineral House is great for, is taking a couple of hours out of your day to leave stress at the door and switch off. The pool/steam room/jacuzzi is a great size for some quick time out. If you're wanting somewhere to spend a whole day - you may need to make the drive out of town to a country retreat.

There are regularly spa offers on Itison for Mineral House, and they do sell out - so make sure you sign up for updates if you want to give it a go! Otherwise, give them a follow on Facebook.

Where's your favourite place to spa - any recommendations?

K x

*This visit was complimentary to try out the new facilities