When was the last time you sat and luxuriated in absolute silence?
I pondered this question in The Retreat, one of the most popular features at award-winning spa Ragdale Hall, which is a room filled with luxurious beds, floor cushions, hammocks and chairs. There are people reading quietly, snoozing and lying in bliss.
The answer to the original question is probably ‘it’s been far too long’ - but that is precisely the reason you head to Ragdale in the first place - to get away from all the hectic rushing around.
The spa is located in Ragdale near Melton Mowbray, a town more famous for its pork pies than luxury beauty treatments, but the building actually has a fascinating history.
It was formerly an earl’s hall and then occupied by well-off families but, since 1973, it has been a health hydro farm or spa situated in the rolling countryside with an ever-increasing reputation for luxury.
And it is for good reason. From the moment you step through the grand entrance door, the shoulders go down, mobile phones are turned off, and the world becomes a slower place.
After a quick look around the hall, we headed straight to the thermal spa. It has a room for everything.
There’s one for thinking, as images are projected on to the ceiling, for gently steaming in, and for smelling burning lavender.
Swimmers can splash in the main pool, the jacuzzi and a secondary pool which heads outside - for soaking in the water and the sun simultaneously.
Our favourite was the candle pool, a warm cave-like cocoon with stars on the ceiling, gently glowing coloured lights and shelves on which to stretch out. We could have stayed in there for hours.
My other half - a spa virgin - had relaxed by this point, thanks to a combination of the heavenly water treatments and the presence of other men, much to his surprise.
His verdict on a 50-minute facial, which calmed irritated, stressed skin, and a 30-minute back massage was, ‘I feel like a new man’.
I opted for a full body massage - soothing yet back-cracking - and a Shellac pedicure to get feet summer-ready.
It’s hard to pick just one best thing about Ragdale but, if pushed, the selling point would probably be the fact you never have to get out of a dressing gown during the stay. Many people even wear them to dinner.
We joined those people, and ate a deliciously healthy meal, with all the little touches you would expect in a restaurant, in the most comfortable clothing imaginable.
Expert chefs have devised a menu that’s healthy and tasty - and there’s even a guide to how many calories are in each dish.
It didn’t stop us from indulging in a duck main and chocolate pudding though.
There is much to do at Ragdale - from yoga to a mind gym, golf and evening discussions which we didn’t have time for - but it’s a great excuse to keep going back.
Take a class
Kick start a fitness regime with a workout in the hall’s gym or one of its many classes - from yoga to aerobics.
Skincare, clothes and jewellery are all on sale in the hall’s boutiques.
You might have to get out of that robe, but there is also pitch and putt, cycling and tennis in the grounds.
Be a water baby
Spend some serious relaxation time in the thermal spa, with eight different experiences to try.
Ragdale Hall Health Hydro and Thermal Spa
01664 434 831
Ellen enjoyed an overnight reviver break , priced from £199 per person.