Aztec Spa Hotel
I was recently very lucky to be invited to a lovely spa hotel at the Aztec Spa Hotel in Bristol, for a morning spent relaxing by the pool, a treatment and a 7, (yes 7!) course taster lunch. The dream! The visit was a complimentary blogger event, organised for us in exchange for this review.
Conveniently situated just off the motorway, just off junction 16 on the M5, on the outskirts of Bristol. On arrival, the car park was very busy, a top tip is to arrive early, before 9.30 as it is a bustling conference hotel with lots of local members who come for the fitness classes. The hotel doesn’t look much from the outside, however, once you step inside, it’s a whole different story!
We started the morning in one of the cleverly designed rooms, it has sofas, bean bags and space for the day but in the evening you can transform it into a bedroom, simply by pulling the bed down from the wall. Perfect for their Girl’s Night in Package where you can have a spa experience and then all gather in the room to watch films or chat with food provided. The aim is to make the rooms into multifunctional spaces so it feels more like a sitting room for get togethers or conferences.
After breakfast and a chat we headed to the beautiful spa to unwind and wait for our treatment. Busy and bustling, there is a small cafe area and then you use your state of the wristband to access the pool and gym area, it also doubles as your locker key, you program it with whichever number locker you choose. Fabulous technology! Often hotel spas can seem a bit of an afterthought but this one is well thought out and very clean, bright and modern with an outdoor seating area, loungers around the pool and a sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and generous sized swimming pool. My treatment was first and so I went to wait in the bright airy cafe area to fill in the form and wait for my therapist to collect me. She was lovely and led me into a very cosy, clean and nicely decorated room for my head massage, or Caudalie Cranial Massage to give it the official title. It was lovely, and so so relaxing. There is nothing like a bit of pampering to make you feel on top of the world!
The Curious Kitchen
So important! Next up we had a food masterclass with the executive head chef at The Curious Kitchen, the lovely on-site restaurant. The seating in there is so well thought out with some quiet booths, different levels and separate dining rooms for groups. It is very well done because it has a very homely, modern country pub feel and is designed so that you would feel equally as comfortable going there for a meal as a family or with a group of friends or on your own if you were staying there for business purposes.
Marc Payne has many years experience as a chef and has trained and worked at some of the most well known restaurants, his passion and love of food showing through so clearly. He showed us how to make two of his popular starters, a pickled beetroot and goat’s cheese cream work of art and a meaty one that was apparently ‘delicious’ according to Emma!
Next up we had a SEVEN course taster menu lunch! It was incredible. Each course was really well thought out and there were some really unusual flavour combinations there. Like goat’s cheese and curry. It shouldn’t work but oh wow it did! There was also a grilled aubergine dish that had the authentic smokey taste that you normally don’t associate with vegetarian food, it was amazing. Top for me had to be the pudding though, an amazing layered desert with a sparkly (yes sparkly!) caramel sauce and then after that an incredible selection of petit fours. I’m all about the sweet stuff!
We had a thoroughly lovely time at the event and I would absolutely go back! The pool and spa were lovely and the food was delicious and well thought out, fun and an unusual combination of flavours that have clearly been carefully considered and well tested. The hotel and pool area is clean, bright, modern, nicely decorated and comfortable, all the important things for a hotel. They are now running kid’s cookery classes and I’m planning to take mine to one, it includes an hour in the pool and a finger buffet!