It seems utterly bizarre however we have only two weekends between now and the end of the school year where we do not have visitors and my husband and I are together in the same country. This is why we grasped the opportunity to head out of Prague last weekend and go to the countryside for a little pampering. We love having people to stay, it is great to show the city and spend time with them however we also need to spend some time together particularly when logistics of business trips and commitments in the UK, at times, keep us apart for several weeks.
The hotel we chose was an old country shooting lodge. Now, that does not really do it justice, it now calls itself a ‘chateau’ it is only an hours drive from Prague, surrounded by woods, hence the shooting dimension. During the Communist times the impressive home was left to rot and decay. Big houses in prime locations became offices, hospitals, asylums and schools. As this particular property was in the middle of a forest, with only a tiny hamlet nearby, it was practically forgotten. The new owners of Chateau Mcely have restored the house and grounds to magnificence. Much to our delight, to encourage occupancy in the winter season, the Chateau offered a special package of accommodation, wine, a four course meal in the famed restaurant and a massage.
I was looking forward to the food and the massage. It being lent, I am trying my best to stay off the demon drink. My success at this is not that great, good food is rather nice when accompanied by a good French red wine. Whilst I was restrained, verging on modest, in the drink department the husband was out to REALLY enjoy himself. He started with champagne, had an ice wine with his first course of roasted foie gras – I am not fibbing: he really was having a good time. We have before now, come unstuck with menus and their paring wines. We enjoy them too much and take 24 hours to recover. I am now a little bit phobic about having a massive hangover from trying too many good things. My husband is less cautious, not that it mattered, he coped very well. The food continued to be outstanding and I am a food snob. I am not normally a desert person, preferring cheese and biscuits, however the Mcely Chef served the most incredible dessert I have had for a very long time: ‘black beer sorbet’. The name really does not do it justice and it was truly amazing – I nearly cried, it was just so spot on. I can not begin to describe it, so unusual, smoky, sweet but also bitter. Totally yum!
In the morning, following a lazy breakfast, we put on our pristine Chateau Mcley bath robes and descended to the wellness suite for our massages. One room, aromatic scents, two beds and a his and hers masseuse. This was a first in our 25 years of marriage. We were asked to de-robe in a dressing room which meant I was left wearing only the ridiculously small paper knickers they provided. The husband retained his boxer shorts as a matter of principle. He might be German but sometimes he comes over all British ‘Prim and Proper’. I was terrified: how would I walk into a room practically naked, with a man in there, who is not a medical professional, no disrespect to him but…. Luckily as I peered through the crack in the door, I could see that Adam had taken appropriate action and was shielding himself behind a very generous towel. He knew what it was all about, he was protecting himself, not my modesty.
I clambered onto the massage table as gracefully as I could and laid on my front. The young woman set to work on me. I don’t like a massage where you feel as if you have been slapped with a wet fish. It is good to feel that they could knead dough, however despite the youthful look of this young lady, she went to town. I nearly shrieked a couple of times as she put her weight on her elbows and dragged them up and down my shoulder blades. It was not pleasant however it was a releasing pain as I felt her find and release knots and tight muscles. She continued for an hour, it was amazing to come round feeling an inch or two taller. I am sure that at some stage throughout the procedure I heard the familiar snuffle of my husband as he let out some gentle snoring. He was very relaxed.
On our return to Prague, it was as if I had been hit by a tranquilliser gun, the massage had made me feel sedated. We just about managed to watch Ireland win against England and then I was ready for bed. It was only 6pm, so I had a bath and lay on the sofa, unable to speak, eyelids feeling so heavy, there was nothing for it, I had to climb the hill, go down sleepy lane and fall fast asleep. It was a truly relaxing weekend!