When you read the words ‘Archerfield House’, what do you think of?

Golf pros chipping their way round undulating fairways? Pristine golf greens to which first-rate linksmen and women flock, before heading to the 19th hole for a top notch dinner?

Shamefully, prior to my visit this week, my mind didn’t naturally gravitate to Archerfield’s spa – but it does now. That’s right. This self-confessed sports addict would go as far as saying that Fletcher’s Cottage Spa deserves just as much recognition as those world-class golf courses.

What’s more, with the news that they have just launched a new treatment and product range – B Balanced – in collaboration with sustainable beauty brand, Bamford, it is exactly the right time to explore this heavenly hideaway which is open to both Archerfield residents and non-residents. The East Lothian spa is, in fact, Bamford’s only spa partner in Scotland.

The Fletcher’s Cottage Spa, Archerfield.

Fletcher’s Cottage Spa

This was my first trip to Archerfield, and as I drove through the 550-acre estate towards Fletcher’s Cottage Spa, I realised what a prime location it is. Just a short drive from Edinburgh and a stone’s throw from East Lothian’s Yellowcraigs Beach, it is well within reach for the capital city’s residents.

I clambered in through the spa entrance having burned the candle at both ends. In truth, I felt frazzled. Melanie McKenzie, treatments and therapy manager, greeted me with a smile, sat me down quietly, and gave me a moment to catch my breath. The heady aroma of a Bamford candle filled the air and a wave of calm descended. Already, I felt blissfully at home.

The interior, which was created by designer and entrepreneur Siân Parry Jones, boasts natural materials and colour palettes, while quirky additions (like a recycled potato crate wall and lightshades made from chicken wire) add a contemporary feel. In the ‘Relax Room’, subtle pops of colour draw your eye towards the wood burning stove, then out through windows which look on to a beautiful walled garden.

On top of this serene space are the spa treatment rooms (which, depending on the treatment and personal preference, can be flooded with natural light or dimly lit). The Nail Yard, which opened in April, is available for manicures, while the salt steam room and heavenly lavender sauna have been designed with deep relaxation front of mind.

The ‘Relax Room’ is a serene space in which to enjoy a book and a cup of tea.

Who is the B Balanced treatment for?

Agata Wojcok, account manager and spa trainer from Bamford, was on hand to walk us through the new B Balanced treatment. She explained that it comes down to embracing a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. If Agata’s beatific aura was anything to go by, I was ready to be converted to the Bamford way of life.

The 60-minute B Balanced full-body treatment was designed for men or women who feel off kilter, whether due to stress or illness. Primarily, though, it was created to alleviate the symptoms felt by women who are experiencing hormonal changes. It is therefore no coincidence that Fletcher’s Cottage have chosen to launch their new treatment today [18 October], National Menopause Day.

Which Bamford products are used?

Prior to my treatment, I was given the chance to sample the B Balanced products being used – a luscious oil and a cooling gel (which, if you’re experiencing hot flashes or are just prone to overheating, feels even more wonderful if kept in the fridge).

The products, which are an intoxicating blend of cardamom, rose, frankincense, neroli and petitgrain, are said to calm the mind and uplift your mood. Personally, any mention of rose-fragranced products usually has me wrinkling my nose, but I was completely sold on this beautiful blend which has just a small floral hint. During the treatment, these products were applied through a variety of techniques…

Fletcher’s Cottage Spa is Bamford’s only spa partner in Scotland.

What does the treatment entail?

My therapist, the wonderful Tonya, led me through to the treatment room, reminding me that this was ‘a safe space’ for switching off and tuning out from distracting thoughts.

The experience started off with a foot soak, followed by some assisted breathwork lying face down. Tonya asked me to direct my breath into different parts of my body: my heart space, rib cage, and sacrum. My breathing was tight and jagged, and was clearly due an MOT. After a few minutes of deep breathing though, I relaxed properly, and the treatment could begin in earnest.

Tonya then set about ‘tapping’ up and down my legs, body and arms with bamboo sticks, which immediately brought warmth to the surface of my skin. Tapping is said to be beneficial if you’re feeling tired or sluggish, and re-invigorates your circulation to support your body’s lymphatic drainage systems.

From there, Tonya worked up and down my back, de-knotting my shoulder blades and neck, and releasing tension in my lower back. She had already told me to be vocal about the pressure, but she had pitched it perfectly. Firm enough to iron out the tension, but never so much that it passed my pain threshold. She also worked on my decollete and abdomen, completing the full-body massage.

Perhaps the most crucial part of the B Balanced massage, though, is the targetting of bladder and kidney meridians – pathways of energy in the body along which vital energy is said to flow. Tonya worked on each pressure point, some of which were more challenging than others, and explained that each one helps ease lower back pain, disorders in menstruation, poor memory, and even menopause symptoms. Gua sha massage, used alongside Bamford’s cooling gel, then brought my temperature down again, leaving my skin tingling and me feeling energised.

In all, this treatment was unlike any other I had experienced before. It was relaxing in parts, but re-invigorating and cleansing in others.

Bamboo sticks are used for ‘tapping’ – a technique that is said to give your circulation a serious wake-up.

What happens afterwards?

I left the spa feeling ready to tackle the rest of my day with renewed energy and focus. That said, I wasn’t quite ready to jump back into city life.

Instead, I extended my visit at Archerfield by heading to the Clubhouse for a delightful Afternoon Tea, which was served overlooking the golf course. After all, as their menu quite rightly states, ‘there are few hours in life more agreeable than the time dedicated to the ceremony known as Afternoon Tea’.

Archerfield Clubhouse Afternoon Tea is the ideal way to end the day of pampering.

The 60-minute B Balanced treatment is priced from £130. It is a bespoke, full-body treatment designed to alleviate symptoms brought on by hormonal changes and long-term illnesses, as well as reducing stress and anxiety.

For more information, please click here.