I love Sligo and ever since my days visiting or spending time there with my many surf-loving friends I have really loved it.
The stunning landscape and the relaxed outdoorsy feel to the place that usually comes with seaside locations.
There are beaches to walk or sea to swim in if you are brave enough, there are hikes and mountains or hills to climb (Knocknarea is not far from Strandhill if you wanted to add that to your trip) or the gorgeous cafes where you can pass a few hours watching the sea lovers filter in and out or even just marvel at the outline of Benbulbin which is always a stunning example of the beauty to be found in Ireland and sometimes overlooked among the list of places to visit.
So with my mother’s birthday and my own coming up we decided why not finally take that trip to Sligo we talked about so frequently – a mere hour and a half journey or so from my current location of Tuam.
We booked in for a treatment at the Voya Seaweed Baths located on the Strandhill sea-front – the four of us (my mother, two sisters and myself) went for the Autumn special ; €65 for two-hours of heaven.
A 50 minute Seaweed bath which includes your own private room, a mini steam room to sink into before sliding into the piping hot bath filled with fresh seaweed. The seaweed forms a natural gel that you can instantly feel is nourishing your every pore and strand of hair and as recommended by our therapists you leave it on your skin and hair afterwards to really reap the benefits (I have some medusa looking seaweed hair this morning!!)
After this we wrapped up in our dressing gowns and waited in the ‘quiet area’ with a herbal tea before our treatments. I was not expecting the bliss that was to ensue. Settled into the warmed bed, lights dimmed and soothing music filtering through I closed my eyes and let my wonderful therapist do the rest.
I had a gorgeous arm-wrap, which included warmed towels hugging my arms as well as being lathered in Voya lavender body oil and massaged to soften any tension or muscle pain that I had unknowingly carried in with me. This also went along my toes, legs, chest and shoulders. When it came to the delicious facial I found myself actually zenning (is that a word?) out into what felt like a REM sleep, such was the relaxation levels of the whole experience.
I left with my face glowing, a sense of such calm-induced clarity that I haven’t felt in a while with such a busy few months behind me. All of the treatments use their Organic, seaweed based Voya products – find out more about their products here.
Aside from the welcoming, friendly and professional staff and space that Voya provides, the views of the powerful and wild Atlantic waves at Strandhill beach there is the added experience of the neighboring Shells Cafe, which we actually went into before and after our treatments.
Dining at Shells Cafe
We went for the Breakfast Buddha Bowl, myself and my sister both eating a vegan diet it was great to see that there were some delicious options for us to choose from. This bowl was a medley of brown rice, coconut cream, one of the best granola’s I’ve tasted (their own granola), fresh blackberries and blueberries and a generous slice of watermelon and oranges. As there is honey in this dish it may not suit all vegan eaters but they were more than obliging here to create a vegan friendly plate with what they had in house- I saw a very generous portion of vegan fave avocado mash coming out beside me, so that is always a good choice to have.
Their coffee is delish, with the option of coconut, almond or soya milk.
I only discovered the adjoining shop the second time I came in, which is hard to leave without wanting to take a piece of this little gem home with you. Whether it be handmade jewellery ( I picked up a pair of beautiful rose gold earrings by Big Metal London) or some of the wide selection of handmade chocolates – we had to try the raw, vegan chocolate.The ocean and surf culture of Sligo is noticeable in the decorated cups, books, board-wax, natural fibre blankets, artisan and Irish produced foods, high-quality coffee, KeepCups, freshly baked breads and cakes – to name a few of the what you can pick up here.
I loved all of the unique and quality goods on sale. The staff add to the whole experience -helpful, relaxed and warm. Sending my delighted mother on her way with a complimentary coffee as a thank you for our custom.
Sligo, We Love You
All in all yesterday’s outing were five hours of pure bliss which passed with a sense of time having stopped and it all took place within a few meter radius. From the soothing seaweed bath to the facial that can carry you to the point of slumber through a pure feeling of letting go and finally the piece that brings any pleasurable outing together- delicious food and equally delicious coffee.
That was our morning in the beautiful and ever enticing Sligo. When I am there I always find myself saying “I want to move to Sligo”. Perhaps someday I will, or perhaps it will remain that alluring and enchanting part of our dear island with it’s sea air. mountain views and trails, secret woodlands and that organic environment and community feel that you step into each time.
Be sure to check out the Voya Autumn special offers which are running for November and December while you can.
I will be back again soon Sligo <3
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