Spa and restaurant review: Moddershall Oaks, Staffordshire

Adam Lowe

We were very lucky to visit the serene grounds of Moddershall Oaks for a luxury spa day for two. Moddershall Oaks is just 15 minutes from Stoke-on-Trent and offers 70 acres of gorgeous woodland, gardens, hotel and restaurant, and a luxurious in-house spa.

Moddershall Oaks also boasts the well equipped MADE fitness centre and gym, which is free to use for guests (but you must book your visit to ensure your place).

There is also an on-site tennis court and a charming woodland walk, which takes you by the stream, over a small bridge, past the garden and lake, and through the woods that circle the property.

This makes for a surprisingly nice walk that takes longer than you’d expect – a perfect way to get your steps up and clear your head before a day of intense me-time!

The spa

When you first visit the spa and sit down for a tasty non-alcoholic welcome drink in the foyer, you immediately notice the sizeable Vitality outdoor heated pool. Large enough for approximately 20 guests, it would be perfect for small gatherings of friends (such as a stag do, hen do, birthday party, etc).

Next to the outdoor pool is a relaxation room where you can enjoy tea, cakes and savoury snacks in a light but soft-lit atmosphere. This was a popular hangout for guests on the day but remained relatively quiet nevertheless.

In addition to the outdoor pool, you’ll find a proper swimming pool, sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy pool, heated tile loungers, experience shower and reflexology foot baths, plus a rasul room which can be booked for treatments.

Away from the indoor pool is a cosy sleep room with central fire and several places to lie down and let your cares drift away. On these cold winter nights, this was perhaps my favourite room in the whole spa. It’s perfect for meditation or reading a book in silence, even if you aren’t ready to take a nap.

The Blush Lounge is located next to the reception for cosmetic treatments and high quality products.

Treatments in the massage suites, by the indoor pool, range from facials to full-body massages to beauty therapy. I tried the Englighten Signature Massage, in which the massage therapists uses a unique butter balm blend to nourish the skin. The fragrances used were absolutely divine.

This medium to firm massage covers the full body and scalp. It was an exquisite experience, which left me floating free of stress. It eased my muscles and calmed my mind.

Thick robes and towels are available at reception, but guests should bring their own flip-flops (though these can be bought at reception). Arrivals start early from 9.30am, with your treatment times given on arrival, but you can use all the spa facilities until 5pm on the day of checkout.

If you fancy venturing further afield, Moddershall Oaks offers complimentary use of bicycles and cycling equipment, or you can take a walk into nearby Moddershall to visit the local pub.

The Oak House

The Deli, located next to the main reception, offers drinks and light bites throughout the day. It also serves cocktails and other refreshments to those in the spa and relaxation areas.

However, if you want something more substantial, The Oak House, the newly renovated, two-storey restaurant, is definitely worth a visit. Tucked away at the back of the spa, overlooking the garden and gazebo, it’s a very welcome delight.

The restaurant itself is gorgeous and well designed. The decor feels fresh and elegant.

The menu includes some tasty appetizers, such as delectable inside-out chicken wings, marinated in hoisin and sesame; oak-smoked maple glazed nuts; locally reared pork belly glazed with spicy sweet chilli; and crispy halloumi fries with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.

The Sunday menu featured classic roast dinners with all the trimmings and some unique takes on British classics – the prawn cocktail was surprisingly popular.

I started off with the spicy chickpea fritter with a heritage carrot and coriander salad and drizzled with lemon oil. This was a creative and appealing vegan dish which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My husband had the aforementioned epic prawn cocktail with two giant wedges of bread and felt this could be enough for a lunch on its own. It was fresh, light and full of flavour.

The honey glazed ham hock also caught my eye, with its pea velouté and crispy shallots on the side. Next time, I think I’d try that!

Other starters with the wow factor include the baked scallops with café du Paris butter, potato purée and chicken skin granola and the red mullet with laverbread risotto, roasted shallots and tomato and red onion salsa.

We both had the roast chicken with the best roast potatoes I’ve had in a restaurant in years. The chicken itself had the perfect balance of crispy skin and moist insides. Other roasts include the stunning topside of beef.

The creative and inspiring menu features delicious dishes such as the chicken three ways: a combination of chicken and leek pie, confit chicken lollipop, ballotine, pomme purée and a wholegrain mustard sauce.

Other great dishes on the menu include the 8oz beef burger, topped with cheese, bacon, black garlic mayo, pickled red onions and rucola salad and the orchard-reared Staffordshire pork belly, pork tenderloin and black pudding.

Though we were thoroughly stuffed, we did look over the dessert menu, and can assure you it’s all good there, too. We saw fellow diners trying the passion fruit and white chocolate cheesecake, which comes served with fresh orange sorbet, Hobnob crumb and orange crisp⁠. It looks incredible!

Considering you get two courses with your spa day, this seems like a really good deal, and should leave anyone in your party feeling satisfied.

As well as an excellent wine menu, The Oak House has a number of signature cocktails and some very tasty mocktails, including a Spicy Lemonade with black pepper, cinnamon and ginger and a sherbet-y Pink Fizz (pictured below).

Guests will also be pleased to know that The Oak House is doing a Christmas dinner take-out, so you can enjoy this fab grub in the comfort of your own home without worrying about COVID protocols.

Finally, the restaurant also does a pretty whopping afternoon tea – perfect for treating mum.

With its stunning patio views and tasteful menu, The Oak House gets a thumbs up from us.

The verdict

Moddershall Oaks Spa is an exceptional country spa retreat. The newly renovated restaurant, The Oak House, plus the well equipped fitness centre mean that was already a very good hotel and spa is now at the top of its game. Book your spa day or your weekend away now; you won’t regret it!

Moddershall Oaks is located near Moddershall, Staffordshire, ST15 8TG.

For more information about Moddershall Oaks country spa retreat visit moddershalloaks.com.

RELATED ARTICLE  Review: Weston Park, Stafford

About Adam Lowe

Adam Lowe is an award-winning author, editor and publisher from Leeds, now based in Manchester. He runs Dog Horn Publishing and is Director and Writing Coordinator for Young Enigma, a writer development programme for LGBT young people.