Review: Cowshed Massage at Soho Farmhouse


Bodywork is one of my favourite ways to relax. It doesn't really matter which therapy I have, massage, reflexology, acupuncture, osteopathy etc. They all have the effect of leaving me feeling more connected to my mind and body, relaxed and energised.

I was lucky to have a 'Twixmas' stay at Soho Farmhouse in Oxfordshire. Twixmas has become my favourite time in winter. Emails are few and far between, the overeating has reached its peak and it's ok to sneak in hours and hours of quiet reading time.

The Cowshed Spa is a friendly place. There's a space to relieve yourself of your winter layers and boots and swop them for a caramel-coloured robe and slippers. Waiting by the open fire before the treatment was sublime. Real fires give me an unparalleled feeling of joy and contentment. The spa has lots of natural light, overlooking the manmade lake complete with ducks. It's nice to have a view to entice you away from your phone for a few minutes of daydreaming.

I have the usual aches and pains of somebody with a physical job. My neck and shoulders are always tight and I don't always feel better for having my muscles worked on. It's a delicate balance with pressure. If treatment is too strong it can rile my muscles. If it's too light it doesn't touch the sides.

Fortunately for me the massage therapist got the balance just right. From the moment she put her hands on my body I felt myself let go and relax. She seemed to work with touch so beautifully and instinctively. I felt met.

The therapist focussed more on my lower back and legs where I had told her I felt more tension that day. She also spent a lot of time relaxing my scalp and arms, areas of the body that don't always get the attention they need.


Another nice detail was the heated pad to lie on. Warmth helps the body to let go and feel safe. Especially in the winter, when we physically have to carry the weight of coats on our shoulders and cave in from the cold, it's so important to allow everything to unfurl.

After the massage, I was led out to the fire again to revive with cucumber and mint water. It was so nice to have a treatment where I didn't have to get on the tube or jostle with crowds afterwards.

All in all my massage was great. I didn't feel rushed on the conveyor belt of bookings. I didn't feel that awkward feeling of saying something was fine when it wasn't (you know that feeling when you don't like how your hair cut is turning out yet you can't say anything as they are still cutting away!) I didn't feel the need to make conversation. Instead I felt I could take time for myself. At £80, the Cowshed massage is reasonable for a spa of its calibre. There are more advanced treatments to explore, but I think it's so crucial to have a good standard of basic treatments. And in that regard, the spa really delivered.

This was not a sponsored post.