Do you struggle to enjoy holidays and staying with friends?
Are you plagued with asthma when you’re not sleeping in your own bed or sitting on your own leather sofa?
Struggle to relax and really enjoy food when you’re out and fed of having to ask so many questions?
I’m just back from a short break at Champney’s in Henlow with my Mum and I have to say, I was impressed.
I ate so well, really healthy, fresh and tasty food.
Everything labelled to show whether it was gluten, dairy and nut free and the staff were so friendly and happy to help.
Mmmm… Genius gluten free bread
Asking for gluten free toast was as easy as asking for more coffee.
The toast was delicious and I asked them which brand it was.
The waitress came back with the name written on a piece of paper, and she even wrote the Mmmm at the beginning of Mmm Genius gluten free.
That made me chuckle.
They also had Pure dairy free sunflower spread and oat milk and soya yogurt… and, and, and…
I had such a lovely time, and though I don’t post many pictures of food, just to whet your appetites, here are some pictures of meals I had at Champneys. Just because I was so chuffed and enjoyed the variation on offer so much.
Let them know about your allergies when you book
I would recommend getting in touch before you book.
Let them know what allergies you have and the staff will then be pre-warned.
They don’t butter the vegetables so you needn’t worry about that, though I did keep asking out of habit.
You will find that things like normal yogurt and allergens will be available on the buffet. As well as bowls of seeds and nuts.
I kept away from these areas. Ask for a pot of yogurt that isn’t opened yet then you know there has not been any cross contamination.
Treatments and activities
There is so much to do at Henlow, and other Champney’s health spa’s and most of them are fine for someone with eczema and allergies.
Always check if you’re having a massage or facial that the products will be safe for your skin.
Perhaps do a skin test for a facial to make sure you don’t ruin your stay with a sore painful rash.
We had the Thalasso treatment which is a huge pool with lots of jets that massage different muscles and parts of the body and the water contains loads of minerals.
There is a warning that people with sensitive skin may get irritation but I didn’t find this.
If anything my skin improved during the few days we were there. It was however, quite powerful, some of the jets did blast off a few fragile scabs. Gross! But they healed pretty quickly afterwards.
The water felt really soft and this is always good for my skin.
Real puddings, even for the allergy person
Even though it was a health spa they did have some naughty puddings on the menu for those who could eat pastry.
However most of the puddings were gluten, dairy and nut free by default, so I was able to just order from the main menu just like a normal person.
I didn’t to have to ask if the sorbet was indeed dairy free, or whether it would be possible to have some fruit as I couldn’t eat any of the puddings on the menu. I mean, just look at that mango sorbet – doesn’t it just beam happiness at you? So pretty and tasty and healthy.
I really did feel ALMOST normal. I say almost, because I never, ever want to be just normal. Who wants to be normal anyway?
They even served wine, though you had to ask for this. Well it is a health spa.
So all in all a big fat 9/10 for Champneys for a brilliant holiday, even though it was only a few days. I could have got used to that. Power walk first thing, yoga every day, some brutal exercise routines that really left the muscles screaming in a good way and I never even felt hungry. I had a secret bag of emergency treats in case I couldn’t eat stuff and got hungry and I hardly ate any of it.
If you have allergies, save up and go. If you can get past the fact that it’s normal to walk around in the day in slippers and a white towelling dressing gown, it’s great fun and the food is pretty good.
i have recently come back from champneys and notified the manager of my condition, she advised that i dont do any activities that includes the sauna, steam room etc….
when i got biten 5 times monday night on my back, i had a bad reaction on my face, i went to speak with the mickeala and she blamed me and my allergy and said that because it was the country there are bugs around, didnt realise bugs were indiginous to Ashby and she made me feel bad, she didnt offer anything in it’s place and i was left upset for most of the day. she didnt even do a follow up check on me.
Hi Kishori. What is your condition? Please don’t feel you have to tell me if you don’t want to. I have allergies, asthma and eczema and the only thing I avoided were the facials as I have such sensitive skin. I’m so sorry you had a bad time at Champney’s. Which one were you at? I have had an email asking me for feedback so I did give them good and bad feedback. Make sure you do let them know that this happened. Some people do react very badly to insect bites. I carry some Aloe Vera and Tea Tree oil with me when I travel, as well as hydrocortisone which is great on bites. It’s a shame they didn’t try to help you alleviate the pain. I am sure the managers of Champney’s would take your complaint seriously so let them know you’re not happy. It should have been a relaxing and enjoyable stay for you.
hi ruth, mine is idiopathic, only recently diagnosed and looking forward to a relaxing break and forget i have this condtion but it wasnt meant to be.
still upset now and the bites are itching now.
I wonder what bit you? Which Champney’s were you at? I know the mossies did really well this year so anywhere with a lake, river etc. where they can breed would be a potential mosquito heaven. For some reason biting things find the taste of me disgusting. They might bite me once, but never twice and usually even the horrid smell of me will put biters off. Whilst my husband will be covered in bites. So I guess I am lucky in that respect. I did get bitten in the lake district and my whole forarm swole up so I know what it can be like. Take some antihistamines (I’m sure you have) and a pain killer and be kind to yourself. Do you have any calamine lotion or aloe vera? I find it really soothes. HOpe you feel better and more positive soon. I do know how disappointing ruined holidays can be. My hayfever means one holiday in portugal even my skin was red, sore and itching, as well as my eyes, my nose, my throat. I put on a brave face but it was pretty miserable. It’s not so much to ask that one can relax once in a while without any worries is it? Feel for you Kishori. Keep smiling.
hi Ruth, are you the same ruth who has a support group down south?
Yes that’s me! Nr Aylesbury in Bucks. https://whatallergy.com/2012-09/achieving-a-balanced-diet-without-certain-food-groups
i wanted to start my group for the east mids and Mandy suggested i speak with you on how to go about it, i havent a clue and i want to meet others like me.
Ah well I can give you a few tips if you email me at email@example.com