Category Archives: Uncategorized

Anti-ageing with M Ceutic

Almost every woman wants to know the secret to anti-ageing and promoting healthy looking skin. Here, our Spa Director Hannah sheds the light on a very on-trend MediSpa practice: Mesotherapy.


One of the latest buzz words in the medispa industry is “Mesotherapy” (meso from Greek word ‘mesos’, meaning “middle”, and therapy from Greek ‘therapeia’, meaning “to treat medically”), a non-surgical cosmetic medicine treatment. Mesotherapy employs multiple injections of pharmaceutical and homeopathic medications, plant extracts, vitamins and other ingredients into subcutaneous fat.

Personally this sounds a little frightening, so I was very pleased to hear Thalgo has branched out into the medispa world with MCeutic. Thalgo has developed a medically inspired, professional, cosmeceutical brand to help combat the signs of ageing and target skin imperfections. MCeutic has been designed to mimic mesotherapy, but non invasively, thanks to its patented Mésolift Marin ingredient. Mésolift Marin blends vitamins, minerals, amino acids, hyaluronic acid and an anti-ageing nucleoside to “break away from traditional cosmetics, delivers a rigorous cosmetic treatment capable of producing visible effects on the skin.” Also key is Néo-skin, a patented complex formulation to treat deep blemishes and skin irregularities. These ingredients underpin MCeutic’s Rénovation Radicale products – including an intensive peel, a ‘detox regenerator’ and resurfacing cream serums – and a diagnostic treatment. This facial targets the causes of blemishes and irregularities to restore smooth and radiant skin quality

The Renovation Radical facial is now available as a 55minute treatment or a 25minute express option. This facial targets the causes of blemishes and irregularities to restore smooth and radiant skin quality, best results will be seen if the treatment is taken as part of a course of 4 treatments. Treatments from £50.00 for the 25 minute express Facial.

Book a course of four treatments for £270.00 Monday to Thursday or £290.00 Friday to Sunday and you will receive the M Ceutics product starter gift set complimentary to get you started.

How The Weather Affects The Game of Golf

Playing the game of golf is affected by many variations but the main one is the weather and the UK weather in particular. Our weather can be wet, cold, hot, frosty and windy or a combination of a couple of these, which can make the game even trickier.


If you play golf during the summer, then besides having to make sure you keep yourself cool and well hydrated while protecting against sunburn, you also need to adjust your game and the shots you play.

The temperature of the golf ball also makes it travel differently due to the rubber used to make the ball, due to its density. A golf ball will travel further when warm due to its resiliency and also provide more spin, which with a ‘draw shot’ will increase its distance even further.

The counter to this is when the air is thick, either by rain or cold air, and the ball will travel less distance, so it is important to select the correct club for a certain distance based on changes in the weather and the air’s temperature. You may have to hit a club or two longer to cover the normal distance you would hit in the warm summer months.

Also when it is warmer the course conditions also change; the fairways and approaches become firmer, so the ball travels much further once it hits the ground. Therefore you need to factor this in before selecting the club you will hit and maybe use a shorter iron.

So why not come along and test your summer golfing ability on our beautiful 18 hole parkland course?


Celebrating The Very Seasonal Produce of Game

To celebrate the Glorious Twelfth and the start of the shooting season, one of our chefs Rocky has looked at the very seasonal produce of game.


Towards end of August beginning of September we start to see fresh, in-season game available. And two of my favourites have to be venison and pigeon.

Venison is a great substitute to beef, and can be used and cooked in many ways. Now that the deer have had most the year to graze and grow they are at the perfect size, with the perfect depth to their meat. The haunch is where you’re likely to find the best flavoured meat. And of course, the loin needs no describing.

Anyone for venison steaks? If you are cooking for yourself at home, always keep the meat pink, no more than medium as it will start to dry and lose its rich flavour. Also while cooking keep basting it, really helps to keep it succulent.

It is worth remembering that anything you can do with beef, venison can do, and sometimes better. Venison sausages for breakfast, venison burger on the barbecue the last of the sun goes…even warming cottage pie with venison mince on the colder nights. Combinations I’ve always found to work well together are dark chocolate, as it helps bring out the richness. Also berries are a good friend of venison meat and a venison steak with berry compote or slow-cooked venison with berries is divine.

Pigeon is another favourite of mine, but don’t think you can just swap it for chicken in all your dishes. Best at the start of September when they are at their plumpest, there is a high danger of overcooking pigeon and making it tough. It just needs to be lightly fried in a hot pan. Marinating in red wine (or any spirit) helps to maintain its tenderness and add a little more flavour to it.

For a little home comfort, pigeon pie is a good option and one I often make at home myself. The great thing is that all of the bird can be used, even its legs. Fruit again is a good companion for pigeon, but go for your less ‘fruity’ fruits. Apricots and apples work well as a marinade, sauce or even fried with the breast.

Alternatively, pop in to the hotel and there will be a good chance that you’ll see it on one of my menus in the WinePress restaurant: ready for you to experience something new.

Wedding Tips at Donnington Valley

In our final of our series of wedding planning blogs we finish with top tips on choosing the wedding entertainment. Our Special events co-ordinator Katie Foulds gives a few tips –to help you plan the perfect day.

Weddings at Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa tumblr_n1cddg2EnO1rb1u9do1_1280

Entertainment is a huge factor to consider in the wedding planning process, and it should be given due consideration sooner rather than later! Because admit it; more often than not, your guests will not be able to recall the theme of your wedding cake or your beautiful centrepieces, but they will remember gettin’ down without a care with all the new friends they’ve made. And you will never forget seeing all of the most important people in your world dancing together as if they’ve known each other for ever. Or… you’ll remember how the wedding ended at 10:30pm…

There is a lot to consider, starting with the big one: wedding band versus DJ? While there are certainly pros and cons to both wedding bands and DJs, it’s hard to bring a party to life the same way live music can. Still, even once you’ve decided this, there are so many more questions: a harp player or an acoustic guitarist? Should the ceremony music be the same as the reception? What style of band is best for all wedding guests? To avoid becoming overwhelmed, consider your vision for the wedding reception. You know you’ve always had at least a semblance of one. Close your eyes and imagine it. Different visions call for different music: a soothing acoustic set would be perfect for a casual daytime garden reception, while a rollicking variety band has something for everyone and can set the tone for an unforgettable dance party.

To bring a touch of class to your drinks reception or even your wedding breakfast a modern harpist will bring some sophistication to your wedding. I could not recommend anyone better than Angela Moore, who adds notes of sophistication and emotion to everything from the smallest wedding party to celebrity marriages.

After such a wonderful day, the best way for everyone to let their hair down and to finish with a bang is with a fabulous live band. It will help add the wow factor, of a band that will play everyone’s favourite party songs and ensure a jam packed dance floor with an absolute guarantee that if you book the right band, this is the part everyone will be talking about in the following weeks, months and even years to come!

The awesome five piece ‘got it covered’ band will ensure to get the party going for your evening reception. Professional line up for weddings, events and parties – You name it, they’ve “Got It Covered”

While these are heady questions, fear not: we have a fantastic residential DJ- Shake Discos who will make your evening reception a day to remember. They ask all the important questions such as what songs are a no go to be played and all your favourite tunes to keep the guests dancing the night away, and ensure your evening reception will be a night your guests will not forget!

Angela Moore: 01189810311/07850154867

Got it Covered: 07886361088

Shake Disco: 0163536258

Donnington Valley Golf Club Championship Singles

With summer well underway we welcomed all our budding golfing enthusiasts to join us for our annual Donnington Valley Club Championship Singles.


Over Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th July, members from Donnington Valley Golf Club competed in the annual event. Where there are medal competitions each day plus overall 36-hole winners for the various categories, based on gross and nett scores, age and gender.

The overall Club Champion, for men aged 18 – 55 was won by Gareth Clarke who shot 2 over gross for the 36 holes, which is an amazing result. This is the fourth time Gareth has won this.

The other amazing winner was Zhana Powers winning the Ladies 36 hole nett competition, shooting an amazing nett 66 on day one followed by an even better nett 64 on day two.

Not without forgetting to say congratulations to our other winners which were:

Tess Chantrey
Michael Cowley
Clive Teixeira
John Sayers

Well done to all the winners, we look forward to seeing you all next year.

Golf Club’s Annual Charity Day.

At Donnington Valley Golf Club we pride ourselves on community and team spirit.


On Saturday 18th July 160 golfers took to the fairways to take part in the golf club’s annual charity day and raised an amazing £9,000 for West Berkshire Therapy Centre as we as Babies in Buscot Support.

We had 16 hole sponsors, ladies selling bacon butties on the course, beat the pro competition on the 9th, Tombola, Raffle and some of the male golf members made cakes which were judged by the ladies and then sold.

Auctions for 2 cars for the weekend kindly offered by Harwoods Basingstoke.

Thank you for all the support and money raised for these wonderful causes.



Upcoming Events this August

The kids have broken up for Summer and imagination take a front seat when planning things to do. Here is a host of our favourite days out and events that will guarantee to have a smile on everyone’s face. The sun doesn’t always need to shine to ensure you have a fabulous time.


Newbury Retro Festival
Friday 7th August – Sunday 9th August

A fabulous weekend for all the family. Get the sleeping bags together for the three day weekend at Newbury’s 9th Retro Festival. With a variety of activities to keep all the family occupied, including three amazing stages, dance floors, show arena and a vintage funfair, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been before!

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Open Air Cinema at Shaw House
Saturday 8th August – Monday 6th September

Four fabulous evenings of al fresco cinema in the beautiful grounds of historic Shaw House. With films starting after sunset what a perfect romantic evening to escape to or even get girls and guys out the house to enjoy. Bring the popcorn – as the venue provides the deckchairs and bean bags.

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Monday 17th August – Monday 31st August

Stockfest is a unique event that will be taking place in the picturesque West Berkshire village of Stockcross. Inspired by their vibrant village community, it is a celebration of local talent, arts, music, culture and sport. It celebrates the area’snumerous successful events  including Jazz on the Glebe, Street Fairs, an annual sell-out Pantomime and the very popular Open Gardens days. A few things to look forward to this year include a weekend of music, watercolour workshop, classic car rally and village show, mystery pop-up events and a children’s picnic. See you there!

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Live Music and Afternoon Tea
Wednesday 26th August 3pm – 5pm

Enjoy an elegant afternoon tea in the stunning setting of The Vineyard with music from Composer and Cabaret Pianist Fiona Bennett at The Vineyard. Hear Fiona sing, play the piano and tell a few stories about her life in television, radio and how she sang her way around the world.

£25 per person
Call 01635 897640 for more



Summer Holiday Essential Tips

Feeling your best before going on a Summer holiday is essential. Here are three major tips from our Spa Manager Hannah Henley-Thrift to ensure you are ready for anything!


With such busy lifestyles, getting body-ready for sunny climes before we go away often seems like a lot of effort. However, the results really are worth it! Envision yourself feeling great on holiday and follow these following tips for tanning, tinting and slimming.

Firstly, a healthy radiant glow will set the tone. A perfect tan comes with precision preparation. It might sound an effort but it will pay off! Exfoliating the body 24 hours before your tan is essential. For the best results apply your chosen body scrub to dry skin before showering, pay particular attention to dry areas, for example the elbows, knees, ankles and knuckles. Don’t forget any hair removal should also be done 24 hours before a tan but can be done after your exfoliation. Products containing oils should be avoided as the oil can remain on the skin resulting in a not so even tan.

If you are new to tanning, try a gradual tan which builds up as applied or get it applied professionally. For a long lasting tan, we treasure the Vita Liberata range – their pHenomenal (two to three week) tan is a tinted mousse making application very easy and giving you an instant glow.

For a flawless look throughout the summer tinting your eye lashes is a simple solution, rather than worrying about your mascara smudging. (IT is also great for swimmers and gym goers for the same reason! Eyelashes and eyebrows can be tinted and will last four to six weeks. A vegetable-based dye is used by your beauty therapist and applied to the desired area. A variety of colours is available and this will be discussed at the consultation stage. A patch test is required at least 24 hours prior to your appointment, so don’t forget to plan this into your pre-holiday calendar. (Another one for the list!)

We are a massive fan of Thalgo’s Ocea Draine detoxifying products. Recommended before starting an intensive slimming regime, it triggers the elimination and weight loss process. This ten day intensive course will help you reach your goal – or just feel less bloated and trim.

Happy holidays!

Five benefits of ‘Green Exercise’

Everyone likes to feel healthy – and fresh air and light exercise can make our feel-good hormones ‘endorphins’ skyrocket. That’s not the only benefit of golf, attests Peter Smith, Director of Golf.

The health benefits of golf are numerous
The many health benefits of golf

Golf is not only a great sport to play and one in which different abilities can play against each other fairly due to the handicap system, but it is also a great benefit for health and well-being. Although some say I might be biased (!), whether you’re in retirement or a young person starting their golf career, the benefits are numerous.

The sport itself is played outdoors, so instantly you are improving your health by being outside in the fresh air, and exposure to the elements (the air throughout the year can be wet, cold, frosty and windy!) can also be health-promoting.

It gets your active: golf burns at least 900 calories
Golf burns more calories than you’d think: playing an 18-hole game of golf burns at least 900 calories. Golf also combines all the known weight-loss benefits of walking, combined with the toning and muscle strengthening benefits of swinging the clubs and carrying or pulling your golf bag (that is, unless you have a caddy!). During the average game of golf you can walk around five to six miles.

It brings people closer together
I’m constantly pleased at the amount of friendships fostered over the years on the gof courses that I’ve worked on. Golf a great way to meet new people – especially if you have recently moved into a new area or town or are travelling abroad. Wherever there’s a golf course, a host of rewarding new friendships await, not only due to the ready-made social life at the clubhouse afterwards.

It helps combat stress
“Golf really does tick all the boxes for things you need for optimal wellbeing,” says psychologist and coach Miriam Akhtar from positivepsychologytraining. “It offers some important feel-good factors, such as an active social life and regular physical activity of the best kind – what we call ‘green exercise’ outside in nature.”

It’s good for your heart
Not only due to that five mile walk, but the powerful combination of stress-busting exercise, fresh air and camaraderie can help reduce blood pressure and raised cholesterol, cutting your risk of stroke and diabetes – especially if combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle.

It can help you live longer
Golf’s unique combination of outdoor exercise and social interaction can help you live longer (by up to five years) – and make those extra years healthier. Regular walking, such as the four hours it typically takes to play a round of golf, can also help ward off dementia.

Need we say more? It is never too late to start!