In 1998 Babington House, the original home-away-from-home space for members of London's Soho House club opened its doors. Only the second Soho House property, it gave members a chance to relax in beautiful surroundings whilst soaking up the Somerset country air. Karen Williams visits Babington House for 24 hours for their 25 year celebrations wellness retreat with Cowshed.
Who is it for?
To mark 25 years, Cowshed have launched the Babington Botanical Facial using Cowshed products and botanicals sourced directly from the Walled Garden at Babington House. The great thing is anyone can book in - as long as you’re a member! If you’ve not managed to bag that super desirable membership yet though, you can still indulge in a slice of the pamper action at home. The Babington House Hamper is now available online at Cowshed and is coming to Marks and Spencer this summer and I am here for it.
The 33 bedrooms set across the Main House, Coach House, Stable Block and Walled Garden, as well as the two-bedroom cabin by the lake, are decorated in a modern take on classic Georgian interiors. All the rooms are a blue or green tone with a variety of textures with a nod to the countryside. My breathtaking room had all the charm I expected. Sprawling across three levels, the four poster bed sitting on the mezzanine floor, a free standing metal bath, an old fashioned rustic wooden toilet and fabulous floor-to-ceiling windows with a sensational view of wild flowers and sky. The room was loaded up with Soho House's new skin care range Soho Skin plus a full range of Cowshed favourites named to reflect a range of moods like Relax, Awake, Refresh and Active. All contributing to that at-home spa experience. I was delighted to see some great books and magazines set out plus my favourite Grind Coffee pods.
The Babington Wellness Retreat was a name dropping event and left no stone unturned. It kicked off with the Botanical facial in the Cowshed Spa which is a new addition to the treatment menu to celebrate 25 years of Cowshed. I always like to be honest either way about stuff and I can confirm that this really was one of the best facials I’ve ever had - something to do with the soothing 5-minute mask, packed with Aloe Vera to de-puff and calm irritated skin. I finished off by indulging in complete relaxation and tension-releasing stunning scalp massage.
We then went on to complete a full day of events that left me feeling wholesome and rested. A wonderful Aromatherapy workshop making our own blend of oils with Abi Titterington-Lough, Yoga with Shona Verture, then a Cowshed inspired Afternoon Tea. Manifestation with Roxie Nafousi, Just Breathe with Michael James Wong and a Walled Garden Dinner with guest Chef Nicholas Balfe.
I also managed to fill up my outdoor metal bath tub with bubbles and reframe some of my negative thoughts I brought with me on the train from Paddington - that’s what a wellness retreat is all about right?
The sun was beaming and the alfresco dinner setting with Nicholas Balfe being a glorious spectacle was an understatement. Floral, fruity and rustic was the vibe, members chatted and laughed whilst drinking fizz and snacking on platters of raw veg and dips. In the distance the smell of the bar-b-que definitely got my taste buds fired up for what was to be a spectacular plate of grub. The regular food at Babington is generally great with quite a varied menu but this was special.
Two things that really stand out for me about Babington is the attention to detail, and the evolution of the Cowshed Spa.
The way this place manages to blend the old with the new so seamlessly gets me every time. Everything's how you’d expect it to be back in the Georgian era, but with all your mod cons. Nothing has gone un missed; they think of it all, this for me is the key to relaxation and restoration. If you’re looking for a modern vibe though, this isn't it. From the immaculate landscaping to the English fabric companies like Bennison used on the interiors, and not forgetting all the artwork featured by 40 emerging artists, it's just all on point.
Their working Walled Garden on site is used to source ingredients for Cowshed as well as the restaurant menu and house cocktails.
Babington was one of the first country outposts to serve a garden-to-table approach showcasing local, seasonal Somerset produce with a menu that changes daily. Guests can dine in the Orangery with floor-to-ceiling windows with views across the grounds.
The Babington Botanical Facial is £105 for 60 minutes and is exclusively available at the Cowshed spa at Babington House which isn’t the most competitive but it’s highly recommend if you ask me. If the home spa suits you best then don’t forget about the The Babington House Hamper now available online at Cowshed and coming to Marks and Spencer this summer!
What to pack?
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
Karen Williams is a celebrity stylist, female empowerment consultant, Author & Founder of the ‘Find Your Fabulous’ movement. When it comes to fashion, I tend to merge classic pieces with items that are ‘on trend’. As for many of us, 2020 made me focus far more on sustainability. I love to reuse and reinvent what’s already sat in the wardrobe, adding in ‘key pieces’ for a bit of an uplift. My joy is in styling real people despite their age, shape or gender. I refuse to let motherhood, my age or my gender, define who I am and what I wear.
Harry Styles and Taylor Russell are 'living together' and secretly enjoying cute London dates
These two are getting serious
By Lauren Hughes
Apple cider vinegar gummies continue to trend, so I started taking them every day – here’s how I got on
Are they worth the hype?
By Faima Bakar
I just used AI to create my perfect concealer shade—and it's genuinely blown me away
Is this the future of shade matching?
By Sofia Piza
Wellness Escapes: The Lakes by Yoo is being dubbed "the Hamptons of the Cotswolds"
Head for relaxing, soul-boosting activities and elevated interior design.
By Ally Head
Wellness Escapes: Byblos St Tropez just became a leading health retreat and here’s why
Head for an expert-lead health programme and luxurious surroundings.
By Andrea Thompson