The Waterfront Restaurant and Y Spa, Wyboston Lakes Resort – Wyboston, Bedfordshire (UK)

Wyboston Lakes, located between Cambridge, Bedford and Milton Keynes, is a 380-acre resort offering conference facilities, a training centre, serviced offices, a golf course, spa, hotel and restaurant. With such a focus on business, it’s easy to forget that The Waterfront Hotel houses a luxury spa and a wonderful restaurant. Admittedly the premises have a corporate and industrial feel – our first impression driving in the area – and the exterior of the hotel is a tad dated but all that was quickly forgotten upon entering the bright welcoming space.

I was invited to experience Y Spa, including lunch, then enjoy dinner afterwards at The Waterfront Restaurant. Men are welcome at the spa; they even offer treatments especially for couples, so I was delighted to have a little luxury break with Paulo in this peaceful oasis.

The spa was simply outstanding. All of the staff were friendly, helpful and welcoming. The facilities feature the spa café, treatment rooms, relaxation areas and thermal spa suites, including an 11-metre outdoor hydrotherapy pool, saunas, steam rooms and showers. We received waterproof wrist bands at check-in which proved handy to charge any food or drinks, open doors and securely lock our lockers.

After filling in a medical questionnaire, we were welcomed at the café with a mango tea, complete with hourglass to time the desired brewing strength.

A quick tour and explanation of the facilities followed. We changed into our bathing suits and used the bathrobes and slippers provided. The changing room has showers, toilets and make-up / hairdrying stations.

It was time for lunch so we headed to a dining room in the hotel that was separate from the restaurant, so we could lounge around in our robes and choose from the nicely laid out buffet. There’s something wonderfully relaxing about having lunch in a bathrobe and slippers!

We had a table with a gorgeous view of the lake and enjoyed our leisurely lunch. A carafe of tap water with lemon was provided but we could also order drinks.

All of the food looked delicious, with salads, hot dishes, cheese (with crackers and chutneys) and desserts. It was hard to choose but I was happy with my choice of two salads (pasta and couscous) as well as the pork, rice and veggies.

The desserts were too tempting to pass up. I sacrificed the cheese station in order to have three puddings (chocolate & pistachio cake, eton mess pot and banana cake).

After we filled our bellies, we were free to explore the beautiful spa. I avoided showing people in my photos so as not to invade their privacy, but the spa was full of happy guests. I didn’t book any treatments but did receive a complimentary hand and arm massage with the loveliest products, and no hard sell either.

We spent the majority of our time at the fantastic outdoor hydrotherapy pool. The warm water and body jets were very relaxing, soothed our tired muscles and melted away any stress. Paulo spent the entire time in the pool. I explored some of the saunas too.

There were plenty of seats around the pool and one area had a cosy fireplace and blankets where I happily settled in to dry off.

We scheduled some relaxation time before dinner and headed to the Big Sleep, a dark room with relaxing music and ergonomic loungers by the fireplace.

I also visited the Time Out zone with body temperature waterbeds in a curtained area. Before changing for dinner I curled up in a comfy pod chair and read some magazines.

After we showered and changed back into our clothes, we headed down the hotel corridor to The Waterfront Restaurant for dinner. We were warmly welcomed and shown to our table at the far end, past the bar. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a hotel restaurant but it was a proper restaurant and didn’t feel like an afterthought to appease overnight guests (like many hotel chains do). There was a mix of business people, couples and groups of friends and it was nice that the noisier bar area was at the far end of the room.

Our table overlooked the lake and golf course. It was still daylight at 6pm which meant we could fully appreciate the lovely view throughout the meal.

Our server (manager) was assisted by a trainee who did a great job. We ordered drinks – white wine (Picpoul de Pinet) for me and a double G&T for Paulo (Monkey 47 gin).

The menu was varied enough to be interesting but not overwhelming. There were some gourmet dishes but also more familiar ones such as fish & chips, burgers and steaks from the grill. I started off with the calamari stuffed with seafood mousse, served with roasted red pepper & tomato fondue and garlic aioli. The tender calamari was stuffed with a light mousse full of flavours from the sea. The fondue and aioli made tasty accompaniments but I preferred the latter, even though it could have been more garlicky.

Paulo’s starter was the grilled asparagus topped with a panko crusted poached egg and Parmesan crisp with wild mushrooms on the side. The vegetables were fresh and the whole dish was perfectly executed, especially the egg.

The free range chicken breast in my main course was plump and tender. It was served with delicious creamed haricot beans, bacon lardons, roast parsnip and wild mushrooms.

Paulo chose the special for his main course: gammon, eggs and chips, served with roasted tomato, portobello mushroom and watercress. The dish was cooked to perfection and nicely presented – a real winner that should be a permanent fixture on the menu.

We ordered a side dish of rocket and parmesan salad to share in case our main course portions were small. However, we needn’t have worried as the dishes were both very filling. Nevertheless, we still enjoyed this fresh and tasty salad.

We couldn’t pass up the tantalising desserts. I ordered the baked cherry cream topped with praline and burnt meringue and served with thinly sliced pistachio biscotti, which I dipped into the pot. However, I did forget that praline is made of almonds. I don’t have an allergy but I am sensitive to almonds so I scooped them out and gave them to Paulo. It might be a good idea for the servers to mention that there are almonds in this dessert as it’s not specifically stated.

A piece of fruit leather inserted at the top proved to be the dessert’s crowning glory. Soft and chewy with a delicate tang from the cherries, it was a real feast of flavours and textures.

Paulo’s dessert was a classic apple tarte tatin, topped with vanilla ice cream. A glorious sticky sweet dessert he very much enjoyed.

We finished our meal with espresso and tea, both excellent. They were served with Lotus Biscoff biscuits.

Service was very good throughout even though there was a bit of a wait between finishing our main course and ordering dessert. This was because all of the tables seemed to fill up at once. We were relaxing and enjoying the view so we didn’t mind too much. However, the delay was acknowledged and we were thanked for our patience.

We were almost sorry to leave. We thoroughly enjoyed the relaxing spa experience, culminating in a great dinner prepared by a talented chef. We left feeling as though we had discovered a hidden gem. We will certainly return to enjoy the spa and restaurant and I highly recommend them both.

I was invited by Wyboston Lakes Resort. Use of the Y Spa facilities, including lunch, and dinner at The Waterfront Restaurant were complimentary but the alcoholic drinks were at my own cost. I did not receive compensation for my review. All views are my own.

Unless otherwise noted, I am the legal copyright holder of the content and images of this blog. Please contact me for permission if you wish to use, reprint or publish any material.

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