- Spa Retreat La Foret is a de-stressing hideaway set an hour outside Brussels
- It lies inside the Hoge Kempen National Park, so is a great base for cycling
- Jane Alexander checks in for a long weekend, and comes out feeling revived
The new extension, a low-rise monolith in grey, black, white and stone, shouts stern machismo. The moment I arrive at my room, I realize I should have brought a chap. The dull gold door is so heavy I can barely open it.
Inside, I’m ensconced in the penumbra of a forest glade — with swathes of wall and even the voile curtains in black tones. It’s a muscular palette.
La Butte aux Bois is set in the Hoge Kempen National Park (Belgium’s only national park) so you can walk or cycle through well-marked paths.
Detox menus and calorie-counting are anathema here — La Butte is so foodie that even its spa menu (lunch only) comes with champagne. Its casual dining restaurant, Le Bistrot, majors in local produce with fancy flourishes.
Meanwhile La Source is a Michelin-starred gastronomic explosion.
The spa treatments are perfectly pleasant but the real draw is dermatologist Dr Yolande Bullens-Goessens. Warm, friendly and deeply reassuring, she uses injectables (a touch of hyaluronic acid here, a little Botulinum there) lightly — ‘So you look natural, as if you’ve just had a really great weekend.’
And, even without a man, I have.