I am lying under a large duvet, wrapped from head to toe in nothing but seaweed, while oils are massaged into my scalp. This might not sound like a conventionally relaxing way to spend a Sunday, but there is method to this madness.

I am in the middle of an organic Voya Seaweed Leaf Wrap treatment at Fletcher’s Spa in East Lothian. Seaweed has long been considered to have healing properties, as my therapist Tonya explains, and was used as ‘Sailor’s Cure’ to treat a range of wounds and skin issues for hundreds of years. It is packed with iodine and is a natural emollient, with anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties, and crucially is free of chemicals or synthetics.

The seaweed used in the Archerfield treatment is sustainably harvested in Sligo, on the west coast of Ireland, fresh from the Atlantic Ocean. It is heated prior to being placed on your skin (being wrapped in cold seaweed doesn’t sound much fun) and has been treated before application to ensure it doesn’t smell too pungent. First, I was given a full body scrub to prepare my skin for the seaweed, which felt surprisingly soothing to the touch, with a scalp massage during the wrap to ensure optimal relaxation.

The Herald:

This kind of holistic, and frankly unusual, treatment is what Fletcher’s Spa pride themselves in. Located in the grounds of the magnificent Archerfield House in East Lothian, Fletcher’s Spa is considered one of the finest in the UK – with a determination to move away from the traditional spa experience. The spa industry is big business (estimated at £7billion in the UK in 2022) and at certain establishments it feels exactly that way, as you are hurried in for a brisk treatment and then promptly turfed out again without so much as a towelling robe.

Yet at Archerfield, they pride themselves on putting the ‘experience’ back into spa experiences. I was left for a full thirty minutes before my treatment in my own dedicated section of their relaxation area, with the sound of the crackling log fire being the perfect accompaniment to my freshly-pressed detox smoothie. There’s a lavender sauna and a marine steam room, as well as individual bathrooms to change in before and after your treatment, with showers, hair straighteners and pampering products for those that fancy them.

You aren’t rushed or hurried around, and after my treatment I was invited back to the relaxation area with another smoothie and the opportunity to gaze out over the perfectly manicured walled garden. The relaxation doesn’t stop when leaving the spa, as I had my seaweed packaged up and sent home with me, ready to be popped in the bath to continue the process at home. It can be used for two to three days afterwards and then used for compost in the garden, making it a thoroughly sustainable spa treatment. My skin was noticeably softer and I slept like a baby that night. Who knew seaweed could be so powerful?

The Voya Organic Seaweed Leaf wrap costs £140 and can be booked here