Enjoy A Splash At Calvados’ Luxury Hotel 4th January 2017
It might still be the thick of winter, but it is never too early to start dreaming about what to do once the sunshine returns and summer is upon us. Those who like to escape the temperamental weather of the UK often choose France as a holiday destination, and this year you might consider staying the luxury Chateau d’Audrieu.
This four-star hotel and restaurant is located in Calvados, and is probably unlike anywhere you’ve ever holidayed before. The 18th century home is truly luxurious, boasting a long and impressive history, well-maintained architecture, and 12 acres of country park.
Unsurprisingly, it has many selling points, but one of its biggest is its large outdoor pool. You can take a dip in the heated water, set in the heart of the park and surrounded by luscious greenery.
Its location is very tranquil, and you can easily while away the day lying on a sunlounger, listening to the birds and relaxing. From time to time, you can do laps of the pool, or you can indulge yourself at the hotel’s spa.
Indeed, it has teamed together with California Paradise Spa, which is just a short drive away in Bayeux. Here, you can spoil yourself with several treatments, whether you want a refreshing facial or a rejuvenating massage.
Of course, it isn’t just its leisure facilities that attract holidaymakers from around the world, and its classical decor, large bedroom suites, and recently renovated dining rooms are all inviting to visitors.
This is a great place to head to if you want to immerse yourself in history, take a step away from the hustle and bustle of life, and really feel the decadence of an age gone by.
If you are lucky enough to have your own luxury swimming pool without having to travel to enjoy one, take a look at our range of ceramics, here.
Top Exercises To Do This Autumn 6th October 2016
Running man in forest woods training and exercising for trail run marathon endurance race. Fitness healthy lifestyle concept with male athlete trail runner.
As the temperature drops, many people may feel inclined to stay indoors and hang up their running shoes for another season as they put their fitness regime on the backburner. However, no-one should be put off by cold weather, and even when winter sets in, there are still plenty of exercises you can do to stay fit and healthy.
Here are just a few:
Avoid the chilly winds and harsh rain altogether by making the most of your luxury swimming pool and swim several laps a day. As well as being convenient and comfortable for those who have their own pool, swimming is a fantastic form of exercise.
Not only does it use lots of muscles in your body for a total workout, it is a great calorie burner too. For instance, 30 minutes of front crawl can burn 404 calories, which is more than running for the same amount of time, and almost double the amount used when cycling.
If you love feeling the fresh air on your face and being outdoors when running, then you don’t have to give it up just because it’s colder. Simply invest in good sports gear to help you stay warm, ensure you have a good grip on the road, and keep dry in wet conditions. You should also have jackets and leggings with reflective panels so drivers, cyclists and pedestrians can see you in the dark.
– Team sport
This could be the perfect opportunity to learn a new skill and get involved in a team activity. Exercising doesn’t just have to mean hitting the gym, running solo or doing a DVD at home; you can have fun dancing, playing football, having a squash game with your friend, or learning how to box – and these days, you can do them all within the comfort of a well-heated sports hall!
UK’s Top 3 Outdoor Pools 1st September 2016
Unless you’re lucky enough to have your own luxury swimming pool, you might want a chance to dip into cool, refreshing water on some of our hotter days this summer.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best outdoor pools you can find in Britain.
Thermae Spa, Bath
For a unique bathing experience, head down to Bath’s Thermae Spa where you can enjoy the warm waters of the thermal baths.
Its rooftop pool allows you to soak up the historic scenery of this south-western city and you can make use of the luxurious spa facilities when you want a break from the steaming waters.
This may not be the most refreshing dip on a hot day, but open all year round, it is the ideal place to head to when the weather turns frosty!
London Fields, London
You might not have thought London would be the place to find an open-air swimming pool, but Hackney is home to an Olympic-sized heated lido with a sun deck and plenty of loungers.
Its 50m-long lanes are ideal for those who want to keep up their exercise routine during the summer months, while it is also a great place to head to after work with some friends to splash around on a balmy evening.
Stonehaven Open Air Pool, Aberdeen
While Scotland might not be known for its hot weather, it doesn’t matter with its heated outdoor seawater pool in Stonehaven, Aberdeen.
The Olympic-sized pool boasts temperatures of 29C and has several different sessions, depending on whether you want a splash around with the kids, quiet swims in lanes, or even the chance to swim at night to disco music.
Top Waterproof Gadgets 19th July 2016
Everyone loves their gadgets but if you’re a keen swimmer and want to use your favourite gizmos in your luxury swimming pool, you’ll need to find some that are waterproof.
Here is our pick of the best water-resistant gadgets you can get your hands on.
Finis V2 Neptune MP3 Player
Most people listen to their favourite tunes when exercising, with the up-tempo songs often helping them to work out faster. But this is obviously difficult to do when you’re constantly underwater.
However, the Finis V2 Neptune MP3 player makes it possible – even without putting headphones in your ears!
It plays music using tiny vibrations against your cheek, and has a capacity of up to a 1,000 songs, so you can swim for an extremely long time before you get to the end of your playlist.
Waterproof Pouch For Phones
If you don’t want to do lengths, but simply love your swimming pool for lounging about it on a warm day, you could do with a waterproof pouch for your phone.
Let’s face it – we all reach for our phones even when we’re in the bath or pool, so to prevent it falling in and breaking, you can protect it with a water-resistant cover.
With a touchscreen function, you can even continue to use your phone to text your friends or update your Facebook status!
Garmin Forerunner 920XT
However, if you’re a hardcore swimmer and want to track your progress, you should consider investing in the Garmin Forerunner 920XT.
This tracker counts your strokes, and monitors your pace and speed. It also recognises stroke types and encourages you to achieve your personal best by constantly pushing you to do better.
It also sends the information to the Garmin Connect site wirelessly, enabling you to store the data so you can analyse your performance once you’re out of the pool.
Pool Inspiration: Barcelona 18th July 2016
If you want a creative and unique luxury pool, inspired by one of the most beautiful places in the world, it’d be difficult to find more fertile ground for inspiration than Barcelona. The city is renowned for its ceramic artworks, with the mosaic creations of Antoni Gaudi at Park Güell proving fodder for tourists seeking Barcelona’s sights and creatives seeking stimulation alike.
So, the big question is, how can you distil Barcelona’s spirit into your pool design? Let’s look at the colours, shapes and materials of the city’s streets could be adapted into your luxury pool design.
If you love the mosaic style of Gaudi’s Catalan modernist artworks, then you’ve certainly come to the right pool designers. We’re experts in beautiful, intricate designs using bold colours to achieve spectacular results. The overriding colour which forms the base of his designs is undoubtedly the collection of traditional ceramic blues and rich indigos – just look at the striking blue and white tower at Park Güell. However, these colours are regularly teamed up with vibrant yellow for gorgeous, sunny contrast.
When it comes to choosing shapes, the nature of Gaudi’s work is beautifully irregular, organic and freeform – not something you can achieve with a pack of off the shelf pool tiles. Our hand-crafted tiles, however, are made bespoke for the intricacies of your pool design, no matter how many curves and swirls you want.
After all, your pool doesn’t just need to be somewhere you swim – it should be something beautiful to be admired in its own right. Just remember, if you get a little creative with your choice of pool designer, you don’t have to be stuck with a blue rectangle – rather something that inspires and invigorates your day-to-day life.
4 Of The Best Apps For Swimmers 13th July 2016
Now’s the time to start combining your unique swimming pools with a touch of technology here and there. Did you know that there are countless apps out there for keen swimmers that can really help you foster a genuine interest in this sport? Here are four of our favourites.
Wild Swimming Britain
Available on the iPhone and iPad, this app is perfect for anyone living in the UK who wants to give wild swimming a go. It features all the best locations around the country so you can spend more time swimming and less time working out where to go.
Are you in the US? Then this is the app for you. It features 17,000 locations around the country so you can always find a swimming pool wherever you are. Now you never need to give up on your fitness goals!
This is the best way to set and reach your goals, tracking your swims and challenging yourself and your friends. You can log swims, times, strokes, notes and sets, sharing them all to Apple Health as you go.
Swimming Pool Games & Fitness
This app comes with a big selection of different swimming pool games, as well as ideas for pool parties and fitness plans. There’s also a swimming calorie counter to use if you fancy it. This app is the best of both worlds – now you can have fun and keep fit in the pool, depending on how the mood strikes you.
Pool Inspiration: Marrakech 12th July 2016
When you’re looking for luxury swimming pool design, you might want to be inspired by your property’s location in the style you choose. This could be as far as the colours traditionally popular in the country, choosing designs inspired by the environment and nature, or even adopting elements of the local traditions.
This time around, we’re going to look for inspiration from a country renowned for its own ceramics heritage – Morocco. If you’ve ever stayed in a Riad in Marrakech, you’ll know just how important tiles are for the interiors of the local homes. Riads, in particular, are often based around a central pool, blurring the lines between the outdoors and indoors.
However, when it comes to making a unique swimming pool, you may want to take inspiration, without opting for traditional Moroccan tiles.
The first place you might look for inspiration is shape. The classic shapes of Marrakech are the intricate Arabesques of the souk – something that you are seeing more and more in luxury tiles. This could be tile shape or even in the pattern of a tile, creating a repeating pattern throughout.
This ornate shape could even be used for the silhouette of you pool, raised above the ground or set in with curves and points for a luxurious visual interest.
Next up is your colour palette. Think of Morocco and you’ll think rich, bold hues inspired by either the desert or the ocean. Oranges, reds, greens and yellows sit against deep, indigo blues – the latter making ideal fodder for the background of your pool, embracing the former in small amounts for the detail of you design.
5 Of The Best Swimwear Styles For Men 7th July 2016
Summer is now in full flow so no doubt you’re all spending your evenings and weekends lounging around your luxury pools. But have you spared a thought for your swimming trunks and pool shoes? It could well be time for a swimwear update if it’s been a year or two since you’ve invested in a new pair of trunks. Here are five of our favourite styles to keep you looking cool as the weather hots up.
Polo Ralph Lauren striped swim shorts
These striped polyester swim shorts are perfect whether you’re by the pool at home or sunning yourself in St Barts. Blue and white stripes are idea for summer and these are trunks that will never really go out of style – so they make the perfect investment, wouldn’t you say?
Hurley Phantom Block Party Solid men’s boardshorts
This offering from Nike is perfect for the sportier among you. They’re made from water-repelling stretch fabric so you can move freely in the water and they sit just above the knee, allowing for a greater range of movement. There’s also a patch pocket with pocket flap and a fly closure that allows for a snug and adjustable fit.
ASOS Runner Swim Shorts
These come with a drawstring waistband, mesh lining and side slant pockets – and the best part is that they can be used in the pool or can double up as a pair of running shorts if you’re feeling particularly active. The 80s throwback styling is a bonus as well.
O’Neill Superfreak Board Shorts
These are made from a special quick-drying material that ensures long-lasting wear and durability – a great buy for anyone who likes to get out into the sea for a surf as well as spending time by the pool. They’re also perfect for patriots!
Speedo Men’s Fluidfuse Jammer
If you’re into fitness swimming, these Speedos are a must. They’re perfect for regular pool use thanks to how comfy they are and they won’t hinder you as you pass through the water – so you’ll be beating your best time before you know it.
Stay Sun Safe By The Pool 9th June 2016
The UK has seen uncharacteristically hot weather over the last few days, with people up and down the country sunbathing in their gardens and enjoying barbecues after work.
And the sunshine is set to stay for a while, as forecasters have predicted the heatwave will last several weeks. Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction has even nicknamed the month ‘flaming June’ due to its hot temperatures and blue skies.
So, if you plan to make the most of the sunshine while it lasts by lying by your luxury outdoor pool, make sure to stay safe. Here are our tips on keeping cool in the sun:
Always use sun cream
Even on cloudier days, you should use suncream, as strong rays mean you are still at risk of being burnt. Make sure you use cream with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or above, and do not use if it is more than two or three years old.
Apply it 30 minutes before you go outside and then again when you’re making yourself comfortable on your sun lounger.
Don’t forget to put it on after taking a splash in the pool, as it may have rinsed away or rubbed off when drying yourself with a towel.
It might not make much sense to wear more clothes when the sun is at its hottest (especially if you are by the pool), but it is important to protect your skin. Always wear a hat and sunglasses, and even slip on a t-shirt, shorts or skirt.
Children can wear long-sleeved swimming costumes for added protection while splashing in the pool, as well as waterproof hats with flaps to cover their necks.
It might be tempting to enjoy a refreshing beer or G&T when relaxing by the pool, but the best thing to drink is water. Make sure you keep hydrated in the sunshine, as dehydration can leave you feeling very ill.
Take a break
If you feel you need a break from the sunshine, find some shade or go indoors. It is also a good idea to avoid the bright sunshine between 11:00 and 15:00, as this is when the rays are at their strongest.
Know Your Pool Tiles: A Ceramics Glossary 7th June 2016
When a customer chooses one of unique swimming pools, they often want to know a little more about the processes which go into creating such a luxurious work of art. Our pool tiles see ceramic techniques brought together in unique combinations to create the most beautiful displays you can imagine.
To get to know the basics of ceramic craft, take a look at this mini guide to some of the techniques and materials we use.
Clay is the basic building block of ceramics – however, it’s not just a one-size fits all material. Clays can vary from orangey earthenware to grey stoneware and white porcelain – each with their own unique characteristics.
Similar to a slip, an engobe is a form of liquid clay, however, with generally a lower clay content making it better suited to bisque firing – a firing which takes place before a glaze.
A glaze is the impervious coating on the outside of a piece of ceramics, fused by firing. It can be used to waterproof or decorate and colour and finished piece of ceramic.
Lustres are a type of glaze containing metal oxides which give the finished ceramic a metallic look or beautiful iridescence.
Oxides are chemical colourants which are added to a clay or glaze to create colour during the firing process.
A slip is a clay mixed with water, making a liquid form which can be used in casting or decoration on top of solid clay, often used to add different colours and textures.
4 Books To Read This Year 10th May 2016
Of course you’re all looking forward to the day when your bespoke swimming pool is finally installed and you can all start splashing about in the water. But if you fancy some downtime while you’re poolside, here are four book suggestions you might enjoy as you sun yourself on your favourite pool lounger.
This latest offering from Smith recounts the tales of two bi-racial dancers who find themselves growing up together in a poor neighbourhood in London. The story follows them as they both go down different paths, one becoming a professional and the other taking a job as a pop star’s personal assistant.
J K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I and II are available as a script book to accompany the London stage show of the same name (set to launch on July 30th). Harry and co are no longer in school, rather Harry is an overworked Ministry of Magic employee and father of three children. The focus is on youngest child Albus and how he copes with an unwanted family legacy.
In a bid to escape an abusive boyfriend, Jess takes shelter for a night in an old unlived-in house. When a mysterious letter arrives, she can’t help but read it and finds herself drawn into the story of Dan and Stella in London in 1942, determined to find out what happened to this ill-fated pair.
Another offering from best-selling author Isabel Allende, The Japanese lover sees Alma Belasco sent overseas from Poland to San Francisco at the start of the war. Here, she meets a Japanese gardener and a love between the blooms. When Pearl Harbor happens, however, the two find themselves pulled apart.
Can You Enjoy A Luxury Swimming Pool In Manchester? 3rd May 2016
You might think you have to travel to far-flung places to experience luxury swimming pools with high-rise city views and utmost tranquillity. But you are wrong.
In fact, you only have to go to Manchester for a truly indulgent, relaxing experience.
That is because King Street Townhouse, one of the north-west’s newest luxury hotels, has a pool like no other.
The seventh floor infinity pool boasts spectacular views of the city, overlooking the clock tower and Manchester Town Hall.
As well as an enclosed, warm infinity pool, there is also a steam room and relaxation room to enjoy.
They are all available to residents, while the hotel also charges £40 for day use of the pool and spa area when booking a beauty treatment.
As the first rooftop pool in Manchester, you might have thought you would have heard of King Street Townhouse before. However, the hotel, situated in a Grade II listed building on Booth Street right in the centre of the city, has only recently opened.
Despite being in its infancy though, the splendour of its interior décor and ambience means it is giving the city’s finest hotels a run for their money.
It boasts 40 suites, a vintage tearoom, a formal bar, a mezzanine lounge, a spiral staircase, an outdoor terrace, and a bistro restaurant.
The hotel also has a licence for weddings, so many brides and grooms might be tempted to book their nuptials here – if only to enjoy a dip in the luxury pool the following day!
Tips On How To Get Bikini Body Ready 27th April 2016
Spring has arrived and it won’t be long before many of us jet away somewhere warm for a sunshine holiday. Or you might be lucky to have a slice of summer at home with your own indoor luxury pool.
Whatever the case may be, you might be feeling a bit self-conscious about stripping off into your bikini for the start of the swimsuit season.
Here are our tips on how to get your bikini body as winter comes to an end.
Use Your Pool For Exercise
The luxury of having your own swimming pool means you can do more with it than simply recline on a lounger and read a book for some alone time on a weekend. Make the most of it by doing laps every day and burning off that winter fat.
Get into the habit of doing some lengths when you wake up so you are all set for work, or after you come back from the office. Half an hour of fast front crawl can burn as much as 404 calories, compared with running, which will see you lose just 300 calories in the same amount of time.
Ditch the stodgy food
Some days it might still feel like winter outside, but it is time to set aside hearty grub in favour of some fresh, lighter alternatives. Instead of cottage pie or macaroni cheese, you could make yourself a delicious quinoa salad, baked sweet potato with kale, or grilled fish with some greens.
Not only will you feel less heavy after meals, but swapping carb-rich foods for protein will give you a leaner, less bloated look as well.
It doesn’t matter how much weight you lose if you don’t tone up at the same time. Weight resistance is the best way to do this, so why not sign up to some circuit training, bootcamp-style classes to really work those muscle groups you’ve neglected recently?
Sports You Can Enjoy In The Pool (Other Than Swimming) 22nd April 2016
Having a luxury swimming pool in your own home is great if you love to keep fit and work up a sweat a few times a week. Of course, swimmers can enjoy a few laps to burn off the calories, but there are plenty of other sports you can experience in the pool too.
Take a look here for some inspiration:
Basketball / netball
All you need to do to enjoy a slam-dunk from time to time is get your hands on a couple basketball nets and stands. Place them at opposite ends of the pool and you can have a proper game with your friends.
You might not be able to bounce the ball in the water like in real basketball, but trying to shoot the net will test your sporting abilities when having to stay afloat at the same time.
Resistance training is a great form of exercise, helping to tone up, burn fat and lose weight. Now you can even enjoy doing this in the pool, as you can find water resistant armbands, floatation belts and ankle weights that enable you to challenge your major muscle groups in the water.
What’s more, as water is a natural relaxant, it is actually safer for your joints to handle weights in your pool than in the gym.
Everyone is familiar with spinning classes, but have you heard of hydrospinning? This new water craze takes the static bikes to the swimming pool and sees fitness fans pedal their legs as fast as they can under water.
Again, the water is great for joints, and you’ll be glad to have a refreshing dip in the cool pool after an hour of intense cardio.
Top Pool Toys For Adults 21st April 2016
Pool toys are not just for kids, and if you have a luxury swimming pool you plan on spending lots of time in this summer, here are just a few of the exciting gadgets you should consider investing in.
Most people enjoy listening to their favourite tunes when relaxing by the pool, and now if you want more control over your song choices while taking a dip, you can get yourself a wireless floating speaker.
This water-resistant pod floats on the water, so you can change tracks without having to get out of the pool and dry off.
Remote control snack and drink float
Similarly, if you don’t want to leave the warm water to enjoy a something to eat or a refreshing drink, you don’t have to anymore with the snack and drink float.
The device is operated with a remote control and can fit five glasses and a bowl of goodies in the centre, enabling you to cool yourself down with an ice-cold drink – so long as you have someone outside of the pool happy to keep your supplies replenished.
A game of poker can now be enjoyed anywhere at any time of the day, by buying a floating games table.
You can find inflatable sets that include waterproof cards and coins, as well as floating chairs so you can enjoy a sit down while playing as well.
Inflatable lilos and doughnuts are nothing new, but these days you can buy yourself far superior alternatives.
For instance, you can get a floating coach with cup holes for your cool drink, or you could invest in an inflatable cabana to shield yourself from the sun. Or why not buy a family couch so you can cosy up with your kids or loved one while floating on the water?
Have You Considered A Lifeguarding Course? 14th April 2016
It’s important that you’re as responsible as possible where your bespoke swimming pools are concerned and know all there is to know about water safety, whether you have small children living with you at home or not.
A lifeguarding course could be an excellent idea if you do want to have a luxury pool installed at home so you know you can react accordingly if an accident does happen.
There are sure to be courses going on in your local area and you’ll be taught by fully qualified instructors who can show you just what to do in case of an emergency.
By going on such a course you’ll be able to learn rescue techniques, first aid and CPR – all very important if you’ve got an indoor or outdoor pool. It’s important to remember that accidents do happen from time to time but if there’s always someone on hand who knows what they’re doing and how to react you’ll be able to minimise the risks.
You might also want to consider a proper first aid course as well as a lifeguarding one, since accidents can happen outside the pool as well as in it. Once it’s installed, make sure you impress upon everyone who will be using it not to run near the pool edge – and always make sure that children are supervised poolside at all times, whether they’re excellent swimmers or otherwise.
Another good idea would be to send your children on a lifeguarding course as well. The Royal Life Saving Society UK runs a Rookie Lifeguard course specifically tailored for children between the ages of eight and 12, teaching them to swim and enjoy the water safely.
4 Reasons To Buy A Luxury Pool In 2016 16th February 2016
Purchasing a luxury pool is often a big investment, which is why you should spend some time researching the benefits and discussing your needs with the best designers and technicians available.
However, in the meantime, here is a quick rundown of some of the reasons why you should think about having a pool installed this year.
- Adds value to your home
The latest Office of National Statistics data for house prices showed values jumped 7.7 per cent in the year to November 2015. Now could be the time to sell your home and having a luxury swimming pool can increase the price tag and ensure your property has unique features to attract buyers.
- Get fit
Losing weight and getting fit are often the most common New Year’s resolutions, and you’re doing a good job if you’ve managed to stay on track until now. Investing in a pool means you can work out in the comfort of your own home, which should facilitate your fitness plans.
- Spend more time with friends and family
Everyone would like a better work/life balance, but it can often be difficult to set aside enough time for your loved ones. Having an outdoor swimming pool means you can invite friends and family over for barbecues and pool parties, so why not make plans for the summer now?
- Keep kids entertained
If you’re a traditionalist who thinks that children should be playing out of the house rather than sitting behind a screen, you may find having a swimming pool is an excellent way of encouraging your kids to go outside. But make sure you have the right safety measures in place first!
Make 2016 The Year To Get Fit With Your Luxury Pool 13th January 2016
January is all about shedding those Christmas pounds and starting your New Year’s resolutions, and if you promised yourself you will get fit and toned in 2016, one of the best ways to do this is to make use of your luxury pool.
One of the main benefits of swimming regularly is burning calories and, subsequently, losing weight.
As water is denser than air, you use more energy to move around in it, and someone who weighs 11 stone can burn as many as 704 calories by swimming at speed for one hour.
The cardiovascular workout is therefore more effective than others, with running burning 655 calories per hour for someone of the same weight.
Swimming not only provides a cardio workout, but also helps you build muscle helping you appear leaner.
Although you won’t be pumping iron or going anywhere near a dumbbell, pushing yourself through the water is a form of weight training, helping you to build strength.
Gaining muscle speeds up your metabolism helping you to burn more fat, while also giving you a more toned body.
Having a strong core is a great asset for a healthy life, helping to reduce back pain, support pregnancies and provide a greater sense of balance and strength.
Swimming is one of the best ways to improve your core strength as it uses all the body’s muscles at once, with your arms, legs and stomach working in tandem to glide you through the water.
If you’re not a fan of yoga or pilates, swimming could be the activity for you to help achieve strong core muscles.
4) Anyone can do it
Another great reason why swimming may be the answer to your fitness goals is anyone can do it. Some other activities are restrictive if you have a disability, arthritis or a lack of flexibility.
However, you can still go swimming regardless of your fitness or ability. What’s more, it actually helps relieve any symptoms of injury, pain or discomfort in your body, as the water acts as a support and provides a natural form of pain relief.