Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Heaven Is Most Definitely A Place on Earth

And where is it, you might be asking yourself? If you're interested in finding out, keep reading...

The night away. The staycation. The mid-week mini-break. Whatever name it goes by, you get the drift. Last week, the husb and I had one and oh my days, was it a wondrous thing.

The destination: Coworth Park, Ascot

Before I get started, I want to make it clear that the husb and I are not a couple who do this regularly. Granted, we’ve had a couple of brilliant city breaks abroad (most recently to Rome, which I highly recommend) where we’ve been able to leave the girls in the trusted hands of both sets of their wonderful grandparents. But the night away in the UK at somewhere *really* special where it’s all about YOU and there’s no sightseeing to be done? We’ve never done it and to be honest, I reckon it’s because we’ve wondered whether it would actually be worth it. Which is why I thought I’d do a little write up – do these time outs really live up to the hype? And are they worth the splurge?

After we decided to take the plunge, we booked Coworth Park in Ascot, relatively last minute, so there was no going back. We had a brief look at a few options but the location sold it to us – at around 1 hour’s drive from our front door, it was ideal. If you’ve got a day and a night away from the kids, you want to spend as little time as possible getting there (obviously, this is very different to the trip abroad sans children, whereby if you do have the opportunity to head to the Bahamas you should bloomin well take it). I’m sure you can imagine my joy when we got stuck in a standstill on the motorway twenty minutes away from our destination. First world problems, I know. Thankfully, I'd picked up some delicious popcorn from Popcorn Shed on the way that helped calm me down!

Coworth Park is stunningly beautiful. It describes itself as a hotel but it isn’t really – there’s the main Georgian manor house, which was built in 1776 and renovated before it was opened in its current form in 2010. But that’s far from it as there’s accommodation dotted around in the stables, where we stayed, just a couple of minutes’ walk away –  no we weren’t sleeping with the horses, but it was a little bit cheaper than staying in the main hotel. If you can’t face the walk, there are Coworth Park golf buggies driven by the staff to shuttle you to and from the various locations on site -  the equestrian facilities, polo pitches, the tennis court, the spa, to name a few. But you’ll want to take a stroll around because the place is just breathtaking.

Our room was really lovely – every detail was very well thought-out and whilst it was definitely luxurious and special, it didn’t feel pretentious in any way. The copper bath, with a book resting on a stand across it about life’s idle pleasures made me particularly delighted – along with the range of products, selection of magazines and the perfect peaches waiting to be eaten on the coffee table as we walked in. Serious details that just made it all the more magical – all topped off by the staff, who were simply the best I’ve ever encountered.

On the afternoon we arrived, we had tea in the drawing room – if you know me well, you’ll know I don’t do hot drinks so it would be more accurate to say that the husb had tea whilst I eschewed my typical Coke Zero and had an iced mocha, which made me feel very grown up indeed. Before our spa treatments, we had a quick dip in the gorgeous pool, which actually played music under water. Call me a philistine but this was one of the coolest things. EVER. I tried to act like I’d swam in hundreds of pools with facilities of this kind, but the sight (and sound) of me jumping in and squealing with delight each time I popped up probably indicated that this was likely *not* the case.  Treatment wise, I opted for the Carol Joy collagen facial. It was eighty minutes long. Yes. EIGHTY. I honestly don’t think I’ve sat still for that long since my finals at university. Believe you me, I enjoyed every single second of it. Every. Single. Second. 

With two fabulous choices of restaurant and a cocktail menu that was so ridiculously long, I actually agonised over what to drink, you’ll be spoilt for choice on the food and beverage front. That night, we sat at the bar, slightly intoxicated and feeling totally carefree. There was no talk of our finances, childcare rotas, when the filing would be done or household chores. It was just the two of us, having a proper laugh and it was, quite simply, bliss. 

Coworth Park doesn’t come cheap. The day after we booked it, I told the husb to try and cancel it because I felt it was too much money for just one night. He wouldn’t – we'll have a great time, he told me (and we better, he must have thought, given that we were too late to cancel by that point anyway). I’m so glad we didn’t. Yes, it meant that we considerably overspent this month but as we settled up at checkout, we both agreed that it was totally and utterly worth it. Sometimes, you just need a little escape. And, when the time is right, we will do it again. That afternoon, as we drove out of the gates with the backdrop of the gorgeous manor house behind us and the beautiful, lush, green fields surrounding it, we felt like we’d had much longer than just a night away – until I asked him when he would be finished with the filing!

What are your favourite staycation spots? Let me know in the comments!

Sophie x

1 comment