Wednesday, 7 March 2012


Sorry for the gap in blog posts this week, we have been away on holiday in the Cotswolds with very erratic internet access (and some amazing spa treatments, which have selfishly distracted me from blogging). In light of this, I thought I’d share our wonderful holiday location with you. 
First, however,  I feel I need to give you a brief overview of our previous experiences of travelling with a baby. Prior to becoming parents we loved to travel far and wide; the more adventurous the better in our opinion. After Ophelia entered our lives, we decided to book ourselves a couple of holidays to have over her first year, to reward ourselves for getting through the early days of parenthood. So, a skiing trip with friends in the Alps (times two, one with child free couples, one with parent friends) and a ten day jaunt to a gorgeous villa in the Caribbean. I won’t bore with the gory details, but suffice to say, by the end of the Caribbean trip we were sworn off holidays that were more than 100 miles from London. Our friends had been incredible, the locations stunning, but our daughter did not like to travel. We tried cars, trains and aeroplanes, but no child has ever screamed/vomited/caught colds etc like our bundle of joy. We would return home exhausted and traumatised every time, even if she managed to stay well. In short, the effort (aka hell) of getting a small child to an idyllic location and settling her in was not outweighed by the holiday, and we decided that long haul (actually, any sort of hauling) was off the cards until she could talk to us.
So, this year we have several little jaunts in the diary, including our current location in the Cotswolds, followed by the bank holiday at a beach house in Camber Sands and a final break to South Devon. Not quite Antigua, but the beer is better (according to Mr G) and we are always within a couple of hours of home.
This week we have been staying in a self catered cottage (one of about 10) called Bruern. Suffice to say, other than a bout of teething (it is us, we don’t have good luck when we travel) we are having the most wonderful time. The cottages are converted from old stable buildings, and stunning. Decked out in Jane Churchill fabrics, four poster beds and locally sourced antiques (my favourite bit is the cotton wool holder, a jar marked arsenic), it has a spa, lovely pool and loads of toys and games for children. Add to that a fridge stocked with champagne on arrival (and tea and toast for the hungry, pregnant people), our initial impressions were very high. 
The cottages are near lots of great attractions and villages, including Birdworld (with emperor penguins, Fifi has never been quiet for so long!), a safari park and lots of cream teas and good pubs, so there is loads to do. On site, the facilities for children are great, without making it feel like you are living in Disney World. A huge wendy house, ride in cars and bikes, and a play room full of toys are prefect for little ones, but ensure that the place isn’t overrun by kids. The pool has designated hours for children (which work perfectly with lunchtime naps), but ensure that guests without kids don’t get disturbed the entire time. It’s definitely not somewhere just for families. In fact, we have been discussing hiring the cottages for my husbands 30th next year, as they are all laid out around a communal front garden (with private back gardens for bbqs), so would make a great weekend break for a large group of friends of family.
Finally, the best bit is the spa. Seemingly innocuous, and very reasonable priced (I had two and a half hours of massage and a facial for £110. A full body massage is £60 and an OPI manicure is £25, so pretty good value). I have to say it was possibly the best massage I have ever had. I came home to my grizzly daughter and exhausted husband totally recharged and relaxed, ready for whatever the afternoon had to throw at me (fish pie it turned out). I was so, uncharacteristically chilled out that my husband (hates massages, he feels the need to make awkward conversation the entire time!) booked himself in for a massage today. My facial was also amazing, really soothing and unlike most treatments, did not make me breakout the next morning.
All in all, I cannot recommend this wonderful holiday location highly enough. No, it’s not all about white sandy beaches and Pina coladas (as I type, I am sitting by a log fire with rain lashing at the leaded windows), but it is, at least for my family, infinitely more relaxing, especially with the knowledge that the journey home will take just over an hour and we can detour via Biscester Village. Bliss!

1 comment:

  1. Really enjoyed reading this. When you write u make it very visual. You have a great gift.lucy x


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