Published retrospectively for 8th November*
Exactly two weeks ago today (yes, sorry, am a bit behind…), Richmond Daddy and I decided that after 8-months of 24 hour round the clock dedication to the beautiful and bouncing Richmond Baby bubba, it was time to allow ourselves 24 hours of down time. Yes, we booked ourselves a night away stay and left Richmond Baby with the grandparents for one night only.
I was worried. I was convinced I wouldn’t be able to relax. I was terrified at the prospect of being away from my little beauty for one night. As it turns out, on arrival at the amazing and totally fantastic in every way Babington House, I actually had no problem at all (a) relaxing, (b) kicking back and enjoying every baby free moment, and (c) not really feeling guilty about it in any way. Does that make me a bad person?!?….
I think the fact that we dropped Richmond Baby off at the grandparents (thank you grandparents!) lunchtime one day and were due to pick her up mid afternoon the following day, thereby not actually having a full day where I wouldn’t see her at all, helped me to feel okay about leaving her. Just about. But boy oh boy, after 8-months of being “on duty”, it sure felt good to be selfish for 24 hours.
So, Babington House was our hotel of choice and it is so much more than a hotel. If you’ve never been, you simply MUST go there at least once in your lifetime. It is literally heaven on earth. This was our third time there and I hope that in the years to come we’ll make it there annually (if not more if at all possible…).
Set in 18 acres in the heart of Somerset, Babington House gives you the opportunity to enjoy the countryside without compromising on urban luxuries. It takes a couple of hours for us to drive there from Richmond, but for a quick(ish) get-away that doesn’t require you to get out your passport and get on a plane, it is brilliant. We usually keep an eye on the special offers then jump on a (sort of) bargain when it becomes available – midweek last minute deals are a good option and this time we were lucky enough to get a room in the Coach House at a pretty good price for one night and with its free standing bath and bed set on a mezzanine level, it was truly beautiful.
On arrival, Richmond Daddy and I handed over our car keys to the lovely girls on reception who then organised for our car to be parked and luggage to be brought the room. I feasted on a house cheeseburger and chips, which I enjoyed eating with both hands (ooh the novelty!) – well, I used a knife and fork, obvs, but you know what I mean – and hot (ooooooooh the novelty!!). Richmond Daddy had a rather dainty Chicken Salad, which then in comparison, made me look like a pig, but hey ho who cares, I was on holiday!
After lunch we dropped by our room to change into our swimwear before heading off to the Cowshed Relax spa for our joint treatment
(yes, we had a joint treatment, it was amazing!) – a body scrub, soak (together, in a massive tin bath tub, in a room with views of the walled garden), and then hour long massage. You read that right – an HOUR LONG MASSAGE!!! Seriously, words can not describe how amazing it was, but my very loud snoring goes some way to communicating just how relaxing it really was. Ahem, yes, that was embarrassing….
After our treatment, feeling buffed and moisturised and sleepily relaxed, we headed back to our room to lounge about for a bit before then getting changed and heading out to the cinema. Yes, cinema. They have a cinema, on site, in the grounds of Babington House, where you can watch an often slightly random film – in our case, a French film with subtitles, called The Monk, with Vincent Cassel in the starring role, which was dark and dramatic, but strangely enjoyable, particularly when watched with a glass of wine in hand and only 4 other people occupying the comfy cinema seats around you.
Then it was back up to the main house, where we enjoyed a dinner in the Orangery restaurant. I enjoyed butternut squash risotto, Richmond Daddy went for a more manly steak and chips. Both were divine and were accompanied by a glass of Prosecco each, which were forced upon us by the slightly drunk couple at the neighbouring table who literally insisted that we share the bottle with them after the waiter first brought it to our table by mistake and then the woman (who was the more drunk of the two) blurted out “if you want some then buy you’re own!” before thinking better of it and then over-compensating by bullying us into drinking half of it with them. We felt obliged to go along with this…
After dinner we left the main house to take the 3 minute stroll back to our room in the Coach House. By this point is was raining heavily and we were without umbrellas or appropriate coats and footwear. ”Follow me!” Richmond Daddy announced with gusto as he leapt off the back step of the main house, plunging himself into the rural darkness and simultaneously landing with a big splash in a ma-hou-sive puddle before darting across the courtyard and heading for the wrong front door before realising his mistake. I laughed so hard I cried (must have been the Prosecco).
We then enjoyed a full night’s sleep on a massive bed
with far too many fluffy pillows and a sumptuous duvet. I did wake up a couple of times but the fact I didn’t have to get up and stagger anywhere to tend to a moaning baby or start the day around 6.15am was literally sheer bliss. Sigh. Truly, it was marvellous.
The next day, I enjoyed a dip in the free-standing roll top bath, made all bubbly with one of the many Cowshed products that are provided in the room – along with all sorts of complimentary items from toothpaste to shampoo to deodorant and mouthwash – they even provide you with hair-straighteners (not to take away of course, but to use there)… this is what I love about Babington, they think of everything.
We then headed for breakfast, where I enjoyed a delicious Eggs Benedict and Richmond Daddy opted for a full English, before I returned to the Cowshed Relax spa to indulge in a much much much needed manicure and pedicure. What I love about manis and pedis at Babington is that you get to sit on lovely big comfy chairs, put headphones on, and watch a retro TV – which on this occasion was playing Love Actually. So reeeeeeelaxing!
Fully pampered and preened, it was time to head off, back to reality. It was brilliant to be reunited with Richmond Baby, who’d had a whale of a time with Granny and Grandad, but it was also brilliant to feel so relaxed, so refreshed, so rejuvenated, in a mere 24-hours. Babington House, we salute you, you’re bloody brilliant!
*I’m taking part in NaBloPoMo 2011 – National Blog Posting Month – which means I am meant to blog every day in November. As I unexpectedly and very sadly had to go to Ireland on the 4 November for a funeral, I’m now playing bloggy catch up, hence the retrospective posting