If you'd mentioned the term "BabyMoon" to me a few months back, I'd most likely (knowing me) of rolled my eyes. Oh how things change...
After three days of bliss and relaxation, I have just returned home from my first, and I imagine my last (I am not sure that babymooning is a priority/a possibility when you already have a little one, or two for that matter) BabyMoon.
A few months back, when I was feeling the glory of my second trimester, a friend asked me if the hubs and I were planning a BabyMoon.
"A BabyMoon?" I replied
"Yes" she said "It's your last holiday, just the two of you before the baby comes along"
Well, doesn't that sound wonderful I thought. A romantic few days with the hubs to prepare us mentally for our soon to be future. But where? When?
As we've only been married a few months, our honeymoon (which was outstanding) was only recent, so anything lavish was well and truly out of the question. The only possibility for a proper holiday was the annual in-laws holiday (they go away every Christmas in a big group somewhere hot and lovely), and whilst we'd of loved to have gone along, this was not going to be possible as their trip fell within my third trimester. Not only that, but given our recent and rather large purchase (our house) it didn't seem responsible to splash the cash on a holiday... not to mention the fact that we're so in love with our new home and really wanted to spend the Christmas period getting it ready for Baby J.
At that point I started to research England based getaways. The concept of a mini 'staycation' isn't actually that alien to us. For the past few years we've retreated to spa hotels across the country for a little R&R at this time of year.
This time I wanted it to be different though, really romantic, really picturesque and most importantly really relaxing.
The hubs has been working so hard lately, and he's been pretty stressed out so I wanted to find somewhere where he'd really switch off and wind down a little.
After a few Tweets, Facebook posts and hours spent of TripAdvisor I found the place.
Ellenborough Park is the most beautiful hotel. Located in the heart of the Cotswolds, this ancient house offers the best service I've experienced in a long time and a true escape from the hustle and bustle of London life.
It's pricey, but it's worth every penny.
Upon arrival (literally, we were climbing out of the car after the short 2.5 hour journey when he appeared), we were greeted by a porter who escorted us and our luggage to the beautifully festive reception. When booking, I mentioned that this trip was a special one, our last as a two before the arrival of our little boy. Kindly, the hotel remembered this and offered us an upgrade.
Our room was just beautiful, opulent, homely, cosy and honestly romantic. After driving into a nearby and very pretty little town for a late (ridiculously huge) lunch (the hubs had a roast, I had salmon en croute), we retreated to the hotel's lounge for a rather aggressive game of monopoly accompanied by a rather delicious side helping of tea & cake (nothing like drinking a cuppa brewed in a proper tea set)
After losing miserably, we retired to our room for the night. We borrowed a DVD player from the hotel, had luxurious baths, ordered a plate of fruit and settled in for the night... bliss. Day two began with a delicious breakfast, was followed up by a beautiful (albeit) rainy drive around the Cotswolds (after a long newspaper reading and checkers playing session) followed by a 45 minute pregnancy specific massage for me. It was heaven (although I did freak out when she massaged the bump).
That night we had supper in the hotel, it was like being in Downton Abbey. Drinks in the drawing room, followed by a truly fine dining experience. Wonderfully descendant, rich food accompanied by unrivalled service.
The drive back home today was wonderful. Glowing from our two nights of heaven, we weaved our way through the British countryside and headed back to our beautiful home (after a quick pit stop to a supermarket to purchase ingredients for the dishes I've been asked to prepare by Mum for Christmas Day)
What have I taken from my BabyMoon?
EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ONE
We laughed, we bonded, it was romantic and wonderfully relaxing. In 9 short weeks we'll be parents and we'll long for a two night getaway like the one we've just enjoyed. Not only was it wonderful to enjoy a few days away relaxing, but it was wonderful spending a blissful few days uninterrupted with the hubs. It really is important and it really was spectacular.
Back to reality now. Tomorrow we'll be sharing Christmas dinner with 20 relatives and friends and whilst it will be wonderful, relaxing it will not be!
Merry Christmas All xxx