Following on from our jaunt at Bishopstrow House, Elldrew recently had the pleasure of another country weekend, this time at the Four Seasons in Hampshire (courtesy of a special friend who was celebrating a special birthday; both the friend’s name and age shall be withheld to preserve ones modesty). Unlike Bishopstrow where it was the two of us, this trip saw 20 friends converge on the New Forest for a fun filled weekend away!
Regular readers will know that Elldrew like to escape the London rat race, so with the Christmas madness behind us and Ell’s birthday ahead we booked a weekend at Bishopstrow House in Wiltshire. Having done several country house weekends in the UK our favourite, by far, was a few years back when we stayed at Cowley Manor (pre-blog setup, before you go searching). Since then we’ve tried to find a good reason to go back, but being amongst the top in its class it also carries a certain premium price tag. For this trip we wanted somewhere that wouldn’t break the bank, a 3-night long weekend not too far from London.
Continuing on from our Lilianfels Blue Mountains adventure, we mentioned that we had dined in the Fine Dining restaurant ‘Darleys’, located about 20 feet away from the main hotel. As the original homestead of this famous property, the recent refurbishment has preserved the original features that are the soul of the house (open ornate fireplaces, leadlight windows, crystal chandeliers) and combined them with plush furnishings, artwork and rich wallpaper prints to create an enchanting atmosphere. You sort of feel like you have stepped back in time, as if accepting an invitation to dine by Sir Darley himself!
Mention the word Tenerife and what springs to mind is a guys and girls party weekend for 18-22 year olds, on par with other destinations such as Ibiza, Faliraki, Aiya Napa and Magaluf (it ain’t tame to say the least). We got a few raised eyebrows when we first looked at heading to Tenerife, but tucked away from all the madness of Playa De Las Americas (well a quick drive by on the motorway to be precise) there is the Abama (not to be confused with a certain American President) Golf & Spa Resort.
We know you’re guilty too, don’t try and hide it. Sitting at a table having a conversation with the person opposite, or just in your head, eye’s darting around the room to see if anyone is watching. “Do you think I should take this?”. Eyeing the array of free condiments sitting in front of you…tempting you. “We sort of paid for them so why not!”. Sitting there wondering if the waiter secretly clocks the number of condiments given to each table and whether he/she counts the number of empty pots they remove vs full pots. “What’s the worst that can happen? They will just charge it to the bill!”. Getting all flustered, feeling like a thief. “Where will I put it? Have you got room in your bag?”. Eyes still darting around the room, scanning the other tables to see if their condiment tower is still in tact. “Just do it!”. As quick as a flash your hand reaches from under the table, swipes the desired condiment items, safely secured in pocket/bag…done! Relief sets in. Eyes still dart around the room one more time to see if anyone noticed, if another patron is smirking or a waiter frowning. You’re in the clear. All you have to do now is stand up and walk out of the room and hope you are not tapped on the shoulder. You’re carrying, what you believe, are stolen goods. Head up, walk straight to the exit. Out the door.
You made it!