This weekend has been eagerly awaited by myself for almost 6 months. Why I hear you ask….?
Because it’s the first weekend myself and my hubby have had away, all by ourselves, in a very long time.
Just the two of us.
I had a milestone birthday back in May and my wonderful, smashing parents gave me a gift of some vouchers to go and stay in a lovely hotel.
The hotel is called, The Fuzzy Duck (I know, careful how you say that one after a couple of gin and tonics…) and it’s in Shakespeare country, near Stratford-upon-Avon.
I’ve never been to this neck of the woods before so I duly research on Pinterest (as one does) where is good to visit and what the alcoholic beverage menu will consist of at the hotel. Nothing like planning ahead.
In order to get away for the weekend, there is first the rigmarole of packing. Not just my own stuff, but the kids too.
For my husband, this hideous part of a weekend getaway doesn’t even feature. He’s packed already. Pants. Socks. Jeans. T-shirts. Coat. Done. TV on.
Not quite the same can be said for me however…my thought process for packing is more,
“What if it snows? (Evidently it did last night!!) What if we have a heatwave in November? What if it’s dress smart for dinner? What if I’m having a fat day and those jeans don’t fit me tomorrow? The list could go on….)
Then it’s onto the kids. Who knew that little people need quite so much stuff just for 2 nights! It took me a good couple of hours to find everything, stuff it in the most enormous bags I could find, remember to pack specific night time cuddle buddies for each to avert certain meltdown mode at bedtime for my parents and then repack it all again when the toddler decided that the giant bag I had packed all this stuff into would be much better used as a hiding place and duly emptied it out, faster than you can say fuzzy duck…or should that be duzzy fuck. (There’s a joke in there somewhere, does my toddler ever listen to me? Duzzy fuck. Oh never mind).
Saying goodbye to the kids at the school drop off yesterday made me feel enormously guilty about going away and leaving them.
My mum met us on the school run so I could throw the toddler over to her whilst we took the bigger ones into school and after that, we could then be on our way.
To avert a tantrum by the mini monster when we leave (he’s currently been demonstrating some pretty smashing ‘roll on the floor and make it sound like you mum has tried to make you eat broccoli and cauliflower’ tantrums – Oscar winning and Gin inducing) my mum decided to walk him to the supermarket as a distraction technique. We walked off, waving at the little chap and fully expected the poop to hit the proverbial fan when he twigged we were abandoning him.
Quite the opposite happened and he just stood there, waved back and smiled. Then toddled off with nanny.
In a weird way, I was actually a little put out that he didn’t scream his head off and want to cling to my leg for dear life.
The little sod just didn’t care.
He’s a master of manipulation and mind games already.
Well, 2 can play that game and mummy doesn’t care either as she is off to drink her way through the cocktail menu at a hotel for 2 nights, so there.
(Oh, who am I kidding, I do care actually. Sob).
We eventually set off for our weekend away, after making sure I packed some monster munch, a large bar of cadburys Turkish Delight, some cans of lemonade and some Jelly Snakes (they’re sweets, minds out of the gutter please) in case of emergency, we are on our way.
The drive is fairly straightforward but I decide i would like to deviate a little off the main roads and try to see some of the Cotswolds.
This meant me doing some map reading.
Not one of my strong points.
We come off the motorway and head down an A road as per my instructions. Then my phone looses 4G and freezes so I can no longer see the map. Great.
“We are heading to Oxford at the moment Hun,” my other half says.
“Yes, I saw Oxford on the map, this is right” I say with zero confidence.
I also saw Southampton on the map and Newcastle but we aren’t going there…
“I think if we carry on this way we will end up back home Gem…” He reiterates.
Oh bloody hell. Come on phone!!!!!
“I’ll just turn off” he says condescendingly.
We duly turn off and drive up the road a bit and thankfully my phone springs back into life. Lucky he did turn off as he was, annoyingly, right and the road we were on would have taken us into Oxford and then home. I’ve never been to Oxford either so it wouldn’t have been the end of the world had we ended up there. Every cloud and all that malarkey…
I manage to guide us through some gorgeous little villages, all yellow stone houses, rolling hills, village greens and churches. Oh, and pubs. Lots of pubs all duly noted.
I inform my hubby that I’d like to drive through a village called, Bourton-on-the-Water. What a smashing name for a village. This place sounded much more appealing than Upper and Lower Slaughter…
We navigate our way until we are almost there and, as we are left with a choice of going straight on or slightly right, my husband plumps for the right turn. Only that turned out to be the wrong turn and we managed to miss the entire, picturesque village. Damn it!!
Out of guilt, my other half turns left at the end of a road and we do another circuit round just so I can see the village. How sweet, I know.
As we drive into the ‘picturesque village’ we were greeted with such sights as ‘Mary’s laundry’ (a genuine launderette, not just a lady called Mary whose knickers were out on the line) and a funeral directors.
“Well this was worth it…” mutters my husband.
“I’m sure it will get prettier…” I announce, hiding my worry, and luckily for me, it did.
A Chocolate/christmas biscuit box image of a village. If you are ever in this neck of the woods, it’s worth a gander.
We reach the hotel which is tucked away in a tiny hamlet.
It looks lovely and nothing like some of the ‘Fawlty Towers’ I’ve stayed at in the past. Good pick parents!
We check in and are taken up to our room, Buff Orpington. It’s a type of duck which visits the local pond but I can’t help but giggle and I think it sounds more like a description of a druken, naked old man who lives in a posh country manor.
The room is lovely and it’s everything I wish our bedroom at home looked like – clean, tidy, opulent and not a Thomas the tank engine under the duvet in sight.
We check out the toiletries (the hotel is owned by Baylis and Harding the soap people – so naturally there are lots of lovely things in the bathroom and some free samples on the landing you’re free to take. So far I’ve amassed 15 minature bottles from my journeys up and down the stairs. It’s become a bit of a childish game to see how many I can nab before home time) and marvel at the size of the bath which is big enough to fit our house in.
We dump our bags and head straight for the bar and I’m greeted by a ‘winter warmers’ drinks list.
There are 10 alcoholic hot drinks to choose from so i decide to work my way down the list – you have to try everything before you can form an opinion. First, I go for mulled wine and then winter pimms. And then I start yawning.
I clearly can’t hold my drink anymore and the slightest whiff of wine has a sedative effect on me. I wonder if it works that way with insomniac toddler too…?
(Joke!! I honestly wouldn’t give my toddler wine. Whisky maybe, but never wine).
My other half has already necked 2 beers and a G&T and he decides it’s time for a nap before dinner.
We are so rock and roll.
Here’s to the rest of a nice weekend of drinking, slobbing, stuffing our faces and stealing copious amounts of minature toiletries.