Home from home (if you live in a mini Downton Abbey?!)

Every few months the husband and I try to get away from it all (‘it all’ being the construction company we run and the 4 kids!!)  We rarely get chance for ‘date nights’, so this is the time for us to reconnect as a couple (that sounds so tossy)  Sometimes we fly off somewhere far flung – but this week we had just 24 hours away, down the road in Broadway on the edge of the Cotswolds.

We’ve stayed at The Dormy House hotel before and had a wonderful time, and then we received an email from their sister hotel, Foxhill Manor offering an activity break we were intrigued.  So – dinner, bed and breakfast in the Sunday Times Hotel of the Year 2015 – along with some segwaying and shooting – what’s not to love?!

Being the right side of Brum – the Farncombe Estate (home to the Dormy, Foxhill and The Fish) – is only 45 minutes away, perfect for a quick escape from reality.

Due to the husband having an important work meeting first thing (can’t really complain, it’s our work that means we can do such things) we didn’t set off as early as we would have liked, so we thought we’d be cutting it fine to make it in time for our time slot of 2.30pm for the ‘activities’.  Thankfully we arrived with a few minutes to spare – so had chance to check out our fabulous room (Birch).


and do the important things like connect to the free wifi (and for the husband to take calls to provide DIY SOS services to some friends whilst I had a mug of peppermint tea!)


Then we were collected by our instructor for our activities.

We started off with rifle shooting – it would appear my husband’s mis-spent youth shooting random insects (actual insects, not code for anything else!) with an air rifle in Falcon Lodge stood him in good stead to be a good shot with the rifle.  Unfortunately I wasn’t so great (humph, as we are very competitive!!)


Thankfully we then moved on to pistols for which I appear to have a natural eye (my career as an assassin may still happen) and I whipped him (as in scored better, not pistol whipping, that would have ruined the whole romantic night away really). Eat your heart out Lara Croft (if she was wearing a floral shirt with a double chin…..)


Next it was segways.  The husband has already been on the kids hover boards (in fact he even did some dusting whilst aboard) but I have steered clear as I’m not a big fan of such things.  But I promised I’d give this a go.


There was quite a bit of swearing shrieking, but after 10 minutes I’d sort of got the hang of it.  Then the instructor took us out of the ‘tennis courts’ – one of the few flat bits on the whole estate – to go on a ‘safari’.  This is where it went downhill – literally!  Given I’m not a fan of going down a slope on a bike – I should have guessed that I wouldn’t enjoy it on a segway!  Within seconds, I’d stropped off it and set off marching down the hill – very reminiscent of pretty much every skiing holiday I’ve ever been on!


Thankfully once it flattened out I coped with getting back to the front of the hotel.


And within 2 minutes of being back in the hotel I had a glass of champagne from the trolley in the lounge in my hand #perfect.

We were then taken to meet the chef who explained about the meal for that evening.  I am sure if we were fussy about food they could have been obliging, but we’re not (back to those double chins again!) and so went with the fabulous menu offered – we could also chose what time we would eat.


’twas then back to the lounge for more fortifying champagne, and a bit of cake for me.  Husband isn’t a cake fan (fool!) and so asked if he could have some cheese, and a beautiful ploughmans’ appeared from nowhere. Now that is service!

After an afternoon nap, Pointless on TV and a relaxing bath with Cotswold Life magazine (when in Rome and all that) it was down for pre dinner drinks.  Yet more champagne!  Half of the 8 rooms were occupied during our stay – and we chatted to 2 of the other couples before dinner in the lounge.  We are both quite sociable people (you’d never guess from all of this oversharing would you?!) so we were fine chatting away – but I do think this is one bit that might be a bit overwhelming for some people – as it is such a small hotel, there is nowhere to hide!!  We were also brought some lovely hors d’oeuvres to soak up the fizz!

Then it was dinner – which was stunning. Not overly fussy – but really tasty.  The food itself is included in the overnight price – as are the drinks in the lounge – but you do have to pay extra for any drinks with the meal.  We started off with Bathtub gin and tonics (the brand, not out of the bath, that would just be weird).  I loved it – but the husband didn’t – so I had both #winning.  The wine list is extensive – and we went for our usual safe bet of a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.  The house Sauv B is from Chile – and the husband has a hatred of all Chilean wines – but the staff persuaded him to try it, and it was actually really lovely, so we’d try that one in the future I think.

After our 3 courses in the dining room we retired back to the lounge for the husband to have a cheese board and port in front of a roaring fire – a perfect end to the day.


Before we retired for the evening I did pop to the ladies – and it is fabulous (I was a bit gutted I didn’t take my phone with me – to take a photo, not just because it meant I couldn’t play Words With Friends whilst on the loo!).  Each of the 4 stalls has a different James Bond photo in it – I went for Daniel Craig in the end.

The next morning we were up bright and early as we had massages booked over at the House Spa at the Dormy House at 9am.  Breakfast was wonderful – a mix of buffet and then anything you wanted cooked.  We both went for Eggs Benedict – and it was recommended we had it with their local bacon – and it was awesome.  It would have been lovely to linger over breakfast, with never ending tea and coffee and the morning’s papers – but the spa was calling.

2 full body massages later, I floated to the pool to wait for the husband – but 30 minutes later he hadn’t materialised, I began to wonder if the masseuse couldn’t wake him after he’d fallen asleep !  I went on a search to find him in the spa lounge, fully clothed and working!  He’d decided an hour of relaxation was quite sufficient – and was cracking on with emails sipping lemon and ginger tea.  I headed back down to the spa for 20 lengths, a sauna and a steam room before getting dressed ready to head back to reality.

A lovely lunch in The Potting Shed followed -before the drive back home.  It may have only been a 24 hour escape, but it was truly wonderful – and we very much hope to repeat it in the future.  We’re even considering an exclusive use booking for a weekend (as otherwise children under 12 can’t come, and I’m not sure our 3 youngest would think it fair to be left at home whilst we only took the eldest!) – so if any of you are up for it?!?


I should point out this is not a sponsored post, we paid full whack (and quite a considerable whack at that) for the night – but it was worth every penny. 




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