Travelling with a baby
There are minibreaks and minibreaks. And not even the most beautiful countryside and a manor catering for all needs could guarantee a truly peaceful and relaxing break. Some of the magic ingredients are truly personal and very circumstantial.
We recently came back from 2 wonderful days in Hampshire spent at Four Seasons. As weather forecasts announced heavy rains we cancelled our son’s garden birthday party and decided for a retreat in a toddler & parents friendly place. Modest expectations; especially in the context of the weather forecasts.
Four Seasons Hampshire is quintessentially a Georgian manor surrounded by wonderful English gardens, orchard, natural trails, ponds and lakes. Glorious facilities including swimming pool indoors leading to a jacuzzi outside, lots of light and sunbeds. Service going the extra mile providing water nappies, nail polish remover and whatever else needed (could we point at our toddler for all those funny requests? ). More kids floating devices and toys by the swimming pool, very pleased with all that splashing.
Four Seasons recently launched their app, it proved very handy. Checked in online and indicated 1pm arrival time, the envelope with the keys was waiting for us patiently at reception. Sleek and smooth. A birthday cake and a card were waiting for us in the room. Our toddler had his name in the bathroom in letter sponges, his own toiletries and bathrobe – we loved all these touches.
Dinner at the Bistro was a relaxing affair, the grownups watching the sun go down and little one some Peppa (lazy parenting). The kids steak and fries went particularly well with grown-up and little person equally. Sweet pepper risotto proved a tad too sweet, but a rocket salad on the side balanced it somehow. Father also quite pleased with his steak but bottom-line an hour and a half dinner over sunset is such a rare event for toddler’s parents, that each moment is truly cherished adequately.
We all slept particularly well, the excellent beds must have something to do with it. Grown ups woke up around 7pm, we even had 40 minutes for ourselves and to get the birthday preparations – balloons anyone?
Sunday afternoon ended up sunny and we’ve done a lot of exploring, from the Nature Trail to the aerial wires and the forest hut, to apple orchard, gardens and playground.
Monday morning was less glorious in terms of weather, after a long breakfast we’ve done some playing at the hotel : stairs with carpets historical wing are in fact great slides, Oliver is the sweetest cuddliest doggy and we bumped into friends of friends with toddler. Mum escaped thereafter to the spa, the boys made it to Kids club and eventually with some dry weather for an hour, back to the playground. Lunch at the Vitality cafe proved very long in terms of waiting and some apologetic personnel offered us a delicious chicken curry and fries on the house.
2 days of feeling spoilt in the countryside, a proper celebration for 2 years old and parents alike. And truly four seasons.