Last weekend Leigh and I did something we have not done for a very long time: we spent a night away, just the two of us – in the wonderfully glamorous surrounds of Glazebrook House.
It’s actually the first time in two years I’ve spent more than a few hours away from Arthur – and the first time Leigh has entrusted him to anyone other than me. We have both enthusiastically embraced attachment parenting, and despite encouragement from various directions have really not wanted to leave him overnight. But as he’s got older, and we have seen him grow into an increasingly confident, self-assured little boy, the prospect started to seem a little less scary.
On top of that, I think we both have begun to yearn for a little more romance in our lives, the space to focus on our relationship and remember just how much we enjoy each other’s company. For Leigh’s ‘homemade’ Christmas present I gave him the promise of twelve dates – the opportunity once a month to do something special, just the two of us.
Now admittedly not every date is going to take place at a swanky hotel (sorry Leigh). Last month we went to the cinema, but Valentine’s day seemed like the perfect opportunity to ramp things up a little – especially as it’s also the five year anniversary of our first date in just a couple of weeks. And having come across Glazebrook House when my soon-to-be sister-in-law invited me to a wedding fayre there, I was already looking for an excuse to go back.
It’s not that far from us – just on the edge of Dartmoor – but stepping into the lobby actually feels like entering a member’s club in London or New York rather than a country hotel. We were surprised to discover it’s only been open a year – it feels like it’s been there forever, though at the same time it is unmistakably current. The design is quirky and eclectic, from the drums hanging in the stairwell to the rocking horse framed by vintage street signs on the landing.
Our room was utterly gorgeous too, with its insanely comfortable chesterfield-style bed, the industrial low-hanging chandeliers and the stunning and funky aircraft-engine mirrors.
All in all it was the perfect setting to get away from it all, and we certainly made the most of our freedom. I’d been longing to go somewhere I could get away with wearing the turquoise sequinned dress I’d optimistically picked up in Portobello Road last year, and this was just the place.
Leigh donned his wedding suit, and we headed to the bar for a pre-dinner drink. I happily could have stayed there all night actually – hanging out in bars is one of the things I really miss about London (and pre-baby) life.
We were excited by what dinner would offer though – and aware that our stamina was no doubt not what it once was – so soon headed through to the restaurant.
The food did not disappoint. Melt in the mouth chicken parfait, lobster cocktail and luscious turbot. Most importantly for me though the chef assured us that absolutely everything was nut free – right down to the chocolatey dessert. I’d mentioned my allergy when we booked and they’d clearly taken it very seriously.
Which left us to focus on enjoying our meal and each other’s company – and possibly a few too many glasses of wine…
We were both a little worse for wear the next morning, but I was determined not to kill the glamorous vibe and donned my new favourite jumpsuit for breakfast. By this point we’d almost convinced ourselves we were actually on holiday, and felt a million miles away from the stresses of everyday life.
We were however beginning to feel the absence of a certain little person, and after eggs royale and lots of coffee it was time to go and see what he’d been up to.
Arthur had, of course, had a wonderful time with my parents, as my mum’s photos show. In fact I think he probably enjoyed himself just as much as we had what with the train tracks and stone throwing and walking the dog, though he was still very pleased to see us when we turned up.
All in all a very successful night away. I think it will definitely be less than two years before we have another, though we may not be able to count on quite so much glamour the next time…