Back in January we decided to take a few days for ourselves, spending some time together as a couple. The start of the year seemed as good a time as any, we were both ready for a break after a hectic Christmas break and we wanted to have a holiday while I still had fairly decent energy levels (Thanks Second Trimester!)
We can’t wait for our baby boy to arrive, but at the same time we’re aware it’s going to put an end to nice trips and nights away for the forseeable future. We weren’t all that bothered about going abroad, so we took the opportunity leave the pups with my parents, book a couple of hotels from our bucket list, and take a mini-tour around the UK.
Middleton Lodge, Richmond
Our first stop was Middleton Lodge in Richmond, described by my husband as ‘It’s like you’ve designed your dream hotel and it’s come to life.’ Everything was just beautiful.
From the big freestanding bath in the bedroom, to the little touches to welcome you to the room, everything was perfect. The stunning but restrained styling left every nook and cranny looking like a vignette fresh out the pages of a glossy interiors magazine.
A pared back and neutral colour palette, fresh white linens and soft blue accessories finished the room in style.
Leaving the room, the rest of the lodge matched up to our first impressions. With sumptuous lounges to relax in, and a restaurant located in a converted coach-house, we both wished we had longer to enjoy the hotel.
Dinner was one of the best we’ve had in a long time, easily rivalling more expensive Michelin star meals we’ve enjoyed. From the starters to petit fours, there wasn’t a course that fell flat and service was attentive yet unobtrusive throughout our meal.
Coming down the next morning we were sure breakfast would be Middleton lodge’s Achille’s heel, but we couldn’t fault it. Fresh pastries and a locally sourced cooked breakfast, again the staff were on hand when needed but not overbearing.
Check out was a leisurely midday, and it was a really relaxed end to our stay. I hate that rush between breakfast and check-out, so that little extra time felt like a luxury.
All in all our stay couldn’t be faulted, and it was the peaceful start to our babymoon we needed. We wouldn’t hesitate to stay again, and we’ve recommended it to friends and family on our return. If you’re reading this and debating whether to go, book it now…I promise you won’t regret it!
Hotel Gotham, Manchester
Having previously lived in Manchester City Centre, and it’s always slightly strange staying in hotel somewhere you’ve lived. Driving past our old flat, and seeing how the city has changed in the short time we’ve been away, it was fun to take a trip down memory lane and remember the early days of our relationship.
Hotel Gotham is best described as decadent, with art deco styling that runs throughout the rooms and public spaces. With quirky touches at every turn, our room was packed with nods to the 1920’s.
I’m normally a little more restrained, preferring minimalist design, but Hotel Gotham was fun and packed with character. All staff wear very smart 1920’s dress, a constant reminder that the hotel is anything but run of the mill.
We left the hotel for dinner, but came back to ‘Club Brass’ for cocktails. Only open to private members and hotel residents, the bar was opulent and continued the decadent theme of the hotel.
The walls were clad in gold panelling, and the windows boasted panoramic views of the city. The cocktails were expertly mixed, and the bartender was kind enough to re-create my pre-pregnancy favourites in Mocktail form. If you’re staying at Hotel Gotham make sure you have at least one drink at Club Brass, definitely one of the best bars in Manchester.
The next morning we went down to breakfast, and were sat next to the most beautiful archway window. Is there anything more indulgent than eating a leisurely breakfast while watching the world rush to work beneath you?
Breakfast was delicious, with freshly prepared fruit on hand as well as a cooked to order hot menu. We weren’t rushed in the slightest, and we were left to plan-out the rest of our day at our own pace.
I’m sure you’ll agree we couldn’t have stayed in two more different hotels! Both provided fantastic experiences, and we certainly wouldn’t have wanted to stay anywhere else.
In terms of return visits, we feel like we’ve done Hotel Gotham now and wouldn’t necessarily stay again. It’s ticked off the bucket list and we both agree that it’s a case of ‘Been there done that.’ Staying in a hotel so close to home is a bit of a luxury, and with new hotels popping in Manchester all the time we wouldn’t necessarily cover old ground again.
Middleton Lodge, we’d love to return and stay for a little longer next time round. We have so much of Yorkshire left to explore, and it would make a fantastic base. The pace at Middleton lodge was relaxed, and we’d happily spend a long weekend there, perhaps seeing the beautiful ground in the summer months…. hopefully giving me a chance to try out their spa as well!
Our babymoon was the break we needed, ready to face the challenges and excitement of the third trimester, as well as the changes to our lifestyle our new addition would bring.
At a time when budgets are tight it can be so tempting to skip spending time away together, but we’re so glad we did. If you are debating whether to take a babymoon, don’t question it any longer and book one!