< Back to blog

Gin & bear it! Posted On 13 January 2020

The season of goodwill to all men has passed, so how about a few days of goodwill to you? Here’s some suggestions for a few days away, whether you fancy chilling out, the call of the wild, or a gin-fuelled bonanza!

Congratulations! You did it… you survived Christmas and the new year with your sanity, health and bank balance relatively intact. No-one bought the kids a drum kit or a trumpet, no-one contracted food poisoning from your cold buffet on Boxing Day, grannie’s sherry intake bordered on the acceptable, there was no need to involve ACAS during charades, and you didn’t disgrace yourself on New Year’s Eve!

Here we are in January and, let’s face it, it’s all gone a bit flat. It’s grey and miserable, Easter and the promise of spring aren’t even on the horizon, and even Netflix can’t provide inspiration.

So, if you didn’t use all your Christmas budget, what about a cheeky break? Some ‘you’ time? A bit of R and R with the emphasis on aaaahhh rather than aaarrgghh…

 

Take time for ‘you’ time

It’s cold outside, but the best place to properly chill is a spa break, and there are plenty from which to choose, whether you’re after a day’s pampering, a blissful overnight stop or a couple of days to totally unwind.

For example, the Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel Golf & Spa in Whitchurch, Shropshire offers The Ultimate Spa-cation, three nights bed and breakfast, two 55 minute treatments, dinner on the first day, afternoon tea on the second, bottle of Prosecco, and full use of the facilities for £244.50 per person.

For one night, how about the Blue Harbour Health Club and Spa at The Chelsea Harbour Hotel in south-west London, where £109 gets you bed and breakfast in a suite, robe, towel etc and full use of the spa facilities. Plus, a smoothie don’t forget the smoothie!

Spa Days are widely available and prices vary, although the Morning Roof Top Spa Experience at Rudding Park, Harrogate – an Elysium Collection spa – which includes robe etc, use of the indoor swimming pool, juniper log sauna, bucket shower, thermal experiences and a drink and snack voucher, looks intriguing at £64. Further spa breaks are listed on spabreaks.com

If the weather isn’t an issue and The Great Outdoors is your thing, head out to the forest to take in the sharp, fresh woodland air and bed down in your own cosy, log cabin. Forest Holidays (forestholidays.co.uk) operate at 11 sites in Britain and offer six types of accommodation from tree-houses to self-catering; all featuring log-burner and hot tubs, for weekend breaks or longer. For example, a Golden Oak cabin in Keldy Forest, north Yorkshire costs £405 for a family of four on a midweek break (Monday to Friday) and £445 in Sherwood Forest.

Forest Holiday have sites at Ardgartan Argyll and Strathyre (Scotland), Beddgelert (Snowdonia), Blackwood Forest (Hampshire), Cropton (north Yorkshire), Deepark (Cornwall), Forest of Dean (Gloucestershire), Keldy (north  Yorkshire), Sherwood Forest (Nottinghamshire) and Thorpe Forest (Norfolk).

 

It’s all about the gin!

Of course, the best breaks are those centred around an event: a show, a one-off event or… a gin-tasting extravaganza!

The Gin To My Tonic Festivals bring together 100 different gins – as well as selected vodkas and rums – from across the world, promising “a voyage of gin discovery” with tastings, premium mixers and live entertainment.

In February, they are being staged at the town hall in Stoke (February 1) and the Guildhall in Winchester(February 29), while the Gin Tasting Bristol takes place onboard Brunel’s steam ship, the SS Great Britain, on February 14. For this Valentine’s Day treat, the Gin To My Tonic team will introduce specially selected gins in a five-course tasting menu, with ‘courses’ coming every 30 minutes with their own back-story, appropriate tonic and garnish.

Alternatively, there is a straightforward gin festival at Manchester Cathedral on February 21-22 where, again, more than 100 selected gins are available to taste and, with tickets only £12.50 and two nights in a Manchester hotel from £120 at the ibis Styles Manchester Portland, you’ll probably only get an alcohol-induced headache, rather than a financial one.

If gin’s not your thing, there’s always Winchester’s Cocktails Week (February 3-9), the Yorkshire Pudding Festival (February 1) in Leeds, or back to Bristol on February 22 for the Prosecco Festival at The Passenger Shed.

Alternatively, there’s the family-friendly Lightopia Festival (January 22 -March 1) in Chiswick House and Gardens, London or the London Classic Car Show at Olympia (February 22) if you fancy a breather in the capital. Failing that, York holds the annual Ice Trail (February 1-2), when the streets of the historic city are filled with ice sculptures and, two weeks later, the city pays homage to its past with the 36th Jorvik Viking Festival – a week-long celebration (February 15-23) of the Scandinavian invaders who settled in the area.

Expect living history encampments, markets, tours. Two nights at the Staycity Aparthotel starts from £155 for a family of four (expedia.co.uk).

< Back to blog

Connect with us

Recent Posts

DIY knowhow… Tiling

With many of us spending more time at home, why not try some DIY jobs that may be bigger than you would usually take on? The great thing about doing it yourself, is the pride you get after finishing the job. But remember, always consult a professional if the task at hand goes beyond your capabilities or involves electrics or gas. Tiling a …

Read more...

Get your property market-ready 

With the property market open, now is the perfect time to get your property “market-ready.”   Tidy the Garden The garden is a huge selling point for most properties on the market. With the warmer weather having arrived, now is the perfect time to get into your garden to complete quick and simple jobs to make your property more sellable and …

Read more...

Government Update – Lockdown measures review

Yesterday evening, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson led the daily news briefing with an update on the lockdown rules. Mr Johnson confirmed that the five tests that needed to have been met during lockdown have now been met. The five tests included: 1. Making sure the NHS could cope. 2. A sustained fall in the …

Read more...

Non-essential retailers to reopen

Boris Johnson announced on Monday that all non-essential retailers will be allowed to reopen in England from the 15th June. Retailers will have to adhere to new guidelines to protect their workers and their customers, and it is ‘contingent on progress in the fight against coronavirus.’ This goes alongside outdoor markets and car showrooms which …

Read more...

Greatest FA Cup Finals ever!!!

  This weekend should have been the final of the Emirates FA Cup Final. However, with sport suspended until mid-June, we thought we would look back at some of the greatest FA Cup finals ever… The FA Cup is the ultimate knockout football competition. Originally beginning in 1871-72, the tournament is open to all clubs …

Read more...