Candles flickered, dancing in tune to the soft music that slowly wandered around the warm room. My eyes grew heavy as my body started to relax from the stress of Christmas and the over indulgence that accompanies it. I felt my cares disappear as warm oil and angelic hands gently massaged my body.
This was the way to start the New Year.
It is tradition, that every year on the first Saturday of the January I take my mother to the city and we see a show together. It is a Christmas present that I delight in, look forward to and always enjoy. Christmas is so crazy that whilst spending a few days at my parents house, back in the north, we barely exchange more than a few words to each other of any real significance. So the first Saturday in January is our time, together.
This year, we had an unexpected treat. MacDonald hotels offered us a night away from it all, a bedroom with no bairns in it, and a trip to the spa the following day. My Christmas day treat had suddenly become a weekend away.
The musical this year was “Once”, a soothing, quieter show, of talented artists, playing instruments and singing on stage. It is a delight of Irish ballads and a tale of forbidden love. The stage comes alive with humour, foot stamping and powerful voices that cause shivers to run amok down your spine.
The whole show was a thing of beauty, that made me smile and cry in unison. I left the theater still singing the songs in my head and still feeling a deep sadness for the leading lady.
If you have not seen it, I would highly recommend to go.
As we left the theater, London was busy, the streets were hot despite the dampening rain. It was a relief to hurry to the tube, to dash to the station, to head away from the capital to the peace of Ascot where we spent the evening as guests of the Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa.
From arrival we felt as if we were somewhere special, grandeur greeted us from the door, a roaring fire warmed us as we walked in and an impressive Christmas tree reassured us that the festive season was not yet over. A simple check in from an attentive receptionist met we were happily in our luxurious room within moments. Two beds sat invitingly in the middle of the suite, tempting us to not go back out and play, but we managed to ignore the lure of sleep. A bowl of fruit and a handful of chocolates cried hello as we walked in and we forced ourselves to save them for later.
Every detail in the room was clean, comfortable with a tone of elegance.
We took dinner in the hotel, the thought of fighting the monsoon outside was too much and the smells from the dining room were extremely convincing. Dinner was delicious, it was expensive but scrumptious, all washed down with a bottle of Pinot Blush. I feasted on duck and chicken terraine, and whilst I gazed at other guests mouth-watering pudding choices I felt I could fit in no more (except, perhaps for one of the chocolates waiting back at the room.)
Then it was time to sleep. I slept without children calling my name, without having to raise to check my diabetic child’s blood sugars. In short, I slept better than I had in a very long time.
And suddenly it was time to eat again, to gorge on exquisite fruits, eggs, a range of beautiful breads and cheeses. Breakfast with the Macdonald hotels is something you want to take your time over…. The waiting staff are attentive, relaxing and allow you to eat without interfering, and without making you feel like you are overstaying your welcome.
Then finally, with full stomachs and a good nights rest, we took ourselves off to the spa, for a full body massage, and a couple of hours of moving from sauna to steam with a swim in between.
Do I need to describe how wonderful it was?
From my mother and I, thank you to the Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa, it was a weekend we won’t be forgetting in a hurry!
Disclosure: We were invited by Macdonald Berystede Hotel & Spa to be their guests for the weekend, all thoughts my own.