What I Got Up to at Christmas - Break Away from London
Sold on the idea of Christmas together, but without the pressure of hosting all on one or two people, my family and I took off once again out of town for the festive season.
This time we headed over to Herefordshire, a daunting journey, that filled us with trepidation for as long as the 4 hour drive.
Luckily, as hoped for, the house we shacked up in surpassed last year's. Not that our 2016 stay in Suffolk was horrible. A few minor things could have been improved as well as a few things we only thought about on stepping over the threshold of the Herefordshire manor.
Everything was ready to be lived in. Even the horses viewed through the living room patio doors, in the neighbouring field seemed perfectly placed. The decor was modern, clean and well thought out. Still, it had a cosy cottage feel through the furnishings, wood burning fire and AGA.
It helped that everything appeared to be pretty new, or updated, from the plush beds to the kitchen appliances, several of which were not necessary. The owners were meticulous and clearly, as it should be, their aim was for anyone staying in their property to have the best experience and not want for anything.
Last year's house had not been finished to such a standard and certainly hadn't included under floor heating, a basket of dog essentials, a hamper of local produce and a games room located on the grounds. But these admittedly though greatly welcome, were extra touches.
The manor also gets bonus points for its house book, which among other things had information on places to go locally and instructions on how to use the SONOS system.
And we certainly did make good use of the mod-con which merged all music apps on the iPad which had been left for us to use, and played it through the surround sound system.
Although Christmas is that one time of the year you can justify being locked away inside, we ventured out into town and nearby for walks and top up on groceries.
The house complemented an experience that was full of Christmas magic, allowing us to truly enjoy the tranquility of the surrounding countryside. Sometimes you just need to sit back and relax away from the city hustle and bustle.