Wednesday, 27 August 2014

An Anniversary Surprise

On the 11th of August, my boyfriend loaded me and a couple of suitcases into the car and drove. I didn't know where we were going or how long the journey would be, but all I knew was that he had booked a surprise for us. The journey was 6 hours. The destination was the Lake District. 

And even in the chilly Northern weather, it was paradise.


My boyfriend had booked us in at the Gilpin Hotel and Lake House, a place I had discovered a while ago and fell in love with. 

As soon as I saw the sign, I was dying of excitement. We checked in as the receptionist listed our itinerary of the day's plans...afternoon tea...couples massages...and an 8 course meal! 

Our room was not yet ready, however, so we decided on a spot of lunch in the bar.



We were given complimentary canap├ęs of crispy cheese straws with a rich truffle mayonnaise and salty olives.


In my family, we have a rule that whatever hotel we stay in, we have to try the club sandwich (because every hotel will have a club sandwich). So my boyfriend and I decided to share one, to line our stomachs for the day's onslaught of culinary delights. 


My God, it was the best club sandwich I've ever tasted. 


After we had done stretching our jaws around the incredible sandwich, we were shown to our room. We had been booked in to a Garden Suite, which meant we had our own private section away from the main building. 

As we walked in, my eyes were immediately drawn to this adorable fellow sitting on the bed. I was told that he was a our 'Do Not Disturb' sign. 


As I was so preoccupied looking at the cat, I failed to notice the giant bouquet of flowers on the desk behind me, which I think says a lot about me if I'm honest. Observant as ever.


The bed was huge. By the way, our room was called 'Cat Bells', which isn't a very relevant piece of information but I thought it was so pretty! 



We had our own private patio area overlooking a meadow. Up on the hill, llamas were grazing. Nothing says romance like onlooking llamas! And yes, that is a hot tub.


We jumped in the hot tub, then out again, because we had to have a shower. 



Well, really I just wanted to take advantage of these. 



These retail for around £20 a bottle, so obviously I used everything. Repeatedly. I had about six showers in the space of 24 hours. Also, the towels were heated. I feel strongly about this.


We then headed back to the main building for our champagne cream teas. 


I couldn't resist taking a few snaps of the pretty china. 



We sat in the window. 


Where we were promptly served our tea. 



Along with fresh, fruit scones, clotted cream, jam and strawberries!




Yet another surprise was waiting for me! As I don't drink alcohol, my boyfriend had arrange for them to make me a strawberry and banana smoothie! He really had thought of everything. And it was amazing!


We were already full and I could hardly comprehend going back to the restaurant for an 8 course meal. So we decided to relax in our hot tub for a bit. 


I have to say there's something really satisfying about being in a hot tub while it's cold outside. It would have been so magical in the snow!



We couldn't stop for long, we had massages to attend! We drove to the Lake House, about a mile down the road and overlooking the beautiful Lake Windermere. These photos of a little less quality because they were taken on a phone.






The spa house sat high on the edge of the hill in the heart of tranquillity.



And the massage parlour itself had walls of glass, which let you peer over the edge into the untouched wilderness.


We had hour-long Swedish massages which were heavenly. Although my boyfriend fell asleep and started snoring, which disrupted the peaceful atmosphere a little!

Thoroughly relaxed, we were prepared for dinner. But this has already been a mammoth post and you've been such a trouper, I'll reward you with this beautiful view...because you can't get enough views am I right? 



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