So last weekend I finally gave TW her 2014 Christmas present – a weekend away.

For both of us, that was. We left the kids at home with M&P on the Friday, well, they had them for a sleepover, and then the MiL picked them up on Saturday and looked after them until we got back on Sunday.

I had a day’s leave left over from last year, so I took that on the Friday, and walked with TW and The Youngest to school. Then, when we got back to the house, we packed and headed off to Southampton. It was a weekend treat for both of us, but it was actually my present to her, so I couldn’t really argue when she said she wanted to go to Ikea. I didn’t like it, but I did get to sample the amazing Swedish meatballs that everyone keeps going on about – and quite nice they were too. Once she had had her Ikea fix, and casually spent £60 on napkins and other assorted tat (which was all “completely necessary”, of course), we headed north to Winchester.

We’ve stayed in Winchester before, or rather I should say near to Winchester, at the Norton Park hotel. This time we stayed in town, at the Winchester Hotel & Spa, which was very nice. They were doing a deal, where they gave us £25 per person towards our dinner costs, which we happily took advantage of.

We had booked our evening meal in the brasserie on the first night, and the food was delicious. I had the sirloin steak, and TW had the seared tuna. Both were cooked to a tee, and we decided over dinner on Friday night to eat again there again on Saturday. It seemed a bit silly, when they were offering a discount on such delicious food, to spend real money eating elsewhere. So over the two nights I reckon we saved about £100, which I mentally offset against the £200 cost of the hotel stay – that made me feel better. On the Friday night after dinner we sat in the hotel bar and drank cocktails (TW) and whiskeys (me) – as a result, I felt a little jaded on the Saturday morning (some might say “no change there, then”).

On the Saturday morning we walked into town and mooched around the shops. TW delighted in being able to shop at Joules, and Primark. We snuck into a lovely little coffee shop, where TW bumped into an old Uni friend – she was always bound to see someone she knew. We had a chat and then went our separate ways. By this time it was getting towards lunch, and so we looked for somewhere to eat. Luckily we chanced on Green’s restaurant, which was a lovely little place. They did light bites and full lunches, and TW & I had some delicious snacks. TW had a spinach and salmon battenburg, which was an inventive and delicious meal, and I had scrambled egg, bacon and avacado on toast. It was a fine lunch.

After we got back to the hotel, we went for a swim and a sauna, and then prepared for dinner again. The second meal was just as good as the first, and we then went into town for more drinks back at Greens, before heading back to the hotel.

Sunday morning we got up and enjoyed the breakfast. They had everything – bacon, egg, tomatoes, hash browns, mushrooms, sausages, pancakes, fresh fruit salad, toast, tea, coffee, fruit juice… After breakfast I was so full I needed to go back to the room and have a lie down… 🙂

Unfortunately the weather was a bit grotty, so we checked out and headed home via Petworth and Midhurst. It was a nice drive, but we arrived home a bit earlier than expected. The girls were with the GiL in Brighton, so we had a nice quiet afternoon.

All in all, it was a lovely weekend, and well worth it. We agreed that we should spend time away together more often, and while it might not be a weekend away, an occasional evening here or there shouldn’t be too difficult…

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