As a full-time working mum with two small children, I rarely get a day off. So I jumped at the chance to get away for a night by myself at The Old Swan & Minster Mill, on the River Windrush in the Cotswolds. Children at home with my husband, with schedules written down and meals prepared, I tried to banish the guilt at being released from parenting duties and switch off.
Sinking into the four-poster bed in my room, while munching on complimentary sweet treats washed down with home-made sloe gin, I felt transported to another time, as well as another place. I wondered what the kids were up to and hoped they weren’t missing me. I decided not to call home until the evening and instead, indulged in a massage at the Windrush spa. What a change, to focus on myself!
A leisurely dinner was a novelty – I enjoyed people-watching and taking my time savouring the sirloin steak and home-grown vegetables washed down with wine – I relished the idea of the new-found freedom of a long evening ahead. If only I had the energy… but the appeal of a night of uninterrupted sleep won out and I went back to my room and called home to see how the kids’ bedtime went. Apparently, they didn’t ask after me at all. Huh.
But there would be plenty to amuse the children if they were here – magical gardens and woodland to run around in (picnics provided), duck races, fly-fishing, giant outdoor chess, ferret-racing – plus, for rainy days, there’s a kids’ playroom with table tennis, board games and painting. I’ll just have to bring them with me next time – maybe.
From £165 per room per night, oldswanandminstermill.com