Back in November; as the cold wintry days began – the joys of having to de-ice the car had arrived but nevertheless, we did not let the cold weather get the better of us this weekend. My boyfriend and I, along with 4 other couples & a dog booked to stay in an amazing cottage in County Durham for a long weekend and it was such a relaxing and fun get-a-way.
We arrived at the cottage on the Friday afternoon and was shown the ropes by the lovely owners who had also put together a breakfast hamper for us and made us some delicious brownies!! There was wood fires in multiple rooms, a wood fired pizza oven, a wood fired hot tub, a fire pit in the garden & an Aga; it’s safe to say we demolished the wood stock supply and were all warm and toasty the whole weekend!
We ordered a large food shop and stocked the fridge full of food and more importantly booze; we ordered a Chinese for the Friday night as all the couples were arriving at different times and it was easier than cooking or booking at a restaurant when we didn’t know what time to book for. £100 worth of Chinese food later we were all full up and ready to kick back and relax.
Saturday morning, we awoke and made breakfast in the gorgeous kitchen. The heat that comes off the Aga is incredible.
Once we’d polished off our breakfast we went for a four mile walk in Hamsterley which overlooked a lot of the forest and had beautiful views; I recommend that walk to anyone who may visit the area and there is a nice little cafe at the end to grab yourself a slice of cake and a warm drink or cold whichever you prefer.
Saturday night was sooo much fun! Firstly, we made pizza in the wood fired pizza oven. We set the fire going well in advance of making the pizza’s to ensure that the oven was hot enough; we all decorated a pizza and watched them cook, they can take as little as 90 seconds to cook which is just insane!
We all then went off to get ready for a Gatsby themed 1920’s evening, the guys took less time to get ready than the girls and kept themselves entertained in the games room playing pool. One of the girls came up with a brilliant idea to have a murder mystery night. We were all given our characters in advance so we could arrange an outfit in accordance with our character. Everyone really made an effort and it made it all the more fun. For anyone who failed to guess the murderer at the end, they had to do a shot – this turned out to be all of us. At least I know who not to call if I ever need a mystery solving. I really recommend for anyone who is going away in a large group to host a murder mystery evening as they are so so sooo much fun!
During the whole of this, the hot tub was being heated up nicely by a roaring fire and it was time for us to jump in. Oh my gosh, I like a warm bath but this was on another level warm. We could have put eggs in the hot tub and eaten hard-boiled eggs while sat in there it was insane. I never thought on a cold November night I’d be sat OUTSIDE in a bikini actually wanting the wind to blow so I could feel the cold air but it happened! I was actually wishing for snow to really make me feel festive but unfortunately we didn’t get any so a mulled wine in the hot tub was about as festive as we could make it.
On Sunday two couples left to go back home and there was just the 6 of us left. We had a pretty chilled out day, we went for another walk with the dog around a reservoir, it wasn’t as long as the day before but the skies were blue and it was nice to get out in the fresh air.
We headed back to the cottage, set the hot tub fire and the fires inside going and then went back out for Sunday Lunch at a place called Toronto Lodge. I opted for a chicken burger as I’m not a big Sunday Lunch fan but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
We ate up, headed back to the cottage and put on our comfy clothes. We watched a horror film that evening, had a few drinks and nibbles and went on up to bed before checking out the next morning.
It was such a fun-filled weekend with lots of laughs, alcohol and good company. The cottage was stunning and really fitting for a winter break with all the wood fires making it feel extremely cosy. I can imagine it being just as lovely in Summer as there is a fire pit outside that you could sit around on an evening and if you can handle the heat the hot tub can be used all year round too.
The link to the cottage can be found here and I really recommend for either family breaks, girls & boys weekend aways, couples breaks like we did etc. It is really accommodating and well worth every penny. The owners really added a lot of personal touches to it and it’s crazy to think they rent this out – if I was them I would be living in it!!
I definitely want to plan another weekend away similar to this one, I felt so relaxed and really did NOT want to go back to work the next day but we have to make a living somehow!!
I love filling my weekends with lots of activities; what’s your favourite weekend activity?