With just one day and a night to enjoy the most of the country escape that the Four Seasons in Hampshire had to offer, our itinerary was packed. After our bikes were put away, it was time for our very first round of clay pigeon shooting, followed by a spa treatment for me and a tennis lesson for Robin. I wanted to breathe in as much country air as my lungs could handle, explore as much of those 500 acres as I could, and convince Oliver the hotel dog that I was like, the best human ever.
CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING
Right, first things first.
You need guns to be able to shoot. And not the kind with a trigger that I was about to pick up, but those babies that Popeye likes to flex. By the end of the lesson, my shoulders and arms were like lead.
At the start of our clay pigeon shooting lesson, everyone is given ear protectors and glasses, and then an instructor takes you round each of the stands to shoot a few rounds from an enormous rifle.
I was surprised how difficult it was; all those episodes of Walking Dead had me fooled.
Once you have the stance down, you are shown how to hold the gun correctly and when best to pull the trigger. When you’re ready, you simply shout “PULL!” Sounds simple, but its like swatting a mosquito with the sun in your eyes- hard!
SPA & TENNIS
So, out of 20 odd rounds, I only hit the target twice. I probably wouldn’t survive a zombie apocalypse.
We got to take home a clay disk each as a souvenir for our efforts. Wiggling my sore shoulders back to life, I had just enough time to run back to my room and change for my spa treatment.
The spa is housed in the former stables, just behind the main house. It’s here that you can arrange all spa treatments, tennis lessons, bike hire or even if you just fancy a swim.
All creeping ivy and brick, it’s a beautiful building.
I had signed up for a Balinese massage- 75 minutes of warm aromatherapy oils and hot stones massaged all over my now sore and aching body.
Once ‘checked in’ at the spa reception, I threw all my things into a locker, slipped on a robe and slippers and waited for my therapist inside a relaxation room.
Cucumber water in one hand, magazine in the other, the therapist was right on time to collect me and led me to the treatment room. I chose which scents I found most appealing (ylang ylang) and even chose the colour of the lighting (I went with calming green tones)
I definitely drifted into sleep. I know this because I woke up with a tell tale snort. Twice.
Whilst I was snorting away and being massaged, Robin signed up to a private tennis lesson with the resort’s tennis pro. Afterwards we met up in the swimming pool and sat bubbling away in the jacuzzi, like two olives in a martini.
SEASONS & SUNSETS
After our swim, there was time to relax in our room and get ready for our dinner reservation; even though we were staying at the hotel, we still had to book a table as its a popular place in the area.
With a late dinner planned, I wanted to make the most of the gorgeous sunset outside…and to bother Oliver the hotel dog who just wanted a few minutes peace outside on the lawn.
Once the sun went down, we had just enough time for a cocktail in Bar 1086, just opposite Seasons restaurant. There’s a terrace outside if you want your sundowner as the sun goes down, or you can cosy up on a plush armchair.
Our drinks were brought over to our table in the restaurant because the Four Seasons is the kind of place where they won’t let you lift a finger- I highly recommend the Chalky Lane Tea (it came in a clear tea cup on a bed of moss and berries!)
The best thing about eating yourself silly here is that you can just roll away back to your room, where I put my fluffy robe back on and fell asleep on that giant king sized bed…
My favourite three little words have to be…Room Service Breakfast
Once upon a time, there may even have been a room service breakfast marriage proposal.
I love breakfast. I just don’t love mornings.
Having food delivered to me, without having to get dressed or face the world all bleary eyed and sleepy is my kind of treat. Food in my PJ’s! Woohoo!
Before drifting off to sleep the night before, we hung our breakfast request on the bedroom door. Bang on the dot the very next morning, my precious had arrived.
Berries and waffles for me and a Full English for Robin.
I had a pot of rich black coffee all to myself and our spread also included a small basket of pastries, jam, and marmalade.
I wish every meal was a breakfast food. Croissants for everyone!
And just like that, it was time to get our bags together and check out.
Goodbye to the green views from our window, to the gorgeous grounds and to this hunky country gentleman…
The valet brought our car round to the front entrance, and then it was down the winding road and back towards to London, with me feeling pretty sulky about it.
As special occasions go, this one was perfect. Maybe see you next year Hampshire?