Morning… got out of school early yesterday afternoon with my desk clear and classroom tidy, rush home to pack my bag feeling quite pleased with my surprisingly fast, Friday organisation all ready to go to Centre Parcs.
Just as I’m about to go and collect a friend, who like me works in a school and is unable to leave early on a Friday morning, I look for my driving glasses and can’t find them…honestly, Fiona! I return to school, search and eventually find them in the planning room, where I was working in the morning. My early set off time thwarted by my blooming glasses.
The journey and traffic wasn’t too bad for a Friday evening and we arrived at Centre Parcs in Longleat two hours earlier than last year, which we were smiling about. However, it was so busy and there were so many cars arriving at the same time as us, with only six checking in kiosks, that we queued for another half an hour to get into the parc…our smiles faded gradually, as it had been a long day and nothing was helping our early arrival time! We desperately wanted to start the serious business of eating, drinking and of course relaxing!
Finally, we arrived, parked and caught the Parc train to our Woodland lodge. I have never stayed in this particular accommodation before as we have been previously spoilt. The ladies that I have been going to Centre Parcs with, have been going for years and the first year I joined them we were upgraded at the last minute to one of the Tree Houses which was absolutely fabulous and very luxurious . Last year we were upgraded to one of the lodges that had a hot tub, so this year it was more basic and what we paid for, but I’m not complaining! It was simple in comparison, but still very nice.
When we finally arrived, the other ladies had done the shopping and were cooking the meal. Sweets, crisps and drinks were all ready on the coffee table and Coronation Street was on the TV! I am not a big Coronation Street fan, in fact I rarely watch soaps anymore, but it was clear that this episode was one not to miss as a murder had happened and there were apparently rats down the drain!
Despite our delayed arrival, talking was good humouredly frowned upon, drinking was encouraged and it was clear that this episode to Corrie fans was not one to be missed, even at Centre Parcs!
I unpacked my case in the twin room I was sharing with my friend, only to find that my shampoo had leaked all over my bath bag, so everything in it needed to be washed and dried…what a palaver.
Once Corrie was over and I had been given the low down on what was going on and who everyone was in the Corrie episode, we had a lovely meal of lasagne, salad and garlic bread plus of course, more wine! It went down a treat despite the snacks and wine before hand that had filled the impatient empty stomachs …I’ve decided that any dieting is pointless this weekend and increasingly this seems to be the case for any weekend!
Today some of us are up early after a croissant breakfast, for a three hour session at the Spa which I’m really looking forward to. One of our party who is energetic and fit, has already been for an early morning jog and had a wonderful view of the early morning sun on the lake.
My brain and body is incapable of running, but definitely needs some ‘down time’ as I have already had issues with plugs…it does help to press the switch that says ‘on’ when plugging iPads and phones into sockets…there was I wondering why power was low on both of my gadgets when they had been plugged in all night and the answer was quite simple…turn it on!
We walked our way down the zig zagging paths of the Cascades, past the red telephone box, so traditionally British., by the lake and arrived at the Spa, a big pillared building.
We were welcomed at the Spa and given a band to wear around our wrists, so they knew which was our two hour time slot and a key for our locker. Our white robes and towels were in the lockers. Although getting up early had been an effort at 9am in the morning, the empty Spa was very inviting and made up for the lack of a lie in. A selfie stick comes into good use at all times and we took as many as possible in a couple of days!
The Aqua Sana Spa has fifteen experience rooms to explore and we made sure we experienced each one! Some were sauna style rooms where I could only cope with so much heat, others were wet heat rooms, there were relaxing and meditation rooms and rooms with different themes and aromas. My favourite was a small room with hot tiles that you lie on, calming music to listen to and a lovely smell to breath in…heaven! There was also the splash Jacuzzi pool and foot baths and if you didn’t get engrossed in relaxing you could have been involved with a skin and make up demonstration by some of the beauticians…we missed it as we were too busy chilling.
My friend had bought me a lovely Decleor mini facial for my birthday, so the two of us had lunch and a glass of Prosecco, followed by our facials. The facial was lovely and I love Decleor products anyway, but we both agreed that for the price she paid, it could have done with being longer and felt a bit rushed. Once over we were taken to a room to relax, drink water and take our time before moving on. I made sure that I made use of the free hand lotion several times before moving on.
We showered and hoped that after all the relaxing and pampering our skin looked brighter and cleaner, we certainly felt better and ready for the walk towards the lake and up the hill. Of course when your accommodation is up a hill you have to come back down and in the evening we did.!
We had booked a meal at an American restaurant called Huck’s in the main Plaza. All the restaurants are child friendly and dress code is casual, but some of my friends decided to put their high heels on…and they were new!
We walked the first part of our journey. Then we decided to catch the train…oh, what a fiasco! Who would have thought it would take several grown women to push and pull one woman who was wearing her new high heeled bay city roller boots up onto the train! In the end the driver got his plastic child step out to help her…we were laughing so much, the other passengers were laughing and when the train stopped at our station, the same process was repeated. We were thankfully prepared and it was caught on camera, so thanks Sue for the entertainment!
When we arrived at the Plaza we had a quick mooch around the shops that were open and then went to the restaurant where I had a cocktail, burger and shared a pudding!
On the journey back the driver was prepared and gave my friend her kiddie step to hold and we all squeezed in. We weren’t prepared however, for the fighting and screaming that went on in the carriage behind due to a drunken woman which upset small children, unnerved passengers, angered some people, so security was called.
It’s Sunday and a lazy start with a cooked breakfast brunch. We walked down towards the lake, the sun was shining and we had another great day of weather ahead of us. There are so many activities to do at Centre Parcs. Last year we tried out Segway, which was an experience! I jiggled backwards and forwards at the beginning much to the amusement of others and a friend ended up in a bush.
This year with a few bad backs and my labrynthitis playing up we thought a sitting down activity was safer!
Whilst some played crazy golf we went on the pedalos on the lake.My friend can’t swim so she wore a life jacket and overcame her fears of the water. Each pair had a go at two rounds of the lake which certainly worked the legs hard and worked off a few of the cooked breakfast calories!
When we got off the boat, the fish by the pier were huge and very hungry.
Another drink, another shop mooch and a flavoured homemade ice-cream, because I just love them! I also bought some homemade fudge for my husband and myself and a lolly for each of my sons who at aged nearly 23 and 20, probably think I’m mad!
What a great weekend and the evidence was the happy, relaxed faces and the nine empty bottles of wine!!
If you want to find out about a weekend at Centre Parcs at Longleat click here.. Centre Parcs. We are looking to book again for next year 🙂
Honestly Fiona x