Thursday, 5 July 2012

A Very Pampered Stay in Rutland May 2012

Hambleton Hall
Shortly after we came back from the Cotswolds, we decided to try and give staying away in a hotel just one more go. I have always been an avid reader of the Sunday papers' travel pages as Rob and I love travelling and finding new places to go. Just before I had fallen ill I had read about Hambleton Hall in Rutland and spending a weekend in Rutland. As Rutland is only about an hour or so away from us I had kept a cutting of the article thinking we could visit for a night one weekend if our busy work schedules allowed us. I saw that they had a special offer on for May and as it had always been on my wish list of places to visit, we decided to watch the weather and if it stopped raining try and book a night there. As it was only an hour away and we only wanted to go for one night, I thought it would be manageable. We wouldn't have to set off until after lunch, when I would usually feel better and the diuretics had finished their work and the following morning I could save taking the diuretics until I got back, therefore keeping things relatively easy. The weather perked up and we booked a night on line on a Saturday to stay on the Monday night. On Sunday we got a surprise e mail, Rob had asked for a superior room because of my problems and they advised us that these were all full, however they would upgrade us to the cottage they had in their grounds for the evening if we liked. This was even better than ever, with my illness considered.

When we got there, the cottage was absolutely stunning with its own panoramic view of Rutland Water and   the hotel gardens. We were well and truly pampered and I managed a very slow walk down to the water, luckily there was a bench to sit on before I made my even slower walk back. The hotel gardens are absolutely stunning and for a couple of days I think most people would be just happy to wallow in the beauty of the surroundings. Dinner there is first class, but a very creative menu and therefore for someone with my stomach difficulties perhaps not the best place to eat, however it was delightful for Rob and I managed to make it through with little difficulty. On reflection, next time I dine in this type of place I will just ask the chef beforehand if they can do something from the menu, but in a plain version then I will have less angst.
Our 'palace' for the night

Rape fields near Oakham
We sat in the gardens before dinner as the weather had come so lovely and after dinner we went back to our cottage, a real retreat, which had a log fire all prepared for us, it wasn't that cold, but we lit it and put on some classical music and just watched the fire crackle and burn. A really memorable and truly magical evening for us both. During dinner the proprietor had come to chat to us. We don't usually tell people why we are away, but they had specifically asked us if it was a special occasion and we usually say no, but this time Rob thought 'what the hell' and told them I was waiting for a heart and double lung transplant and that I had been wanting to stay at the hotel for a year or two and at last I was well enough to make the trip. The proprietor was a really lovely gentlemen, who told me of two friends he had who had undergone heart transplants and both were doing well. Just the type of story I like to hear, its always encouraging to hear of the successful transplants.  
This is very nice - cheers!

Gardens at Hambleton hall
The following morning, staff brought our breakfast across to the cottage and we spent a lovely morning enjoying the grounds and views and beautiful sunshine. We had our own private balcony to enjoy. Feeling well and truly pampered, we went on to visit Oakham, where I had a short walk about and browse in some very lovely shops. I managed to pick up some birthday treats for my friends (as well as some for me) and then we went on to Barnsdale Gardens. This was very wheelchair and disabled friendly and the gardens looked very attractive in the glorious sunshine. We were just in time for some lunch and sat outside. I love enjoying being outside and being somewhere new, it is a real tonic, beautiful gardens and birdsong cannot be rivalled . We then went on for an afternoon tea and ice cream at the Rutland Water Visitor Centre, before setting off back home.
Barnsdale Gardens

Fishing on Rutland water
The whole two days had felt magical and I felt we had been well and truly pampered at Hambleton Hall. It had been very much worth the long wait to go there and although I have ticked it off my list of places to go we will most definitely be going back and most definitely be asking to stay in the cottage  

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