It seems a long time ago now but on the 15th of February it was our wedding anniversary. Nine years in case you are wondering. In the last seven years we have had the grand total of one night away without the children so I thought it was about time we did it again.
Long ago in ancient times (BC – before children) we used to choose our hotels according to Alistair Sawday’s “Special Places to Stay”. He’s never let us down yet so I chose a relatively nearby hotel recommended by his website, with a fantastic gastro pub. The Devonshire Arms at Beeley is on the Chatsworth estate and as such I expect we aren’t their usual clientele Paul doesn’t own a pink striped rugby shirt or a gilet. I had forgotten to bring a fancy scarf. But sometimes you just have to stick out a bit.
We arrived in the afternoon, oohed and aaahed at the beautiful hotel room, had a quick flick through Horse and Hound then went off for a walk along public footpaths. It’s unusual for us both to be on a walk without being constantly harangued for chocolate biscuits. It was just like the old days: I trod in a mountain of animal faeces and someone had put barbed wire where the path was supposed to go so we had to go back the way we came. But things are funnier when you are only doing them as grown ups and you don’t have to rescue four year olds from manure.
The pub and restaurent were fantastic. I talked and laughed rather too loudly I suspect( but it was a bit too quiet so I overcompensated as usual). Thankfully Paul is used to me after 16 years.
We considered the menu which was full of fantastic things. Paul didn’t think he could manage a “whole peasant” which made us chuckle, but we ate large quantities of meat and vegetables, drank wine and had a bout of thumb wrestling. The usual.
We managed to resist ringing Sotheby’s about items from their catalogue, then went for another walk, this time from a book. We used to follow walks from books BC too, and often got lost. We didn’t on this one thankfully – but it did suggest the walk was two miles, when in fact it was at least four and a half. We ate dolly mixtures without having to share with the girls and imagined how much they would have whined if made to walk that far.
It was worth all of it for the mist. It was truly magical. Bit muddy though.
Mum and Dad were looking after the girls and we are really grateful. It was the break we needed not only as space for us as a couple, but to prepare us for our next trip the following day, to breezy Amsterdam.