A Minimoon at The Pig in the Forest, Brockenhurst

We really dithered about where to go on our minimoon after the wedding: we got engaged in Cornwall and while it would have been lovely to go back down to reminisce by the sea, over six hours of driving didn’t really scream relaxing break to either of us.

What we did want was to be somewhere beautiful, with great food, and to be totally looked after, which is how we ended up at The Pig. I always always going to be keen on their emphasis on food sourced from within 25 miles of the hotel, and it looked like a totally blissful place to relax in (those sofas and fires everywhere!). I was a little nervous after reading some of the tripadvisor reviews as it does seem like their service can be a little off at times, and it definitely hurts to be charged another £15 per head for breakfast when the room rate is over £200 per night, but all in all it was the perfect spot to celebrate – and recover from – the wedding.

We got the train down on the Monday afternoon and were delighted to discover that booking ourselves into one of their hideaways had been well worth the spluge – we had our own wood burning stove in the room, the comfiest bed, and a huge rolltop bath…. plus J’s parents had ordered us a bottle of champagne which was the nicest way to kick off our two nights away.

Champagne at the Pig in Brockenhurst

We ate in the main restaurant both nights and the food was great- beautifully cooked and presented, although unfortunately we had to wait so long on the first night for someone to take our dessert ordered that in the end we just abandoned it in the end in favour of a cocktail in front of the fire. The food was spot on though: beautifully presented piggy bits, fresh bread, perfectly cooked fish and the most incredible cheese board to finish our second evening.

You can book spa treatments while you’re down there but we opted to take advantages of the bikes for hire on site and cycle up to Lyndhurst for lunch. It might sound energetic but it really wasn’t. The ride is about half an hour each way if you don’t get lost or distracted by pony selfies, and it means the pub lunch half way round is marginally more justified.

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Overall we couldn’t have picked a better spot for our minimoon. It was definitely a splurge but we both came back feeling so well rested (and well fed) that it was worth every penny.

A weekend away from it all along the Norfolk coast

Much as I love London, sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city sometimes. Over the bank holiday weekend we headed out of the capital, and up to a small cottage near the Sandringham estate, just south of the Norfolk coast. Huge blue skies, big open fields, almost no phone signal, and a night of total silence away from sirens and trains.

My parents picked us up from the station in Kings’ Lynn and then we headed out to explore. First stop was Wolferton on the Sandringham estate, which had it’s own royal train station until 1969. Now it’s just beautifully preserved and makes for a nice spot to explore on the sunny afternoon.

Wolferton Village in Norfolk

We then headed up for a spot of afternoon tea at Titchwell Manor, complete with fresh out of the oven crumbly fruit scones, thick clotted cream, and homemade strawberry jam. I’ve stayed at the hotel before and it’s an incredible spot for a night away outside of London – their restaurant is excellent and the manor house itself is beautifully maintained.

It was gone five by this point, but given the beautiful evening, we headed out for a brief walk along the flats at Brancaster Staithe. The tide was all the way out, leaving boats eerily marooned on the grass, but you can still tell you’re by the sea with gulls circling overhead and the salty wind whipping around.

Evening sunlight at Brancaster Staithe on the North Norfolk coast

The plan after this was to head to the Rose and Crown in Snettisham, but this didn’t quite go to plan. A broken down car meant a drive back to the cottage in the back of a tow truck and a rather quieter evening in front of the fire. But thwarted dinner plans aside, it couldn’t have been a better break away London – and we could hardly have had more beautiful surroundings. Brancaster Staithe, along the Norfolk coast