Afternoon Tea at Charlton House…

Charlton House in Shepton Mallet, Somerset very kindly invited myself and a friend to join them for afternoon tea and use of the spa facilities as a thank you for the blog post I wrote about our stay there for my birthday in January. In case you missed it, you can read that post here.

I decided I would like to take my mum along with me for her birthday as well as both being overdue a bit of a pamper day. 

I have only ever been to Charlton House in the winter so I was looking forward to being able to laze in the sun and pretend I’m on holiday for a few hours. It just so happens we ended up going on the hottest day we have had this year. 

After I dropped the boys off at school I picked my mum up and we made our 90 minute journey to Somerset. 

When we arrived I studied the decor as I always do. It was nice to see it all in bright sunlight. I am in complete awe of the beautiful Persian rugs scattered around the hotel and spa and after our last visit I was so inspired I purchased my very own one! 

We were greeted by Lewis, the reception manager who was extremely attentive. He saw us out to the patio area and had two glasses of prosecco sent out within minutes of us sitting down. 

My mum and I were feeling slightly peckish so ordered a light snack to keep us going until we had our afternoon tea. 

Once we had refuelled we headed over to the Moroccan themed spa. 

We were handed robes, towels and flip flops and shown to the changing rooms. 

Once changed, we got straight in the hydrotherapy pool which was as warm as a bath. The pool leads out to an outside area, where you can find sun beds, tables and a hot tub. 

After a couple of hours in the pool and soaking up the sun we got changed and headed to the restaurant for our afternoon tea. 

Our jaws hit the floor as the waitress brought over a selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries. They had even gone to the effort of decorating the plate with ‘Happy Birthday’ for my mum. 


The sandwiches were lovely and the scones were delicious but I was in absolute heaven when I tried the chocolate eclair. 

The attention to detail was spot on and we felt spoilt for choice with the variety we were served. 

Before we departed Lewis agreed to let me have a nosey in their garden lodge accommodation. 

When the doors opened I knew this is where I wanted to stay next time we visit. 

All the rooms have a similar feel but what I love are the little touches that allow you to distinguish between the rooms and make them unique in their own right. 

All of the rooms we have stayed in at Charlton House have been breathtaking but the Garden Lodge has to be my favourite. 

What makes it even more spectacular is its views of the grounds.

My mum and I had a wonderful day at Charlton House, the only downside was having to leave. 

I can’t wait to visit again and absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for a tranquil retreat.

Until next time 

Hayley x

Our stay at Charlton House…

It was my 32nd (I can’t believe that) birthday on 2nd January so as a treat my husband arranged for us to go to Charlton House in Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

Charlton house is part of the Bannatyne hotels, and in my and a lot of other people’s opinion, without a doubt the best one!

You can check out their website here.

My husband booked our spa break package through buy a gift, which included an overnight stay, a 55 minute spa treatment each, use of all the facilities, a 2 course dinner and breakfast in the morning. If this sounds like something you would enjoy then you can book it here.

We actually did the same thing for my birthday last year and loved it so much we agreed to return for my birthday this year. Last year, upon arriving at Charlton House we were greeted by a very friendly and attentive receptionist who showed us to our room. As we entered the room we were pleasantly surprised to hear we had been upgraded to the delux double.

You can check out all of the rooms at Charlton House by clicking here.
This year, we arrived early before our treatments and before our room was ready so we decided to have lunch in the restaurant.

I chose the vegetarian option and it was exquisite!

After we had eaten our lunch it was time for treatments! I opted for a facial and back and neck massage which lasted 55 minutes in total. The beauty therapists were so professional and made us feel so relaxed.

After our treatments we went back to reception to see if our room was ready.

The lobby was still decorated with Christmas decorations and looked festively beautiful.

The attention to detail at Charlton House is outstanding. The quirky decor makes this country house original and stand out from the rest.

I particularly loved the hot air balloon chandelier at the top of the staircase, and was in awe of all the vintage Persian rugs dotted about the building.

Next we were shown to our room, and of course after last year we hoped for an upgrade but knew we might not be as lucky this time.

But how wrong we were! Our jaws hit the floor as we were shown in to a superior room with a grand four poster bed and a roll top bath at the foot of it! Thank you Charlton House!!

Being interiors obsessed, after I had picked my jaw up I immediately took a tour around the room.

The room had a terrace area but being January it was too cold to make use of that!

The view from the room was beautiful and private.

On the bed were robes for us to wear whilst using the spa facilities as well as complimentary slippers, so we got changed and headed to the pool.

The spa is Moroccan themed and genuinely makes you feel like you’re on holiday. The swimming pool is primarily indoor but has a section that is outdoor too, which you can use all year round thanks to the water being heated! There is also a hot tub outside.

After chilling in the spa we headed back to our luxury room to get ready for dinner. Obviously I jumped straight in the roll top for a soak!

On the way to the restaurant you walk through the lounge area where you can enjoy pre or after dinner drinks around a cosy lit fireplace.

Our package included a starter and a main, so we paid extra for dessert and alcohol.

The meal was outstanding as well as the service.

After dinner we headed back to the room and slept soundly on the ridiculously comfortable four poster bed, fit for a princess on her birthday.

The next day we felt gutted to be leaving. After packing our bags we went back to the restaurant for breakfast which was just as delicious as the lunch and dinner we had eaten the previous day.

Before we left we had a little look around the orangery where they hold weddings.

I was in my element admiring all the vintage details and exposed brick walls.

If you are looking for a wedding venue, I can highly recommend Charlton house. You can find out more about weddings on their website by clicking here.

So if you live in the south of England, or fancy venturing down then a stay at Charlton House is highly recommended in my opinion. And if you’re still not convinced after my recommendation then the reviews of other guests speak for themselves.

Thanks for reading

Hayley x

Why you should join The National Trust…

I’ll be honest I’d never given the national trust much thought before I joined.

I knew it existed and it is renowned for attracting elderly people dressed as a modern day Christopher Columbus, but I didn’t know much more than that.

Since I bought my Nikon camera I’ve discovered that flowers are my favourite thing to shoot. So during the summer holidays I was searching for things to do outside with my boys that I could tie in with a bit of photography. That’s when the National Trust came up.

I was surprised at how many sites there were around where we live, and how beautiful they all were. I was even more shocked at how little it costs for a membership. I pay just over £5 a month for me and my two sons (2 & 4) and with that membership with can visit any national trust and at any time.

Hinton Ampner 

Hinton Ampner 

There are loads of family friendly places, and sometimes taking your kids back to basics and just letting them run on a beautiful green with other children is all they need.

A lot of the national trust sites have houses you can explore. I was nervous of taking my very active children in to the one at Hinton Ampner but as soon as we entered the boys were given picture cards of something to find in each room, it really helped keep them under control and interested in what we were looking at.

Hinton Ampner 

If you live near Berkshire then I can really recommend Clivedon. It has beautiful gardens, loads to do for children and even free pushchairs to hire for babies and toddlers. It is absolutely huge and we will need to go back as only saw a fraction of it whilst we were there.

I’m looking forward to exploring more of the National Trust sites, they have such a sense of peacefulness about them as well as being visually stunning! I can totally recommend signing up!

If you would like to join The Natuonal Trust or find out more information then Click here.

Thanks for reading

Hayley X

We’re on our holidays! 

It’s my husband’s 32nd birthday on Wednesday, and I had been asking him what he would like to do for it for about a month in advance. I’m not sure if I am the only one that has a husband with an inability to make a single decision that requires a bit of thought but getting an answer out of him was like getting blood out of a stone!

It got to Thursday evening and I’d spent every spare minute trawling my way through the Internet getting frustrated, desperately trying to find somewhere for us to have a little weekend away. FINALLY my husband piped up and suggested Swanage. So that was that, I booked us a little B&B called Clare House in the centre of Swanage. Job done!

We couldn’t check in to Clare House until 4pm, so we dropped the boys off at my parents house about 2:30pm and made our way down to Swanage.

It only took about an hour and a half to get there which was nice. It’s amazing how many lovely places there are to visit right on our doorstep.

The owners at Clare House were extremely welcoming and the room was clean and well presented. We dropped our bags off in the room and went for a little mooch about.

We were both starving by this point but we wanted to save ourselves for a big feast at dinner so ended up getting a sausage, bean and cheese melt from Greggs to see us through. If you have never had one, what are you waiting for? Get yourself down to Gregg’s!!

I noticed on the Clare House website that they provided a hair dryer so decided not to take mine. I had full intentions of wearing my hair down to make a bit of effort but the hair dryer in the room had about as much power as I do over my kids, so that mixed with the sea air meant that the mop was going up!

We hadn’t booked anywhere for dinner but ended up going to a nautical themed restaurant on the Sea front called ‘Bull and Boat.’ It was amazing! Beautiful views and delicious food!

I’m very much a person that drinks to get drunk, which is hardly ever but as we had no kids and we were on our holidays (for one night)  I ordered a bottle of rose, and without realising polished off the lot! By my third glass I was really having to concentrate on my speech, I’m pretty sure I was slurring at this point but it may have been in my head, I hope! 😳

Even though I was stuffed I had to have a dessert! When I ordered it I read the one I wanted off the board (I can’t remember the name, pan something) with mixed berries! Well at least that’s what I thought I had said. As the waitress walked off my husband said you know you just asked for mixed veg! 😂 oooops maybe I was drunk! 😜

I didn’t sleep particularly well as i’m used the luxury of our super King memory foam bed and anything less feel like I’m sharing a toddler sized bed of nails with the BFG!!

Today was great though! We started the day with a lovely full English breakfast (which I needed after my ‘session’) then had a walk around the shops and sea front in the sunshine!

We got that well known feeling of parent guilt because there were loads of things there that our children would have loved!

My husband is a sucker for trying to win our boys a prize from the arcades and ended up spending about a tenner trying to win a paw patrol stuffed toy from one of those pathetic claw machines which can only be compared to someone with an incredibly limp handshake! 🙄

To end our day we embraced our inner geeks and went on the steam train! The station was full of vintage trunks, suitcases and posters which obviously I loved!

Again knowing our children would have loved it, we will definitely be returning with them in the near future.

All in all we had a great weekend, and it was nice to know that after 11 years of being together that we can still enjoy each other’s company!

Thanks for reading

Hayley x