I'm not going to lie to you, I haven't had a real proper holiday in too many years, I hadn't been on a plane in over 4 years and all together the only time me and Mark get to spend together is the few hours before I fall asleep on the sofa during the week.
Things have been somewhat hectic in the Scribbles household, I'm not complaining mind you, but with our impending wedding day fast approaching I have been somewhat of a stressed eric and Mark, bless him, has been out working like a banshee to pay for it all , but lord almighty, when it comes to November you really do start to feel the tiredness. I needed a break, I needed some timeout, and not just the type where you take a day off work, I wanted to get away. Luckily for me, before I spontaneously combusted, Handpicked Hotels heard my cries and offered me a day at one of their rather lush looking hotels to review – for someone that is used to nothing more than a Premier Inn, I was literally beside myself when I got their lovely email.
I knew nothing about Handpicked Hotels other than seeing another review on Lisa’s lovely blogMathilde Heart Manech, so nearly fell off my chair when I went on their website and saw the selection of beautifully stunning country house heritage properties. I picked to go to the rather lush looking Rhinefield House Hotel –set in the New Forest this was somewhere I’d never dreamed of going before, but looked like JUST the place I needed.
Imagine how excited I was when turning into the New forest and spotting a little bunny rabbit sitting on a log as we drove past, and so on arrival , I was a little in awe of the building – it really is rather grand to look at with it’s almost Gothic looking features. As we were early we tried to check in early, with our room ready we were ushered up to our room by some of the most amazingly polite and gracious porter who told us that every room in Rhinefield house were named after parts of the New Forest – our room, which was an Executive room was really rather large. With a view of the forest outside our window and a gorgeous bathroom which had, can you believe, a tv by the bath. Shortly after arriving in our room and several bounces of the bed later (I like to test these things) there was another knock at the door where stood a porter with a bottle of champers and two glasses – this is my kinda stay
After a quick chilling out with our glasses of champs, me and Mark headed downstairs for afternoon tea – This was a new adventure for Mark – he is a little more used to a mug of builders tea and bacon sarnie than eating petite sandwiches but with a selection of tea and the most amazing looking spread, how can one refuse?
The food was amazing, my favourites had to be the scones with jam and cream which me and Mark had an in-depth conversation about which one goes on first (anyone) the tea was made even more impressive when you are sat overlooking the rather amazing ground and fountains of Rhinefield – it looked all a little dreamy and relaxing, although with a meeting going behind us for an up and coming wedding, it did kinda ruin the ambiance a little as we couldn’t really hear ourselves think with the endless chatter and discussions!
We opted for a stroll round the grounds of Rhinefield and on this rather misty damp day it made the grounds seem even more gothic and ethereal. The picture opportunities were beyond amazing and I can only imagine how beautiful it must be in the Summer months and especially for weddings.
Oh and did I mention there’s a maze there?!?! I was a little gutted we couldn’t get in there, but next time maze… Im coming for you! I especially loved all the little seats sporadically placed around, like little love seats. For me, this was such a nice part of our stay: to get to take time with just me and Mark is a rarity and just being with him, in such beautiful surroundings made me happier than I have been in a long time.
After staying out until late and teasing the fishes in the pond, we opted to head to our room to have an afternoon nap (I know, we’re old)
We had made a booking in the Grill Room for 8 pm and whiled away the time chilling out, drinking masses of tea (the tea selection is your room is amazing) At 8pm we headed down to the bar area for a swift glass or 6 of wine. The barman greeted us, and sat in our own cosy corner and said to not worry about rushing our drinks to get to the restaurant, waiting on us hand and foot we barely had to lift a finger.
In the Grill Room restaurant we were spoilt for choice in the surroundings, with a slightly laid back, candle lit room, me and Mark enjoyed a meal filled with soup, cheese, meat and fish – the food was beautiful, and really fresh tasting. Once again the service as second to none and we felt the most chilled out we had been in a long time, so much so, bedtime was calling.
Waking up the next day, well… boy did I have a beautiful sleep. Completely un-interrupted, our room was so quiet all you could hear was the occasional bird singing – one of my favourite sounds. Breakfast greeted us with the most amazing menu – continental and cooked, there were choices for everyone and even for my most picky self I ordered the most amazing scrambled egg on toast! Mark opted for the whole shebang and swiftly made himself a Scooby snack of a breakfast sandwich with the remains… you can’t take him anywhere!
As we drove away from Rhinefield, I can honestly say we had the most amazing stay. The service was beyond everything I've ever experienced or ever thought it could be – we were genuinely cared for by all the staff. The setting is breath-taking along with amazing food, drink and rooms, Rhinefield is a place we will most definitely go back too. In fact, we have decided this is the place we want to go too after our wedding in April as our mini-moon.
For more information, prices and to just generally gawp at the pictures, head on over to Handpicked Hotels website here: http://www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/
*The invitation and afternoon tea at Rhinefield House Hotel was offered to me as a guest, but the nights stay and dinner was paid for by myself - all views are completely my own*