Last weekend, bit of a last minute (dare I say… spontaneous…) decision, we packed our bags and headed off to Ashdown Forest in Sussex for a one night/weekend get-away, just the three us and a boot-load of “essentials” that suggested we’d be away for longer (well, one needs to pack for all different weather eventualities and occasions, although that still didn’t mean I was smart enough to remember my Hunters = error).
For those who may not know, Ashdown Forest is, amongst many things, the ‘home’ of Winnie-the-Pooh, so we also packed Allegra’s Pooh bear and story-books and planned to immerse ourselves in all things Pooh (ahem).
Given that this was a spoil ourselves treat weekend, Richmond Daddy rather indulgently booked us into the Ashdown Park & Country Club who rather nicely gave us a room upgrade, so we had a gorgeous and spacious room. They also endeared themselves no end to Allegra by showering her with numerous gifts from goody bags packed with colouring books and pens and stickers (she is a BIG fan of stickers) to a rather cute little teddy-bear wearing an Ashdown Park & Country Club pullover.
On arrival in the “the forest”, we headed straight to the Ashdown Forest Llama Park, where Allegra had the pleasure of meeting an assortment of llamas, alpacas, and reindeer. As with most animal-y places we visit, Allegra was a leetle bit unsure of the animals (somewhat of a hindrance when you’re visiting these types of attractions…), but as long as she and they kept a respectable distance from each other, she seemed to quite enjoy herself. The cake she consumed in the Ashdown Forest Llama Park cafe afterwards, seemed to help boost levels of enjoyment…
What was really cute though was that Allegra also had the chance to visit Pooh’s and Eeyore’s houses, and Owl’s tree-house, which were squirrelled away in the forest area at the Llama Park, so she had fun exploring those.
The rest of the day we spent going for muddy walks in Ashdown Forest – Allegra was fascinated by the free-roaming sheep – and Mummy was annoyed she hadn’t packed her Hunters (error!); hanging out at the hotel pool; and then eating massive cheeseburgers (us) and macaroni cheese (Legs) for dinner in the drawing room of the hotel, in front of the most enormous open fire. Bliss.
The next day was Pooh-immersion day… we took in Pooh Corner, made our way to Pooh-bridge through the forest, and played a mean game of Pooh-sticks (or three… well, always gotta be best of three right?!), and then went back to the hotel for a delicious afternoon tea that was served up as a Pooh-tea for Allegra (which came complete with Tigger cupcake): she was literally in her element!
It was only a 2-day escape, an hour-and-a-half’s drive from home, but it really gave us a chance to relax and take some much needed family time together. Allegra seemed to laugh and smile all weekend, and we got to forget about the household chores and the daily grind for a bit, and just “be” together for a while. It really was a very happy weekend and we must promise ourselves to take time to do it again before long.
Thank you little family… you are the best! 🙂