We normally try to get away and elope for a night or two with my husband every other month – it’s good for our marriage, that’s what we say all the time, wink-wink. Seriously, it is important though, for us, not to be mummy and daddy for 24 hours or so. Even though we never stop talking about the kids. There you go… At least a lie in and a few meals served to you and consumed uninterrupted whilst not having to remind others to eat their meal and sit on their bottoms otherwise there will be no dessert.
This time it was our wedding anniversary coming up at the beginning of December and my parents were visiting so they were happily looked after their grandchildren for 24 hours – off we went all the way to…. Guilford. Yes, Guilford. Yes, we do live in South-London, so it seemed like booking a hotel next door. Anyway, I do like Guilford, didn’t have to drive long and we found an amateur theatre with a jolly 1930’s comedy (Electric Theatre) to watch that night. Perfect and lazy, that’s what we needed.
We booked a last minute room at the Barnett Hill Hotel. I knew we booked the smallest possible room (cozy double room), which was cheap (ish) but spotlessly clean. The room was cute, the bed was comfy and it was not too dark.
But… as a former hotelier I ask: since when the 4* properties have stopped having a minibar? This annoys me. They really should have a minibar. I want my mini champagne in the room on my anniversary, even if I booked the cheapest, last minute room. There was a bottle of (warm) mineral water though (at least in glass bottle).
Anyway. Apart from the cosiness of the room… not much there. Well, not in winter anyway. The grounds are outstanding and really beautiful – but it’s too cold outside. How about a spa? Oh, there isn’t even a pool. (We knew it of course, beforehand, but the reality of it only hit us there and then.) No spa. Some treatments are available. The hotel looks pretty though, a very fine country house – it can just do with some extras.
Alright we’ll deal with this. Let’s have a nice dinner in – the restaurant seems very good. Computer says no – tells me the kind man at the reception. No tables left for tonight. We figured that, as we walked into a country club wedding! So, here’s what I think. Country clubs and hotels with a wedding venue really should tell their guests BEFOREHAND, that they have a big event on. We didn’t hear anything, it’s not about the noise in this case. But we had to drive 15 minutes to eat out. This is why we decided to go to the theatre in the end, otherwise we just wanted to have a cosy night in the hotel, a romantic dinner and a few drinks in the bar. Next year.
Right, let’s move onto breakfast. It was a bit average: full English, fruit, cereal, yogurt, pastries. But again: at 9:30 it was rammed as all the other wedding guests decided to have breakfast at that time. (Couldn’t even take a photo of the buffet set up.) Shouting over tables to each other and discussing last night’s shenanigans. I didn’t even dare to ask for dairy free options, I just felt sorry for the waiter who was attending the bar at 11pm the night before, serving breakfast the next morning. The joy of back to backs in hospitality.
So yes, all in all, compared to the nearby Foxhills where we stayed twice already, this was not worth the nearly same price in my opinion.
These were amusing to see though: