WORDS BY SAMANTHA SARGENT, BE NATURALLYOU
Having spent a considerable amount of time in the UK recently, it’s easy to understand why people fall in love with the English countryside. Wide open lush green is just the medicine all of us city dwellers need. To fill our lungs with fresh country air. To gift ourselves the spaciousness to allow our “branches” to spread out without confinement. It’s music for the heart.
The Brits are truly spoilt for choice when it comes to weekend getaways, and what a joy it’s been exploring them whilst over here. One destination well worth experiencing is Babington House. Set in 18 acres in the heart of Somerset, Babington House opened in 1998 for those who wanted to enjoy the countryside but weren’t prepared to compromise on urban luxuries. Not that I don’t love getting all dirty in the mud playing with farm animals, and doing the country life “thing”, it is sometimes rather nice to enjoy a weekend of luxury. So after a back-to-back weekend of work, my lovely husband and I pack our bags for a little R&R.
I very much love those hotel visits whereby you don’t leave the premises. Battening down the hatches to explore and indulge in all that the hotel has to offer. It’s these types of mini escapes that really leave me feeling totally and utterly revived. And Babington House is the perfect place to do just this.
The staff are brilliant – polite, friendly and efficient in just the right amounts of each. The grounds are absolutely beautiful, extensive and include a number of walks, tennis courts, cricket pitch, croquet lawn, football pitch, a lake, and many quiet corners to read and laze about. The Main House has a restaurant, traditional stone Orangery, Deli Bar, Library, Snooker Room and Study. There is also indoor and outdoor heated pools, a gym, steam room, sauna and Cinema. And then there’s the Cowshed Spa – a place to indulge, relax and pamper.
We check in to the Main House Attic room, which we LOVE – a fabulously designed large room with all the latest technology, a heavenly comfy bed and bathroom to win over every girl’s heart. Yes, I think we’ll be more than ok for the next couple of nights here.
After a quick change of clothes we opt for a lazy afternoon in the garden to soak up some summer sun with a bottle of champagne and watch day turn to night. With my feet up, gazing out over the lake I can already feel the stress of work leaving my mind. Joy! Another of my favourite things to do is room service – creating a little mini spa ritual in the bathroom with essential oils and a warm soak in the bath, massaging the body with an aromatic body oil, covering up with white fluffy robes, laying on the couch to watch a movie with fab food served up on a lovely tray. And that’s what we did. Babington has a great library of DVDs, bathrooms decked out with Cowshed products, and a room service menu to drool over.
Breakfast is in the Orangery looking out over the lawn and little ducks making their way down to the lake. After an Energy Booster juice of garden pear, apple and mint, I can’t resist the avocado, chilli and basil on toasted ciabatta. Must remember to do this when I get home, as the combination is
After a little relax back in the room we head out for a morning walk to explore the grounds and surrounding area. Setting off into the green we find a lovely little track that takes us on an enchanting walk through Woods.
Next up is the spa visit. We’re booked in for a steam and 60 minute massage. It’s well worth the visit to Babington House just to check out the interior design and decorating. Every little feature is as intriguing as the next.
Cowshed Spa is most definitely a destination where one could easily lose a day in, drifting in and out of treatments, with breaks in between to kick back and relax whilst looking out over the sweeping views of the House’s Victorian Walled Garden. So after an hour and a half of pampering we’re very much feeling blissed out and ready for another lazy afternoon under the summer sun. So its back to the lawn for a late lunch snack of tomato & garden onion salad, spinach & lentils, broccoli & almonds, and a laze about on the grass. As a vegan it can sometimes be quite tricky navigating around a menu, but it’s certainly not an issue at Babington House. The food is to die for. Ever so fresh. Just like it’s been picked straight from the garden.
After our lazy evening the night before we feel that we should make the effort to experience the dining room. So it’s back to the bedroom to get all dolled up for a night out. Well … a night downstairs. Again, the food is delicious, and the evening a joy of laid back romance.
Sunday morning and the sun is still shining. After our breakfast in the Orangery we head back outside to soak up the last of our weekend at Babington by laying on the oversized double deck chair with a couple of magazines in hand.
Thinking back over the weekend, I can’t help but feel we’ve been staying at a friend’s country house, as Babington doesn’t have a hint of out-dated “stuffy hotel formality”. This is one weekend getaway that I’m looking forward to experiencing again SOON.