A low-key babymoon in Surrey

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I remember when I was pregnant with Max I scoffed at the idea of a babymoon. It may have been related to the relentless sickness I suffered from most of the way through that pregnancy, but the thought of going away for a break just didn’t feel like something I wanted or needed to do.

But this time around I definitely felt in need of a break! Having been pretty sick this pregnancy too, plus running around after Max, and with the knowledge that we don’t have a holiday planned until the end of September, we decided to book a weekend away. We didn’t want to go far, so when I read that Bel and The Dragon, a small chain of restaurants we’ve visited before and loved, had a small number of rooms at their Churt location, I was sold.

 

Bel and The Dragon, Churt

We arrived around 3.30 in the pouring rain, so made a mad dash for reception! We checked in and were shown to the room and I have to say I was really impressed. The decor was spot on and reminded me a lot of our stay last year at The Pig Near Bath (which cost considerably more for a room!). All muted colours, botanical prints, vintage books, and just a lovely comfortable feel. No minibar in the room, but a complimentary bottle of Sipsmith sloe gin which went down well with my husband, and tea and coffee making facilities located in the hallway outside the room (along with whiskey, if gin wasn’t to your taste).

 

Bel & the Dragon bedroom

 

The roll top bath was the perfect touch – I don’t know about you, but the first thing I always do when checking into a hotel with a bath is to run a lovely hot one and jump in for a soak.

 

Roll top bath with tongue and groove panelling and bird prints

Bel & The Dragon Churt Bathroom

Bedroom at Bel and the Dragon

 

Which leads me to my second love of this hotel – the toiletries! I have an allergy to a specific foaming agent that is used in nearly all shampoos and shower gels, which means I always take my own toiletries everywhere. But I was so pleased to find that Bel and The Dragon use the Bramley range of organic products, which don’t contain the offending ingredient! A big whoop from me!

 

Bramley toiletries - shampoo, conditioner and bubble bath

 

The restaurant was a real treat. We headed down for drinks first, and I was really impressed by the non-alcoholic cocktail the bartender conjured up – if you can make a non-alcoholic cocktail taste good, I can only imagine the real ones taste amazing! We ate in the restaurant both nights and the food was superb. I hate when I have to choose things I wouldn’t normally due to being pregnant, but I had slow cooked lamb one night and a fabulous roast chicken the next, and wasn’t disappointed in the slightest. But the best part was dessert – we chose sharing desserts both evenings, the arctic roll and the tarte tatin and they were just fabulous. Sadly no photos of dinner, but trust me, it was great!

 

Breakfast table at Bel and the Dragon

 

Breakfast was another winner. A range of hot dishes available – I had to avoid my usual favourite, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (no smoked salmon in pregnancy, boo!), but my husband assured me it was delicious. Luckily the poached duck egg and avocado (Day 1) and full English (Day 2) were superb.

At £140 a room per night for a weekend stay, including breakfast, I thought this was a great value hotel. It has the feel of somewhere far more expensive, and I’d love to visit again, even though we’re so close. The staff were superb – friendly, chatty and attentive, without being in your face. They had a lovely family friendly vibe too, with children’s books on the bookshelves and a good children’s menu. Given that ever since we’ve got home, Max has been telling me “miss you Mummy… hotel!”, followed by “hotel, Max, Mummy, Daddy, pweeeease?”, I think we may need a revisit!

 

Things to Do

We live in Surrey, not too far from Churt, so we took the opportunity to visit some of our favourite places without a toddler in tow, as well as exploring some new spots.

 

The Devil’s Punchbowl

I love The Devil’s Punchbowl – the views across the hills are spectacular, and it’s a wonderful place to go for a walk. Before you know it, you’ve covered miles and can see right across the Surrey countryside.

 

View at the Devils Punchbowl

Katy at Devils Punchbowl

 

Parking is free for National Trust members, otherwise you can pay and display. And if it’s been raining at all, make sure you take wellies, as it gets very muddy!

 

The Surrey Sculpture Park

I have to admit, we really only ended up going here as it was located right next to the hotel. But it ended up being one of the highlights of our trip! You walk through the gates into a garden, and a winding trail leads you to the reception – a shed in the middle of the garden – past lots of weird and wonderful sculptures, where you pay your entrance fee and are given a map of trails to follow around, pointing out the different sculptures along the way.

Surrey Sculpture Park entrance

 

I can’t quite explain the appeal of this place. I don’t know what I had in mind for a sculpture park, but I think I was expecting a garden with maybe the odd modernist sculpture dotted around here and there. Here, there are sculptures crammed in literally at every turn. Some are beautiful, some are fascinating, and lots of them are downright strange!

I think my photos probably sum up the experience better than I can describe – sadly just quick snaps from my phone, as I didn’t think to take my big camera for this trip!

 

Surrey Scultpure Park - Katy standing in woods with sunlight streaming through trees

Driftwood horse sculpture - mother and foal next to pond

! @ ? - large metal symbols

John reading trail guide, stood in woods in the sunlight

 

We loved following the trails – there were 4 different ones, each colour coded, and you could follow the arrows. Some of them involved quite steep steps and bumpy paths, so wouldn’t be suitable for a wheelchair or a pushchair. And I have to admit that I was glad we hadn’t taken Max with us, as there were a number of open bridges which would have made me quite nervous. I think this sign near the entrance sums up the attitude to children pretty well!

 

Only well behaved, quiet children allowed

 

Along with the trail routes, you are given the name and price (if available) of each sculpture. Should you wish to buy any, you can enquire in the little shed. I rather liked this pack of wolves, which, if I remember rightly, came in at a whopping £75,000! We loved walking around and guessing the name of the sculpture and how much it cost.

 

Wolf pack sculpture

Fighting stags sculpture - Surrey Sculpture Garden

Naked woman in top hat riding dinosaur

The Lure

 

Quite frankly, this was one of the most hilarious places we’ve visited – we were giggling so much the whole way round! If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit here – it’s a weird but wonderful place!

Have I tempted you to visit Bel and the Dragon in Churt? Or do you know any other great things to do in the area? I’m collecting recommendations for next time!

 

 

Two Tiny Hands

 

Cuddle Fairy
14 Comments
  • Louise - Mummy Miller
    March 21, 2017

    It looks like you had a lovely trip! The room looked really nice! You can eat smoked salmon when you’re pregnant can’t you?! I did! Oops!

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 22, 2017

      Haha, I wish I didn’t know this, but nope, smoked salmon is off the menu, unless it’s been frozen first. I absolutely love it and have been getting my fix by freezing at home though! First time around I had no idea you weren’t supposed to have soft serve ice cream – a strawberry sundae from McDonalds was my regular treat on the way home from work! (Shameful!)

      • Louise - Mummy Miller
        March 22, 2017

        Oops! I will just pretend I didn’t hear this information from you for next time! I did know about soft ice cream but I also ignored it the first time around so I could have a 99 when it was really hot!

  • Donna Wishart
    March 21, 2017

    This looks absolutely beautiful! What an amazing babymoon! x

  • Laura @dearbearandbeany
    March 21, 2017

    What a beautiful place to stay, that bath!!! Looks like you had a wonderful baby moon and I’m pleased you managed to have one before baby number two arrives x

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 22, 2017

      Thanks Laura – I’m really pleased we did it too, despite scoffing at the idea. I’m so tired this week though I feel like we need another one!

  • Donna
    March 22, 2017

    Sounds like such a good break. We had a few days away when I was pregnant the first time, to York. It was lovely. Second time, we had to wait until half term, so first child could go stay with my mum. Which meant I was 38 weeks. So we just enjoyed a few nice days out, with very achey feet! Good luck!! #familyfun

  • justsayingmum
    March 22, 2017

    Oh how funny are those sculptures? Good to giggle! Oh but can I just say, I don’t think I would have left that bath tub – divine! Glad you had fun xx #BloggerClubUK

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      March 22, 2017

      I can’t believe you’re the first person to mention the sculptures! 🙂 The bath was absolutely amazing – I only got out because I’d been in it that long I was going wrinkly!

  • Sarah
    March 22, 2017

    Looks lovely and such a nice idea to have a babymoon! #familyfunlinky

  • Karen | Two Tiny Hands Blog
    March 22, 2017

    I would love to go to a hotel with a bath like that!! We very much stay in youth hostels so a plastic shower is all I get. We did lots of baby moons before Robert they were the best minus the pregnancy food and drink restrictions!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  • Crummy Mummy
    March 27, 2017

    I could have done with this before baby number three arrived! #familyfunlinky

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