Sometimes, no matter how old you are, you just need a little time out with your mum. You can travel to the most far-flung, exotic places but as Dorothy once said, “there’s no place like home (and a cuddle from your mummy)”. OK she didn’t say that last bit, but I’m sure she would’ve done, if she wasn’t so ‘Hollywood’ about it all.
After spending Christmas and new year away from my family in Bahrain this year, I was keen to make up for lost time and get in some quality mummy-daughter bonding. So I booked a one night spa break as who doesn’t like to be pampered every once in a while?
As I know my mum doesn’t really like travelling too far, especially for one night, I thought maybe I’d try and find somewhere close to home. Plus I wondered if it’s possible to feel like you’ve had a holiday when really you’re just minutes from where you spend every day of your life.
So, after remembering a lovely hotel where I was a bridesmaid for my friend Laura a few years ago (OK, it was 10 years ago but I am in denial), I booked a room at the Cisswood House Hotel, near Horsham in West Sussex with a spa and dinner package. I chose the Cisswood as it’s conveniently only a 10 minute drive from my childhood home, where my mum still lives, and also because it has that old-worldy charm which I just adore.
First impressions were great. It’s an enormous country manor with exposed beams and bucketloads of charm, plus the friendliest front desk staff you could hope for. They gave us a great room at the end of a corridor (nice and quiet), including robes, slippers, and a delightful seating area. I can’t even tell you how excited my mum was about this….
LOOK HOW CUTE MY MUM IS!! Isn’t she just so wanna-pick-her-up-and-put-her-in-your-pocket adorable??
We settled into our cosy room, but we didn’t have long until it was time to go downstairs to enjoy our included treatment in the spa. The rooms rate included the choice of manicure, pedicure, 25 minute massage or facial. I chose a back massage as I absolutely LOVE getting my kinks and knots worked out. My back was a mess after a Christmas of over-indulgence and a new job which has got me pretty stressed out, and my beauty therapist wasted no time in getting to work.
Oh my god it was absolute heaven. At first we chit-chatted about Horsham life, it turns out she went to the same school as me (hardly surprising as there is pretty much no choice in Horsham!) but pretty soon the rhythmic kneading on my back had put me into a trance and I was incapable of doing anything. I had to resist the temptation to propose to her as I dressed to leave at the end.
As my mum came in to have her treatment (a soothing facial which she thoroughly enjoyed), I made my way to the pool area to have a swim. Well, fat chance of that. I was so relaxed there was no way I was going to endanger my life by entering a pool! The hot tub would have to do instead!
I stewed in that hot tub for what felt like HOURS and was finally woken up by my mum who had finished her treatment. A quick sweat in the sauna and we retired to our room to get ready for our (included) evening meal.
I don’t know why, but really wasn’t expecting much from dinner. Possibly because I always associate ‘included food’ with crappy buffets or miserable looking plates of shite, but I was SO impressed with the quality of the food at Cisswood House. A pretty beetroot, pear and goat’s cheese salad with walnuts to start, and a breast of guinea fowl with sultana jus and vegetables as a main – and all included in the room rate. Amazing.
After stuffing ourselves stupid, we retired to our room, got into our robes and watched ‘Take Me Out’. Oh yeah I actually said that. Complete trash but so bad it’s good. The beds were so comfortable that I slept the best I have in months and felt like a new person.
After another dunk in the pool and hot tub in the morning it was finally time to say goodbye. We left with relaxed bodies, fresh minds and a renewed mummy-daughter relationship. I couldn’t believe that this had been only a 10 minute drive from my house all my life. It just goes to show, sometimes you don’t need to go to the ends of the earth to have a great holiday. All you need is a country house, a massage and the world’s best mum.