It was Poppy’s 3rd Birthday last week. 3! How can my baby be 3 already? It actually breaks my heart to see how quickly she’s growing up.
I was looking at pictures of her 2nd birthday and her cute little toddler face has somehow morphed into that of a little girl in the space of 12 months. It’s so ironic…there are days when I feel so tired and fed up that I just long for them to be over and for the kids to be tucked up in bed and yet when I actually stop and reflect on how quickly this is going, I want to freeze time. I’m not ready for Pops to go to school and face the world. Blimey….I’m actually welling up writing this.
Right…back to the 3rd Birthday.
So…we decided that we needed some quality family time, away from home where there are always jobs to do. I also didn’t have the energy to host a party this year. So, we decided to go for a family weekend away to The Ickworth Hotel in Bury St Edmunds which is really luxurious but is also pretty much the most family friendly place you could ever wish to stay at.
As ever, I regretted the decision to go away the minute that I started packing. It takes me at least 4 hours to pack for the 4 of us. I’m actually considering buying doubles of everything so that we have pre-packed- ready-to-go luggage. That’s how much I hate packing.
We arrived at The Ickworth Hotel tired, hungry and a bit P’d off. Pops had been car-sick, Louis had done a poo and I had cramp in my left leg having been squashed in the back between the two car-seats. The minute we walked through the doors, our moods lifted though.
There were rows of wellie boots lined up by the door, large for the adults and tiny for the kids. So sweet. The woman at reception couldn’t have been friendlier and Pops was instantly drawn to a wooden trunk brimming with toys and books. We had a quick peek around the hotel and there was a cosy lounge with two roaring fires, a fairy-light-clad conservatory where we’d be eating with the kids later, an adult only restaurant (oooh ahh missus) and a library. There was also a basement with the most incredible crèche, a games room for older kids and a cinema/dining room for the kids only high tea and movie (Parents can partake too of course). Everything was so tasteful and gorgeous and yet just perfect for the little ones.
Our room was amazing. The bed was so huge that it would have fitted a family of 6. The hotel provided everything we needed…..a bed for Pops, a cot for Louis, a changing mat, nappy bin, steriliser, bottle warmer and fridge. Nothing was too much for them. I was so impressed.
That night a certain little lady decided to share our bed and between Snorey Mc Snore Face (Louis) and the ultimate bed hogger (Pops) who somehow managed to take up the entirety of the world’s biggest sleeping space, Mr UFM and I got zero sleep. All was OK though. After a very kid friendly breakfast the next morning, we dashed out to the gardens. There’s a trampoline, a secret fairy garden with everything you could ever want to make your toddler shriek with excitement (slides, swings, a wooden boat, a hideaway area) and even bikes so that you can explore the endless grounds. (It’s a National Trust Property).
Sadly, this is where our amazing trip took a turn for the worse. Turns out Poppy’s car sickness may have been a bug and Mr UFM came down with it and was so ill he ended up having to go to hospital. Awful 🙁 However, the hotel staff were JUST INCREDIBLE. They raced out to get him medicine and Lucozade, kept checking up on us and even gave us another bedroom free of charge so that his parents could race up to the hotel and help us.
While poor Mr UFM was ill I entertained the kids in the crèche (They have staff at various times in the day so say you want a spa treatment, your kids can be looked after. However, when the staff aren’t there you can use the space to your heart’s content and it has just about everything a child could want to play with…including a baby area. Pops could have stayed there happily all day) and took them to the high tea which they just loved.
Sadly, we had to leave early the next day which was Poppy’s birthday. Things didn’t go to plan, but they never do when you have kids do they?
However, I will definitely be going back to this gem of a hotel. It’s just the perfect place for a family break. Nothing is too much for them and when it comes to kids, they have thought of everything!
5 stars from me xx