Mr UFM and I celebrated our six year wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. We tend to follow the traditional gifts theme which for six years is iron.
I struggled at first but eventually came up with the following ideas:
- a luxury steak delivery (red meat = iron etc etc)
- A night at “Wilton’s Music Hall” seeing an old fashioned Music Hall Show which might or might not include the song “Any Old Iron” (tenuous I know)
- An actual iron (awful idea)
- Ironing his shirt and then taking him out for dinner
- A cute iron mouse from a random company I found online (what he’d do with it I have no idea)
Anyway, I settled on a steel outdoor pizza oven that sits over a fire pit. Yeah I know I know….steel isn’t iron but I think it contains it? And Mr UFM loves making pizza and being in the garden and doing BBQs so it seemed like a good choice.
We also decided to go for a night away, just the two of us but there was a slight problem. Poppy who is going through a bit of a clingy phase, decided that there was no way this was going to happen, so we dropped little Louis at Grandpa’s house and Pops came along with us to the very luxurious Sopwell House in St Albans.
Now on paper, Sopwell is not what I’d call child friendly. In fact, it is a gorgeous, relaxing hotel and spa for adults who most likely want to escape their kids for some down time. Children can only use the pool between 8-10am and this isn’t the kind of place where you’ll find a kiddy creche or secret playground (see my review of The Ickworth Hotel).
However, we had the most BRILLIANT time there. I have never seen Pops so happy or excited.
The bedroom was big, cosy and plush and we all snuggled up for an afternoon nap in the huge bed. They also provided a great sofa bed for Poppy, the bath was big enough for the three of us and whilst there was nothing provided especially for the kids, we had hours of fun playing hide and seek in the stunning grounds. We even discovered a secret walled garden. In many ways we had more fun playing in this environment than we do when we go to say the park. We used our imaginations and it was excellent.
Another benefit was the fact that with not that many kids at the hotel, everyone made a huge fuss of Pops. The staff were some of the friendliest I have ever met and they treated her like an actual princess. It was wonderful to see how excited Poppy was and she was so grown up and well-behaved as she joined us for a “big girl’s dinner”.
I’m not recommending Sopwell House as the first choice for a weekend away with the kids. (It is however absolutely perfect for a romantic weekend away). But, if you do find yourself in St Albans and need somewhere to stay with the little ones, I would put money on it that you will have a fantastic time and leave feeling relaxed, refreshed and smiling.