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August 23, 2018

2nd Anniversary Surprise Escape

by GFR2

Its been 2 years already, time does fly and we’ve been busy – in fact since last year we’ve been busy.

One thing I will say is this year has been hot, ridiculously hot and I am so glad this heat wasn’t present at our wedding 2 years ago as that would have been too uncomfortable for all!

So what did we do this year?

I got a random calendar invite to a mystery night away, I was also told to pack some suitable poolside attire – now for me this is not a mankini, budgie smugglers or any type of body defining clothing, I think for humanity it’s probably best that I stick to covering this Shrek like appearance of mine!

Anyways, the mystery day came and of course I needed some details so was told the postcode which was entered into the SatNav and off we went.

As we got closer to the location the temperature increased, now this was in the heatwave and we’d had a fair number of hot days so this was to be expected except that once we arrived and stepped out of the car it was like being hit in the face with a flamethrower – it was hot!

So we eventually checked in at Homewood Park Hotel & Spa just outside Bath  (we seemed to arrive at the same time as everyone else) and were shown to our room.

The room was nice but the heat was there too, so the window (only 1 opened) was promptly opened and the fan turned on, well I say fan but I think it was a small hamster waving a piece of paper.

I found some chocolates and jellies in the room, yes they did need to be eaten using a spoon as it was that warm in the room!

We didn’t think much of the menu so my wife had a quick search and found an interesting pub a few miles away and booked a table for later that evening, so we decided to go downstairs for a drink and to have a look around and maybe the use the pool to get out of the heat.

To the bar…..where it was 2 for 1 on cocktails, so guess who was having cocktails…no not me, I was drinking ice-cold coke. But again it was too warm so we ventured outside and found a table, luckily there was a slight breeze but that didn’t do a huge amount.

We did consider using the pool, but from being in the bar to walking around the grounds we noticed the pool was where every other guest was, plus a lot of locals who had come just use the facilities – don’t blame them as it was that hot, but it did make it busy

After a short time we needed to get ready for dinner so we went and changed and once again programmed the SatNav for another short drive to The Severn Stars in Winsley.

This is a little pub tucked away which my wife found on the internet by chance and what a find, very welcoming and friendly pub with a unique and inventing menu.  Service was also very quick and even though we arrived 15 minutes early our table was ready for us.

A good look at the and we both fancied some starters –


Calamari Rings and Sticky Hoisin Sausages

We’ve not had Calamari this good since we visited The Seafood Shack last year, but as that is now closed we’ve yet to find another good seafood restaurant, but this Calamari makes up for that!

And of course time for the mains, the wait between courses was short which considering how busy they were was very impressive.

I opted for the Black Bean and Sweet Potato burger with Balsamic onions in a brioche bun with skin on fries and my wife went for the Pea, asparagus and spinach risotto with a lemon mascarpone – both were outstanding meals, the burger was so good that it proves that veggie food doesn’t need to be the boring same old cheese based dish and other restaurants and pubs need to be much more inventive, this had so much taste I wanted another one!

The heat had got to us both though and dessert was a much needed double sorbet, it was so warm that the short sleeve shirt I was wearing started to stick so it was somewhat of a relief when we went back to the car and had the A/C on max!

Back at the hotel and the room was even warmer, to the point we asked for another fan and were considering even coming home that evening, but I wedged the second fan under the window to bring in some air.  Meanwhile my wife went to the bar for another cocktail and a pint of ice-cold Orange juice and Lemonade for me!

Sleep did happen eventually as the room cooled enough even though having the window open meant the curtains were open and there was a fair amount of light coming in, but that’s better than trying to sleep in a sauna!  Of course what didn’t help was the logic of having the towel rail permanently on with no switch – it was pumping out heat into an already warm room.

Next morning it was cooler, still warm but noticeably more comfortable and also time for breakfast!

A full cooked breakfast was on the menu for me, with plenty of toast and the usual selection of cereals, fruit etc and really good coffee – so many places serve weak dirty dishwater coffee but my own personal pot of coffee was strong and very good.


Everything on the menu was sourced locally, a very good breakfast and one of the best I’ve had in a hotel ever – granted a lot of my hotel breakfasts have generally been in Premier Inns or All Inclusive resorts but this one is certainly noteworthy.  However, as is my way the tomato was not eaten!

Check was straight forward and simple and homeward we came, not so much rested because of the heat but certainly happy and full of good food and drink!

Homeward Park Hotel & Spa –

The Seven Stars –

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