Thursday, 12 December 2013

At the chapel


When you have children, even ten minutes of peace can be heavenly. A full twenty-four hours is unspeakably precious, blissful, sublime time.

A few weeks back, Ben told me to save the date as he had a combined birthday/anniversary surprise planned. On Friday, his mum picked up the kids and whisked them away, while he left work early and we threw overnight bags into the car headed for Somerset.

Picture the scene: a beautiful stone facade, mullioned windows betraying a former purpose, just a quiet sign to show we had arrived. The double doors, adorned with Christmas wreaths, were open, leading us through to the white walls and warmly lit interior. Shown up to our room, treading black carpets and through heavy wooden doors, we found door number 2. Inside, the most beautifully simple room - just black floorboards, giant bed, an armchair and standard lamp, and heavy grey curtains, wide and tall enough to cover the enormous stained glass window that dominated the room.

First, a gin and tonic was brought to our room. I ran the deepest, bubbliest bath in the grey marble bathroom - heated underfoot and warm as toast - where I sipped and read to my heart's content. We dressed for dinner, and another treat awaited us down in the dining room. After a Bellini or two at the bar, we made our way to the table and sat - surprise! - with Anne and Will, friends who live nearby in Somerset. To start, I chose the roasted squash with mozzarella and chilli, which was something else. All the buttons pressed: salt, cream, heat, and so much flavour. Ben's pizza was exactly how pizza should be - thin, delicious, not overly-topped, cooked to perfection in the bakery pizza oven. Chat, wine, laughter, that lively hum of a busy restaurant. All such a treat, such pleasure.

Too stuffed for pudding, we stumbled back to our room and sank into the fluffy white bed. Tipsy and tired, we fell asleep with the telly on. Next morning, we awoke to find a little paper bag hung on the door held two perfectly-baked croissants that we ate in bed. Crumbs everywhere.

Later, we headed into Frome for shopping and lunch, and uninterrupted conversation and fun. I am a lucky, lucky girl in love, having such a thoughtful husband and such generous family who care for our children so well.

At the Chapel
High Street, Bruton, Somerset BA10 OAE
01749 814 070 mail@atthechapel.co.uk
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