Dreaming of that weekend away at an oak-beamed inn hidden in the English countryside, a champagne break in a French chateau or a spa retreat to unwind? Dream on, you may say. We may not be allowed to travel away from home during this challenging time but the next best thing is to holiday at home.
This may require a little creative thinking, a little work to rearrange your possessions but you can trick your mind in believing you are in a different place and create change to this enforced staycation, all conveniently in our own home. Whether you live alone or with family members, think how to change it, shake it up, move it around. Consider each room, the layout, furniture and décor. Add more comfort features if possible, as you would find in any other hotel. Soon it will feel a very different place.
Champagne Break? This is a great time to get to know your champagnes, growing regions and the various French chateaux to visit in the future. Equipped with this knowledge, style your dining area for a special fine-dining experience graced with flowers and peppered with candles to create the right ambiance. Check the lighting and add mellow music to the equation. Dress for the evening, black tie and cocktail dress and, with a filled flute of bubbly in hand, toast your champagne evening treat. If you don’t want to dine alone, extend an invitation online, inviting your friends and family to join the table. Champagne too fizzy? Then select a country, grape and vineyard for a group wine tasting – a great opportunity to sip wines from around the world, from Chile to California, New Zealand to Italy. Once you have your favourite, why not plan a future visit in person and possibly hop on a Vespa to tour between the vines.
Relaxation, yoga, meditation and soothing baths are words associated with spa breaks. Aromatherapy oils of lavender, bergamot and lemongrass, diffusers, room sprays, calming background music and peaceful thoughts evoke a spa environment. Decorate your bathroom with night-lights, add scented oils to your bath and flow into the rhythm of comforting, restful sounds. With a peaceful mind and relaxed muscles, follow up with gentle stretches to extend the sense of calm and then close your eyes and mind to negative thoughts. Snuggle up in a thick cuddly gown and glow with renewed positive feelings. Welcome to your home spa. Why not extend your therapy treatment by learning the ancient practice of Tai Chi, meditation and yoga online and be ready to treat yourself to a spa day, a yoga break or wellness holiday in the future.
Home comforts such as homebrew beers and wholesome home-cooking, board games around the open fire and outdoor walks are key components of a getaway break in a country inn, country manor house or a cosy B&B. There are many around England, many hidden in hamlets and valleys waiting to be discovered. We recognise them as chocolate box images, fringed with flowerbeds, immaculately landscaped grounds leading to ancient wooden doors opening into time-warped rooms. No need to go in search. Just recreate the home comforts on your own doorstep, especially the homecooked recipes handed down from our grandparents. Think shepherd’s pie, crumbles and fruit cake. Gather garden produce, sticks of rhubarb, rosehips from hedgerows and other seasonal fruits and vegetables for tasty jams and pickles. Rummage in the attic or dig deep in that stowed trunk for board games you enjoyed when you were young. And as for walks, the choice is yours. Nature walks are all around, whether they are within your own garden or around the neighbourhood. Nature never stays still. Maybe stroll outside on a local safari to spot the birds, cats and dogs around. Create a bird table and you may be amazed at how many visitors you welcome to your country-styled home. The National Trust, English Heritage will be ready and waiting for you when you check-in to your chosen country retreat.
With time to put your feet up, retire to your lounge, or is it the library? Relax for a little armchair tourism by browsing the many articles on our website, and plan your next holiday for the future, this time further afield.
Keep well, keep safe and keep motivated and inspired.