Happy March Everyone!

I've been hoping to share this post with you for a couple of weeks but everything has been a bit chaotic. You'll remember last week, I shared a post with you on our Valentine's weekend away, starting in the beautiful city of Bath. Well, on departing Bath we headed to the beautiful Beckford Arms in Wiltshire, along the edge of the rolling hills of the Fonthill Estate.

Back at Christmas, our first married Christmas in fact, I knew exactly what I wanted to get Mr B. I'd seen it years ago and saved it in the back of my brain ready for when I was finally Mrs B. If you havn't caught on yet or noticed around the blog, our surname is Beckford! And so, a stay at The Beckford Arms seemed just perfect.

Mr B loves to fill his brain with buckets of information. The Beckford Arms & The Fonthill Estate, once owned by William Beckford (not a nice gent I might add), offered a history lesson on possible family heritage that I knew would be right up his street.

I booked it up for Valentine's weekend, (kill two birds with one stone so to speak). This is a really handy tip if you don't always have the cash to throw about. It makes for a great gift at Christmas, something to look forward to when the festivities disappear and avoids you having to splurge more cash when the season of love rolls on by :P .

So let's get to it. After a great day of relaxation in Bath we arrived at the hotel. A cosy looking, traditional english pub in a secluded, countryside destination.

We were excited to discover its offerings as we entered through the grand front door. A sneaky 'B' on the welcome mat made us all the more excited.

The bar was exactly as I'd hoped. Cosy, traditional, well stocked ;P and teaming with Beckford beverages that I wanted to try. A Beckford pale ale, Beckford wine from the local Beckford bottle Shop  and a list of Beckford cocktails - what more could we need?!

A huge log fire and walls lined with hops set the scene for what I knew was going to be a great stay in our own little Beckford hideaway.

After checking in at the bar, we made our way up the staircase of what felt like somebodies own private countryside retreat.

The little windows offered snippets of thatched roofs, smoking chimneys, rolling hills and country gardens.

We were welcomed into our room by a lovely member of staff and as the door closed behind her we giggled like school children.

Our entrance to our hotel room is the same wherever we go. Giggle, squeal, check what goodies are complimentary and jump onto the bed. This is all closly followed by Mr B laying down while I continue to unpack our things and make it as homely as possible. Not that this room needed much help!

Whether it's one night or ten, I love to pop our toothbrushes in the cup, my make up and jewlery on the dressing table and my pj's folded on the pillow like something out of magazine ad.

The room was beautiful. Mr B had no idea on its style so was suitably impressed to be greeted by the beautiful rolltop bath at the foot of the bed. One day I'm gonna get me one of these!

The room was well thought out with luxury toilettries, a bag of essentials in the bathroom (including sanitary products just in case!), right down to the little accents on the coffee tray. I wondered if they'd notice if I slipped the Beckford branded mugs into my bag. I wanted them so badly but don't worry - I left them there!

I was already planning in my head my post-dinner bubble bath before bed.

With some time to kill before dinner, Mr B read me some history on the hotel and the estate and it's connections to the Beckford name. I must admit, as I watched him smiling as he read, a little cartoon me popped up inside my brain and high fived myself on a successful gift. It isn't always easy with him - Captain Gadget!

The Beckford Arms offers a great collection of local recommendations including mapped walks and attractions worth visiting.

After a quick freshen up we popped downstairs for dinner, not really knowing what to expect. Well, the place was packed out! For a pub seemingly in the middle of nowhere, the carpark was full, tables seated to the limit and every corner of the bar filled with laughing patrons, ale in hand. We couldn't believe it.

We were led through to the restaurant where we were offered a seat in the living room or main restaurant. We opted for the main restaurant, lit romantically by candle light, it offered the perfect atmosphere for our Valentine's meal.

And the rest is history. As the meal was our Valentine's celebration, it was phone, camera and tech away. Sometimes you have to sign off from the world. We sat through 3 courses of what Mr B describes as one of the best meals he has ever had.

Starting with a pork terrine with cornicons and mouth watering fresh bread toasted to perfection. Trying very hard not to opt for the Beckford burger just because of it's name, for our main we both went for the slow roasted pork belly on a celeriac puree accompanied by heritage carrots, puy lentils, roasting juices. Just wow. We shared a side of chips too which were pretty spectacular. Overall, it was expensive for a pub but you totally understand why. It also explained why the pub was so busy. Whatever this pub has going on behind the scenes, in the kitchen and frankly, in my mouth...it is great!

Following this, though I had no room, we had to see what dessert had to offer. As you know it's my favourite course. As soon as I saw the menu I knew what I wanted. I remembered my motto, that dessert has a seperate stomach and ordered it before I had time to change my mind. Steamed chocolate and cola sponge with vanilla ice cream. It was exactly what it said on the tin. I am a fan of proper puddings. My description of the perfect dessert is 'carbs with a touch of dairy'. That is exactly what this offered and the cola aspect made it all the more exciting. It really did taste like it!

At the end of the night, absolutely stuffed, we strolled back up to our room - the bar still full of life. I turned on the taps of our beautiful rolltop, filled it with the complimentary bubble bath (that smells like heaven and little bit like Watergate Bay - our favourite place) and slipped inside.

The best end to a long hard day of eating and relaxation.

Up next time, you can follow us on The Beckford Arms pub walk around The Fonthill Estate.

Stay tuned...

- MTWP xxx

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