Tuesday, 13 December 2016

13th December: Christmas Catch-Up in Windsor


One of the things I love most about Christmas is the opportunity to catch up with friends. It's the thing that is most worth taking time for, and when it's these lovely ladies, that's even truer! At the end of November, I met up with the other members of Girlguiding GOLD Team Cambodia: a group of us who travelled to Cambodia together in 2013 to run a volunteer project in partnership with the Girl Guide association over there. Before the project started, we had never met.  And now we are the firmest of friends, and I LOVE every chance I get to meet up with these women.  We are spread out across the country, and indeed the continent, and while we weren't all able to meet up for this particular weekend, it was so wonderful that a few of us could make it. Spending time with them is a breath of fresh air: we always have tons to catch up on and yet it always feels as though no time has passed.  They are warm, intelligent, funny, brilliant and enthusiastic women and hanging out together is truly inspiring.

 
We decided to meet up in Windsor and have a lovely indulgent weekend.  We had booked a spa package, including a treatment, spa use, dinner, breakfast and a night at the hotel, at the lovely Harte and Garter hotel, and arrived grinning and shrieking at each other in the hushed spa. Oops. We were quite long enough to have a treatment each - I opted for a massage which was just lovely - and then we had the afternoon to splash around, play in the pools, sweat in the sauna and relax in the relaxation room.

Actually, it was meant to be only two people at a time being quiet in the relaxation room, but we all four piled in and giggled and gossiped and caught up on life in general.


Spa time accomplished, we checked into our rooms, which were huge and very comfortable, and then all piled onto one bed with champagne and prosecco to toast the evening away. We were also able to Skype with our other team member in Poland which was lovely.  Somehow before long, the champagne was gone, the prosecco bottle empty and it was time to head downstairs to the hotel restaurant.
 
We had a lovely table in the window where we could relax and continue our breakneck pace of conversation amid the twinkle of Christmas decorations.  A nice contrast to the cold, dark night without. I ordered sea bream which was so delicious, and we polished off a bottle of wine alongside the three courses.


After dinner we had time for a round in the pub before heading back to our rooms for a final natter, and then bed.  I fell asleep grinning at the prospect of more fun on the morrow, and the possibility of hash browns for breakfast.


When breakfast did roll around, it did not disappoint, with a hot and cold buffet which did indeed feature hash browns.  I had two servings and numerous cups of tea, and it was so lovely to have a leisurely breakfast with such good company.  Hotels do provide a great way to have breakfast out without actually having to make the effort to go out.  Perfectly cosy.


To make the most of our day, we visited Windsor Castle.  I had never visited Windsor before and now I'm confused as to why: it's a beautiful little town and all dressed up for Christmas it was remarkably picture postcard. Then the crowning glory of the castle makes it seem very stately indeed and we approached the gates impressed by the grounds before us.


The castle was decorated for Christmas and the interiors in particular looked wonderful; my favourite was a long gallery into which light simply poured, and at the end of which was poised a magnificent tree decked out in red and gold.  Alas, no photos were allowed in the interiors, which is why I am contenting myself with outdoor shots, but I would I have loved to photograph the sumptuous state rooms. I definitely need to return to Windsor and delve more deeply into both the town and
the castle history.
 

Windsor castle is jam-packed full of gift shops with many a royal-themed gift on offer and they were pretty much exclusively out of my price range.  But it was fun to experiment, nonetheless.
 
 
We ended our weekend by meeting Jenny's husband and baby son for lunch.  He was an absolute treasure, giggling, doing his best to walk, smiling in a lovely sunny way at everyone and generally seeming to enjoy himself. It was such a treat for us, as we hadn't had the opportunity to meet him yet. I very much hope we can have more cuddles soon!
 
 
With lunch finished, we departed to go our separate ways.  But one thing is for sure: I am always going to make time for these women.  Roll on the next meet-up!

Kisses xxx
 
P.S. This post is one of my December series inspired by Shimelle’s scrapbooking class Journal Your Christmas.  My aim is to blog every day throughout the month to document all the little moments that make the most wonderful time of the year.  Merry Christmas!

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