Have you heard of a “minimoon”? Prior to getting engaged, I think I would have rolled my eyes at people who talked about minimoons, just like I thought the word “wedmin” was slightly ridiculous too. Post-wedding, it’s a different story though – I am ALL in favour of having a minimoon immediately after the big day and doing a bigger honeymoon at a later date. As I said, the time around the wedding is utterly exhausting and there was so much more to think about than packing for our trip. I can’t even imagine if we’d had to go to Florida straight afterwards!
And that’s how our Cotswolds minimoon started – frantically packing a suitcase and the car on the Monday morning!
We’d initially planned to leave fairly early to be able to do something in the afternoon when we’d checked into our Airbnb, but we ended up leaving late morning after we’d returned the speakers and equipment we’d borrowed to Ben’s workplace. We grabbed a speedy McDonalds lunch (the horror!) then we were on our way. From North Yorkshire to the north side of the Cotswolds where we were staying was estimated to be around a 3 and a half hour journey, and fortunately we had absolutely no traffic, despite it being a bank holiday, and made it there in good time.
Our base was a gorgeous Airbnb just outside a village called Hook Norton – the Garden Flat. We pulled up a private gravel driveway to the entrance which overlooked a beautiful view over the valley that Hook Norton is situated in and let ourselves in. Our host popped out to say hello, offering her congratulations and gave us a few tips on the local area before leaving us to it.
The Airbnb had everything we needed – including a bowl full of sweets, breakfast foods in the fridge and cupboards, and a congratulatory bottle of champagne. It was a good size, with a light and airy living, dining and kitchen area with plenty of windows and big patio doors looking out over the valley view, then a bedroom with a king size bed behind old French shutter doors and a really well-sized bathroom with a big bath (one of my necessities for the trip!). I’m a huge advocate of Airbnbs for accommodation since our UK road trip, and I’m so glad we chose to go with one again as it was perfect for our needs.
Since we’d arrived around mid-afternoon then taken a bit of time to unpack and appreciate our surroundings, we decided not to do an activity that afternoon but instead pop out to grab some supplies and do a bit of shopping. We drove to nearby Chipping Norton where we found a really weird Sainsburys first (as in, we had to access it via the car park using a lift that brought us into the back of the store?!) then went to Aldi instead.
Back at the Airbnb, we had a bit of a sit down with some drinks and nibbles outside in the sun before Ben cooked us up an easy but super tasty tea of steak, crushed new potatoes and tomato salad while I had a bath and read my book. There was a gorgeous sunset that evening afterwards so we sat on the bench under the tree to watch it go down (and snapped a few BCLC photos – I was a little bit concerned I was in view of the main house!).
And that was our first day in a nutshell! We did very little but it was SO lovely to have a break after all the hectic-ness we’d had over the past few weeks. We’d actually planned to have meals out in the evening throughout the week, but the first few days, we changed our minds and ate in simply because it was more relaxing to do so and we had a kitchen to cook in – we love cooking so we thought we might as well! Next up on Day 2: visiting pretty Cotswold towns, National Trust houses and seeing celebrities!