The Bi Annual – Girl’s weekend away
The idea for a girl’s weekend away started when my mum decided to take my sister Suzannah on a trip to London – for no reason – paid for. Now me… being seriously pregnant with twins at the time, was sadly and quite unfairly if I may add, unable to attend.
As I sat on the lounge in our Bayview home each evening receiving numerous photos of their trip, I was appalled to discover just how ‘all out’ they were going. I’m talking fancy apartments, chandeliers, hatted restaurants – you name it, they were doing it. Which is lovely, except for the fact that ‘I’ was not present.
Determined to level the playing field mum agreed to take me away some months after the twins were born, as a reward for managing to produce three living things in one year, whilst still myself remaining alive. Which, if I made add, is much more impressive than my sisters accomplishments to date, which include being overly acceptive of parents financial ‘hand’ every now and then, conveniently living too far from my house to help me… oh, and finishing a law degree (insert dramatic eye roll).
And so, six LONG months after the birth of my boys, we booked ourselves into the Gibralta Hotel in Bowral, with ‘The Weapon’ (my partner Ben) agreeing to tackle all three for the entire weekend!
I took great pleasure telling my dad of our impending girls only holiday, “we are going to Gibralta” I told him. His face went white and his eyeballs nearly popped out of his head “IN SPAIN!!??” was his petrified response haha. I suppose anything less than the expense of a trip to Spain was looking good after that.
Read on for our reviewed experience at Gibraltar Hotel – Bowral
We arrived just after lunch on Saturday 1st June and were warmly received by the staff at the reception desk. As soon as you enter there is an instant calm in the air. The colour scheme is dark and moody with lighting to compliment. You feel instantly at ease… immediately filling the brief for this tired mumma!
Our room was on the second floor over-looking the green and with floor to ceiling windows, what a view it was. Despite visiting the hotel in winter the gardens and landscape were remarkably green, with our room situated in front of a still pond with a single red row boat positioned at the center – the perfect edition for a splash of colour to the landscape. We settled in quickly and I headed off down the corridor to the day spa. Mum had booked me an hour long swedish massage and dear God did I need it. It was one of the best massages I have ever had.
The atmosphere was so relaxing and the techniques… amazing! I always find it a very thin line with massages, too firm and you spend the whole time wincing, too soft and it feels pointless. The therapist who looked after me however, was on point. I felt completely relaxed. A confident touch is so important in a massage, it says “I know what I’m doing and I’m here for you” and she had just that. She used hot towels after completing each section of my body which felt incredible. The sixty minutes I spent at the spa was the best way to begin a weekend with the sole purpose to unwind. I floated out of there!
After a lazy afternoon mum and I made our way to Harvey’s Bar at around 5.30pm and placed ourselves in a comfortable oversized lounge – close to the bar for obvious reasons – and ordered ourselves a cocktail. Several actually… and some tapas style dishes. We enjoyed duck liver pate which was to die for and sweet potato chips, which are very ‘in’ right now and for good reason. Shortly after our arrival, the man himself (Harvey) made his way past the glowing fire place to the piano and began to play, sending a lovely vibe throughout the busy bar. We retired early (there’s no way I was wasting precious sleep time) and made our way back to the room.
A movie, Bridget Jones’s Baby (free movies were included in the stay), chocolate, my laptop and bed… paradise! The bed was incredibly comfortable. A thick feather topper beneath the top sheet made it feel all very luxurious! That and four of those enormous king size pillows. And sleep we did! I didn’t wake up (no babies here) until 7am – which for me, is bloody wonderful! It might not be a sleep in for some but I woke feeling completely refreshed.
I headed off down the corridor around 7.30am, leaving mum to enjoy the block out ‘could be 1am for all I know (or care)’ curtains and made my way to the breakfast room (breakfast was also included in our stay). A bright and open room overlooking the golf course, the fireplace was lit, the buffet ready, and no way I was rushing myself (since I rarely get the time to slowly these days). Being there early, I was able to establish my position next to the window, I pulled out my magazine and sat grazing on scrambled eggs, bacon, mushrooms, pastries, coffee (you get the gist) for almost four hours because, well, I could.
I feel I should mention the hotel offers an indoor pool and spa as well as a gym for those who are into that kind of thing… me, I’m more or a sleep, eat and drink kind a girl. This being so, later that day mum and I decided on an outing to Centennial Winery for a late lunch.
We could have been in the south of France for all we knew! The gardens and courtyard were manicured in a way that you just don’t see in Sydney, the dining room featuring an enormous old fire place, heated timber floors and an all round warm and stylish country feel.
Three courses and a bottle of wine later… we made our way back to the Gibraltar and once again found ourselves at the bar for a post lunch drink (an experience many of you followed on our Instagram story for the evening). And then another… and another. We found ourselves finding it difficult to find reasons not to! And so, many a fine wine later, we again retired early to our room and were asleep within the hour!
We woke Monday morning, organised ourselves, enjoyed another wonderful breakfast and headed towards the reception desk to check out. The staff were warm and we left feeling completely rejuvenated… and yet still wishing we could have stayed longer. Buttttt I have three children, so it will remain a wish. Our experience was exactly what the doctor had ordered. I felt completely relaxed, refreshed and ready to head home to ‘real life’.
We decided to make the girls weekend away a twice yearly event.
Thank you to the Gibraltar Bowral for having us.
Until next time ladies…
* Photo take from http://www.centennialrestaurant.com.au