** Photo heavy post- lots of photos at the bottom 🙂
This Christmas we spent an absolutely wonderful 2 weeks away in a cottage on a farm in County Durham! It was absolutely wonderful being able to mostly shut out the world and chill out with our lovely family. Having booked our break away back in early February the anticipation had built up all year and our time spent there certainly did not disappoint. The cottage was absolutely gorgeous, modern in its appliances and décor but still keeping the country theme. It was decorated for us with a Christmas tree and had the most beautiful wood burner which we relaxed in front of most afternoons, playing board games or watching a movie.
With my Brother-in-law and his wife having two lovely big dogs we did head out into the countryside for a couple of lovely (but very cold) walks, getting in some fresh air and taking in the gorgeous surroundings. The first few days after we arrived there were such strong winds that we stayed inside mostly. so getting out for the first walk was just what we needed to blow away the cobwebs. We were quite lucky that the cottage was surrounded by a lovely fenced off grassy area where the dogs could run around and Ailsa could head out and take her baby for a walk.
Ailsa absolutely loved all the attention from her aunt and uncle and her grandparents. Every morning when she woke up she would be shouting “woof woof” for the dogs and would say “Hiya!” to them as soon as she saw them. They absolutely adored her too and Ghost (The white one) would like her hands which would send Ailsa into squeals of laughter makinf the dogs even more excited to be around her. Even in just those 2 weeks with everyone her speech came on such a great deal and just how she was around a group of people improved immensely since a lot of the time it can just be the 2 of us.
I also got to have some child free time whilst we were away which was just the break I needed. James and I along with Sean and Marianne (Brother and sister in law) headed off to the Metro Centre, which was around 45 minutes away from the cottage, for a day of sale shopping. I picked up some bargains from Primark and Benefit and we had a lovely little lunch at a burrito place. Super yum! I also had a lovely spa day at Slayley Hall with Marianne and my mother-in-law on New Years Eve which was just amazing, relaxing by the pool, a lovely lunch and coffee followed by a luxurious treatment of a back massage and facial. Having some time to relax just before the start of a New Year was just amazing and it may well be the start of a new tradition for us!
Christmas day itself was just amazing. We opened presents and had a champagne breakfast and then the 4 of us cooked an amazing Christmas dinner. It was my first time cooking anything for Christmas dinner and it was so much easier spreading it out between us. We all knew what we were each doing and it meant that not one person was stuck in the kitchen all day cooking. We had such a feast the leftovers lasted a good few days and it was just yummy! For New Year we had a traditional steak pie on New Years Eve and then lots of bubbles for a countdown to the bells! Ailsa managed to stay up for it as she had a late nap that day and it was so nice to share that with her. I love counting down to the New Year but I am normally in bed by 1am which I was this year too!
We just had the loveliest Christmas and would certainly go away again though I doubt we will this year maybe in a couple of years time. What did you do for Christmas? let me know in the comments below.