Down Hall Hotel, Hertfordshire - Escaping Reality
This week we got the hotels booked for our next little adventure, which has set me off daydreaming about other weekend trips away I've had recently.
It then hit me that I haven't yet shared on here about one of my favourite hotels from last year: Down Hall Hotel.
Set on the border of Hertfordshire and Essex, it's a beautiful country house hotel, in beautiful grounds.
The night away was meant to be an escape from reality, and from the moment we arrived, that's what it was.
On the approach to the hotel you feel like you're hidden away from anyone and anything, making it the perfect site to offer spa breaks. Although we weren't there for the spa on this trip, I'd definitely return for that version of a Down Hall stay.
The break fell in a period during late 2016 when I was really struggling. My depression and anxiety were extremely high, and I was struggling to cope with going through the motions of day-to-day life.
I was quiet, I was withdrawn, and it didn't help that I didn't even feel comfortable in the place I was living.
The night at Down Hall was a chance to escape, and it couldn't have been more perfect.
The room was huge and bright, with one of the most comfortable hotel beds I've ever stayed in.
The setting was so quiet - apart from a noisy half hour when our neighbours had visitors - and there was an overall feeling of comfort and luxury.
Tucked away in that room, the outside world felt temporarily a long way away, and I could breathe.
It gave me a space to release some of my tension, unwind a little, and provide my brain with a soft pillow for a short while.
There was crying. Crying is actually one of the most effective releases for me when I'm at my most tense. But I was crying in a setting and in company where I knew every was ok.
I felt safe.
A room service dinner allowed me to carry on pretending there was no one else in the whole hotel, and breakfast the next morning was delicious, in a beautiful, calm dining room reflecting the rest of the experience.
Down Hall Hotel ranks up with one of my very favourites I've stayed in, and it provided me with a quiet sanctuary when I needed it most.
Next on my list is a return visit now I've made such vast improvements when it comes to my mental health, to fully immerse myself in and enjoy this brilliant hotel without the cloud of being unwell.
Ten out of ten, would highly recommend.
Down Hall, I'll be seeing you again.