AS blogging goes, there have been many highlights for me over the years and my recent trip with Optiwell is most definitely up there.
Just a few weeks ago, Elsie and I joined a lovely group of parenting bloggers and kids to stay at a luxury family hotel as guests of Optiwell who organised the special event to give us mamas some much appreciated relaxation as part of their new campaign #ThankGoodness.
It was – as I say in the headline – the perfect end to summer and probably one of the best events I’ve ever been to, certainly with Elsie in tow.
I’ve been fortunate to work with this super brand before, but for those of you who perhaps haven’t heard of them, Optiwell is a special yoghurt drink designed for women on the go, that aims to provide you with a healthy, low calorie snack alternative. Filling you up quickly and easily and just helping to make life that little bit easier.
At just 64 calories per 200ml glass, the drinks (which come in two flavours – Peach & Apricot and Strawberry & Raspberry) are really delicious.
I’ve been drinking them since the beginning of the year and love them as part of my breakfast or mid morning snack and as for Elsie, well she’s a huge fan! I think if she had her way, she’d drink them all day!
So on a Thursday morning, just a few days before Elsie started school, we jumped in the car (above is a little selfie we took before we set off!) for our three hour trip to Worcester and after a surprisingly easy journey, we arrived at The Elms Hotel & Spa – a beautiful and luxurious family hotel, which we both fell in love with instantly.
As soon as we arrived, we were both made to feel incredibly welcome and totally spoiled (!) which pretty much set the tone for the next 24 hours.
The weather was absolutely glorious on the first day so on Thursday afternoon after a quick natter with blogging pals, we were firstly treated to an outside afternoon tea, set amongst the prettiest orchard and backdrop.
Over cups of tea and plates of sandwiches, macaroons and cake, we enjoyed long, leisurely chats as we put the world to rights on everything from blogging to parenting.
Whilst the kids explored the grounds and played happily together in the sunshine…
It was such a pleasure to spend quality time with such a smashing group of bloggers. Some of whom I’ve been friends with for a while, others I’d never met before but had chatted to online.
Normally when us bloggers see each other, we may be busy at events or conferences, so we’re lucky if we get the chance to mutter a few words to each other, so this really was a rare treat.
I’ve made some great friends through blogging and hanging out with this super bunch across the two days really was just so much fun. Here we are… (From left to right: Katie from Mummy Daddy Me, Moi with the bump!, Sarah from Taming Twins, Emma from Brummy Mummy of 2, Aby from You Baby Me Mummy and Alice from More Than Toast.)
After afternoon tea, came spa treatments for both Elsie and I. I enjoyed a thoroughly relaxing facial at the spa whilst Elsie was thrilled to bits with her painted fingernails, in red, her favourite colour. (A last treat before starting school!)
Soon after it was teatime and the children sat outside at the cutest table I think I’ve ever seen and tucked into an assortment of goodies, including their own handmade pizzas.
It was so incredibly cute seeing them all lining up to make their own pizzas, especially when you’d see a little hand pick up a bit of cheese to nibble on!
And to Elsie’s absolute delight, they also got to make their own deserts too. Watching my little girl tuck into this creation didn’t half make me chuckle. Her face was a picture!
Once the kids were all fed, it was time to be shown to our rooms and get ready for the evening’s activities.
Our room was more beautiful than I had dared imagine, with the centrepiece being the stunning window that gave us a charming view over the lawns and the largest bed I’ve seen in a hotel in the UK. (The last time I slept in a bed this big was on my honeymoon in New York!)
A small bed had been thoughtfully made up for Elsie, with a bed rail in place (which I thought was brilliant) however she choose to sleep with me instead and who can blame her? Our amazing bed was so comfy and Elsie could not get over quite how big it was.
After a quick change, it was time for Elsie to go off to a specially arranged slumber party in her pyjamas with the other children whilst we, the mums, went for a luxurious three course meal.
Here she is in her pyjamas waiting for it to begin. I think this might be one of my most favourite photos of her to date. Just look at the happiness on her face!
As the kids enjoyed games, glitter tattoos and a special film, the adults feasted on delicious food and enjoyed each other’s company, as we swapped tales across this elegant table in a private dining room.
Ah, if only I could dine like this every night.
After a good night’s sleep, we were all ready for breakfast! Elsie tucked into cereal, fruit and (more!) Optiwell whilst I couldn’t resist some morning waffles. Just delicious.
And then it was time for the kids to enjoy a treasure hunt and craft session (the kids decorated their very own Optiwell bottle – how’s that for clever marketing?!) as we nattered and relaxed with cups of tea.
It was such a treat, I just cannot tell you!
After lunch it was time to say goodbye but not without a few last group photos.
Elsie and I left for our journey home, a little tired but with the biggest smiles on our faces, after having had the most incredible 24 hours.
I’m forever grateful of the opportunities blogging has brought into my life, but have never felt quite as blessed than when we left The Elms Hotel and Optiwell’s summer celebration.
Not only was it a fantastic way of catching up with blogging pals and enjoying some much needed relaxation, it was also really special to spend some quality time with Elsie, just before she started school. We ended her last summer as a pre schooler on a real high which makes me so incredibly happy.
When we got home, we received further treats as we opened our goodie bags from the event and discovered we’d been very kindly given the most incredible, thoughtful gifts from the Optiwell team too! Yep, utterly spoilt.
What can I say? But the whole trip and experience really was quite something. #ThankGoodness for brands who get that mums deserve some time to themselves and products that make our lives a little easier.
Optiwell, you absolutely spoiled us. Thank you so, SO much.
And here’s a little video of our amazing time…
Fancy staying at one of the Luxury Family Hotel’s too?
Well you’re in luck because Optiwell are very kindly giving away an AMAZING prize to one of my readers! Enter below using rafflecopter for your chance to win a £350 gift voucher that you can use to stay at one of the gorgeous hotels.
Competition ends on 28th September. Best of luck!
Disclaimer – Elsie and I were kindly invited to work with Optiwell on this campaign but as always, all views and opinions are my own.
This competition is promoted on Prizefinder.