Thursday arrived and excitement was rising as the reason for the trip is going to be revealed tonight…
We drove to Okehampton to check in at The Ashbury Golf Hotel. On arrival, our first impression was OMG.. what have we signed up for. But they say never judge a book by its cover, and this was one of those times and places.
The hotel is like a rabbit warren and obviously geared up for golfers (and wives). There are lots and lots (and I mean lots!) of crafts and activities on offer (free of charge) included in the cost of the weekend.
That evening we all met in the bar around 7pm. My cousin who has reached the grand age of 70 was so amazed when not only her immediate family had driven all the way from Sussex to Devon including her 93 year old mother (my wonderful auntie Edna) but friends and ourselves too. We were all very close as kids growing up together.
As a note of fun, we had stayed in the room out of sight, until it got to 6pm when we were getting hungry so we decided to go to the van and get some biscuits to tie us over until evening meal. As we wandered out to the car park we went passed a car that wad unloading passengers, and who was it but the birthday girl herself, Christine. We quickly veered of through the car park, hoping that she hadn’t seen us. (She hadn’t).
We had a brilliant evening all catching up and then deciding what activities we would do. I chose glass engraving, enamelling and then in the hydro spa and swimming.
Other activities included a roller disco, air pistol shooting, archery, snooker, indoor bowls, ten pin bowls, golf, woodworking and the list went on and on.
We all joined in and loads of the activities, each of us doing our own thing or with another person in the party. We all got together in the dining room for meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner, the food was good considering the amount of guests, usual buffet type but very tasty. The first night we had complimentary wine (8 bottles on our table!!!), then at the end of the weekend we had complimentary cocktails and even auntie Edna joined in. Although I am not quite sure she realised that the base of the cocktail was schnapps… the waiters kept coming around and topping us all up including Auntie Edna…. but she was smiling all evening…
The hydra spa was wonderful and I just kept going back in each time I had a spare 45 minutes. It was great to see everyone enjoy themselves in their. At one session there was about 10 of us occupying the spa to ourselves. In came Auntie Edna in her mop cap and the smile on her face was magical and something I will remember for a long long time. She giggled like a schoolgirl as the bubbles and jets played on her frail body.
We have had the most fantastic time at the Ashbury, and I would recommend the hotel, if you love being entertained by activities and there is a group of you, you’ll have great fun, look passed the tired decor and enjoy.
Thank you to Paula & Terry (for organising the party), Ginnie (BECITWWW) & Auntie Edna, Christine (birthday girl) & John, Christopher (cousin) & Jeanette, also all the other people there and a special thank you to Anne & Mick for making us laugh all weekend. We’ve had a fantastic time.
And so onwards now to Dorset…