September is always a tough month – back-to-school season. Weirdly anticipated on one hand, after six weeks of managing the summer break activities and childcare. Special mention to the challenge of policing screen time without starting world war three or having to remortgage the house to fund the fun! Frankly it’s a relief to get back into a routine, although it is short lived!  While certain stress levels subside, new stresses sky rocket as frantic school, after school, sports and other extracurricular schedules that the kids are signed up to all start back in what is perceived to be “good parenting”. Not to mention the financial pressures of all the annual fees that are required in September! I couldn’t wait for the ten days of October half term break to arrive as it was definitely time for my little family and I to embrace a break from the routine and regroup.

Welcome to Combermere Abbey

Last weekend we headed to Combermere Abbey near Whitchurch on the Cheshire / Shropshire border to kick start October half term. We were invited to stay at Callander Cottage a courtyard cottages which was converted from the 19th century stables set in the heart of the most beautiful country estate.

Callander Cottage

Arriving at Combermere Abbey we entered through the gate and began the mile-long drive to the stable block at the heart of the estate. Through the gates of the 19th century Combermere stables there are 10 beautiful and all individually designed and styled holiday cottages ranging in size. The entrance to Callander Cottage is behind the impressive coach house doors, inside is two bedrooms, living /dining room, bathroom and kitchen all in a light, soft and contemporary styling. 

There is everything you need for a weekend break away. A wonderful breakfast hamper, a fully resourced and equipped kitchen so if cooking and relaxing go hand in hand for you everything you need, including a food processor is here. To be clear I had no intention of cooking anything extravagant this weekend I’d brought quick and easy meals and a large cheese board to graze at for the duration of the weekend to ensure maximum relaxation time!

Family Alone Time

Our family life is busy. Weekdays, evenings and weekends alike are full of family and friends, helping and supporting, sharing and caring. This is wonderful and I am forever grateful but … reality check … modern family life is exhausting.

Work, school, tennis lessons, rugby training, rugby matches, brownies, scouts, street dance lessons, after school play dates, PTA meetings … like the majority of families our weekly schedule is packed. Time to stop and just be. There’s plenty written about ‘pulling up the drawbridge’ when you become welcome a new baby but retreating from the hustle and bustle of modern life is just as important for any family whatever the life stage.

Mother Nature wasn’t very kind to us on our first day, it was a rainy Autumnal day but the Rugby World Cup semi-final was on the TV, followed by movies on DVD we’d been meaning to watch whilst tackling a weekend break sized 1000 piece jigsaw. We are also British and were well prepared – waterproofs, wellies and walking boots with us so when the rain eased we were off to explore the gardens and discover the mere. Autumn was doing it’s beautiful thing, it really is my favourite season. Scroll through the gallery below to see Autumn in all its glory: 

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There is something enchanting and magical about walled gardens. At Combermere Abbey they form three gardens and cover five and a half acres. We really loved exploring the world’s only fruit tree maze, so clever and so much easier to harvest the apples too – why are there not more?!  The huge and fabulous conker trees, also a childhood favourite, delivered huge mahogany jewels. For me they really are the very essence of autumn. We had so much fun collecting conkers together, something we’ve not done for too long. Note to self – do more often!  

This weekend was an important reminder of how incredibly important it is to make time to just be together and to reconnect.We were together, we had time, we weren’t rushed. Being away from home kept all the usual distractions of  household chores and to do lists at bay and made our weekend break at Combermere Abbey very special indeed. Is it time you “drew up the drawbridge” with your fam for the weekend? Note to self –  make time to do it more often! Thank you so much for having us Combermere Abbey. 

Combermere Abbey has 10% off short breaks between now and 22nd December 2019. You can find out more over on their website www.combermereabbey.co.uk or speak to friendly bookings team on 01948 660345. 

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