Riverside Cottages Review: Since going back to work I have been trying to arrange a weekend away each month for family time, we have visited Cambridge, Warwick, London, Cornwall and in May half term Eurocamp. Then an opportunity that came up in June which was most definitely not family time, it was me time! Of course I will be making up to the bits in my life. But we all need a bit of me time so when I was asked to attend a Blogger Retreat at Riverside Cottages I only had one answer.
When I started writing I had no idea what it would lead to, least of all the friendships I would build. On this retreat I was joined by nine other amazing blogger ladies which I am pleased now to be able to call friends – Donna from What the Readhead Said, Laura from Dear Bear and Beany, Laura from Five Little Doves, Bridget from Bridie by the Sea, Rosie from Mummy and Boo, Lauren from A Scrapbook of our Lives, Nicole from The Littlest Darlings, Mel from Le Coin De Mel and Sara Jayne from Keeping with the Jones Family.
Riverside Cottages is located in rural Hampshire. I remember driving up to the wooden gates both excited and nervous by what lay in waiting, the gates opened automatically and I drove into a small parking area. Then it hit me it was so peaceful, I had literally come off the dual carriage way about a mile ago. Yet I found myself in the middle of the country side, a large green area in front of me, the sun shining and all of a sudden I felt at peace. I know it sounds a bit corny but I really did feel the weight lift from my shoulders.
Looking across to Riverside Cottage it looked like one of the ceramic models my mum use to collect when I was a little girl. The cottage itself sleeps ten, there is also a lodge which you can hire which sleeps a further four – they are generally only available together but it does mean that combined it sleeps fourteen. There is a Yurt Cafe which is on the grounds but far away enough from the cottage that you get privacy. Although the yurt is used for most of the ‘lifestyle’ activities its also open as a cafe Wednesday – Sunday from March to October. It also has its own enclosed play area and is full of handcrafted gifts and produce made from the property’s lavender field.
Only having a couple of days we did not have much time to explore but if you were to stay for a week, then I think you really could make the most of the location. As the property has a private river running through it, there is a lavender field, bee hives and a footpath that takes you straight to the local pub in around fifteen minutes.
I have made a video of our stay which you can watch below:
So what did I think of Riverside Cottages
- Its fully equipped throughout which means you really don’t need to bring anything with you.
- I love its quirks, there are so many original features – ingle nook fireplaces and flag stone floors. Yet it is modern too, with an absolutely fabulous kitchen which would not look out of place in a glossy magazine. On the Monday night we stood and chatted for ages next to the lovely warm Aga.
- There is a BBQ, outside patio area and a beautifully mature garden – which we really made the most of
- The long table in the conservatory is the centre of the house and a great place to congregate, eat, drink, play board games and reconnect as a family
- It is so peaceful, its such a shame that the lavender was not out when we visited as it would have made some beautiful photos.
- The pool is lovely and warm and although a chlorine pool its very mild and I would quite happily take the boys in the pool. It is not fenced off in anyway, so if you are staying in the lodge with young children then you would need to be aware of this.
- In the five acre garden there is also a climbing frame with slides and swings, everything is enclosed so it means that little ones can not escape.
Before you arrive we will work with you to create your tailor made itinerary from stocking up your fridge or unpacking your booked grocery shopping before arrival to child minding and allowing you to go out to dinner in the evenings, to providing a private chef or booking a restaurant, or local ‘things to do ‘. What ever you think will make your stay as relaxed as possible we’ll aim to create the perfect schedule.
- For us it was perfect, but although they do have a high chair I would question the suitability for young families. The outside space is huge, but with any period property it is not really set up for really little ones.
- It is designed as a home away from home, which means that there is a lot of stuff, with many family photos on the walls and in the living areas. Although its nice to understand the family behind the business its just not my taste and I would be wary of the kids touching everything.
- Address – Bransbury, Nr Barton Stacey, Winchester, Hampshire SO21 3QJ
- Prices depend on the time of year and how long you are looking to stay. In the busy Summer months the minimum stay is a week, other times of the year you can for 1-3 nights prices start at £1400 for Riverside Cottage and £650 for Riverside Lodge
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We were given a two night stage in return for this honest review. All opinions and words are my own