One of the biggest and nicest surprises that I’ve found since I started blogging has been discovering the blogging community. To begin with it was a bit intimating and at times still is. But within it there are so many lovely people and I’ve been really lucky to find some true friends.
We’re all dotted around the country and it can be hard to meet up. The lovely Donna took it upon herself to organise a little bloggers retreat, where we could meet up, relax, talk blogging and take a hundred photos without anyone thinking we are odd. Riverside Lifestyle offered to host us at the beautiful Riverside cottage.
Riverside cottage can be found in the beautiful countryside of Hampshire and the views really were breathtaking. There was ten of us staying and it comfortably accommodated us with five bedrooms. The cottage is very traditional and gives you a home from home feel. There is lots of little nooks and crannies which you would expect from a cottage.
What I loved about it, was that even with ten of us there it never felt like we were on top of each other. The dining area became a real social area, with plenty of room for us all to sit around. It became the place that we not only ate at, but also talked blogging, had some nibbles and enjoyed the view.
The dining room led through to the kitchen and garden room. The kitchen was a great size and had everything that we needed. I wish we had stayed longer, as I would love to have spent more time in the garden room. I could just picture myself sat reading a book, enjoying the views.
Everywhere you turned there was another room to explore, but the cottage flowed well and all joined up.
At the other end of the garden is the Riverside Lodge which can sleep four people and can be rented out alongside the Riverside Cottage. Which means that with both there is room for fourteen people. It’s here that you will also find the swimming pool, which is used by both the cottage and the lodge.
The garden also had a play area for children. As we had no children with us, Donna tried out the tyre swing!
There were so many beautiful places to sit outside and enjoy the views and the quietness.
Riverside Lifestyle is also the home of the Riverside Yurt Cafe and whilst it’s main use is as a cafe, it used for so much more too. Some of the girls got up early one morning to enjoy a Yoga session held in the Yurt and they came back saying how relaxing it was. There are also pilate classes held there for the locals.
The Yurt is open from March – October and is open to the public from Wednesdays – Sunday. With a play area too, it’s a wonderful area for families to enjoy.
They serve a range of food and we enjoyed a lovely cream tea. The jam is their very own Riverside Jam, made from the lavender in their lavender fields. It was one of the nicest jams I’ve tried.
The Riverside Cottage has everything that you would need for a self catering stay, but sometimes when you are away you just don’t want to cook. I definitely fit in this camp! Thankfully they offer guests the option to have a chef from the Little Kitchen Company to come and cook a three course meal for you, at a cost of £40 per person. We had either the salmon roulade or goats cheese for starter, followed by chicken with a mushroom sauce and a fruit and cream dessert.
We enjoyed our dinner with a glass of wine from Mel’s family.
On our second night we had a takeaway and with Andover only ten minutes away this was an easy option for us. It’s great to have different options available to you and to meet everyone’s needs.
Being childfree for a couple of days, meant we could relax and enjoy a few drinks together. We brought along several different cocktails and mixers from 31Dover.com . I’ve never seen such pretty cocktails and it really felt like we were on holiday relaxing and siping on these.
And if this wasn’t enough, we were also given the opportunity to have a spa treatment from Holistic Hens. A few bloggers had a treatment and said how relaxing it was.
We also had a flower arrangement workshop by Judith Searles. Now I will admit I didn’t think this would be something that I would enjoy. But I found it a great way to unwind and to be taught how to make a centrepiece by an expert was a great experience. I was pretty proud of my first attempt and you never know I might attempt a wreath at Christmas.
As our time at Riverside Lifestyle came to an end, I came away feeling relaxed, inspired and with some new friends…
You can head over to my lovely friends blogs to see what they thought about our little adventure – What The Redhead Said, Five Little Doves, Mudpie Fridays, Bridie By The Sea, Le Coin De Mel, Keep Up With The Jones, Scrapbook Blog, The Littlest Darlings and Mummy and Boo.
Disclosure: We were invited to stay at Riverside Cottage, all views and opinions are my own. All extras we paid for ourselves,