Mini breaks are something that I’ve always been fond of – I’m a homebody, through and through, and so the idea of being away for a prolonged period of time not only doesn’t appeal to me, it makes me anxious. I like my own space, one I’ve designed around my needs and creature comforts.
I’ve found that a lot of people complain that domestic holidays cost much more than going abroad, and while I can appreciate that it’s true in many cases, there’s something to be said for spending quality time in and around the UK. Not everyone has the money to do so, but should you find yourself with some extra disposal income, intended for a short break holiday, an extra splurge to travel domestically is worthwhile.
Armed with the task of finding somewhere to stay, that’s also dog friendly, I set about searching the web… and then an email announced that I had a new follower on Twitter. An account called @Seaside_Lodge; from what I could make out from the media on their page, it looked amazing. Enchanted by the prospect of being away from home, with a beach close at hand, a mere walk from the lodge, I bit the bullet and asked if a couple of nights was available in early November. Perfectly timed for my birthday, a little treat to myself.
The owners of the Seaside Lodge, Joanna and Jon, replied promptly and informed me that, although they normally prefer to offer longer stays instead of shorter ones, they were willing to open up the lodge to us for a couple of nights. And at a reasonable price. I’d be lying if I said the cost of staying was dirt cheap, but what I paid was exactly what I got: exceptional quality, kitted out with modern technology, while being inviting and homely. It was the epitome of (the new buzzword) ‘hygge’.
Prior to our stay, Joanna popped along an email with details about places to eat, where to visit, the beaches that are deserted and dog friendly, and so on; all of this information was also provided at the lodge, but it enabled us to plan out stay more effectively, and with minimal effort on our part. If only more places took this level of initiative, it would make arranging holidays, however small, less anxiety inducing.
Our journey to Anderby Creek was a longish one, well three hours in truth, but as only my partner drives, to her it felt like an eternity. However, the directions we were given helped loads, and the Satnav took us right to the front door, which is a first! We couldn’t miss the lodge when we pulled up, the subtle blue of its front is so seasidey it brought back memories of my childhood spent in similar lodges closer to Skegness beach. When we ventured inside, making sure that Finn was nice and clean (he’s our scruffy labradoodle), we opened up the front door and was immediately blown away.
The inside was immaculate, and when I say that, I truly mean it; the presentation was to a standard I’ve only seen in four/five star hotels. Furthermore, on a little tour of the lodge, I realised that there was two bedrooms, in addition to a main bathroom and a compact but well designed en-suite, which is attached to the larger of the bedrooms. Then I clapped eyes on the patio doors, which open out onto a small, enclosed garden on the side of Anderby Creek lake. That lakeside view is worth all the travelling and money alone, but then to know that the beach is just three minutes away makes the whole trip all the more special. A haven inside a paradise.
The best bit of entering though, was discovering a mini welcome hamper waiting for us, filled with some locally made plum bread, onion chutney, and ale, with some oak smoked cheese in the fridge. Guests can pay to have a welcome basket supplied, but I hadn’t opted for that option, for I was content to just stay by the sea, so to come in and discover this gift was the icing on a big cake. Oh, and I’d hate to forget the handwritten welcome message on the chalkboard by the front door that was left for us, adding to the charming atmosphere.
Our first evening was spent cosying up in front of the log burner, nestling down on the sofa to look out at the lake; Cat read a book whilst I cross stitched, with Finn loyally on his bed close to the fire, soaking up the warmth. Even though the Seaside Lodge is dog friendly, your pooches aren’t allowed on the furniture. I’ll be honest, this worried us at first, simply because Finn is very much all over ours, but he adapted to the change immediately. It was if he knew that this was a new place and thus new rules applied.
Not once during our two nights did we bother with the television, though there were plenty of channels and DVDs supplied to tempt us, which is great for families who wish to cut down on the items they need to bring. For us though, we wanted simplicity, to get back to basics and stay cut off from the world rather that thrown into it, that was until we found the popcorn maker.
Yes, this lodge is kitted out with a modern yet rustic interior, and we couldn’t resist trying out the machine. Expecting a minimal amount of popcorn, we only used a normal sized bowl to house our savoury snack in, what an amateurish mistake for us to make; even though we used the right amount to ‘cook’ with, we had two overflowing bowls, and popcorn flying everywhere! It was hilarious watching Finn attempt to catch the tumbling food as it spilled over the surfaces and close to his mouth; luckily he didn’t grab much, as human popcorn is bad for dogs. All in all, it was a wonderful first night.
I won’t bore you with us laying in bed and commenting on how wonderful the lodge was, or how much I kept talking about the thread count of the duvet set, which I swear blind was one of the highest I’ve ever felt against my skin – you could feel the luxury cocooning you. I could have spent two days merely in bed, without moving anywhere else. Sadly, I’d hopped into that plushie sanctuary before managing to take a picture of it, but to me that says everything you need to know: it was so enticing and comfortable looking that I forgot about my camera and dived right on in. That first night was the best nights sleep I’ve had in ages, which is a massive win for me as I suffer from anxiety attacks most nights.
The next day we woke up and set off to explore Anderby Creek Beach, and my goodness, I could have spent the entire day adventuring with my little family. Thankfully the weather was on our side, but even in the pouring rain it would have been a treat, and one that Finn would have enjoyed as much as us, maybe even more so. He’s a mucky pup, and makes that fact known on every walk, especially if he has an audience.
As for the beach itself, it seemed to stretch on indefinitely, with hardly anyone knocking about apart from ramblers and fellow dog walkers; it was everything I’d dreamt of and more. Cat and I decided in short order that we’d quite like a lodge of our own, somewhere to retreat to whenever we want to get away from the rubbish we have to deal with on a daily basis. Our current bane being our poorly maintained house (by the landlord, not ourselves), and having to deal with their lack of regard for our wellbeing with having to live like that. Though that’s a rant for another post, preferably once we’ve moved.
We explored for a couple of hours, then returned to the lodge to sip tea and relax, though my form of relaxation returned me to that gloriously big bed for a quick nap. After we’d recharged our batteries, we went back to the beach, having decided to walk in the opposite direction. It was a crisp evening stroll, with Finn meeting the odd new friend on the way; it’s safe to say after all that walking on sand, we were ready for a peaceful night in. Once back at the lodge, we settled down and just nibbled on crackers, and so sadly I can’t comment on what the local food places are actually like. However, having seen everything else in and around the lodge, I imagine the services to be excellent.
Our trip to the Seaside Lodge felt like it went by far too quickly, with me pining for its warming interior the moment we returned home. As far as I’m concerned, nothing will compare to it. It’s a hidden gem, one that I would gladly take over any trip aboard. The experience was so positive and enjoyable, such a breath of fresh air, that we intend to return in Spring. I implore anyone who has the opportunity to visit to do so, for it’ll give you all the respite you need to get you back into your groove.