Monday, 21 May 2012

Date 4 - The Crab at Chieveley

Well date four was meant to be something else but guess what...?

The wedding kind of ate every spare moment of our time and after our reception venue cancelled we ended up with nowhere to stay that night too! uh-oh!

At VERY short notice we managed to book a fabulous room at The Crab at Chieveley. They claim their rooms are "Famous" but I am not so sure about HOW famous they are? Nontheless, they are stunning.

(photo taken from google - sorry couldn't find who to credit! get in touch if you wish me to credit this photo)

The approach to the hotel/pub at 11pm on a stormy April night was nothing but bleak so upon waking the next morning I was absolutely blown away by the gorgeous rolling fields that surround The Crab...but I am getting ahead of myself.

Now people tell you how magical your wedding day is and whatnot, and ours was magical, but it also made us weird-out a little bit and by 11pm when L's older brother was pissed out of his mind and turning the music up so loud that the landlord of the QUIET country pub where we had our reception had threatened to chuck us all out, we knew then that it was time to go.

The urge to leave was fuelled by the fact that I had spent my entire wedding day in wellington boots wading through a quagmire of mud and holding onto my hair as the (reportedly 80mph) wind blew my head around causing each hair pin to pull at my scalp which eventually resulted in a cracking headache..all of this was a bit much and when I cast my mind to The Crab all I could think about was the HOT TUB!!!! Oh yes, our own private garden with hot tub and fluffy towels and slippers.

So, at 11pm I kissed the kids goodbye and L's dad kindly offered to drive us to The Crab, a mere two mins up the road!

Upon arriving we blew into reception and were met straight away by a very friendly receptionist and a warm, quiet atmosphere. We were shown to our room and told to make ourselves at home, which we did. Within a few minutes we were at the back door looking out over the patio to the hot tub....should we get in?
(Picture taken from Tripadvisor)

It was FREEZING cold and so stupidly windy but the billowing steam from the hot tub was too tempting. We dashed outside and climbed in and under the 40 degree water. It was divine and after shaking like a loon with cold for the first five minutes I finally manged to relax and enjoy it. I think we were the only people made enough to be outside in the hot tub in that sort of weather as the gardens next to us seemed silent and so we stayed out for about half an hour before giving in to the madness of the day and going to bed.

The bed is the only bad point of the entire stay. Not only was the bed itself ALMOST too high to get on, it was also very lumpy and bumpy - I think the mattress had gone and I am sure I know why as when I climbed in I found an ANN SUMMERS sticker stuck to my foot. NOT NICE. Now we are all grown ups and we know what goes on when people go to hotels for nice weekends away, of course we do. But do we want to sleep in the dents of other people's love? NO. Do we want the sticker evidence stuck to our foot? Double NO. FAIL, FAIL, FAIL...not cool.

(photo taken from google - sorry couldn't find who to credit! get in touch if you wish me to credit this photo)

Roll on to the next morning.

We wake up, we feel like you do when you go to the beach, go in the sea and then go home and have a warm shower - you know..that kind of good/exhausted tired out feeling. So, it is a jolly good job that we are heading to the beautiful, beautiful resturant to have our breakfast. Mr Sunshine has got his hat on this morning and the fields all around the place are a glowing bright yellow, we see Red Kites flying above the fields and butterflies on the's pretty. The breakfast is filling and gorgeous and well-presented. I had eggs benedict with bacon and cups, upon cups of tea..followed by mini-croissant and mini-pain au chocolat, then I remembered that I should not be eating like an actual horse and just finished of the spare round of toast before having an orange juice and then walking out with my head hanging low. I would have felt REALLY bad but L had a Full English and then ate what I did so we were both big gross fatties and we were both ashamed.

                                                                                                (Photo taken from

After a day of running around like headless chickens doing jobs such as taking down our own wedding marquee in the pouring rain, visiting the entire guest-list of family and so on..THEN we got to come back and enjoy our room. We did this by taking a bottle of wine into the hot tub and hot tubbing the day away until we were dizzy with joy or tiredness or wine?? It eventually stopped raining and almost at once the hot tub got too hot and we got out, got into bed and fell asleep again in the stupid awful bed.

The next day we did a repeat of the breakfast from the day before, except I avoided the horror show that is hollandaise sauce - bleurgh...and then we checked out and left.

All in all it was a lovely place to stay. For those who wish to visit, I would say definitely do. The bad reviews I have read are in no-way justified and should be ignored.The place is clean, tidy and beautifully decorated. The decor is not tired and the staff are welcoming and helpful. I would suggest to the pub that they replace the mattresses throughout as it sort-of put me off wanting to stay there again, and perhaps check around the beds when they make them as it is revolting finding evidence of other people's sex-lives in your own honeymoon bed, however, the beauty of the rooms, the lovely relaxation of the hot tub and the breakfast menu all make for a jolly good reason to go. I didn't eat any of the famous (and it is) food as I can't stand sea food..but if it is anywhere near as nice as the breakfast is and you like sea food then I would say definitely go. You can't go wrong.

Another thing of note are the beautiful garden areas surrounding the pub, well-worth a look.

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