I’ll admit it, I always thought the idea of a babymoon was a bit wank. I don’t know if it’s the horrendous name, the ultra-smug Binky and JP style photos of a two-week break in Hawaii, or just me being a grumpy cow, but I never thought a babymoon was something I’d get on board with.
Considering I’m always happy to find an excuse to run away for a night or two it does seem a bit stupid that this was one I was willing to ignore. But luckily I had a last minute change of heart and booked us a night away in a beautiful hotel with a pool and an amazing restaurant and boy am I glad I did!
I literally googled ‘hotel with pool Devon or Cornwall’ (not a particularly difficult criteria to keep me happy!) and Hotel Du Vin in Exeter came up, relatively new to Exeter but a chain I know about and have only heard good things it seemed like a great choice. We booked their dinner, bed, and breakfast deal because who doesn’t love a bargain that involves free food?! Built in an old eye infirmary (possibly one of the least creepy types of hospital? Do eyes haunt people?) the hotel is gorgeous, centrally located, and perfect for couples, groups of friends, and families alike.
Our room was absolutely gorgeous, filled with everything you could need including the must-have, overpriced mini-bar! Massive bed, fancy lights that have a million settings depending on level of relaxation required, citrussy REN beauty products in the bathroom, and it stayed super cool all day and night (which is a god send when you’re eight months pregnant!). There was also an inexplicable volume dial in the bathroom that we never found a use for, and who doesn’t love a mystery?!
There are full spa facilities at Hotel Du Vin (at really reasonable prices too) but we just hung out in the pool for a bit. I cannot believe I haven’t spent more time in a pool since being pregnant, feeling weightless is a bloody delight! I even wore a bikini! Me! For those of you who have been following my body image dramas you’ll know this is quite the achievement. Didn’t even cry about it.
The indoor/outdoor pool is perfect. Small but it wasn’t busy at all – we actually had it to ourselves for a good 45 minutes. Indoors is a jet pool, with a bit of a steam room feel to it. Like a giant hot tub but the water isn’t as hot (praise be for the preggos) with a swim through door to the outdoor, heated pool. Absolute bliss. There was an awkward moment when we first got in where it felt a little bit like we’d booked in to a swingers’ hotel but everyone stopped making out when my massive stomach reminded them of what sex can lead to…
Side note: if anyone’s ever in a pool with Matt ask him to show you ‘Feed Time For Chickens’.
The food was incredible! Dinner was amazing and fancy without being pretentious, and there is 100% something for everyone on the menu. I had the boiled egg and asparagus, followed by the steak and frites and a creme brûlée the size of my head! Everything was cooked perfectly and absolutely delicious, the board the egg was served on was ridiculous though and I ended up with as much egg on the table as in my face. Matt went for the carpaccio and roast poussin. Cracking wine and cocktail selection to, for the less pregnant amongst us.
Breakfast had a great selection of all the traditional hot choices as well as a really lovely mini buffet. Full English, Eggs Benedict, pancakes, salmon and scrambled eggs – you’re covered! Big fan of the mini milk bottles filled with juices too.
It’s also worth noting that the restaurant itself is bloody gorgeous, overlooking the garden with loads of lovely light. Perfectly intimate and comfortable, again without being pretentious or making you feel like you have to be on your absolute best behaviour.
I could have easily stayed another night (or seven) just for the bed alone. There are not enough words of love and joy for a bed so big that you don’t touch your boyfriend all night. Romantic way of looking at it? Probably not. But bliss for a big fat pregnant woman. I am not looking forward to climbing back into our now inferior and tiny king size bed tonight.
I honestly feel so relaxed, pampered, and content – which is a lot to gain from just one night away. I can’t recommend Hotel Du Vin enough and we’ll definitely be booking in again (next time I’ll be able to drink one of the champagne cocktails!). They’re dotted all over the country so if you’re after a luxury (but not overpriced) night away it’s worth having a look!
None of this is an ad, nobody is giving me free night’s away in fancy hotels in exchanged for a few silly photos (if any hotel marketing teams are reading I’d be more than happy to do this of course. I’m not above it!), we just had a really great trip and I wanted to share the love. (If it was an ad I probably wouldn’t have started with the phrase ‘a bit wank’.)
I never thought I would, but getting away, even if just for a night like we did, is now 100% my top recommendation for couples before the baby arrives. Whether it’s your first of fifteenth child make the time for just you two. It doesn’t have to be expensive, it doesn’t have to be fancy, but try and find somewhere that has a pool, a massive comfy bed, and room service breakfast (the one thing missing from our trip, the only breakfast on offer in the rooms was £15 granola…nah).
It turns out a babymoon was exactly what we needed. All we did was float in the pool, eat delicious food, and lounge in bed. There was absolutely no pressure to do anything and that kind of relaxation is so rare (and is obviously going to become more so very soon).
It’s official; I’m a babymoon convert.
I wonder if we can fit another one in…