Despite having lived in London for three years now, I still don’t feel as though I’ve seen as much of the rest of the UK as I would like.
So the invitation from Travelodge to stay at the seafront hotel in Bournemouth was a welcome one – and a month ago, my boyfriend and I jumped into the car and made our way to the seaside.
By the time we got there it was pretty late – around 10pm, and there wasn’t much parking to be found at the hotel itself, so I’d recommend trying to get there early if possible. The staff were incredibly accommodating, however, and we were able to find parking just a street away, which was fantastic.
The original plan had been to go out for a few drinks, and do a little exploring, but we were absolutely knackered so made our way up to the room. It was clearly one of the nicest ones in the place (third floor, room 306, I believe), and after a night in one of the most comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in, we woke up to an amazing view of the sea.
Over a full English breakfast we got out our phones to plan our day. My boyfriend had come prepared, of course, with his swimming trunks, for a dip in the sea but luckily didn’t make good on his promise to swim while we were there!
After a walk across the seafront, the city centre and through the gardens (and a game of Dance Dance Revolution in the arcades, which I lost so IT NEVER HAPPENED) we went to the Russell-Cotes museum.
The Russell-Cotes house and museum looks like its straight out of an episode of Poirot. There are some incredible views from inside of the sea, and I really liked how the museum had a pianist playing live. It was a really nice way to spend a few hours – especially as the Russell-Coteses have a massive collection of Japanese art.
After a couple of hours we began to feel peckish, and so we made our way to Frieda’s Tearoom, which was a very sweet little place. I had a lovely butternut squash soup, followed by some macarons and a pot of tea.
There were a few things we wanted to do, like going up the Bournemouth Balloon, or do the amazing zipline from the end of the pier to the beach, but the weather was really terrible, which meant a lot of things had shut.
So we want back into our warm and cosy room for a little while, and got ready for dinner at The Crab, which was walking distance from where we were staying.
All the food at The Crab was delicious, but the starters were really fantastic. My boyfriend had the soft shell crab tempura (always a winner) and I had scallops topped with Gruyere. It was sublime.
I had the signature crab for my main, followed by a mousse and meringue dessert, both of which were also amazing.
We spent our next day driving to the New Forest, exploring the beautiful village of Beaulieu for a few hours. As we were in ancient woodlands, we put our new found foraging skills to the test, and recognised and picked a lot of amethyst deceivers, which went into another risotto later on that week.
We stopped off for fish and chips, and I had a stem ginger ice cream before we got back in the car and headed back to London. All in all it was such a lovely weekend – many thanks to Travelodge for such a comfortable and enjoyable stay!