A Winchester sleepover
at Hotel du Vin

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A few weeks ago, we three musketeers set off on a two week holiday to Cornwall and The Cotswolds. In the past, packing for a weekend a way took up the whole car (we MAY have taken Izzy’s bath with us. And the Jumperoo…) and so the fact that we could pack up the car, with LEG ROOM TO SPARE and go away for two whole weeks, was a real milestone for us. Pats on backs all round.

However, driving the bazillion hours to Cornwall with an Isabelle who is a disaster in the car and requires constant entertainment, was not a thought I was relishing… so we decided to have a stop-over at Hotel du Vin in Winchester. Clever us.

We had made some very careful choices over where to stay for our trip and planned it meticulously, with the focus on making life as easy for ourselves as possible. The hotels we were going to stay in in Cornwall and The Cotswolds were famous for being extremely baby friendly and therefore parent friendly…but what we didn’t realise is that we’d managed, by happy accident, to book a hotel in Winchester that looked after us all (and Isabelle especially) so wonderfully, that our holiday began as soon as we walked through the door…

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Hotel du Vin Winchester is the original Hotel du Vin, and it’s also the smallest. It has just 24 bedrooms and stands in this beautiful cathedral city on the edge of the South Downs – only an hour out of London. Built in 1715, this stunning Georgian boutique hotel is a gorgeous place to hole up in and recharge…
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There were some treats waiting for Izzy in our room…
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A sweet cuddly toy and gorgeous books that Isabelle loved and still remain at the top of her favourites pile at home…
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The room had everything we needed, even a JoJo Maman Bebe changing mat was there waiting for us… (which we were very pleased to see after a few hours in the car!)

We arrived at around 6pm and thankfully didn’t have to unpack the whole car – we’d packed a separate night bag for all three of us. (Thank you. Hope you’re all suitably impressed). So by 6:15pm we were running her a bath and Izzy was in full bedtime routine mode…

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She loved this bath (‘bupf’ in Isabelle speak) and bathroom! “Bupf!” she squealed. “Bupf! Bupf! Bupf!”

While LM bathed her, I sorted out the baby monitor and found a good angle for it, so that we wouldn’t just be staring despondently at the carpet in our room (there is a real knack to this and my monitor skills are On Point. Happy to come round and sort yours out if you need)… then it was story time ( we read The Hungry Caterpillar and one of her new books) and bed. The curtains in the room were gorgeous, heavy and thick so the room was lovely and dark for her, even though the twinkly courtyard outside our window was lit up with all the pretty festoon lights…

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Pic: @pinderpix

We closed the door, monitor in hand, and went downstairs to have dinner… and, hip pip hurrah, our monitor stretched all the way with no problems whatsoever. And you cannot underestimate the wonderful feeling of this technological miracle – it meant that we could sit in the cosy hotel bistro, chat, eat dinner and have total peace of mind that Isabelle was sleeping soundly… or if not snoozing, awake and safe.

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The restaurant at Hotel du Vin, Winchester
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Our holiday had begun!
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LM had this delicious steak tartare to begin…
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And I had a very delicious steak for my main course -it’s always such a treat for me to order steak and I couldn’t resist… (and yep, that’s the baby monitor in the background. Perfect.

We managed to open the door to our room, brush our teeth and crawl into gorgeous bed, complete with Egyptian cotton linen, without waking Isabelle. Crackajack. We slept well in our very comfortable bed and awoke to the sound of Izzy practising her entire vocal repertoire… “mummy, daddy, bunny, door, bupf” (And repeat).

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Breakfast buffet
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She LOVES books.

We came down to a lovely breakfast buffet, full delicious things that Isabelle loved (Weetabix, fruit, bread, CROISSANTS) and after our enormous meal the night before, I only wanted something light, so I opted for boiled eggs and soldiers. Another treat!

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After brekky, we loaded up the car, did a Boots dash (I ran there – it took 3 mins) because I thought I’d forgotten to pack all the nappies, and checked out of our Winchester haven. We were rested, fed, watered and felt as though we’d all had a lovely warm hug from an old friend. Thank you so much to the team at Hotel du Vin for having us – what a total treat it was to stay.

By 9:30am we were on our way to Cornwall, where Izzy’s grandparents, aunt, uncles and cousin were waiting for us… we couldn’t wait to get there…

p.s. I found all the nappies. Nitwit.


We were guests of Hotel du Vin and all thoughts & opinions are my own


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