A Winter Retreat

We decided to get away from London for a couple of days and headed to the Hawkwell House Hotel in Oxford.  We left around 3pm on Christmas Eve and arrived to find chocolates, crackers and Santa hats waiting for us in our room.

I’d really been looking forward to spending Christmas in this hotel as it is so cosy and festive.

Hawkwell House - the fireplace

Hawkwell House - Xmas tree Hawkwell House - decorations

We spent a lot of time sitting by the fireplace just reading newspapers or books.

Hawkwell House - the lounge

And we spent some time in the lounge too where I played with my camera and read while Ste watched football.

We stayed for three nights at a rate of £95 bed and breakfast per night plus Christmas dinner included.  It was nice not to have to worry about cooking on Christmas day but not so nice that the kitchen wasn’t open for room service for the whole weekend!!  We had to go into Oxford for some Nandos on the Saturday night.  Nandos will always be our first choice as they are a South African franchise!

On the morning we left, there was even some sunshine and so I got to take some lovely photos of the buildings and the ground.

Hawkwell House Hotel - Oxford (3) Hawkwell House Hotel - Oxford Hawkwell House Hotel - Oxford (2)

We had a lovely and relaxing time away and it was just the kind of winter retreat that I had in mind.  Mostly, I was just glad to be healthy and happy during this visit as I had been so sick when we visited in 2008!

21 comments on "A Winter Retreat"
  1. How beautiful this is! What a nice and quiet way to spend a weekend and fabulous for a holiday. Very festive and cozy.

  2. That looks nice. IMHO you cannot beat Christmas in the UK, I always do my best to get back there for the yuletide.


  3. Emm - looks nice, we did something similar before Xmas last year at Cotswold Lodge Hotel in Oxford but was not too impressed - Hawkwell looks good;

    Here is a lunch uggestion and a possible visit for your next trip -I live 18 miles from Ox so it's "next door"



  4. Looks absolutely lover-ly! Glad you had good health and good weather to enjoy it.

  5. Looks like a great place to stay! Really lovely decorations as well :)

  6. Emm it looks great. I like the idea of Christmas away its a good change once in a while.

  7. aaah... the room looks so warm, cosy and christmassy (if there is such a word)! :-)

    nandos! brings back a lot of memories! i used to pop over from my uni to their branch in Harrow-on-the-hill. was one of our favourites!

    was wondering how u got so much sunshine in winter to click those beautiful pics... lucky you!

  8. It looks like a perfect Christmas setting - and a very good rate too, for having Christmas dinner included.

  9. Sounds like a nice hotel stay; I see the frost is back with a vengeance this morning.

  10. Wow looks so nice :) Glad you had a great Christmas

  11. @ Carolyn: It was indeed lovely! Just the type of winter getaway retreat I had in mind. I have in mind sunburn and sand for my next winter retreat!

    @ Vanessa: Thank you sweetheart!

    @ BBE: Were you back this year? Did you have a good time?

    @ David: Heh. I should give you a call next time we are out that way. Literally other side of the world from us!

    @ Kathy: Me too!! I'm not trying to tempt fate but this winter is just a million times better than the last one where I was so sick.

    @ Meg: It was lovely and they went to so much trouble to jazz the place up!

    @ Mike: It was indeed fab and I'd certainly recommend it.

    @ Ash: Ha! I just haul out my camera whenever I see sunshine so I do give the impression that it is more sunny than it really is! Having said that, it is blue skies and sunshine today and it is freezing cold.

    @ Sheila: It was an excellent rate and well worth not having to go to the trouble yourself!

    @ John: I know!!! We still don't have central heating so I did allow myself one single, solitary whimper of self-pity this morning!!

  12. Happy New Year Emm, your hotel looked cosy.

  13. @ Neal: It was lovely and I'd definitely recommend it if you ever visit Oxford. Have you been there yet?

    @ Glynis: Happy New Year Glynis! It was indeed lovely and cosy!

  14. Wow...super pretty! Your Christmas holidays sounds great! And the most important is you did not have to cook during the vacation. Haha! Nice to know you are healthy now!

  15. Hey Mandy! this looks like it was a real treat - nice!! Lovely pics too!

  16. haha i can imagine. we used to sit inside and see the clear sky and bright sunshine and be lulled into thinking that it is warm. step out and whoosh! a draft of freezing cold air would be enough to send us scampering back into the warmth of our rooms! :D

  17. Love the pictures Emm so refreshing.


    Glad you got away for a bit, you can get too much of London and not see your way out sometimes.

    Warm Regards

  18. That looks so fantastic!! I does seem so cozy and welcoming. I love the decorations! I'm glad that you both had the opportunity to get away from the everyday hustle and routine for the holiday!
    Also, I ate at Nandos once when I was visiting a friend in Leicester. It was so good!

  19. @ Chen Yin Tzu: It really was pretty! And such a blessing to be in better health this winter - I put it down to Vitamin C.

    @ Gena: Thank you Gena! What a nice thing for a photographer such as yourself to say!

    @ Ash: Hahahaha! Yup - done that before!! Also, coming from a hot country, I had to learn that rain is cold in this country!!

    @ Martin: Happy new year to you too!! It is true - you can become too emersed in a city.

    @ Claire: I know - Nandos just rocks! I always have some chicken, spicy rice, haloumi and a mushroom. Yum!

    @ Kanishk: Just so you know, my tenacity and patience know no bounds and I will continue to delete each and every one of your spammy comments. Oh, wait, maybe I should try ban you instead! [Sorry readers, he just irritated me!!]

  20. This looks so cozy and delightful. I'd like to try a getaway one year. Maybe I will one day . . .


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