A visit to the cellar door for wine tastings or a quick plunge in the warm jacuzzi at the Wellness Centre and Spa were obligatory to ward off the cold. If only I could have braved the low temperatures of the solar-heated indoor "serenity pool" for an invigorating dip.
Dinner in a private room at the Linden Tree Restaurant was perfect, thanks to the diligence and warmth of our waitress and banquets manager who didn't bat an eye-lid at our boisterous and irreverent banter. A three-course set menu with several choices was provided for the birthday celebration and was of high quality and presentation.
Following our meal, we donned our pyjamas and white towelling robes to retire to an elegant sitting room with comfy sofas and chairs for a session of girl talk in front of the open fire. Much to our delight, the manager provided us with a free platter of exquisite cheeses, crackers, quince paste and a bottle of wine and remarked that we may have started a new trend for the hotel - midnight snacks in jammies and robes - for grown-ups.
An excellent buffet breakfast topped off the weekend and reluctantly we had to depart this haven of relaxation; but not before viewing the collection of sculptures and artworks that provide colour and whimsy to the simple interiors and outdoor spaces of the property.