Imagine if you will, a tricky customer. Someone who knows her own mind, but on occasions can’t make it up. My daughter is one such creature and the occasion of her 18th birthday was always going to be an interesting challenge, not least because we wanted to make it a memorable occasion.
The wonderful thing about Millie however is you can always expect the unexpected, so when she asked for to go away for a quiet weekend with just a few close friends we were somewhat relieved. Indeed, I positively embraced the challenge of finding a suitable venue. We were spoilt for choice and therein lay the problem: where to go? Such was the dilemma that we were nearing the potential red mist zone of indecision and the inevitable resultant discord. Fortunately, we stumbled across something that got unanimous approval, Brompton Lakes.
Brompton Lakes comprise a series of luxurious contemporary-styled lodges positioned around two lakes. Each lodge is individually designed and importantly enjoys its own space and private lake frontage making it a picture-perfect and rather unusual retreat. There was only one downside to our proposition – our team sheet consisted of seven – two parents and five eighteen year olds (oh and our dog, Winston). While our canine companion was welcome the property was limited to six. 'Elf and safely' decreed six only and who am I to question their wisdom. This however, meant that yours truly resided there during the day and at night drove the two miles to the sumptuous Easby Hall, of which more another time.
Our plan was to arrive early and set up camp prior to the youngster's arrival. Our lodge, 'Charlie' was suitably girlie with splashes of bright pink breaking up the white. Spacious enough for many more than the six it accommodated, special touches included a swivel log burning stove which meant whether you were chilling out of the amply squidgy sofas, or enjoying a meal at the dining table, the burner emitted its firey glow in your direction. We had packed various treats for the weekend and quickly distilled the booty between the lodge's ample fridge and ample storage space which included an excellent utility space with all the mod cons. We transferred scrumptious supplies to the purpose-built Scandinavian BBQ hut which we had pre-booked for the evening and which proved to be as cosy a place for a feast as you could imagine.
In no time at all we were settled and as teenagers are so talented at doing they managed to arrive once the hard work was over. Their initial reaction perhaps carries more weight than these humble words. They simply loved the place. The main combined living area included a spacious and well presented kitchen and dining area which adjoined a sitting area brimful of gadgets as is so often expected in today’s contemporary living spaces of note. With three bedrooms to choose from, one ensuite, the girls scrambled for their rooms. The whole space has been very carefully considered.
It was a pleasure to see the girls having such fun miles away from any so called bright lights and taking real please in their surroundings. The BBQ hut was our surprise venue for a special birthday feast. My beloved daughter loves to do things differently and the genuine surprise when she saw the little house laid out and the fire glowing was a treat in itself and well worth the hire charge (£40). The evening over, I adjourned to nearby Easby Hall. The rest of the gang stayed in the lodge and enjoyed a perfect night's sleep. By the time I returned the following day breakfast was in full swing and the conversation clearly was on the day's agenda. In an endeavor to burn off some of the calories we decided to walk to nearby Richmond. A trek which took us across fields and the river Swale. Richmond's Saturday market was in full swing when we arrived and the girls were happy to potter around the various stalls and pick up some little presents and foodie treats before starting the hike home.
It is easy to see the unique appeal of this special place. Luxury mixed with sustainability (all the lodges have good green credentials). There are lots of activities on-site including tennis, boules and biking, or you can just kick back and relax. We can't think of a better place to enjoy what is a beautiful part of the country but perhaps the best commendation of all was five contented teenagers texting and snap-chatting their friends and family with rare enthusiasm and expressing a desire to return soon.
Brompton Lakes, email@example.com, 01748 850333