I know what you’re thinking – How could you have been married for 5 years? You look so young! – We hear it all the time. The truth is, we did get married young! July 14th 2012 Sean & I said I DO, aged 20. I should also add that I was 7 months pregnant at the time too.
Our relationship as many have described is like a ‘fairy tale’. We met at 16, grew incredibly fond of each other and spent so much time together that we were practically inseparable (to the distaste of our friends, but you know what its like when you’re young and in love)! We endured two short breakups, but they never stopped us, as much as we tried we just couldn’t stay away from each other! Now we’re here, almost 10 years on from when we first met, 5 years into marriage, 2 kids and a mortgage later!
Being the parents of two small children has meant we’ve had to sacrifice a lot of date nights and celebrations. Our previous anniversary celebrations if anything at all have been a meal at a restaurant not too far from home. This year, our 5th year of marriage, we knew we had to celebrate it with more than just a meal. Finding a trustworthy babysitter for a couple of hours can be hard enough though, so when my mother in law offered to babysit over night we jumped at the opportunity. We’ve never had an offer like that before, and I’m the kind of person that wouldn’t ask someone out of fear I’d be burdening them! The offer from my MIL was such a pleasant surprise, we just had to take her up on it!
Let me give you some insight, Sean and I have never been away from the kids overnight together!! In fact the only time I’ve spent a night away (alone, just me) was when we only had one child and I was helping out a friend for her wedding – That’s once in 5 years!!! We also didn’t get the chance to have a honeymoon after our wedding due to me being 7 months pregnant and it not being deemed safe for me to travel. I’m sure now you can understand and appreciate why our 5 year anniversary has felt like such a special one for us.
We looked at a few places; Canterbury, Richmond, Bath but ended up deciding on Brighton. The loose plan (I say loose because I didn’t believe we would actually be able to go away for a night at all) was that we’d go down the night before our anniversary, stay at a lovely hotel, wake up on the day of our anniversary child free with endless options and a whole day to explore! It goes without saying that I absolutely love spending time with the kids too, but it was nice not having to worry about anyone else for a change. It meant that our anniversary was all about us and what we wanted to do, no distractions, no interruptions, no complaints!
We did a lot of research and preparation before our trip. We wanted to stay in one of the best hotels Brighton had to offer, after all I think we deserve a bit of luxury!! We soon come across Drakes and after looking through their online gallery we knew this was the place for us. Drakes is a four star hotel with modern, contemporary details combined with original period features. It’s in a perfect distance from the pier (we could see it from our window but didn’t have to worry about the loud hustle and bustle) and it offers fantastic sea views! We opted for the circular kingsize sea facing feature room, this included a kingsized bed, a huge freestanding bathtub and fantastic sea views from the Georgian triple aspect windows. We also had a walk-in monsoon wet room, two incredibly relaxing arm chairs, a flatscreen tv with the full sky package and free wifi! Admittedly we originally wanted to stay in the larger feature room that they offer but having left it a little late when booking our hotel, unfortunately the room had already been snapped up! Honestly though, the room we did book was all we needed and more, we were so happy.
We strolled into the reception area which was also a bar. On arrival we saw some pretty special looking cocktails being made and I knew we just had to get in on the action later that evening. We were kindly shown to our room and welcomed in by the friendly staff. I love a personal welcome, service is everything even if you’ll only be in your room the entire time! We’d arrived at around 8pm and we were starving so we practically dropped off our bags and left the hotel to find a place to eat.
On our return later that night we decided we needed some of those beautiful artisan cocktails from the bar that we could take up to our room. We were given a drinks menu to flick through and ended up both opting for a pornstar martini which neither of us had tried before. It was love at first sip!! Heaven in a martini glass! The best cocktail I’d ever tasted! That alone would bring me back to Drakes time and time again! The bar at Drakes is also open to non residents of the hotel, all day, every single day, so if you ever find yourself in Brighton I really recommend dropping by for a cocktail or five! This is where it gets a little exciting, we took our cocktails up to our room and begun filling our huge tub. No exaggeration I’m 5,2 and the tub was big enough for me to fully lay down in. It was so deep that when full I couldn’t keep myself upright! There was plenty of space for the both of us (and probably one more) which made the experience even more romantic.
After our lush bathtub experience we decided instead of waking up early the next day to go our for breakfast, we’d make the most of our childless morning, laze around in bed, watch a film together, snuggle up; the prospect itself was pure bliss. This meant only one thing – BREAKFAST IN BED!!! So we filled out a breakfast card that was given to us on arrival, placed it outside our door, and jumped into bed knowing we’d be taken care of in the morning!
I slept well that night a part from being too hot and not being able to figure out how to use the aircon, but the bed was amazing. The luxury pillows and duvet made the experience even more cosy, my body was in awe! In the morning I took advantage of our complimentary tea and biscuits selection before face timing the kids to see how their morning was going.
Breakfast was bang on our chosen designated room service time of 9:30am. We sat their enjoying a full english, accompanied by coffee, fresh orange juice and toast whilst watching The Holiday, because whats an anniversary without a cheesy romcom?! We didn’t know what to expect from the full english, the breakfast card didn’t go into too many details of what you might find on your plate but I thought as long as sausage, bacon and eggs were involved where could I go wrong?! When I unveiled what was under my food cloche I spotted 2 rashers of bacon, 2 sausages, 2 fried eggs, half of a roasted tomato and 2 large mushrooms. Mushrooms aren’t really my thing so I ended up giving them to Sean much to his delight! For me it was a breakfast well done, the sausages were so flavoursome without being too much for the dish, and everything else was cooked to perfection. We were also given boxes of cereal and jugs of milk alongside our breakfasts but the full English had definitely sufficed, any more and I may have exploded!
After breakfast and enjoying a very lazy morning in bed, we both enjoyed showers in the monsoon wetroom. The dials on the shower were really easy to figure out unlike others we’ve used in the past. The shower head was huge which made for a great full body experience as well as it being powerful unlike our weak shower at home! The service at the hotel was really top notch, anything we needed was taken care of. We even rang reception asking if we could check out any later than usual and with no hesitation they offered us an extra hour which was all we needed! The staff and anyone else we came into contact with gave off a really genuine, warm vibe. They’re all about making your stay at Drakes one to remember!
The morning for us in the circular kingsize room was something else! We opened the wooden shutters that covered the windows of a night time and sat on the bed enjoying the bright panoramic sea view that was directly in front of us, in the distance beyond the pier you could see wind turbines, you could hear the birds calling and we would watched them as they swooped by. As the morning went on, Brighton grew busier. Right outside our window you could see the beach filling up, and you could hear people laughing and enjoying themsleves. Theres an atmosphere in Brighton that feels really uplifting, even when you’re watching on the outskirts from your hotel window!
Saying goodbye to our room was tragic, I would have loved to have stayed longer, to enjoy that tub one last time and wake up to that view all over again. On leaving we payed the remainder of our bill and filled out their guest book. We had such a beautiful time at Drakes, if we’d have stayed elsewhere I dread to think of how differently our anniversary celebrations would have been!
Don’t forget to check out our Brighton photo diary too!