16.1.15

A WEEKEND IN CHURT

Last weekend was our anniversary. We always like to get away somewhere in the UK for the weekend, as it's right after Christmas - and while Christmas is such lovely family time, there's no "us" time, so it's the perfect weekend for a little jolly in the countryside. I obviously take over all planning, to find the perfect place to stay that's within walking distance of a well rated pub or restaurant. The boy would do the planning, if I let him, but I don't, and that's ok. It means I'm happy with the place we end up staying, and he's happy too!

So off we went to Churt in Surrey for 2 nights last Friday evening. I've spent a fair bit of time in and around Sussex but my only venture to Surrey has been to Kingston, and I don't think that really counts. So as we drove down the A3 then off into the countryside proper, I was squealing with excitement as we wound our way through tree lined rounds and found ourselves outside The Devil's Cradle in Churt, which was to be home for 2 nights. Now I wouldn't necessarily write about a romantic weekend away on my blog, but I have to tell you about this, as both the B&B that we stayed in, and the pub that we spent nearly every waking hour in were both so perfect. I found the B&B through Google searches. We now only ever use AirBnB when we go away, but I couldn't find the perfect place I had in mind so turned back to Google and found The Devil's Cradle - a self contained chalet, with under floor heating, it's own kitchen, a wet room shower and four poster bed. It costs £75 a night without breakfast and £85 with - between us - £170 for 2 nights in paradise!!

 
 
 
 


If you're looking for a weekend getaway - check out The Devil's Cradle. And if you book, book with breakfast. Our host Trish lives in her house next door but fully stocked the fridge with fresh orange juice, organic mushrooms, bacon and sausages, free range village eggs and tomatoes, and there's every bit of cooking equipment you could possibly need. There's also biscuits, croissants, pukka tea bags and real coffee - for an extra £5 each per night you can't go wrong!

 
 

The booze came with us - and can I just say, one of my new favourite things is the Nola drink on the right above. It's a really girly drink - vodka spritz made with watermelon and strawberry and is super low calorie, so perfect for January dieters who aren't doing a totally dry January!!

We arrived in the dark and once unpacked headed to the local pub, which is about 20 steps from the front gate. Bel and the Dragon is part of a group that has 4 or 5 other pubs by the same name in local towns, but this one was everything we wanted. Cosy, but modern with roaring fires, lots of dogs, cheap-ish cocktails, a fantastic wine list, really delicious food and absolutely delightful staff. We had a light supper there on the Friday in the bar, and another light lunch on Saturday, then supper in the proper restaurant that evening. The food isn't super cheap, but it's top quality ingredients, cooked really well, and we ate a lot there over the weekend! This some of what we ate in the bar.

Seared tuna, avocado, spinach and charred corn salad:

 

 Steak, cooked perfectly blue as requested:

 
Crispy, tender calamari with a super light, crunchy batter:


Platter of wonderful jamon, pardon peppers, huge juicy olives and aged Parmesan:


Scallops with cauliflower:


Sadly my photos of the food we ate in the main restaurant are awful, so I'll spare you those, but I had an excellent herb crusted halibut fillet with pureed and pickled celeriac, samphire, deep fried anchovies and charred lemon, followed by a Simpsmith vodka and lemon sorbet, and some port drenched cheese.

We sat in the bar area for hours over the weekend playing board games, chatting away, watching the football(!) and drinking more cocktails than was ever necessary.


We did venture outside the pub and chalet for a little bit over the weekend - Churt just happens to have a sculpture park, which has over 800 different sculptures, from the stunning to the ridiculous - a 2 hour walk round it had us in fits of giggles, posing up a storm next to nearly every sculpture!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It was such a fun weekend and the perfect antidote to the post-holiday blues. We will be back there very soon for more wonderful food and sculpture park silliness!! Also, any place that has one of these outside is a winner in my book - as it's exactly the same as they had in the garden of the house we rented for my 30th.

 
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14 comments

  1. The chalet looks cute and romantic! What a lovely way to spend a weekend!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

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    Replies
    1. It's so lovely Angie, and even better it's less than an hour from London

      Rosie xx

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  2. What a wonderful weekend. I read this and laughed we visited the sculpture park on the way back from Champney's the other day and the pub opposite is lovely for lunch/dinner. You look like you had a wonderful weekend Lucy x

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    Replies
    1. The sculpture park's great! So funny that you were there too!!

      Rosie xx

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  3. The chalet is so beautiful, full of character, lovely. It sounds like a very nice romantic weekend, great idea.

    Anca @ ancaslifestyle | UK

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    Replies
    1. Such a gorgeous chalet, and amazing value :)

      Rosie xx

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  4. That chalet looks gorgeous, love the decor - what a bargain price too! We're currently looking for where to go for our anniversary but are planning to stay a bit closer to home than usual... we always end up in London so it will be interesting to see if this year we manage anything different :)
    www.lovedbylaura.com

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    1. You should check out the Devil's Cradle Laura - gorgeous place, super good value and amazing pub opposite :)

      Rosie xx

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  5. This is such a gorgeous idea. I really want to do something like this! I found a gorgeous house in the middle of Scotland that you have to get to by boat and am trying to convince Ben to take me! haha!

    Katie <3

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    Replies
    1. It's so lovely! And the bonus of this one is it's so close to London, but feels like you're in the middle of nowhere :)

      Rosie xx

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  6. how beautiful is this trip?! such a great idea for a different kind of getaway. I've always been curious about churts but never tried - being so close to London, I really have no excuse do I? x

    Miho @ Wander to Wonder

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    Replies
    1. So beautiful - it was such a nice weekend!

      R xx

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  7. Thanks for the tip! I always fancy a weekend break away, but never want to travel too far. Surrey has some beautiful woods!

    The Awkward Blog

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    Replies
    1. The woods round there are stunning. Such gorgeous countryside, yet so close and easy to get to from London.

      Rosie xx

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