A Socially Distanced Family Birthday Break

Towards the end of September, my Nan turned the grand age of eighty eight. Although my lockdown birthday earlier in the year wasn’t fun, celebrations these days continue to be awkward, with the rule of 6 preventing proper parties, or even large family gatherings from happening.

We had already booked a stay at a nearby Southampton hotel when the new guidelines were put into place. We checked with the hotel whether the stay could go ahead and they confirmed it would be fine, giving us two sittings for dinner, and separate tables for breakfast. There were nine of us in total, but we made sure to keep to our smaller groups, only ever being in the same area of the hotel if at a distance, as we were from other hotel guests.

During our stay we visited two National Trust properties, Mottisfont and Hatchlands Park, which was an hour and a half away by car. Again, we made sure to walk around and explore in two groups, and we were careful not to break the rules, whilst still ensuring my Nan had a lovely belated birthday weekend away with her loved ones.

Unfortunately we had a couple of issues with the hotel, including the worst breakfast I have ever attempted to eat (it was truly inedible), but we were determined not to let it ruin the weekend, and we still had a really nice time away. It was lovely to have a bit of a break from everything for a couple of days, and I am so pleased that we were all able to spend some time in my Nan’s company over the course of the weekend.

Going away during COVID-19 is obviously different to how it was before but, other than the issues I mentioned, I feel that the hotel was well equipped for social distancing, had plenty of hand sanitisers available around the hotel, and had measures in place to ensure we all felt safe during our stay.

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