Lucie Loves... Travel // #Triedandtested | The Marriott St Pierre Hotel & Country Club, Chepstow
I’ll start this one off by saying I am not into golf. The closest I’ve come to the sport is playing pitch ‘n’ putt and a spot of the crazy kind. I do, however, own a pair of Pringle-esq knee socks. But I think they were a Christmas gift, so there you go…
It became rather apparent recently when a po-faced JMG turned to me and said that for the past month he didn’t think he’d had a night with me when I wasn’t blogging. His words struck home.
When did my work: life balance become a work: blog: life juggle? I don’t want to be THAT person. Something had to give.
Cue the wonderfully timed invitation from Marriott to spend the weekend together at the St Pierre Hotel & Country Club. A weekend of indulgence to taste the food, test the bed and try out their Spa. JMG and I hired a car and a couple of Friday’s ago hot-wheeled our way out of London and all the way to Wales.
As the scenery whizzed past the window, I could feel myself beginning to relax. This weekend was all about us.
When you’re a blogger you forget that not everyone wants to talk to you whilst you’ve got a MacBook Air lodged on your lap or the glow from your iPhone lighting up your face. The need to tweet, to Instagram, to blog becomes a habit and after 4 years, and as Mick Jagger once sung, “Old Habits Die Hard.”
It took around two hours in the car to get to our weekend hideaway. We left London about 2:45pm and were just pulling into St Pierre’s rather grand tree-lined driveway as the clock struck 5. The drive there was breathtaking. The sun was setting, the sky had turned a neon pink. It was perfect. There was something about that drive that took us both back to 2009 when we did a Californian road trip together, just a year into our relationship, we started off in San Diego and ended our holiday in San Francisco.
“Today everything exists to end in a photograph.”
As we approached Chepstow we had to cross the Severn (toll) Bridge, the sun had almost disappeared at this point but the sandbanks lining the River below were cast in a silvery glow. It was magnificent. I wanted to cause a traffic jam. I wanted to get JMG to stop the car right then and there so that I could take a photo. But we didn’t, obviously. It made me think of a Susan Sontag quote I’d come across whilst writing my photography dissertation.
“Needing to have reality confirmed and experience enhanced by photographs is an aesthetic consumerism to which everyone is now addicted. Industrial societies turn their citizens into image-junkies; it is the most irresistible form of mental pollution.”
And so, for one blissful weekend, we were going to spend evenings in bed sans laptop or iPhone and just enjoy each-others company. I packed my January editions of Elle and Vogue magazine and set my heart on immersing myself in a visual fashion feast.
We checked in and got a lovely warm welcome from the receptionist and a very nice meet-and-greet lady. We scooped up our room key and a map of the hotel - it’s a big one - and headed over to Iris Cottage past the gigantic christmas tree in the courtyard.
At 6pm we were booked in for back, neck and shoulder massages with the lovely St Pierre beauty therapist, Emma. The spa is located near the huge gym and has a number of treatment rooms, catering for massage, waxing, manicures, etc.
Emma kneaded, stroked and smoothed the knots out of my neck and shoulders. It was bliss. I swear I thought JMG was going to fall asleep when he stepped out of that treatment room. You only have to touch his back and his eyes close ready for zzzz’s.
A Friday night pre-dinner massage is a great way of kickstarting your weekend together, I whole heartedly recommend booking in for one and then chowing down on one of their great sirloin steaks.
After a good night’s sleep in a humungous Marriott bed, (despite there seeming to be a small stampede of elephants in the room upstairs…) we awoke refreshed and ready to tackle a full english breakfast overlooking the lush green golf course.
The breakfast was good, as was the coffee. But I’m not too sure the waitress was that impressed when we sauntered in at 10:55am asking if they were still serving food. Note: It closes at 11am. But we were there to have a relaxing weekend and weren’t going to be up with the lark, especially when the bed was just so hard to leave.
The Marriott St Pierre is surrounded by rolling countryside and is perfect for indulging in a walk on a crisp autumn or winters day.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We were smiling as we left seeing a bridal party turn up to takeover the St Pierre for their wedding day. A lovely location for a festive celebration. We’ll still got all that to come.
If you’d like to book a stay, visit the Marriott St Pierre website for more details.
Check out the video JMG shot of our rather spacious hotel room and of me tucking into my fashion magazines.
Photography © Lucie Kerley
Filmed and edited by jmgcreative