Lucie Loves... DS 3 // Summer Solstice Stonehenge road trip
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Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I’m a big fan of spending time with my family, travelling and having new experiences. This post combines all three.
I first moved down to London in October 2012, for a job at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew – and into a tiny, single room in Hammersmith. London became my new home.
Over the years, members of my family and various friends have been to visit. But… one person was yet to see me…
My little sister.
Then the team at DS got in touch to arrange a feature drive of the new DS 3 Cabrio, and since I’m becoming increasingly fond of road trips and test-driving different cars – I said yes!
My sister, Sian – a proper girl racer and lover of cars – arrived in London on Sunday afternoon. We strolled around Soho, ate burgers at Honest and bought most of Topshop in the space of an afternoon.
Our DS 3 trip, perfectly planned to celebrate Summer Solstice, saw us set off from Richmond at around 10:30am on Monday morning and drive over to The New Forest.
However, the weather couldn’t have been more unconvertible like. Damn. Therefore, for the first couple of hours, the roof stayed well and truly over our heads. But we kept our eye on the conditions, in hope of the rain easing off, and us being able to push the button and peel back the DS monogrammed, electric-folding roof.
With its craftsman-finished leather seats, compact but spacious interior, bird-like headlamps, self-professed svelte, muscular body and retractable roof – which opens and closes at up to 70mph – the DS 3 is quite the ride.
It also has the largest boot in its class, at 285 litres. Which was enough to put my small cabin-size suitcase, another bag stuffed with my Hunter wellies and shoes and yet still have a bit of room left over.
~ Pleasure is a rite of passage ~
As we headed over to Bishopstrow Hotel & Spa, in the comfort of the new DS 3 Cabrio – my sister and I agreed that we could definitely get used to a bit more luxury in our lives.
We followed directions for the spa using the in-built sat nav. I think we would’ve been better off if I’d actually read the instructions about how to use the thing… For the life of me, I couldn’t work out how you entered a postcode! Hmm.
Finally, we arrived at our hotel and were shown up to our very spacious room, by one of the hotel porters. Our huge window looked out onto the meadow below, and the adjoining bathroom contained one of the most impressive hotel baths and monsoon shower combos I’ve seen… outside of Soho Farmhouse.
Quickly changing into our fluffy white bathrobes, we headed downstairs to the spa, to have our massages and facials.
When people ask me what my favourite things are to blog about, spa and beauty treatments are definitely up there with food and travel. I love a good pampering session.
After chilling in the relaxation room, and having our treatments, we retired to the sauna, steam room and monsoon shower to refreshen up ready for our drive over to experience Summer Solstice at Stonehenge.
Stonehenge is a short 20 minute or so drive from Bishopstrow. But, given that Summer Solstice is a very popular time to visit this particular English Heritage site, we were stuck in traffic for a while, before being able to park.
The road to Stonehenge is pretty hilly and so I got to test out the quality of the DS 3′s clutch control and one of its rather brilliant in-built safety features.
“New DS 3’s automatic emergency braking system can help avoid low-speed collisions. At speeds below 18mph it uses a laser to scan the road ahead. If it detects an obstacle ahead and you don’t slow down it automatically brakes to a stop.”
Once parked up, we picked up a hotdog and some chips and walked over to the stones to get a good position and view of the evening’s promised strawberry moon.
It was such an incredibly friendly atmosphere!
We arrived back at our hotel really late and had a very early 6:30am wake up call the next day, to try and get my sister to Bristol Coach Station. Thankfully, we’d pre-ordered room service for breakfast! But… we underestimated the length of the journey, and the traffic we might encounter on the way… It was a race against time, literally!
In the end, I drove us both up to Warrington, so that we wouldn’t miss my nephew’s school sports day.
His little face at seeing both his mummy and me together was well worth the extra three hour drive.
Compared to a lot of the smaller cars that I’ve driven, this one, even when driving at quite high-speeds is pretty sound-proofed, due to the way it has been engineered to suppress unwanted exterior noise.
We spent the majority of the time in the car listening to Spotify playlists using the bluetooth and USB functionality. Everything from Alanis Morrisette, Aaliyah, and Jessie Ware to Usher 8701 graced our speakers during the 500 miles we drove cross-country. The DAB digital radio is a great touch too. On my return journey to London I had Kisstory and Heart on for HOURS! Wailing away to old love songs… as you do.
The DS 3 also has a clever Mirror Screen that allows you to connect your smartphone and mimic the content on your phone so that it’s displayed on the small 7″ display.
“By using Apple CarPlay™ or MirrorLink® you can enjoy all the features from compatible smartphones on New DS 3’s touchscreen. Calls, SMS, navigation, the MyDS and Spotify apps and more can be accessed and controlled via voice commands.”
Another thing I found really liked about this car is that it will automatically detect if you’ve been in a collision, and call for support, helpfully informing the necessary people of your location. Pure peace of mind.
And also, if you’re forever forgetting where you’ve parked… it even works with the DS App on your smartphone to help you find your car. Cunningly, the vehicle can also be tracked by police if it ever gets stolen. Handy that!
The DS 3 is a sporty, six-speed little number and was an absolute pleasure to drive. 500 miles and not a numb bum in sight!
Find out more about the new DS 3 Cabrio
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