Just when we were feeling a bit down in the dumps and miserable…Center Parcs invited me for a press visit to their fabulous new tree houses at Longleat!
We were so excited and although it was a bit last minute we couldn’t wait to go! Pavlos and Joseph invited their friends (Zak and Fil) who we took to Camp Bestival…..we all wondered a little bit what we were going to, and Antonis was convinced it would be like the tree house in his friends garden….which I don’t think would’ve slept 8…and with only a canvas roof – might have been somewhat chilly!
When we arrived we were all wondering what we would find…..the Tree houses are built into the side of a deep hill (more like a mountain)….they are amazing and look like something out of The Lord of the Rings film set or Hagrids house in Harry Potter.
We were greeted by a tree house host who let us into the luxury pad…we were all gasping at the stunning interior….it was seriously jaw-dropping stuff…The boys all ran around choosing their bedrooms…all en suite. There was a spiral staircase made to look like a tree trunk and at the top of it was a fabulous master bedroom with its own balcony and steps to the lower deck.
As we walked through the double doors of the living area out onto the deck and looked across to the forest tree tops – we saw a walkway that led to another dwelling – a state of the art games room! And to the right….a sauna and a hot-tub…..as soon as the host had left us the boys all got into their fluffy white robes and slippers and jumped in the hot tub – they all looked like mini Hugh Heffner’s….hysterical!
I was checking out the kitchen and found a bottle of champagne in the wine fridge for us…..I found that extremely interesting and studied the bottle for two seconds before opening it and toasting the fabulous weekend ahead with my husband and Chelsey.
Our days were filled with activities and lounging and eating and then more hot tubbing and more lounging….I felt like the Imperial Leather family (this is a very old advert and lots of readers may not remember it…..basically a family luxuriating in a bath……for hours….but without prune-like-skin…which even dear little Ant got after spending an hour in the hot tub and jumping out into the cold night air!
We had such a wonderful family time – it was magical……everything was perfect and unbelievably on Saturday afternoon as we looked out to the forest from our living room….it started to snow! It was as if they had organised it especially for us!
We all decided to go out on our bikes and visit the ice rink – it was like a real winter wonderland….Antonis was loving his bike too. We had explained to him how to use his brakes but as we were nearing the ice-rink the pathway became very icy and little Ant went speeding past me and my husband….we started out calling casually…’Ant…use your brakes’! As he picked up terrifying speed – I was screaming ‘ANT…..BRAKE!!’….
Other people were stopping in their tracks and watching this tiny, little human cannonball hurtling past them on a yellow bike…..people were pulling horrified faces and holding out their arms in a sort of delayed attempt to try and slow him down……up ahead I could see that the path came to an end……..with a snow plough parked at the bottom….’noooooooooooo’, I screamed……I was sure that Ant was about to have a head on collision and imagined him being air lifted to hospital…it was the stuff of nightmares…
The next few seconds passed like slow motion……my husband and I were blinking the snow out of our eyes and racing as fast as we could to the scene of the accident…….. Crowds of people were running to see what could be done and to our amazement….there was Ant, headfirst in a bush to the right of the snow plough…legs sticking up in the air. He stood up, dusted himself off and did a thumbs up…..
What felt like the whole of Longleat breathed a sigh of relief and then started giggling at how lucky he’d been and also how really funny it was now that it hadn’t ended badly! I was so relieved I thought I was going to faint….instead I just had an embarrassing fit of the giggles and I think I heard people tutting as they cycled off looking at me as if I’d pushed him from the top of the hill…after that we waited for the snow and ice to disappear before venturing off again!
The weekend was a totally amazing experience and as the Greek Family Contomichalos retired to their tree house on the last night, we all agreed that it has been one of our happiest and most luxurious weekends ever!