What do you get someone for Christmas that already has everything? A night in a prison.. why not!
I had seen a few months back that our neighbours had been to stay at this quirky hotel in Oxford. A boutique hotel that was a former prison. It looked unreal, luxurious rooms set in a castle with original prison landings and cells. The best of both worlds for my husband and I.
I headed over to there website thinking it would be extortionate and what I found was very surprising. I love a bargain, can you blame me? So I headed straight over to the offers section and found an offer called ‘The Sunday Stopover’ This was were you only paid £25 for the room as long as you spent £75 in the restaurant.
This seemed a no brainer to me. We would have had dinner in the restaurant anyway so would have spent this regardless of how much we paid for our room. So I booked up straight away for the second week of January. A perfect way to beat the January blues.
Dan was over the moon receiving this a gift and we couldn’t wait to get away.
We dropped the dog off at the kennels (a night away from the little pest, hurray) and headed off to oxford. It took just under 2 hours for us which wasn’t too bad going and after a small detour due to getting lost in the town centre we found the castle.
We were quickly greeted by a very welcoming concierge who obviously could tell we didn’t know what we were doing trying to park the car (the only downfall of the trip) It wasn’t clear online that you had to pre book the car parking for the hotel, they have very limited spaces so they were full when we arrived. However it was fine as Dan dropped us off and our numerous bags (no more going away with just an overnight bag between us, we looked like we were moving in for a month the amount of luggage we had) and went off to park the car, which was literally a 2 minute drive away. And bonus – we paid £25 for 24hours whereas malmaison car park is £30 for 24 hours. So I would definitely recommend using the public car park.
We checked in and were shown to our room, which was perfect for us and they had provided us with a travel cot for the baby.
It seemed like pure bliss to just relax on the bed, with the TV on, chocolate in hand and listening to your baby happily cooing away at the end of the bed! A million miles away from the crazy everyday mayhem at home!
We went off to explore the grounds a little and were amazed by some of the facts that were posted around. It was also really nice to just stick the baby in the sling and go out and get some fresh air. The original parts of the prison were incredible to see, I found it really hard to imagine that not too long ago the walls we were surrounded by actually housed prisoners.
We went for dinner as planned that night, the restaurant staff were really accommodating by seating us somewhere with room for the buggy. They had a really varied menu and the prices were what you would expect for a boutique hotel. We had a lovely meal, despite being cut short due to the baby having a meltdown.
Can we just pause for a moment here, why when your baby is having a complete melt down and your trying your hardest to soothe your little darling whilst trying to keep your shit together, do other people just give the stare. I mean come on, maybe you haven’t had children so you don’t know what it’s like, but surely this isn’t the first time you have heard a baby screaming before! Yes I know my baby is loosing it whilst your trying to have a romantic meal, yes I know this room we are all in is very echoey and it’s making him sound 10x worse, yes I know. But come on give us a break!! Cue downing the rest of my glass of wine (large) and leaving with a smirk on my face to the fellow diners.
The food in restaurant was amazing, we had fish cakes and mash and steak and chips and we couldn’t finish our meals (not due to said screaming child) just because the portions were a great size. I was greatly disappointed by this as I had already eyed up the dessert menu and picked my after dinner sweet treat!
Thankfully our little angel had worn himself out during his dinner showdown and slept peacefully all night, meaning mummy and daddy got a full nights sleep. Thanks bub
The second thing I would have a little grumble about (or maybe I am just tight) but breakfast the next morning was £15.95. Ok not too bad but when there is 2 of you. £30 for breakfast seems a bit far fetched. Now you all know I love my food so for me it wouldn’t have been too much of a problem as I would have eaten my £16 worth of food with the full English and continental variety, however Dan and his little pea stomach would have probably had a pain au chocolat and that’s it. So £15.95, no matter what you have, whether you fill your boots or just have a bowl of porridge it’s the same price. Strange.
We decided to be tight buggars and had a little stroll into Oxford and found a costa to grab a nice coffee and something to eat, Dan of course still got his pain au chocolat.
Before we headed home we went on a tour of Oxford castle. I would recommend this. It is linked to the malmaison hotel and if you show your room key you get 25% off tours. We grabbed the first tour of the day (10am, yes can you believe we were up and out by 10, having a baby has changed us) This meant we were the only ones on this tour, so it became a private tour with loads more information and time given.
I would definitely recommend the malmaison Oxford, but be sure to grab a nights stay under the offers section to grab yourself a bargain.