Monday, 20 January 2020

My Somerset Staycation with Airbnb

Even though I really love living in London, I always like having little staycation breaks booked throughout the year to get a nice bit of country air in my lungs. It also feels nice to have a break from blowing my nose and filling the tissue with black air pollution. (soz) I always book my accommodation using Airbnb, which I was really sceptical about at first because I thought the idea of turning up to someone’s family home while they were still there was so weird, until I realised you can book entire places to yourself. (People do still rent out individual rooms in their homes, but there are options to book either the whole place or just a single room and these are really clear when filtering your options) The thing I love the most is that you can get some REALLY cool places- windmills, boats, teeny little converted shepherds huts in the middle of nowhere, huge mansions that sleep 24- you name it!

The last couple of breaks I’ve booked with my boyfriend it’s been really easy to find somewhere because we book way in advance to get a ‘Rare Find’. A Rare Find is an amazing place that’s usually booked out- so you have to be quick! The main things I look for are cleanliness and distance to things like bars/restaurants/cafes (and then I’ll check these out and try and book some beforehand). ALWAYS read the reviews too, because people go into so much detail when leaving them, so it makes making a decision super easy. Anyway, enough about the Airbnb booking system now cos this ain’t an #ad, #gifted or a #spon! (But it can be Airbnb! PLEASE slide into my DM’s!)

I actually booked this little break for Mike’s Christmas present, so the pressure was on for it to be a good weekend! I always get so nervous turning up to the accommodation when it’s something I’ve booked, because I don’t have anyone to blame if we turn up and it’s an absolute dive. I wanted somewhere just outside of London but not too far, so we didn’t have to spend half a day on the train beforehand. Castle Cary was 2 hours away, and the flat was a 10-minute bike ride from the train station.

OF COURSE we took our bikes (Mike got me one for Christmas and I am fully obsessed) which was a good thing really as a lot of places out in the sticks require a car to actually get to anywhere with any civilisation. The first night we spent in The George, which was the local pub right outside out doorstep! They had a huuuuuge roaring fire and a massive gin bar so it was perfect! The second day we had a lazy morning then rode up to a pub that was recommended to us for the views over Somerset. It was about an hours’ ride (UPHILL which was absolutely minging) but we stopped off half-way to have a walk up the hill to find South Cadbury Castle. After wandering around a flat bit of ground for a while, we were told that this was where they THOUGHT it MIGHT have been, it wasn’t actually there  Brilliant. But the weather was absolutely glorious, so it was a day well spent regardless.

When I was doing a bit of research about restaurants in the area, Matt’s Kitchen was recommended on loads of websites as a must-visit. It’s a tiny restaurant which seats just 20 people, so booking in advance is a must! He releases the menu at the start of the week, which consists of a choice of 3 starters, a single dish-of-the-day main and two desserts. The menu depends on which produce is in season at the time, so everything is locally made and super fresh! We had an incredible pork belly with roasted cauliflower, feta and mint for main, and then we shared the desserts, chocolate torte and bread and butter pudding- so good! It’s BYOB as well, and fortunately for us, our flat was next to ‘The Wine Wizzard’, so we went in beforehand to pick up a bottle of something that would go nicely with the pork belly. (I felt like such a grown up doing this lol)

As always with rented accommodation, check out was 11 so we were back in London by 2, giving me plenty of time to get back, unpack and scream into my pillow for a couple of hours at the thought of going back to work the next day after such a perfect weekend.

Have you done many UK staycations? Where would you recommend?
Use my Airbnb code HERE to get £34 off your first trip!

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