We're NOT party folk and in a bid to avoid any fuss, Mum and Dad (aka Joyce and Cliff) had decided to take us away for a weekend to be together at their expense. Given that Andy doesn't work Monday's, we asked to add on another day happy to pay for it but my dad wouldn't take a penny - moreover, BECAUSE we'd asked for a bath, we ended up in a superior room.
It was an all expenses paid trip (by my parents) for immediate family - which consisted of my cousin Rachael (and Husband Mike)...my brother Ken (and Wife Heidi), their son Sam and of course Andy and I. There should have been my niece Kim (and boyf Tom) but they couldn't get a pet sitter)...
That's the thing about big families... my dad came from a catholic background with way more siblings than either space OR money. AS a result, he's the most generous, sharing sort of chap you'll ever meet.... the rest of his siblings being the same - whatever they have - they'll happily give away to anyone. I couldn't even buy a drink at the bar without my dad pushing some money into my hand - it was the same after lunch on Saturday when a few of us ended up at a bistro a few miles down the road... I'd paid simply because I pushed my way into the queue at the bar but on route home, mum insisted on giving me some cash.
It's a trate I try to replicate... and for the most part I succeed.
Anyway - we stayed in the Victoria Hotel at Banburgh, just up from the Castle. It's a dog friendly place in certain rooms (luckily not ours) and the lounge/bar areas have quiet dogs sitting by tables watching the world go by... it's got a good vibe.
We had a meal in their Bistro on Friday evening - (note the bottles of wine at the far end of the table where Andy and I were sitting near Mike)... suffice to say, Saturday morning was a delicate affair!
When everyone else went home on Sunday, we continued our weekend - drinking less thank heavens and took a visit to the castle.