If there is one thing we've learnt about you readers it is that you are obsessed with 1) prosecco 2) luxurious weekend breaks and 3) afternoon tea. And really who can blame you...it's all about the finer things in life.
As the winter months settle in and Christmas festivities are at their absolute height in Manchester, we've been day-dreaming of escaping the crowds and all the humdrum 9-5 business - and what better way than to retreat with our best girl friends for some much needed R&R?
And we've found just the place...
The Townhouse in Barrow-In-Furness (the pronunciation of which I am still struggling with) is a haven of calm and decadence - and the accommodation is positively luxurious. They've just launched a range of weekend escape packages so we decided to trial the "Ultimate Girls Getaway" - which includes overnight stays both Friday and Saturday night with - wait for it - butler service.
The townhouse is just a short (read seven minute) walk from Barrow-In-Furness train station and when the ten of us rocked up on Friday night, laden with luggage, we weren't quite prepared for the glittering welcome we received.
As part of the package, every one of us was treated to a lavish double room (and a lucky few even had what was closer to a whole apartment) each complete with fully stocked mini-fridge, kitchenette - and a big, cushy bed featuring a suave silver teddy bear for company.
The accommodation offering itself is stunning. But the real clincher was the party room - featuring a luxurious bathroom, King-size bed, a big screen with aaaalllll the Netflix, buckets of gourmet popcorn, sweets and A FRIDGE FRICKIN' FULL OF PROSECCO.
Ahem...naturally we all skipped around the room in exalted jubilance and our butler poured the fizz while we decided what time we wanted our pizzas and martinis.
A range of all your favourite pizza toppings are available on request and as for the booze, the bar's delicate hand-made pornstars and espresso martinis had us up giggling til the early hours.
It's all about the manicures and martinis here, as we were waited on hand and foot as part of the package and made to feel like real-life princesses. If I was to get married (that'll be the day) I can't think of a more relaxing way to celebrate a Hen weekend with my best friends. And, after arriving tired and burnt out from a long week at work - a cosy night in of pizza, prosecco and girl talk was the perfect remedy.
We awoke the next day feeling positively refreshed and ready to tackle the tough trials and tribulations facing us that Saturday. I.e an afternoon of hand-made sandwiches, savouries, cakes and - you guessed it - more cocktails. It's a tough life, eh?
Breakfast or brunch each morning after your stay is included as part of the package and has something for carnivores, veggies, pescetarians, flexitarians...you get the picture. I was aware that an afternoon of fun, food and revelry was ahead so opted for the protein-packed scrambled eggs and smoked salmon - the eggs were served creamy and piping hot and it was just what I needed to soak up all that prosecco from the night before - washed down with a refreshing green tea of course. The eggs benedict with black pud also looked whopper though...
...aaand if you've got a sweet tooth, it's all about the American pancakes here, served with sweet berries and a dash of syrup, if you like.
Before our afternoon tea booking we had a few hours to wander through the town (the accommodation is dead central so if you've forgotten any essentials there's a handy Boots, M&S and all of our high-street favourites just a stone's throw away from the Townhouse.)
Or, if you'd rather, you can crawl back into bed for a quick respite and a bit of Friends on the big screen before you venture out again...
A bit of fresh air and then onto afternoon tea...
Truth be told, you love catching up the girls and wish you did it more often but your busy life means it is only a couple of times a year so it has to be something really special. And with Manchester offering an increasingly large and varied selection of afternoon tea options we didn't think much would stand to impress outlandishly.
But for me, The Dunes afternoon tea answered the calling ten-fold. The venue itself is used for weddings and is an absolute stunner...
As part of the package, you have a choice between the ‘Traditional Afternoon Tea’ (my personal favourite) with the tastiest Cornish clotted cream and juicy jam topped scones, alongside a selection of other lovingly-prepared cakes and sandwiches.
There's also the ‘Savoury Afternoon Tea’ with homemade scotch eggs, pork pies and homemade chutney (all served with more prosecco of course) but more of that later.
Cheers to that!
If you really want to push the boat out - The Dunes offer an extra special ‘Prohibition Afternoon Tea’ served with a teacup - of gin.
Yes, you read that right and yes, it was as devilishly decadent as it sounds.
If you'd rather something a little bit different for your afternoon tea experience you also have the option to dine at The Stagger Inn in Stainton as part of the Ultimate Girls Weekend package.
As rustic as it is charming, the inn boasts some truly beautiful surroundings and has a wide selection of continental wine, real cask ales and of course - prosecco.
The afternoon tea here reflects the deep and hearty, comfortable cabin-chic vibes that make you feel as though you've just stepped off the Canadian rockies into the most perfect, restful foodie haven.
Expect top-quality venison burgers, proper ham hock terrine, pork scratchings, cheese scones with home-made chutney and hot scotch eggs - alongside a few rich chocolate truffles to sweeten the palate...
It's a hearty fare to be sure and if it was my local I'd be back on a weekly basis, I was that taken with the place.
An evening of cocktails, a candle-lit dinner and dancing awaits...
For our money, there's no better night out than rounding up the best of your mates and catching up over a feast of unreal food and some cocktails.
Upon return to The Townhouse, a few of us wandered off to shower, have a cheeky (and well-deserved, I might add) nap, check out the local offering before changing in preparation for the evening of activity ahead.
The cocktail masterclass takes place on the secluded mezzanine level above the spacious ground floor bar and offers a luxurious backdrop to while away the evening...
Perfect for private dining on your special occasion, it's also the ideal people-watching spot for a few late night cocktails...
The masterclass was fun meets elegance and your experienced bartender will take you on a journey of unadultered boozy heaven, showing you how to whip up all of your favourites including the timeless Pornstar and Espresso Martinis as well as refreshing Mojitos and anything else in his repertoire that tickles your fancy - all you need do is ask!
For a glitzy, glamorous backdrop as you swirl a sweet concoction, this is surely the place for you.
After all that hard work (believe it or not) we were all starting to get a tad peckish - one thing I've learned from this weekend is it teaches you to become pretty insatiable so prepare your stomach for the utmost gluttony if you're thinking of investing in a trip with the girls...
A glorious three-course supper comes part and parcel of The Townhouse's "Ultimate Girls Getaway" weekend, featuring VIP booths making you feel oh-so suave and sophisticated...
Dinner options range from sumptuous fishcakes, to beef teriyaki, tagliatelle primavera and the signature chicken supreme - and oodles of chocolate options for pud of course.
A glutton for anything cheese-related, I opted for the goats cheese bonbons accompanied by all the caramelised sticky, nutty goodness followed by the rich and fragrant salmon fillet. I actually managed to demolish both courses with surprising ease given the amount I'd already eaten that day and it really hit the spot.
Vibe-wise, when it comes to a buzzing atmosphere, it's hard to beat the restaurant at The Townhouse. While in truth Barrow itself is not exactly the buzzing metropolis we're used to in the likes of London and Manchester - this place - both bar and restaurant - were positively heaving - it's the clear winner for visitors and locals alike and it's not hard to see why.
Wine - of course - accompanies the meal (I was a heathen and went for a delicious red despite choosing a fish main and I enjoyed it immensely.)
Dessert was my ultimate favourite when I'm indulging...
The sticky toffee pud came warm with lashings of sauce and a healthy dollop of vanilla ice cream. With all those flavours muddling together temptingly in my bowl - it basically summed up a complete weekend of decadence and escape.
Wash it all down with a night of (totes professional) dancing and VIP entry to Townhouse.211 and there you have it - a weekend of ultimate luxury.
The Ultimate Girls Getaway Weekend is currently priced at £195 per person and features ALL of the above - with a few nifty surprises along the way, and I can't recommend an experience more heartily if you're looking for a weekend of real pampering with your gal fam.
If that's a little steep for what you're looking for or you were after just the one night away - bookable options also include the "Girls Getaway" (£169.95 per person) which is without the afternoon tea or perhaps the "Girls Night In" sounds more up your street - this is for Friday or Saturday night only and includes martinis and manicures, a pizza and prosecco or wine package, plus the ultimate girls movie night and breakfast or brunch the following morning.
You can browse all of the offers at The Townhouse, Barrow over on the official website here and call 01229 834519 for enquiries and booking options.
You'll find The Townhouse at 211-215 Dalton Rd, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, LA14 1PH.
Sponsored By The Townhouse
The Townhouse is a sophisticated drinking and dining concept located in the heart of Barrow, with a fusion of quirky décor and contemporary design creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for any occasion.