Saturday, 18 April 2015
It's been at least 20 years since our last visit to Elmer's Court. Every year, as children, we'd pack up the car with almost everything we owned (including the goldfish) and head off down to the Solent for a week in beautiful Lymington.
It was fabulous to see that not much has changed. Elmer's Court, now owned by Macdonalds, still retains its character, its stunning grounds and views over to the Isle of Wight. The manor house looks Elizabethan, but was built in the 19th century. It obviously hasn't changed since our last visit and even the Waterford restaurant for fine dining remains, although I doubt the scampi still costs £1.80 these days.
There's been a lot of building work in the last two decades to accommodate hotel guests among the timeshare owners and our en-suite room was situated in a courtyard that was a wide open green space on our last visit. Most of our holidays revolved around the outdoor pool, but being April, sadly this was closed and this time we spent the bulk of our stay in the indoor pool. The Jacuzzi was the same temperature as the pool meaning the McBaby enjoyed the bubbles for the first time and laughed himself silly at the air inflating the top of my swimming suit.
He also enjoyed taking the camera in the Scottish Steakhouse restaurant and photographing the staff, the tables, the floor, well everything....he also loved the wonderful green alley (which is named Queen Mary Alley as it's the same length as the ship of the same name), the playground and what he called, the "jungle" - the greenery and ponds hidden away behind the tennis courts.
Our room was very clean and light, although we could hear quite clearly the voices in the next room and our only other criticism of our stay would be that the staff in the leisure centre seemed a little distracted. Otherwise, the staff were exemplary - particularly the lady who served up breakfast.
Not so happy was our visit to the Mayflower Pub for Sunday lunch. I managed to fall over while carrying the McBaby and nearly break my ankle in a crack in the paving and while there were hundreds of eyes on us, not one person asked if we were ok or helped us up. The staff seemed slightly irritated at having to shout out order numbers and some customers not hearing them - a simple table number system would have sorted this - and when a waitress dumped my drinks onto the tray I was carrying without a word, another customer rolled her eyes at me and commented that "you get used to the rudeness of the staff in here." It's a shame as it's a gorgeous place next to the water with a spacious garden with a children's playground...
It was great to come back to beautiful Lymington though, which appeared in the Sunday Times as one of the top destinations of people looking to move out of London. I hope we won't leave it 20 years before our next visit to Elmer's Court!