So the Xmas hype is over! All the food’s been eaten, decorations have been taken down and the dreaded time has come to get back to reality. To be perfectly honest by the end of the Christmas period I was actually ready to go back to my daily routine and restore ‘normality’. Perhaps we humans need a purpose and I’m not talking about the big, having an epiphany kind of purpose, but the constant string of small tasks that need to be completed, which seem to propel us forward. I guess you can call it busying ourselves with stuff. Anyway, my husband and I don’t quite do the typical Christmas; coming from different backgrounds and having our friends and family spread all over the world we tend to do our own thing. One of the things we’ve started doing in the last few years is booking overnight spa breaks sometime between Christmas and New Year’s and this is due to a few major factors: my teenage brother (he’s actually 21 now) who comes and stays with us during his uni breaks reluctantly agrees to trade food and shelter for babysitting his niece and nephew for a day. In addition to the ‘free’ childcare, spa breaks happen to be cheaper this time of year as most people tend to do the family thing. Suffice to say that as there are fewer people in the hotels there is more of a chance for free room upgrades and less busy saunas, steamrooms, Jacuzzis and swimming pools. Yes, I know…I didn’t mention the gyms, it’s just not my thing; I find working out somewhat laborious and boring. I’ve been endowed with lucky (skinny) genes and am of a slender build. Though now that I’m 36 and a mother of two, things have started to sag and dimple (that’s a whole other can of worms)…it’s just gravity I suppose so the occasional squats in my bedroom are my idea of a workout. In fact, I did my share of exercising over the weekend, actually still sore 3 days later; took the kids to Flip Out one of those trendy trampoline places with grafitti on the walls. Kids absolutely loved it and so did my husband and I, the difference is we’re still paying for it. I’ve sidetracked; I was meant to talk about our overnight spa break this year, which ironically did not include a spa at all. It was a brand new hotel in Portsmouth called Village Hotel which I’d had my eye on. It offered super low rates (£30) in the days coming up to new year’s eve. The hotel supposedly has this state of the art gym, which we did not visit, a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room. In addition the hotel boasts a Costa coffee, pub and a grill restaurant. Everything in the rooms is hi-tech including a smart phone called ‘Handy‘ that offers free wi-fi, local and international calls; there are pre-entered numbers for reception and room service, ability to sign in to your social media then wipe the info as well as a free local guide; Guests are allowed/encouraged to take their ‘handy’ with them when out and about. There’s a sliding, see through bathroom door, which at the press of a button turns the glass frosted. The decor is trendy and colourful, but rooms are a bit too cosy (on the small side). The food at the restaurant in my opinion was too pricey for what it was. Breakfast was good, not a lot of choice, but tasty. All in all a great little getaway.