Lifestyle – Our Anniversary

Happy Thursday you guys, I hope everyone reading this is well!

This post is dedicated to our first anniversary that we shared back in 2018. It was a special one for both of us, for different reasons too. Jacob’s ex gave him years of distrust and manipulation and for him, this year together with me was refreshing and honest for him. For me, it was my first proper year with a boyfriend to begin with, but already knowing Jacob is my main squeeze for life. We’d both come from places of hurt, by people who we once believed genuinely cared for us. So having the same end goal and desires from life between us has made it clear where we both stand in the relationship. Our greatest strength as a monogamous couple in both the gay and fetish community, is our honesty and respect for one another. We appreciate each ones limits and ensure we are thankful each and every day before we fall asleep.

Breakfast Date At IKEA & Lunch At Nandos

We started our day in IKEA having a cheeky breakfast. I wasn’t told about where we were going that day and I had no idea what Jacob had planned for us. He said it was going to be pretty special and that my mum knew what it was. I phoned her but she wouldn’t give it away to me. After a cute morning together and resting after an indulgent breakfast. We then had a meal at Nandos before setting off properly. πŸ—

Big arms and silly faces πŸ’ͺ🏼

Jacob drove us out of the Essex/London border into the Essex countryside. To be honest with you, I had no clue where we were heading, I was just told to navigate us in the car to the destination. Once we found the correct turning, Jacob told me to focus on the driveway we were creeping along and around the corner this grand looking house unveiled itself before us.

Welcome To Downhall Country Estate Hotel & Spa

Some Background Info On Downhall

This stunning [Lara Croft looking] country estate has rich opulence, high ceilings and a history to match. The building was a stately home that dates back to 1540 and is one of the area’s most prestigious piece of property to date. It isn’t hard to see why with the lavish gardens and upkeep that has let this beautiful building stand so tall and grand for so many years.

Jacob and I got to our room after a [long] walk from the reception. We wanted to explore a little and use the opportunity before dropping our overnight bag off in search of food. The room was huge and my photo doesn’t do it any justice. The bedroom was decorated in a traditional spread, with wooden furniture to compliment the heritage running through these walls. The bathroom again was big, with large mirrors and to be honest more space than necessary. Although lush, the room was square, which left a empty void in the middle of the room.

Dear Mr & Mrs Hanczyk

We were greeted to our room by a personal message. Jacob had obviously phoned ahead and they assumed we were a straight couple staying for the night. A Mr & Mrs Hanczyk note was presented wishing us a Happy Anniversary. Well I guess in the relationship I am more of the Mrs than the Mr, and I’m totally cool with that. πŸ’…πŸΌ Needless to say, Jacob and I were giggling over it for some time.

We arrived slightly later than anticipated so the afternoon was already in swing. We took our time to walk down towards the gardens and have a moment for just us. And what was lovely was how peaceful it was here. No work, no stress and not really anyone else staying. It was blissful! Behind us is the main entrance and off right beyond the tree covering it, is the spa.

Jacob and I were both in a slight anxious state that day. I was working in Central London and knowing I had work the next day, didn’t allow me to fully switch off. Now as I write this, I can separate the two differences, much easier. Enjoying the moment when happening. Jacob was anxious about making sure this planned trip was special and one to remember. And baby if you are reading this at some point, know that is was. I told you in person many times, but I’m sharing our story here and it was truly such a beautiful experience.

I believe we were staying in one of the rooms here in the middle. Which one exactly, I’m still trying to figure that out now!?

Cheers to that lovely! πŸ₯‚

It was time to get some food and have a glass of fizz to celebrate our anniversary. One year, one magical and crazy full on year for us both.

Happy Anniversary To My Soulmate & Sunshine πŸ’›

My favourite part of this whole place was sitting under the creeping plants that scaled the walls and nestled under parasols. Nestled together in this intimate outside bar-area, with the sound of the fountain just out of frame, whilst pretty little flowers bordered this area in. There was a calm and chilled presence and it was that cool evening temperature where it was OK to be in just a tee shirt. [Well for me anyway, Jacob is always cold!]

After a little bite to eat we were presented with this dessert, it reads Happy Anniversary. We actually had two during our stay. One was in our room with our ‘Mr & Mrs’ greeting note and this one at the bar. Sadly because we checked in so late the dessert the original room dessert had fallen into itself at was sliding down the plate. This one looked a lot more edible mind you!

Jacob and I were on a stricter budget around that time and money was a little scarce. But we decided some small eats from the bar, as we’d had a bite to eat not long before setting of for Downhall. But we did decided that for our anniversary, we can splurge a little and treat ourselves to a drink each. Something overly priced and fabulous. I remember Jacob’s drink was much nicer than mine. It always is the case and I end up eating or drinking what Jacob chooses.

We explored the grounds as the weather was so lovely and it was nice to be able to walk around the whole area, hand-in-hand. Something that we often don’t get the luxury to do sometimes. Sad, but just the reality of being an openly gay couple. The country estate had all these potted flowers, bursting with colours scatted all over.

Hey Handsome [You Know I’m Going To Marry You One Day]

The Staircases at the end of the building coiled up and around like a giant python. The whole architecture in general was so fabulous for this massive country estate, it reminded me of Lara Croft’s house. You know from Tomb Raider!! Well as a lover of video games it just reminds me of the giant mansion tutorial level that you run around in. And the butler Winston that persistently follows you with the tray of tea.

This was the view from our window. Was a difficult shot to get as the windows do not open all the way. [Health and Safety!] Here you can see the main entrance building, just off set left was where we were the evening before, enjoying a cocktail and a bite. And to the right is the Downhall Spa. Sadly the grass wasn’t a lush sea of green. I remember that the summer was quite harsh that year, so a lot of places suffered the same fate with their grass.

Processed with VSCO with c8 preset

We had such a fun time here at Downhall Hotel & Spa. A very unexpected treat from my lovely Jacob! He always has a great talent for finding interesting places to visit and surprising me. He is brilliant!! If anyone is in Essex and looking for a quiet few nights away from everything, we both would recommend a full experience here. The main restaurant, looked great and the spa, so indulgent. Jacob and I took the time here to relax with one another and switch off from phones and our normal manic lives in London. At the time we were both working in Central London. As I write this post up it is so interesting to see where we are both working now, both outside of London. We’ve already hit our 2 year milestone and onwards to the 3rd! πŸ’›

I always wondered and fantasied about who I would spend my first proper anniversary with. And I am so grateful it was and still currently is, with you Jacob. You push me to be confident about every aspect in my life. All I can say is that the fantasies couldn’t never match up to our very real, reality. I love you to the moon and back my handsome man! Don’t ever change who you are babe, because you’re pretty perfect to me! Kocham Cie!


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[Photography] – Thomas Benjamin Cooper

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