As snow fell heavily from leaden skies over Cumbria we clambered into the hot tub on the deck outside our holiday cottage.
Before us lay rolling open countryside, coated in brilliant white by the ‘Beast from the East 2.0’.
To say the experience and setting was idyllic would be a massive understatement.
It was the middle of March and my fiance and I had headed north for a romantic weekend getaway at Tottergill Farm, about 10 miles east of the historic market town of Carlisle.
The private 48 acre Tottergill estate has 10 holiday cottages ranging in size from accommodation that sleeps two people to the spacious Mill Barn which sleeps up to eight people.
Each cottage is equipped with a wood-burning stove as well as a private garden area complete with hot tub.
For those who like to take their pooches away with them some of cottages are also dog-friendly, while some are pet-free zones.
Our two nights were spent in the cosy one-bedroomed Gill Cottage, which offers some of the best views from the estate.
The cottage was very well-equipped and tastefully decorated to a high spec.
Tottergill is located just a short drive, or a 20 minute walk, from the picture postcard village of Castle Carrock.
Situated in the heart of the village on the village green is the Duke of Cumberland pub.
We enjoyed two excellent meals here and the pub has a fantastic, warm and friendly atmosphere and is clearly the hub of village life.
Tottergill Farm is within easy reach of Hadrian’s Wall as well as the Lake District.
During our weekend away we ventured down to Lowther Castle and Gardens near Penrith - a 50 minute drive.
Built at the turn of the 19th century, on the site of two previous houses, the castle was a grand affair boasting a room for every day of the year
But in 1957 the castle was demolished. Just the façade and outer walls remained standing and for over half a century, the place was empty.
Sixty years on and new life has been breathed into the castle and the extensive grounds and gardens really are rather special.
For those with little ones it is worth pointing out that within the grounds is the ‘lost castle’, the best adventure playground I have ever come across.
As the saying goes ‘all things must come to an end’ and so it was the case for our wonderful break in Cumbria.
The stunning location, the brilliant facilities and great level of service offered by hosts Tracey and Barnaby mean that our romantic little weekend getaway in Cumbria will live long in the memory.
For more information visit www.tottergill.co.uk