Last month I was very kindly invited to stay at the Solent Hotel; a premier four star hotel with spa facilities in Fareham, Hampshire. We decided to stay over my birthday weekend which made it a lovely little treat and we had the best couple of days! With all the hassle of moving house and dealing with solicitors etc I felt like I needed a nice relaxing break so this was very much needed.
Solent Hotel is located in Fareham which is between Portsmouth and Southampton, so it’s right by the sea! On our drive down to the hotel we actually stopped for a walk around in Southampton Old Town to watch the huge cruise ships depart from the port and then stopped for a drink at Ocean Village where there’s a few quirky bars and restaurants overlooking the marina. We were lucky that the weather was lovely and sunny for our weekend away as it was chucking down with rain back home!
After our long journey down to the south coast we were looking forward to checking in to the hotel. Our bedroom was absolutely gorgeous – I loved the nautical themed decor which really made us feel like we were by the seaside! Everything in the room was really clean and contemporary which gave it a brand new feel.
I really liked the furnishings and the little touches like the rope around the mirror, printed wallpaper, and statement cushions – it all added to the cosy atmosphere of the room! One other thing that I loved was that the room came with a little straightening iron plate on the desk so I could pop my hair curler on there without damaging the furniture. What a clever idea!
Our Signature Room came with a huge comfy bed, wall mounted TV, two armchairs, and a workstation desk. We also had a little tea tray which included fresh milk plus some chunky biscuits which I ate immediately! There was also a capsule coffee machine, mini fridge, free wifi and fluffy robes and slippers.
Another unique feature at the Solent Hotel is that the rooms come with a pillow menu which gives you choices from firm to soft to ensure you get a great night’s sleep! This hotel is 100% luxury and the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a chilled, relaxing break. You also get free use of the spa facilities so you can really relax!
Within the hotel is The Terrace Restaurant which has recently completely refurbished and is AA Rosette rated. The style of the menu is British cuisine with a Mediterranean influence and we were kindly invited to go down for dinner in the evening. I loved the relaxed but stylish design of the restaurant, which was nice and airy with lovely cosy corners and booths. Again they’ve taken design influence from the coast with aqua and grey colours and seaside themed furnishings.
I was really looking forward to our meal as their menu is a little bit different. The evening menu had plenty of seafood, char-grill meats and salad options, as well as the dish of the day. As a starter you can help yourself to the Chef’s Table, which is a buffet of salad, seafood and cold meats. You can go up once if you have it for starters or you can also have it as a main course and go back up as many times as you like!
I decided to try it out as my starter, and even though I’m not a huge fan of seafood I still managed to fill my plate! I loved the variety of the Chef’s Table and I went for some parma ham, salad, olives, hummus and watermelon as my starter. If you love seafood though then this would be perfect, as they have an extensive selection of the freshest seafood available.
Gavin had the gambas al alioli to start, which included some large garlic shrimps in chilli oil with a side of grilled sour dough. The food was very tasty and fresh and we especially both enjoyed our starters.
For the main course I had the 9oz sirloin steak with skinny fries and béarnaise sauce whilst Gavin tried the 8oz fillet steak with green peppercorn and brandy cream sauce. The steaks at the restaurant are all aged for 28 days and sourced from local farms and both of our steaks were cooked to perfection. I also really enjoyed both of the sauces, especially the green peppercorn one which was lovely and creamy thanks to the brandy!
As we were so full up from our starters and mains we decided to share a dessert, and we chose the churros which were smothered in cinnamon sugar and served with a nice big dollop of whipped cream and a little pan full of chocolate sauce. This was the perfect sharing dessert to finish off our lovely meal as it was lovely and sweet without being too heavy!
After our amazing nights sleep at the Solent Hotel we popped down to the restaurant again for breakfast. It was a beautiful sunny morning so we decided to sit outside to eat on their gorgeous outdoor terrace. This little seating area is so lovely and relaxing and I loved being able to sit out in the sunshine to eat my breakfast!
For breakfast you help yourself to the buffet table which includes the usual cooked English breakfast items as well as a continental selection including pastries, cereal, fruit, and yoghurt. I had a mini fry up which included super tasty sausages and then I had a fruit salad and croissant after! It was such a lovely chilled breakfast compared to other hotels I’ve been to where it feels a bit corporate and uninspiring. This breakfast was bright, cheerful and delicious in beautiful surroundings!
My final treat for the weekend was experiencing the spa at the Solent Hotel! I am a big fan of spa days and relaxing so I was looking forward to giving the facilities a try. I got up nice and early before breakfast to go for a swim in the large indoor pool.
It was lovely and quiet when I went down to the pool as there were only a few other people which meant I could enjoy the hot tub to myself! I also spent some time relaxing in the a sauna and steam room too which made me feel really reinvigorated. They have gym and fitness facilities too!
After breakfast I also got to enjoy a treatment at the spa (lucky me!). I chose to have a facial as I’ve never had one before so wanted to give it a try. It was called the Caudalie Express D-Vine Facial and lasts for 25 minutes. The treatments includes: eye and skin cleansing, deep exfoliation, the application of a customised mask, and a hand massage.
Although I’d never had a facial before the beauty therapist was great at putting me at ease and explaining the process to me. The whole treatment was so relaxing it gave me the chance to really unwind and just chill out. It felt so nice having the different creams and masks applied and I also really enjoyed the mini hand massage too. The treatment was finalised with the application of serum and moisturiser to suit my skin so I left feeling really fresh and re-energised. My skin was so soft and glowy too!
I had the most wonderful birthday weekend at the Solent Hotel and I would definitely recommend it for couples looking to relax and unwind. The spa facilities are an extra bonus which really make the place extra special, and the wonderful food in the restaurant really was the cherry on top.