I had twenty days to find a hotel room in the New Forest. Don’t ask me why, I just had to. Though I had no idea what I was doing. With intermittent wifi, my trusty Smart car and a seeping desperation, I shut down my Facebook account, signed out of Instagram and put my mind to the task. What I discovered blew me away…
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t such a desperate situation, and of course I didn’t sign out of Instagram. Though I was at a bit of a loose end, and I needed to find something a little bit different to treat my lady friend on her birthday. I didn’t want to fork out for a run of the mill spa trip, or have to put my little run around up for sale for a hotel in London, but I wanted something a little luxurious.
With a budget of £100 a night, my eye turned to the New Forest. I’d heard tales of its verdant pastures and heavily wooded forests and thought perhaps I might find something… perhaps…
Turning to Google, I whacked in a combination of words which I can’t for the life of me remember, and to my delight came across something that hit the nail on the head.
Beds On Board touts itself as Air B’n’B on a boat. I don’t think there’s any sentence that can’t be bettered by that turn of phrase. Champagne… on a boat, sex… on a boat, bacon sandwiches… on a boat. I mean, I know no-one wants, like, holes on a boat, or rats on a boat, but then no-one wants them on dry land either so your point is invalid.
What Beds On Board do is let you rent out a boat for the night without a charter and without a license. That means no sailing off down the river, but a damn good time living it up for a night or two.
So I booked a couple of nights for me and the blonde, and told her that we were off to try something a little different. I would have blindfolded her for a real surprise, but the looks I imagined one might get cruising down the A31 in a Smart car told me better.
Meandering my way through the green scenes of the New Forest I think I may have been a little more excited than her. The blonde doesn’t much like surprises, but man I love boats and when we eventually turned up, she was blown away.
We were staying on an Oceanis 37 – a real beauty. Capable of sleeping 4, we had it all to ourselves. Equipped with all that you might expect from a flat rental, we had central heating, full shower and bathroom facilities, wifi, a DVD player and a kettle… on a boat.
Now you might be thinking that it’s pretty cramped inside but you’d be wrong. The cabins are far larger than I could have imagined, and though the bed isn’t the most comfortable I’ve ever slept in, that doesn’t matter because, you guessed it, you’re on a boat!
With a whole community around you, you’re in the thick of things and can easily find something to do around you, or just shut the portholes and get yourself some privacy.
I’ll spare you all the seedy details of what went on that weekend, but there were plenty of bottles of Prosecco popped, and a great deal time spent lordly standing on the bow of my yacht. You’d be forgiven for thinking that I was pretending I was in St. Tropez, but the truth of the matter is that I didn’t want to be anywhere else.
Taking in the English countryside and getting rocked gently to sleep with the blonde by my side is an experience that I wouldn’t change.
Beds On Board is a service that couldn’t be simpler to get your head around. You just put in your dates and browse what’s available. With so many locations throughout the UK, Europe and even further afield, I couldn’t recommend it enough.