DON’T get me wrong, we love spending time with our children.

But when a hotel offers you a night away, kiddie-free, for the first time in nine years, those little ankle-biters were dropped off at Nanny’s house quicker than you could say “separation anxiety”.

With a whole 24 hours stretching before us and dinner, bed and breakfast at the Moonraker Hotel in Bradfordon Avon to look forward to, our first stop was the neighbouring city of Bath, to shop until we dropped.

Bath is bursting with great shops, boutiques, restaurants and sightseeing opportunities.

Sitting in the window of one such restaurant eating lunch, just watching the world go by, was sheer bliss.

But unfortunately, as parents to two very energetic children, there wasn’t a great deal of shopping before were dropping.

Calling it quits, we jumped in the car and made the half hour drive to the hotel.

The Moonraker Hotel, Restaurant and Kitchen Garden is just outside the beautiful little town of Bradford-on-Avon.

Mentioned in the Domesday Book as being part of the Abbess of Glastonbury’s estate, the Moonraker was originally built in classic Queen Anne style before being upgraded in the 17th century to Bath stone.

It has 21 bedrooms, walled gardens, beehives, rare breed pigs and chickens and head chef Matthew Briddon (River Cafe, Paul Heathcotes) has created a menu using the hotel’s kitchen garden and on-site smokery.

We were greeted in the quaint entrance hall by a friendly receptionist and shown up a small staircase and along a small landing to our deluxe room − which came complete with wooden beams, dressing room, bathroom and views over fields.

A quick snoop revealed Neal’s Yard toiletries, a deep bath and a monsoon shower.

There was also a flat screen TV and comfy bed and as harassed parents would, we quickly took advantage of the situation....

After a brief, but blissfully uninterrupted half hour nap − why? what did you think we were doing? − we changed and made our way down to dinner in the Milking Parlour.

Candle-lit and inviting, the Milking Parlour turned out to be so much more than its name suggested.

There was an olde worlde bar and a large lounge area for pre and post dinner drinks and a sumptuous menu.

After ruminating with some olives we eventually chose to start with beetroot and goat’s cheese salad − pickled beetroot, whipped goat’s cheese, nuts, leaves and beetroot essence.

And the home smoked salmon − hay-smoked salmon from the hotel’s smokery with dill sauce, caviar and crostini.

Never has the humble beetroot tasted so delicious and what a perfect combination with the smooth, whipped cheese.

And judging by the way it was wolfed down, the salmon was pretty good too.

For main I chose bouillabaisse − a seafood and fish stew with saffron potatoes, rouille and warm granary bread.

The other half chose the fillet steak with field mushroom and chunky chips.

My stew was packed with all sorts of fish, so much so that I could only manage a little of the bread and potatoes.

But I was aware that dessert was yet to come and determined to last the whole three courses.

Olivia the restaurant manager, a fizzy character, full of fun, was there throughout our gorgeous couple of hours in the Milking Parlour, sharing information about the hotel and its wonderful chef.

My husband asked her to congratulate the chef on the steak − as did a man on a neighbouring table.

Apparently it was among the best he has ever eaten.

Bursting at the seams didn’t stop us ordering a slice of chocolate torte and cream − each.

And although it was delicious, we were soon beaten.

At the end of the evening, full and happy, we retired to our lovely room and slept all the through the night − undisturbed − and even had a lie-in.

After breakfasting on bacon butties − the bacon was smoked in the smokery of course − we spent our last hour at the hotel wandering around the garden, sniffing herbs and watching the beehives for activity.

We left, clutching homemade flapjacks, a gift from chef Matthew, and headed off to pick up the kids, who obviously hadn’t missed us one bit.

To say our night away was lovely, just doesn’t come close.

The hotel was gorgeous, the food amazing and the staff delightful.

Let’s just hope it’s not another nine years before we get chance to do it again