To kick off Helly’s birthday week, I took her to Coombe Abbey in Coventry. It was originally a 12th Century Cistercian Abbey, that has been restored and turned into a hotel. It was great arriving at the Abbey at night, and walking into the foyer of the hotel which looks like something out of “The Name of the Rose”. Our room, which was apparently one of the old rooms in the Abbey, had a view stretching out over the sculptured gardens. We spent many hours exploring the grounds – 500 acres of gardens, woodlands, lakes and marshes.