One of the things I used to regret about drinking was the way I used to feel the morning after. I’m sure I don’t need to describe it to you in detail as we’ll all have experienced this to some degree or another:

• The stale alcohol fumes in my throat and breath
• The dry mouth
• The aching/fuzzy/dizzy head
• The slow and stupid brain
• The nausea and all-over bodily discomfort
• The abnormal bladder/bowel functions
• The tired, heavy and puffy eyes
• The smack of fear/shame/guilt and regret
• The anxiety and paranoia
• The exhaustion and heavy-headed feeling

We’ll all have some version of the above that we can relate to.

There was nowhere that I used to feel this more keenly than when I was staying away at a B&B. Because of my anxiety about being away from home and travelling, I would always have drunk too much in the evening on my first night. Despite me looking forward to the idea of eating a lovely cooked breakfast in the morning, the reality was that I often couldn’t face it. On the occasions when I could, I had to force it down and didn’t enjoy it.

What a waste of an opportunity! Local produce, home-cooked food, no dishes or washing up to worry about and yet I couldn’t enjoy the experience because I’d drunk too much the night before. On top of that, I dreaded the conversation and company I might encounter with the hosts or other guests. I’d be paranoid that they could smell alcohol on me or that I’d come across as strange or that they could tell I had a problem. Navigating the whole "breakfast with company" scenario was often a complete nightmare when I was experiencing all the symptoms described above.

Fast forward to today: last night I stayed in a lovely B&B in the most stunning location. It was a beautiful room in a beautiful old house full of history and stories. The hosts were lovely too. Today, I’ve woken up fresh and had a lovely lie-in before going down for breakfast.

The experience couldn’t be more different sober.

I loved being in their dining room which was full of interesting and quirky antiques and had an amazing view over well-tended and immaculate gardens. The sun happened to be shining down from a clear blue sky which added to the charm of the setting. I loved chatting to the hosts and getting to know them. We got on really well and ended up chatting well into the morning, well past the time I should’ve been out of the room and gone. In fact, they invited me and my partner to call on them in the week while we’re staying down here. But, above all, the breakfast was SUPERB! The food was fantastic and so well-prepared, cooked and presented – it really was one of the best breakfasts I’ve enjoyed in a long time.

I was able to fully appreciate the company, the surroundings, the food and the luxury of being away and not having to take responsibility for anything. The whole experience of staying away in a B&B is INFINITELY better sober. And, I have great memories and photos of it all.

What experiences have you had that have struck you as being so much better when you don't have a hangover?

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