A COUNTRY HOUSE WEEKEND...
Last weekend, Mr. W and I headed off to West Hoathly in Sussex for a special party, hosted by some very dear and generous friends who were celebrating their 30 year 'Pearl' wedding anniversary....and what a party it was! Along with our fellow guests, we were truly spoilt with dinner, dancing and champagne flowing...and all in the beautiful surroundings of Gravetye Manor, a remarkable 16th Century Elizabethan Manor which is a 17 bedroom Relais and Château Country House Hotel set in 1000 acres of wooded parklands and gardens.
As an extra treat, a number of us stayed there for the night which was very spoiling indeed. Beautifully decorated traditional interiors, log fires and elegant, supremely comfortable surroundings enveloped us the moment we walked through the imposing, impressive entrance. Attention to detail throughout and such friendly and welcoming staff. As for the food....well, where do I begin? All absolutely outstanding.
One night didn't seem long enough and we could barely bring ourselves to leave the next day!
After our late night of fun and partying, a delicious big cooked breakfast seemed just the thing that was needed, along with a walk around Gravetye Manor's renowned gardens, to blow away the cobwebs before we sadly had to leave.
As I said before....attention to detail....a choice of 'Wellies' in all sizes for guests to borrow was a thoughtful touch!
Gravetye Manor is considered one of the most historically influential gardens in the country, as it was once the home of writer and gardener, William Robinson. In his numerous books and publications he spelled out ground breaking ideas, rejecting the rigidity and formality of Victorian gardening and pioneering the more sensitive and naturalistic style of wild gardening and exuberant mixed borders.
In 1884 Robinson moved to Gravity where he spent the next 50 years putting these ideas into practice. Run as a hotel since the 60's, the garden has always been an important part of the experience of staying here.
A deep mist shrouded the valley last Sunday morning, which added to the peaceful, romantic atmosphere of the garden.
My photo snaps do not do this wonderful garden justice, but I urge you to visit for yourself if you are ever in this part of Sussex.
Beyond the extensive plantings of the flower garden, there are Azaleas, a wild garden, orchard, meadows, a beautiful lake and glasshouses and a spectacular oval kitchen garden which provides much of the delicious fresh produce used in the Michelin starred restaurant.
A wonderful celebration of Autumn's colour in a very special and romantic setting....
I would love to return in the summer time...tea and croquet on this lawn would be fun!
What a perfect stay it was...we shall return!
Gravetye Manor (click for link...)
Next week on the blog....some yummy Autumnal recipes that are inspiring me at the moment. Until then, have a very happy weekend and thank you so much for reading 'Sophia Home'!