For our twentieth wedding anniversary we celebrated with dinner and a night at Gravetye Manor, in the Sussex countryside near East Grinstead. It’s a ‘special occasion’ sort of place – much as we’d like to have stayed longer our pockets aren’t that deep!
We arrived mid-afternoon, mid-February, and took a stroll around the grounds before the sun went down…
Our room was amazing. The house is Grade 1 listed – it was built in 1598 by Richard Infield and Katharine Compton, and on the website it states that ‘portraits of Richard and Katharine are carved in oak over the fireplace in one of the bedrooms’ – well, I think that was our room!
There were beautiful mullioned windows looking South and East. The room is named for the big Magnolia tree just outside. Unfortunately we were there too early to see it in full bloom.
We had dinner in the restaurant, of course – it has a Michelin star, so I suppose were expecting extraordinary things. It was lovely, but not quite the amazing event I was anticipating. I wonder if the pandemic has taken its toll on staff. Everyone was very polite but we got the impression the waiting staff were inexperienced, and with so many different people serving us there wasn’t much attempt at rapport with guests.
The Dining Room itself is spectacular, although it was the next morning in daylight that we really got to appreciate it.
The Dining Room and the basement rooms beneath were designed by Charles Knowles Architects and constructed only a few years ago. You can read all about the structure and the thinking behind it here.
For the rest of our visit we just enjoyed exploring the rooms and gardens. We were lucky to have a bright, sunny morning, and we took a (muddy!) walk around the lake before heading off home. The whole place is magical. How we’d love to return some day!