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Gravetye Manor (1)


By AndrewR


At the end of August, we treated ourselves to lunch at Gravetye Manor in Sussex. Built as a private home at the end of the sixteenth century, this is now a rather swish country hotel. But in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was the home of influential garden writer William Robinson. At a time when formal gardens and bedding were all the rage, Robinson promoted a more naturalistic style of gardening, using native plants and hardy perennials. To visit the gardens, you need to stay at the hotel or have a meal there.

The hotel is set in grounds of 1000 acres of woodland, now owned by the Forestry Commission. After turning off the road, you drive up a long drive, eventually passing through impressive iron gates, turn into the car park, and walk towards the house

You are asked to arrive early so you can peruse the menu at your leisure in the garden and your food is prepared. As you pass through the house, there is a glimpse out of a side door

But the main garden is at the back

We left our garden exploration until after the meal. The Head Gardener used to work at Great Dixter, and the influence of that garden is clearly visible here

If all this makes you tired, there are plenty of seats to just rest and unwind

Or you can climb the steps leading to the kitchen garden (which I will cover in a separate blog)

Remember that glimpse from the side door? That leads down to a grassy bank leading down to a lake. It is green now, but is full of native daffodils in spring and other wild flowers in early summer

As we left, the first signs of autumn were showing with an ornamental vine starting to colour up in a pine tree

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What a wonderful outing, Andrew. A hope your lunch was as good as your surroundings. You can see the Great Dixter connection.

12 Sep, 2017


What a beautiful garden. Did you have lunch before or after a visit to the gardens? I would be itching to walk around and eat afterwards.

12 Sep, 2017


Oh that looks a great place to explore, I wouldn't care if I didn't have time to eat ,I'd be quite happy wandering amongst the gardens, thankyou for sharing Andrew...

12 Sep, 2017


What a wonderful view through that door - so tempting to go through it!

12 Sep, 2017


Exactly my first thoughts Stera, I love visiting places such as this....

12 Sep, 2017


Yes the view through the door is magical. Lovely place.

14 Sep, 2017


Linda - the lunch was good, but the portions were a little small for my healthy appetite

Sue - you have to book a time slot for a meal which allows for half an hour of preparation before the food is served. So the garden had to wait until after we had eaten

15 Sep, 2017


The garden is fabulous what about the food Andrew?

19 Sep, 2017


DD - I went with a friend who used to work in catering and she couldn't fault it, so it must have been good!

19 Sep, 2017


Good, that's worth and a great garden what's not to like?

21 Sep, 2017

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