On Friday evening, straight from work, myself and a group of friends drove the short distance from Bristol to Frampton-on-Severn in Gloucestershire to begin a weekend of lazy luxury at The Orangery. When I agreed to this trip a few months ago, I had no idea what sort of property we would be staying in. As a group, we like to go away once or twice a year to catch up and our criteria doesn’t tend to stretch much further than wine, beds and budget. This time last year saw us all pile in to a central London flat whilst our most recent effort was a wooden chalet in Woolacombe, which saw 8 of us sleeping in one room on triple bunk beds. It was then with a great deal of surprise that we arrived to such grandeur. We were most definitely not in Kanas anymore.
We were all like little children running around exploring all the rooms and couldn’t believe that we were lucky enough to be staying in such a truly beautiful building. Every room is full to bursting with antique furniture, beautiful decor and bags of charm.
It wasn’t long before we were gathered in the octagonal living room to work our way through the house guide book. It turns out that the Grade I listed ‘Strawberry Gothic’ style Orangery was built in the 18th Century by WIlliam Halfpenny, in the grounds of the Frampton Court Estate. It is also heralded by Country Life Magazine as the ‘prettiest garden building in England’. I’m not going to argue with them.
Although we were pretty obsessed with the house, for me it was the grounds that really put the icing on the cake. Taking a hot mug of tea for a stroll around the ornamental canal (yes, really) was the most surreal and beautiful experience, especially with all the Autumnal leaves to crunch on. I felt like I was in the Secret Garden. At the end of the canal was the most spectacular view of the house and our first clear look at Frampton Court. We also found a conveniently placed swing. Full marks, Frampton.
As the sun set, we decided to take the short stroll over the fields to the lake and to take in more breathtaking scenery. I took so many photos that I could probably afford to do a 7 part special but for your sake and mine, I have refrained. It was then time to head back home for an evening in front of the log fire, watching films and drinking mulled wine. Heaven.
It was with a heavy heart this morning that we said our goodbyes and set off home.Thanks ladies for a fab time and for putting up with my snap happy nature. A special thank you to Deesha for organising another brilliant trip and for finding this gem. How are you going to top this?
You can find out more information about The Orangery and Frampton Court (including how to book) here: http://www.framptoncourtestate.co.uk/