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Grafton Manor Hotel (Worcestershire)

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Grafton, Grafton Lane, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B61 7HA, England.

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      15.09.2009 11:05
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      A truly wonderful setting for a Wedding and it's guests with very gracious staff!!

      Well I have been waiting to write this and was so excited yesterday when I discovered that it had been put through by the dooyoo team, so thanks Dooyoo people!

      This Hotel is where I went last year for my sons fairytale wedding. Grafton Manor is set down a winding country lane right out in the sticks in Bromsgrove, Worcerstershire.We were very fortunate to have an absolutey glorious sunny hot day, they had forecast thunder storms, but we were very lucky as they didn't appear at all that day!!

      Firstly we had the wedding in a country church in Hagley, which was beautiful as the service went perfect and I was glad that I had remembered to put on my waterproof mascara as I sure did need it that day!!

      All the guests apart from the bride and groom then went on by car to Grafton Manor, the bride and groom then drove until they were a couple of miles from Grafton Manor and swapped their car for a Horse and Trap to continue the rest of their journey. As we pulled up and parked the car , you could not but notice that beautiful manor house and the fantastic grounds that it sat in!

      We walked down the gravel pathway to be met by the very hard working staff who were standing all in a row with trays of Champagne and Fresh Orange juice ( for the non drinkers!). Once refreshed with our chilled drink, we wandered around the grounds where the was a String Quartet playing in the background. Just for a few moments it felt like you was the Lady of the Manor!

      Grafton Manor was first built in 1567 by the Earl of Shrewsbury, and was a very famous house and was frequented by the very rich and famous over the years that passed. Then one day in 1710 this beautiful house was tragically destroyed by fire, the house that stands now is the one that was rebuilt and has the rumour that even now if you were to go up into the eaves in the roof you can find a carved date in one of the wooden beams of 1742 nobody knows who done this, was this a servant or workman when rebuilding the house?

      John Morris is now the Lord of Grafton and we had the most wonderful conversation with him the following day after the wedding which I will go into detail about later on. He went to Grafton Manor when he was 12 years old and has been there for the last 60 years with his family who also help in the running of this family Hotel.

      The grounds are absolutely breathtaking as you wander around the 30 acres of very well maintained gardens, you can wander around to the back where you have rolling lawns that have beautiful steps that lead you to a most wonderful 2 acre lake, these gardens have been given so much attention that it must take forever to keep it to such a high standard. It also has two herbaceous borders of over 100 yards long that lead you down to the lake. It also has a wonderful bricked wall with little doors in it I'm sure if you went through one you could end up in Narnia! (I know that was a wardrobe, but this place is so magical anything could be possible!!).

      This hotel has nine bedrooms with 1 being the bridal suite known as the Garden Suite this is just beautiful with it's Four Poster Bed and old but beautiful furniture, you really do step back in time. My son had booked all the rooms , so we had the run of the hotel all to ourselves apart from the staff, who I really can't praise enough!

      Our room was very large with a huge four poster bed and wonderful huge chairs to flop into after a very long beautiful day. This room became very popular with my family as if they wanted to freshen up they could pop upstairs (just to have a nose really !!) to sit in the comfortable chairs with their champagne in their hands!!
      The adjoining bathroom was also huge with a massive bath and shower, back into the bedroom if you wandered over to the windows that were draped in long velvet curtains, you overlooked the grounds which was fantastic. There was large paintings on the walls, our room was themed in a blue colour, which made it have a very rich look to it. The only downside to this room was I'm sorry to say that I had to sleep with one of the bedside lights on as it seemed a bit eerie to me. My Daughter wouldn't stay here as it seemed haunted to her and she stayed down the road with some of the other guests in another hotel!!

      Once you walk into the Manor house you will see a wide staircase to your side then straight ahead you wander into a marquee hallway covered in ribbons with the most beautiful layed out tables inside the large marquee itself. There is a small bar in one corner, which we didn't use until after nine o'clock, with a dance floor at the other end of this room. As I have mentioned several times before, the staff were so great and we never ever had an empty glass, as soon as you had almost finished your last sip without having to say a word one of them would be straight over and start refilling them up, as some of the guests preferred beer they were more than happy to go and get some beers for them with making it seem like it was no trouble whatsoever!

      The Wedding Breakfast was first class and I had never tasted chicken that was so tender and tasty and don't get me started on the dessert, as I don't usually eat sweet things but thought I can't look to be rude to I tasted the chocolate dessert and wow it just melted in my mouth I've never tasted anything like this before it was gorgeous!
      For the first toast of the day the waiters and waitresses all lined up at the top table so that each guest had their own waiter, with which they then all popped and poured the Champagne at the same time, this was great to watch!

      Later that evening as it got dark there was then a large firework display which in those grounds looked fantastic and we got some lovely photo's from that! As the bride and groom stood at the top of the steps that lead down to the lake, when the fireworks lit up the sky you got the glistening lights from the lake as well!

      Next morning it had been arranged that we would all meet up to have breakfast together in the Manors breakfast room, so at nine o'clock we wandered into a room that had two tables set up with it's pure white tablecloth and napkins and the most wonderful breakfast served, apart from how you wanted your eggs served you could help yourself to whatever you wanted.It was really lovely to have all my family together for breakfast ( as we only ever mainly get to do this at Xmas with everyone living all over the place!) in such a wonderful place and of course to have my lovely Daughter-in-law with us as well!!

      After breakfast, which was nice as I didn't have to clear away or load the dishwasher up, my husband said shall we go for one more walk around the gardens, which is what we did. While strolling around in the sun we spotted an elderly gentleman ( and Gentleman he was!) walking a couple of dogs by the lake. As we got closer he stopped and waved to us, as we got nearer he wished us a good morning and asked us how the wedding had gone.This was The Lord of Grafton John Morris. His son had popped in and out of the wedding throughout the day to check that all was going well. We got talking about the grounds and his staff who worked for him, who it would seem never leave as it is a great place to work as he seems to be a genuine fair man. He spoke of an adventure he was about to embark on with some friends and his son, where he was going to ride his motorbike through some parts of the world. He then went on to say that we could go and have a look around his own private gardens if we wished to, which I thought was a very nice thing for him to say!! He was a true gent if ever I met one!! He had even taken the time to know the names of the Bride and Groom which is a very personal touch I think!

      I don't know what this wedding cost, but if I could relive that day again I certainly would, this day will live with me forever and Grafton Manor played a very big part in that!!

      So if you are thinking of getting married or having a celebration of some kind please give Grafton Manor the once over and I bet you fall in love with it as well!!

      Definately a big 5 stars for this place!

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