It really was the most amazing house I've ever stayed in. And HUGE! If I'd taken a photo of everything that was beautiful then this post would be so long you'd all fall asleep reading it. I'll try and narrow them down a bit. Read on, mes amies. I promise you it's not a sleep-inducing post. And there is a mystery treat for you at the end!
Thank you Mr Martin. Mr Stapleton Martin? I dunno. We found his grave in the churchyard next door and he actually had about 8 names. Anyway, Marcus, do forgive the informality. You and your house rock and I'm ever so glad you rescued it.
I had the pink bedroom. I put aside my violent prejudice against the colour because it had a) window seats, b) a chaise longue, c) a dressing room and d) the most excellent floors for sliding around on in your socks.
It was a deliciously relaxing long weekend, full of epic amounts of laughter, gossip, photographs, cake and wine and amazing food (massive thanks to Chloe for menu planning, ordering and cooking it all!). Yay for fantastic bloggers who share tastes in how a good holiday should go.
We love our cameras.
Becks managed to take a photo of me taking a photo of Lucy taking a photo. The mind boggles.
We did some active things too. Look, walks!
The debate rages on as to whether it was alpacas or llamas that we saw when we were out in the countryside. Can anyone give a definite answer as to what these creatures are? The little white one looked remarkably like a sheep to me.
I was gobsmacked to discover that some of the girls had never even heard of Poohsticks, let alone played it. We promptly had a game. Um, shortest game ever. We rather underestimated how fast the river was flowing and I don't think we ever did find out who won. Still fun though!
I do mostly believe in being lazy when you're on holiday though. Walks are lovely, especially when the sun is shining, but if you're away with that many fantastic people you mostly want to lounge around and talk to them. The Manor had many, many places where this could happen and you could guarantee that you'd always find a group of people gathered around the kitchen table, curled up on the comfy sofas in the sitting room, tucked up in the snug, holding court in the dressing room, sitting on the stone benches in the garden or just generally frolicking around enjoying themselves.
Thankfully there are no photos of me sitting round in my pjs drinking wine (bravo for the unspoken group decision not to take any photos in the evenings) but there are a lot of me in my typical daytime pose - curled up somewhere enjoying a Persephone book. Here I am:
What a truly lovely bunch of people they all are. I did not expect a present at all! I was just pleased that everyone had managed to make it there and that we all got on so well. Just goes to prove that the best people live on the internet.