TO THE MANOR BORNE
Peter Herbert is firmly positive in his reply to my email when I ask if the taxi will know where to come.
“Everyone knows where we are,” he says with authority.
Turns out we end up driving ourselves there, and yes, the person we asked in East Grinstead did know – but we certainly doubted her directions for a while.
Gravetye Manor’s address simply says ‘near East Grinstead’. It actually should read NOT near East Grinstead, as you must drive several beautifully leafy miles (we’re in England, you have possibly guessed) to reach it. And when you do, you discover it is actually NEARER to West Hoathly or Turners Hill. The only advantage is that East Grinstead is larger and appears on the maps.
Which is all a rather involved way of saying that Gravetye Manor (it isn’t even pronounced as you would expect – it’s Grave Tie) is deliciously off the map, a flowery hidden estate. But of course, when a place has been around for 500 years or so you do expect people to have learnt your location.
This article continues to describe the sumptuous accommodation and dining available at Gravetye Manor, and its location – close to the wood described by children’s author AA Milne in his classic book Tales of Pooh.
If we’d had time we could have wandered some more, locating Roo’s Sandy Pit and the site of Where the North Pole Was, as well as The Enchanted Place. But we had dinner planned in Gravetye’s restaurant and chef Mark Raffan’s food to hurry back for.
After all, Pooh bear was only fiction, but we knew for a fact there was a
special treat in store for us.