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Great Fosters Manor outside of London

August 26, 2011

The Great Fosters has absolutely gorgeous grounds marred only by the constant noise from the nearby highways. The old building itself is slightly flea bitten inside, but incredibly interesting. Worn carpets and banged up furniture. Old empire slowly goes to seed.

The Great Fosters grounds are incredible.

I stayed in “Panel II,” which as the name implies is a room with mahogany paneling on the walls. Dark and a bit dreary even in the middle of the day. The bed is something straight out of “A Christmas Carol” central casting. Fortunately, Marley did not pay me a visit during the night.

A very comfortable bed with its own extensive drapery.

Possibly the most amusing part of the room is the “throne” in the bathroom. Slightly too tall for my feet to reach the floor.

The throne.

All of the fixtures in the bathroom are gigantic, slightly incomprehensible things that work well but somehow use way more water than they should. Here is the Euro-shower in Panel II. The shower experience itself is nothing to blog about.

The shower also includes bonus paneling and gigantic steam-punk-ish hardware.

Sadly, the restaurant at Great Fosters is utterly avoidable (a pattern that is fairly consistent in the U.K. in my experience). The staff is excellent and very well trained (not to mention beautiful, at least in the case of the Hungarian waitress who served me). Management is responsive and worldly, but the food was just not good. The bar is likewise uninspired with an over-emphasis on Scotch that fits the gestalt of the place.

Enough whining though. The grounds are incredible, and my hour long walk around before sunset was almost magical at times. Great Fosters is worth a visit and earns itself a three shower heads rating. Maybe next visit I will pitch a tent on the grounds…

If you like sculpture, the grounds will blow you away. Amazing.

Awe inspiring gardening.

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