Imagine being invited to a country house in a quiet hamlet to enjoy good food and wine and go to the opera on your first evening: that was our experience of the Grange. Nothing was too much trouble at any point in our magical weekend: though we were late booking, they crammed a table into the dining-room so that we could enjoy a pre-opera supper. They apologised as if it was their fault that the local newsagent failed to bring enough papers the next morning. They brought us drinks outside on the next evening. Perfect, kind staff.
Our room was spacious, overlooking not the garden but the lane to the car park. If we were afraid we might get disruptive traffic noise I can tell you we didn't even hear a duck quack. The bed was vast and comfortable. There was an armchair apiece. The bathroom was clean and bright, balancing ecological awareness (soap, etc, in fixed dispensers) with thoughtful little individual items.
There is a lovely garden to lounge in when you've enjoyed wandering round Sherbourne and Montacute House, just two of the many local attractions.
The opera was part of the village music festival designed to raise funds to support the church, in which the performances take place. We saw Don Giovanni, sung to a breath-taking piano accompaniment, by a seven strong company of young and amazingly talented international artists. The Grange sponsored the event, incidentally, providing apparently endless top-class wine before, during and after the evening.
Food tips: they serve a superb apple brandy if you have the cheese course - and let you buy a bottle to take home! But the chef should know that chilling tomato and chilli soup does not make gazpacho - our only tiny gripe.
A computer glitch increased out bill by 25%, but the mistake was swiftly and courteously remedied.
We can't wait to go back. less