Muddy stays at The Granary, Fawsley
Nestled in splendid isolation at the heart of the English countryside, this rustic chic, boutique retreat and wedding venue is a real hidden gem bursting with character.
Follow the road to the back of beyond and keep going until you reach the middle of nowhere. That’s where you’ll find gorgeous rural retreat The Granary at Fawsley. Fawsley isn’t so much a place as a state of mind, not much more than a scattering of farmhouses and acres of rolling countryside. The Granary itself sits on the sprawling Fawsley Estate and consists of a clutch of stylishly renovated 17th century stone farm buildings (former cowsheds, stables and corn storage, hence the name) nestled amongst picturesque meadows.
An exclusive and peaceful wedding and events venue, it also makes for a luxurious boutique stay within easy reach of Silverstone Circuit, Bicester Village and Royal Leamington Spa.
It’s all charming rustic retreat with impeccable attention to detail and a certain eclectic flair thrown in for good measure. The bijou and spotless breakfast room boasts a quirky vintage mirror wall and, upstairs, the cutest original pigeonholes in the exposed brickwork make perfect vignettes for books and flower displays. There’s so much character charm here, but still plenty of scope for loved up wedding couples to put their own stamp on the place too.
The gardens are beautifully groomed, with scented flower borders surrounding a verdant central lawn and pretty meadows across the wider grounds. Owned and run by husband and wife team Glenn and Donna Newman, it’s easy to see the care and attention that the pair have put into every little detail here. Service is warm and relaxed, with nothing being too much trouble, plus pooches are welcome, which always scores extra points in the Muddy house, with drinking facilities and access to an outside hose to wash them down after a mucky walk.
There are ten rooms, so it’s perfect for wedding guests and family gatherings. Each room has been individually designed in a modern rustic style that showcases the original features, with vaulted ceilings and exposed oak beams. Lucky old me, I got to stay in the honeymoon suite and was greeted with bottle of fizz chilling in the wine fridge and a box of Montezuma choccies to scoff. It’s super relaxing here, with a roll top bath in the room, comfy seating area, a king size bed and really good wifi.
Small touches really shine, like nice quality, eco-friendly toiletries, a coffee machine, and a little dressing room/lobby with dressing table space if you want to get ready with your girlfriends. I Ioved the fact that my room had double aspect views, with the gorgeous barns and adjacent rectory on one side and rolling Northants countryside on the other. If you’ve got kids there are also family rooms, with some rooms having a shared private entrance so perfect if you’ve got older kids and teens.
SCOFF AND QUAFF
Rooms here are B&B and, oh boy, breakfast is off the chart. There’s a selections of cereals, yoghurt snd juices, which you can help yourself to, and then you can ask for a cooked breakfast as you like it.
I’m a veggie and I sometimes find veggie cooked breakfasts disappointing, but it’s super vegetarian friendly here and they cater for most dietary requirements. In the name of research, I decided to go for the full English, with sausages, fried eggs, fried bread, beans, hash brown and mushies. I hadn’t had fried bread for donkeys’ years and it was so. good. I ate every last morsel on the plate, including an extra slice of toast. It’s fair to say that food is a big priority at The Granary because the in-house wedding and event chef is Muddy fave Danny Tompkins, an award winning fine dining caterer who’s cooked for some pretty big name celebs. Anyone heard of a guy called Jay-Z? Danny isn’t poaching your morning eggs, but it’s a pretty good measure of the value placed on quality and provenance, so whether you’re here for a cheeky overnight stay or if you’ve got hoards of wedding guests to feed, no one is going to go hungry.
OUT AND ABOUT
Peace, quiet and splendid isolation are a huge part of the appeal at The Granary so, you don’t even need to get in the car if you don’t want to, but that’s not to say there isn’t loads to do nearby. Fawsley Hall spa is just a few minutes up the track, with Badby Wood, Everdon Stubbs and other lovely country walks including the Knightley Way and Jurassic Way long distance paths within easy striking distance.
If you’re looking for action, Silverstone Circuit is 15 minutes by car, Royal Leamington Spa 30 minutes and Bicester Village 40 minutes and if you fancy a dose of some of Northamptonshire’s gorgeous stately homes, Althorp House, Holdenby House and Delapre Abbey are all within a 30 minute drive, whilst Canons Ashby and Sulgrave Manor just 15 minutes. Just think of all those tea rooms!
Unless you’re here for a big ‘do’, you’ll want to venture out for dinner. Fawsley Hall is within staggering distance, where you can dine in the 2 AA Rosette Cedar restaurant, or try the Fox and Hounds in nearby Charwelton for foodie fare, a top notch wine list and welcoming, cosy vibes in a beautiful village setting.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: Fans of rural tranquility will find The Granary a blissful escape and if you love walking and cycling in the countryside then you’re on to a winner. If thrills and action are more your bag you won’t be disappointed either, with plenty to do in the surrounding area. Also top notch as an exclusive use wedding and event venue – rural isolation is great for keeping out the riff raff!
Not for: If you want meals and entertainment all in one place you’ll be disappointed, but that’s not really the point here.
The damage: Double rooms from £99 a night B&B. Enquire with the venue for wedding and event packages.
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