Lifestyle Travel UK Wedding

Great Fosters, Egham, Surrey (+How the proposal happened)

It’s time to share this story with everyone. We’d long planned to leave London the weekend before last for some time away. It was the first weekend that I didn’t have to work since New Years so we wanted to make the most of it. As awesome as Great Fosters was, it was all a bit of a dream after that Saturday night. We went away on Saturday morning and spent the whole afternoon strolling through the gardens at Great Fosters and laughing because our room has almost bigger than our flat. I also ate quite a few cashews because I always travel with a snack, but that fact is pretty irrelevant.

Great Fosters is this amazing historic home (Grade I listed) that’s been turned into a hotel but with most of its period features are still intact. It was even where George III was sent to convalesce a bit in his madness. Cheery. But it also has 50 acres of gardens, a 14th century Tithe Barn and a Saxon moat. So all in all, a pretty cool place to be.

The gardens are probably its most famous feature so we spent most of Saturday afternoon exploring. Then we went back to our room to change our muddy clothing, and catch an episode of “Time Team: Finding Shakespeare’s House” because we are super cool like that.  We were heading out to dinner when Sam mentioned that he’d like to go back into the gardens to take an instagram of the manor house at night. I was starving, so reluctantly agreed, and followed him outside while complaining about the cold, where he proceeded to take several photos. 

As I had just about given up on him, he led me to the bridge over the Saxon moat and asked me to be his wife. I couldn’t believe it. Sam described what happened as “a cry bomb” and that the tears just “exploded out of me”. I sobbed. I was just so surprised and delighted. 

We went back inside for dinner; toasted with champagne and had a fabulous meal and then played Scrabble next to an open Tudor fireplace while drinking cider. The perfect evening right? I kept grinning ear to ear and we kept holding hands despite scoffing down a ridiculous amount of food. Sam announced to the dining room that I had just consented to be his wife to jovial cheers all around. 

The next morning we proceeded to be even sillier and more blissful in the gardens than usual. 

As a side note: later I was flipping through some information about Great Fosters and the ghost of a bride appears on the bridge. How crazy! Coincidence? I hope!
 front of great fostersdesk in lobbysam in roomstatue  sculpture me and back of great fosterssam coming out of doorway
I loved this tiny, period door. (So small so that only one man could enter at a time. You know. Ye Olde Security.)

sam runningringing bell
Because nothing is as satisfying as ringing a giant doorbell. 

kissing statuein arborgardensbridge at great fosters
Little did I know how special this bridge was going to become to me in just a few short hours! 

instagram

If anyone was wondering what exactly Sam was taking an instagram of this was it. This terrible photo. But he felt that he needed to take a photo so that I bought into the ruse for as long as possible. 
post engagementpost dinner
Two immediate post-engagement selfies! 

scrabble
The Scrabble arena. (I won.)

sam and grounds
Sam’s weekend victory. 

smilingwading through waterhiding in mazejumping        our room
Coat: Joules. Scarf: Joules. Wellies: Joules. Cardigan: Gap. Shirt: Gap. Jeans: BDG Urban Outfitters. Lipstick: MAC (in retro)

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engaged
This photo is the one that we coerced a stranger into taking for us, in honour of the events of the night before. 

 groundscat
Did I mention that there was a cat? 

pig meets cat
And the hotel raises their own pigs. Cat, meet pigs. Pigs, cat. 

pig close up           crestduck bush
Awesome topiary skills! 

back of the home
   bust  bathing huts  
The famous, quirky changing stalls by the outdoor pool. 

amanda with statue

It was an absolutely magical weekend, and one that I am certain to never forget. I’d like to thank everyone again for all the kindness and well wishes that have flown our way over the past week and a half.  It still feels a bit surreal. It all felt like a dream and I haven’t yet realised that it’s real yet. Did anyone else feel that way?

In summary: lots of happy tears, delicious foods and lovely garden frolics. 

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