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! 


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! 

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)

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

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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  • Utterly delicious & simply perfect πŸ™‚

  • So sweet! Congrats again! Oh and I totally read the comment about the ghost bride and then when I got to the photo of the bridge I just thought – oh yeah there is definitely someone in white standing there… Aand then I realised that it was the water feature! My imagination is way too much sometimes!

    • Hahaha, I LOVE that though! Hopefully I won’t be a ghost bride….spooky….! πŸ˜€ xx

      • ooh and if you remove the “G” (as in g for ghost) from bridge it becomes Bride… this was obviously meant to be! I could do this all day! lol

  • Catherine Lux

    What a beautiful place to propose!! Congratulations to you both! I went to Great Fosters a coupla years ago for afternoon tea (my post here), you MUST go back in the summer, it’s even more beautiful being able to walk around the gardens in the warmth with all the pretty flowers out!

    C x

    • We are definitely planning on going back! You ladies looked so lovely in the gardens during your afternoon tea! You looked right at home πŸ˜‰ xx

  • Congratulations, Amanda! What a wonderful story. It felt surreal to me when I got engaged late last year too, and I found so many more surreal moments to come; writing the invites, starting to book everything etc. Enjoy! πŸ˜€ Excited to be co-hosting along with you.

  • What a beautiful place to spend such a special weekend:) Hearing how someone proposed is always so sweet πŸ™‚ I love that picture Sam took to get you out there ha.

    • There are multiple shots too. Ha, the world’s worst pictures! I should have known something funny was afoot! x

  • Ahhhh, this is so incredibly romantic! I love that Sam announced it to the others diners at the restaurant too. :)) What a perfect weekend! Now this is how proposals should be!

  • What a beautiful story! And so lovely of you to share it with us all!! Great Fosters looks so charming and idyllic – such a perfect spot for a proposal! Love all the pictures – especially the two post engagement selfies. Those pictures speak a thousand words! I know what you mean – it continues to feel like a dream and like it isn’t real for quite a few months. Ty and I just had our one year engagement day anniversary (if there ever was such a thing ha!) and I think only now with 7 months til our wedding does it feel even a smidgen real!! X

    • You’ll have to give me all the wedding planning tips! I’m planning on doing it on a shoestring budget, so any and all advice is welcome! πŸ˜€ xx

      • Absolutely! We can be wedding planning buddies! We are trying to do ours on as small a budget as we can manage too – hence lots of diy projects and doing all our own stationary! X

  • Chrissylilly

    Such a great story! The hotel looks picturesque – like something out of Downton Abbey! Congratulations, again! πŸ™‚

    Chrissy x

  • Once again so many congratulations!!!!
    The hotel room we had on our honeymoon was bigger than the apartment we were living in at the time and I was so sad when we had to leave it!
    O and Fredrik proposed in the car so you are very lucky to have a beautiful place you can visit again!

  • aw, love it. What a romantic πŸ™‚

  • Awww, this story is so cute! You guys are just perfect for each other.

    PIGS!! I love pigs πŸ˜€

  • Oh my goodness you two! I am so pleased for you Amanda and I am mega impressed with Sam’s proposal skills! Dan did something pretty similar with me where he took a picture just before for social media purposes, all because he was stalling to get the guts up to do it.

    What a lovely story and a beautiful location!

    On a different note, that picture of Sam running is hilarious. Such a good moment shot.

    • Hahahahaha thanks – I have a weird number of photos of Sam running, for some reason! I bet Dan’s stalling picture was better than Sam’s though! x

  • You got engaged over a moat! OMG! I love moats! (Yes, I know I’m mad. But I still love moats!)

    • And I didn’t fall in, which was almost the biggest surprise, says clumsiest woman around! x

      • Of course not, everyone knows you only fall into moats if you’re being chased by a dragon, because it protects you from the fire! You’re obviously engaged to a prince! x

        • A dragon appearing would have been epic. Although, I might have become so smitten with the dragon that I forgot the prince! x

  • Becky Mattox

    Yayay I couldn’t wait to hear the story πŸ™‚ What a sweet proposal!!! Thank goodness for social media and wanting to take pictures being totally acceptable πŸ˜› I love all the other pictures from the weekend especially the last one! You two are so funny!

  • Ala

    Aawww I’ve been waiting for this! How lovely!!! Love that he announced to the restaurant too – you two are soooooo cute! xxxx

    • I was both slightly embarrassed (I get weird about public attention sometimes) and super pleased all at the same time. Thanks Ala! πŸ˜€ xxxx

  • I love that he managed to make it a complete surprise – congrats! πŸ™‚ Also, what a beautiful location.

  • Aww, congratulations again! Such a cute post!! What a lovely weekend away together, and such a cute way to propose!! So nice it came as such a surprise too. xxx

  • amitygardens

    YAY! I am still totally excited. Good job, Sam!

  • Julie @ Artwork by JM

    Aww! I love all of your photos! You two look like such a great happy couple. And such a sweet story <3

  • YAY YAY YAY what a wonderful lovely magical weekend πŸ™‚

  • I love reading this post so much. You two are so adorable and he is such a romantic and great guy. Wish all the best to you. ^^


    I’m so incredibly happy for you guys! πŸ˜€ you look utterly blissfully happy and I wish you all the very best in the world xxx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blog

  • I keep meaning to say congratulations and I keep forgetting, so, finally, CONGRATULATIONS! so exciting and it’s obvious you two are so happy about it, your joy is contagious πŸ™‚ what a romantic, lovely, and so-very-English place to get engaged!! xo

  • This is just the cutest post! Congratulations again! xx

  • such a sweet proposal! congrats, once again!

  • Ah I love a good proposal story!
    (That picture of the statue bust in the maze is beautiful by the way!)
    Congrats again!

  • Aw you kids are so cute. Congrats once again!

  • Em

    Fab! And the Scrabble/galoshes/doorbell/etc. make it super endearing. Love!

  • ahh, it does sound like the perfect and the most beautiful evening and weekend:-) and in such a pretty place as well. so happy for you! xx

  • It sounds so perfect! I love all the pictures. Sam chose a beautiful proposal location.

    • It was very sweet, the actually moment was super cute because he got kind of clumsy and tried to hold my hands by caught my elbows instead πŸ˜‰ xx

  • A post that had me going woo, arrrr and wow a lot

  • Congratulations on your engagement! I just found your blog via the Penny’s Passion blog hop. We moved back to the US last summer from the UK, and lived just a few minutes from Great Fosters. What a special place – we made many wonderful memories there with dinners, teas, and nights away. I look forward to following your blog!

    My birthday at Great Fosters a few years ago:

    • Thank you so much! And by your photos, it looks like it really was a birthday to remember! And I loved that you saw two weddings whilst there that weekend! x

  • Awwww I loved reading your proposal story! The bridge is such a cute place for the big proposal to happen! And the night afterwards sounded so cozy and sweet!

  • Charlie D

    What an amazing week end, congratulations ! The place looks marvelous, what a perfect setting for a proposal, you’re a very lucky woman !

    xx, Charlie.

  • What a perfect spot for such an exciting question!

  • What a great engagement story!

  • cestantina

    Congratulations! The place is fantastic, the gardens look so lovely. That’s why I love England!

  • EEEEEE! (That’s my high pitched happy squeal if you couldn’t tell over the internet!) SO EXCITED FOR YOU, Amanda! πŸ™‚ What a perfect location to propose–props to Sam. I cannot wait to hear all about the wedding details as they come!! Congrats again!

  • Gosh, he really knew what he was doing – this is a gorgeous place to get engaged! What a happy memory! πŸ™‚

  • I was a bride on that bridge just over 16 years ago!! And I’m not a ghost and still happily married πŸ™‚ Best of luck to you! Great Fosters has a VIP membership that we belonged to for a while which gives you a free overnight stay – might be a nice wedding present?!

    • That’s absolutely incredible! Now we share a special place! Oh, a VIP membership sounds like a great gift! x

  • Wow’ that place looks amazing! The perfect spot for a proposal! Sam definitely planned that well! Congrats again!! It felt a little surreal t o me too – especially as we were planning our secret beach wedding too! Now, let the fun wedding planning begin – especially when 2 countries are involved! Xx

  • What a magical place to get engaged! Congrats to both of you!

  • Congratulations! Oh what a wonderful place to be engaged ^_^

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    Wonderful!! Many, many congratulations!!

    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

  • Thanks Sara! πŸ˜€ xxx

  • You were close! Last summer we walked stretches of the North Downs way and it goes through Guildford – maybe I walked by you! x

  • Okay, so there are obviously more important things in this post than this, but that picture of the stone bust in between the hedge rows is a stunning picture. Like, I would frame that for my wall. The focus is perfection.

    That being said, CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement!!! I’m so excited for you. You two deserve all the happiness in the world!

    Also, final note, currently catching up on The Walking Dead like you said you’re going to in a more recent post. I don’t know how far you have to go, but it is nuts right now!!

    • Thank you so much! And I’m glad you like that picture so much!

      We are in the middle of Season 4 on the Walking Dead – so still behind, but rapidly catching up. Where are you! xxx

      • I’m finally caught up! It’s getting really strange… you should let me know what your thoughts are when you catch up.

        • Hmmm…. I’m not sure I love it right now. The cannibal plot seemed pretty throwaway, right? And the hospital… I guess after the governor it was hard to be that exciting again. x

          • Oh man. The hospital. Not my favorite storyline, and you’re very close to something big πŸ™

            As for the cannibals, that’s pretty much straight out of the comics. They’re running into a weird conundrum where the material they take from the original source isn’t actually translating well to TV. For example, Daryl was created entirely for the TV show but is everyone’s favorite character.

          • Well Daryl is my favourite and if he dies I refuse to watch anymore! πŸ˜‰ x

          • Oh man. Me too. Luckily, I think the producers are well in touch with how epic of a screw-up that would be. They had Walker Stalker Con here in Atlanta, and you had to purchase a fan club membership to get a picture with him, which was $750. He’s a hot commodity, and I don’t think he’s going anywhere anytime soon.

          • Wowzers that’s a lot of money just for a photo! x

  • I love that you played a celebratory game of scrabble afterwards XD It’s also movie-level adorable that Sam declared your engagement to everyone in the room. Congrats again!

    • Thank you so much! He knew that I’d be really embarrassed if he asked in a public place or if anyone else was there which was why ours was so private, but he couldn’t help but adding a Sam showman like twist, I suppose! xx

  • Congratulations what a fantastic way to propose!

  • Thanks for sharing your story! That is so wonderful πŸ™‚

  • I definitely missed this while I was in NZ, but it’s such a cute story! it looks like a lovely place to become engaged and I can’t wait to hear more about wedding plans πŸ™‚ congrats again!

  • So slow of me but I only just caught this story through your 2015 roundup post! Lovely story, sounds like a very romantic weekend away. How exciting to think you only have a few months left til the big day! Congratulations, both belatedly (for the engagement) and prematurely (for the actual wedding day!)

    Sophie πŸ™‚

  • great estate!:) it was a perfect place for a proposal:) nice photos! cute cat:) so the wedding’s now pretty soon, right? That’s what I reckon from your posts:)