For our ‘post open evening’ weekend away we wanted to visit Tatton Park as we’ve not been there outside the RHS flower show. For this we wanted to stay in Knutsford which is right next door. The place to stay we picked was the Rose and Crown just 2 minutes walk from the Knutsford gate for Tatton Park. The meal on Friday night was superb and the room nice, but unfortunately we were not at all happy after that! Underneath our room was the pub/restaurant. We knew this was a pub so would have expected 11-11.30 before things quietened down, but the music and noisy conversation went on and on and on. At 12.15 I decided to go down to find out if the establishment was ever going to close, I was told they extended opening to 12.30 at the weekend!!!

Needless to say I was not pleased and had a moan at the manager at that point. After eventually getting to sleep past 1am we awoke at 9am and had a quite superb breakfast. The manager offered to move us to a room further away but after considering the fact that we could not risk a second poor night’s sleep we decided to leave. So we drove to Tatton instead of walking. At least they decided not to charge us anything beyond the deposit we had paid in advance. It really was a shame as the food and rest of service was excellent, a pity they assume everybody wants to be supping to the early hours and not enjoying a de-stress weekend . . .

Anyway, the visit to Tatton Park easily made up for the disappointment of the hotel. The day was drizzly/rainy but armed with waterproofs, we started our visit with a walk through the parkland. This was a real treat as there was a whole herd of red deer, in their autumnal mood of rutting which was very impressive, there were also a smaller number of fallow deer. In the mist and rain they looked and sounded quite magnificent; it was like being on Autumnwatch!!

We then had a nice coffee in the restaurant and then went around the mansion. The design is quite small and of classical design; but the interior was just stunning and nothing like we expected. The furnishings and decor looked as if they could be lived in straight away, the guides were friendly and there were many features like the plaster ceilings in pastel blue/pink and French silk wall coverings, to a superb tunnel effect across the stair-wells which really took the breath away. The kitchen and whole cellar area was amazing, and the kitchen was as complete and magnificent as any we’d seen. Because of the weather it wasn’t particularly busy either.

Once we’d been in the house, we went into the gardens. These are RHS gardens and were again I thought enhanced by the weather. The leaves were turning, the raindrops on the trees and plants was very attractive and the mist very atmospheric – and it was so peaceful. The gem was a wonderful Japanese garden, and I took loads of piccies of it.

What a superb day, however our plans for tomorrow have changed as we have come home. We’re going to definitely pay a visit to somewhere we’ve not been before, with our waterproofs again!