Stay at Silvertree Manor and step into the pages of your favourite childhood books. It’s a beautiful and bonkers labyrinth of rooms within rooms, hidden passages, secret staircases, and unexpected cupboards and doors. Enchanted table? Chequerboard floor? Teacup stools? Who knows. Search long enough and you just might find them.
But you don’t need to be a mad hatter to stay here. Indeed, it’d be a sensible choice for a large family gathering, a luxurious haven in the Forest of Dean with the Severn rumbling past and seven acres of formal garden, orchards and meadow in which to track down some lesser-spotted tranquility.
Today, you too will be seduced – by the Parisian-style heated outdoor pool, the logburners, the gas barbie, the tinkling fountains, the duckhouse and the firepits. Fire up the free wifi, maybe book the fine-dining experience, then sleep deeply in soft Egyptian cotton sheets. But listen carefully to the walls. They have plenty tales to tell.
The house might be as mad as a hatter but, outside, tranquility rules. Bring your pulse rate down with a meander through the seven acres of formal gardens, traditional orchards, owl boxes, copse of silver birches and an ancient moat. All while the Severn rumbles past and the Forest of Dean sits in serene silence.
There’s no worry that can’t be waved away here by crinkling a newspaper in a secluded seating area among the cottage borders bursting with wild flowers, or simply staring at the tinkling fountains. When that gets too stressful, study the dovecote or meander over to the mill pond with its original cider-press water-fountain feature and duck house.
The large summer house that stares out at the Severn is picnic-perfect. Try some cricket and croquet on the field for pudding. But the gem here, glinting in the summer sunshine, is the 20 metres of Parisian-style outdoor heated swimming pool with sundeck and lounge area. Dip, dive or just sit poolside with a book and a dream.
If you enjoy a warm welcome, you’ll love the entrance bar. Pour yourself something long and cold, dive into the ice bucket and set yourself up on the tall bar stools. If you can bring yourself to move on, you’ll be rewarded with as much history and character as you can handle embedded in quirky spaces that have relaxation written all over them.
The character’s there in the wooden Tudor beams, in the wattle and daub walls, in the varnished oak panels, the cross-beam ceilings and the inglenook fireplaces. It’s a crazy rabbit run of hidden passages, secret staircases and surprising cupboards and doors.
History? How about King Henry II’s trysts here with his mistress, ‘Fair Rosamund’. You’ll find the place pretty seductive, too. Pick a window seat and retire with a book and a bevy. Stream your entertainment with the BT wifi. Load up a Blu-ray or find a film on Freeview. Ask Alexa for your holiday soundtrack.
Raid the baskets of logs to load up the woodburners, wrap up in a blanket and cosy up with games or books and the best company. On summer evenings, fling wide the doors to open up the inside to grapevines and the serendipitous splash of water fountains. Raise your glass to friends and family amid the serenity of the forest.
You’ll feel at home here right from the start when you tuck into the welcome pack of Tea Pigs, coffee pods for the Tassimo, freshly prepared treats and bubbly delights.
Want to continue in feet-up mode? Tap us up for our drinks, meals or fine-dining catering packages for a one-off celebration or fully catered break. Fine Dining at The Manor offers a luxury 4-course menu, prepared by a personal chef for the evening with waitress service, for the ultimate dining experience from home. From Charcuterie boards to steamed mussels, and fillet of beef to monkfish wellingtons, a magical evening of food awaits.
Eat around the dining table for twelve. You’ll want to linger here beneath the Tudor beams. Butter the bread, sip your wine slowly – these are experiences to be savoured. Or eat out on the patio by the pool with steaks and salad from the gas barbie.
Pop in to the Westbury-on-Severn Smokery for hot smoked chicken and bacon toastie or poached eggs with smoked salmon on a toasted muffin topped with hollandaise sauce. Or raid the deli for homemade pies, fishcakes, soup, quiche and salad. For fish and chips, it’s the Chip-In at Blakeney and for Indian, the Railway Tandoori.
Eat the best of British at The Lyon in Westbury-on-Severn, from baked Camembert and artisan sourdough to roasted trout with quinoa. Pub favourites at the White Hart in Broadoak include steak and Guinness pie, crispy belly pork, fish and chips, steaks and burgers, all washed won with delicious Severn views.
Burrow down in your choice of six bedrooms sleeping 12 amid Egyptian-cotton sheets, beams, panels and quirky window casings. Open the window to the serene sounds of the forest and you might never emerge.
Modern en-suites complement the bedrooms. Maybe bag the freestanding bathtub with a view or the shower with a skylight that lets you bathe under the stars? The ground-floor bedroom one is a superking with a logburner, WC available on request, while bedroom two on the first floor is an en-suite double with an egg bath and shower available on the landing. En-suite bedroom three offers two singles.
Bedroom four provides a kingsize bed with a bath just up the stairs, while the master bedroom is a kingsize with a bath along the corridor and a shower up the stairs. Bedroom six on the second floor is a double with access to a bath and shower.
Cast your mind back many years to childhood tales of ancient manor houses with wardrobes that opened up into another world. Which child wouldn’t want to stay in such a place? Silvertree Manor is Alice in Wonderland and The Chronicles of Narnia all rolled into one.
It’s a fanciful, magical, medieval madhouse that children will remember fondly for the rest of their lives. When they’ve grown-up and have children of their own, it’ll be first on their list for family holidays. Rooms lead on to other rooms, bathrooms appear at the end of hidden passages, and accesses appear through secret staircases.
And all that’s before we even mention the 20-metre Parisian-style outdoor heated pool. From May to September, you can watch hours vanish in a whirl of water wings, beachballs and snorkels.
Once they’ve peeled themselves away from the water, there’s more waiting, in the shape of a wildlife pond complete with duckhouse. Sit them out on the deck with a milkshake and watch the water tinkle from the fountain. Elsewhere, there are owl boxes to find, games to play on the six-acre field and memories to be made everywhere.
Gone are the days when the only way to view a house was solely by way of poring over flat and sometimes confusing floor plans. With the emergence of 360-degree video we have an exciting new way of being introduced to the layout of a house.
With a few clicks you can be leisurely making your way through living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, kitchens and bathrooms – the whole house in all its beauty waiting for you to step on in for an effortless and insightful virtual tour.