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Guests follow in the steps of Jane Austen and stay at Goodnestone Park

Our first guests couldn’t wait to tell us about their weekend away… it sounded totally brilliant. Twelve friends (and a handful of small children) who met at university and hadn’t all spent time together for 17 years, booked to have a break at Goodnestone Park last weekend.

They were excited to be in such a stunning mansion with a fascinating history – Jane Austen’s brother Edward and her sister-in-law Elizabeth lived in the property for a time, and they often invited the literary legend over for balls, tea parties and informal gatherings.

What a staircase

What a staircase

The party started arriving at 3pm and came from all over the country and from as far as the Middle East, Qatar – this was a very special gathering.  Those coming from London found the train very convenient, and the others made their way by car.

Angela and Giles and their friends organised a food supermarket delivery to arrive soon after 3pm and of course the very important wine delivery from Majestic.  This looked after Friday night’s supper which sounded delicious, chilli with lots of extras, perfect for the first night all together.

Friday night kitchen supper

Friday night kitchen supper

The organisation was simple but very effective, it sounded like a recipe for a very successful weekend – the friends decided who would bring what, one couple organised the wine, one the food, one the children’s toys, everyone helped with the catering and everything was very easy.

Supplies were delivered

It has to be Pimms for a summer weekend!

Saturday was a day for exploring, the grounds are stunning and extensive, some went for dog walks, some went jogging, some entertained the children, it was all very relaxed and such fun to spend with old friends and hear all the news.  There was even a cricket match being played in the grounds, perfect entertainment for some of the guests.

Fabulous garden to explore

Fabulous garden to explore

In the afternoon Sally-Ann, the housekeeper at Goodnestone Park, served afternoon tea with little cakes and sandwiches, such a treat to be re enacting a pasttime that has been going on for generations in this magical country estate.  And to think that Jane Austen would have taken tea in the same way centuries before.

Then it was time to put the children to bed and get spruced up for a black tie dinner in the grand dining room.  Drinks beforehand in the drawing room, candles lit in the dining room and the chef organised by Mulberry Cottages produced the most delicious dinner – it was an event that the friends will remember for the rest of their lives.

The table is laid

The table is laid

Angela and her friends were delighted to find that the house has been very well thought out.  ‘The kitchen-breakfast room is an amazing space for socialising throughout the day and the stunning dining room gives a more formal feel for evening dinner’ she stated. ‘There are two dishwashers, 2 huge fridge freezers and an amazing coffee machine which we all fell in love with’ she told us.  ‘There was so much to enjoy at Goodnestone, the children ran around in the garden when the weather was good, loved exploring the house and even launched paper areoplanes out of an upstairs window.   We played boardgames in the library when it clouded over, some of us visited the church in the grounds, there was even a piano where we had a singsong session which was really fun.  Another fabulous addition to Goodnestone is the sound system – there’s an integrated system in all the reception rooms that streams music from your phone or iPad – we loved the fact that we could listen to music in any of the ground floor rooms in the house.’

Everyone enjoyed the weekend away

Everyone enjoyed the weekend away

If you would like to spend time at Goodnestone Park, for a weekend away or for longer holiday, click here to have a better look at this fabulous house.

Goodnestone Park

Goodnestone, Kent
Sleeps 24   |   Bedrooms: 12    |   From £3,500

Goodnestone garden


If you’re planning to get away for a summer break with your dog, cat or budgie, and Goodnestone is not quite what you’re looking for, click on our pet friendly cottages. We’ve got a great selection of Holiday Cottages in the UK and if you’re planning a weekend away, just check out our short break cottages – do call our Mulberry Cottages booking team on 01227 464958  if you’d prefer to talk or email us on info@mulberrycottages.com


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