Shhh, don’t tell anyone but autumn really is the best time to enjoy Woolley Grange. Summer is great and Christmas is awesome, but autumn is where it’s really at.
Imagine big blue skies, russet golden walks, garden harvests of amber, ochre and vivid orange squash and pumpkins, the glorious greens of apples, pears, beans and courgettes, a radiant rainbow of garden flowers adorning hotel and spa. The reality is here in abundance!
As the garden produce mounts up on the kitchen doorstep, chef and his brigade busily prepare delicious warming meals for our 2 AA rosette restaurant, as well as concocting an array of pickles, chutneys, juices and jams to capture those summer flavours in darker winter days. Think richly dark damson jam, spicy tomato and balsamic pickle, a rather delicious sweet apple and squash chutney (see recipe below) and freshly pressed Woolley Apple juice. Check out the Potting Shed Shop in the walled garden to take a taste of Woolley home with you. Yum!
Warm the soul...and the toes
When the sun is less friendly, get cosy by the fire with a mug of hot chocolate and a board game, or a robust red with a good book. Alternatively head over to the spa where the heated indoor pool overlooking the walled garden, along with the steam room and sauna, will make you feel warm and lovely. Add in an Elemis facial or massage and suddenly the world seems a nicer place.
Chillier nights mean long candlelit dinners, whilst we do the baby or dog listening, cosy fireside chats, and a cognac or two. Colder mornings offer a leisurely lie-in (we pick the children up from the room on Children’s Breakfast Club days) and a slow relaxing breakfast with the paper.
Half Term Fun
Over half term we’ve got lots planned for the children of guests and spa members (check out our activity programme below) including Halloween and Bonfire celebrations.
If you want to venture beyond the hotel grounds, explore beautiful Bradford on Avon and surrounds for great walks, history and countless tea shops. Longleat has some special Autumn Days for families and Bath, Lacock, Prior Park and Bowood are all a short hop away and are absolutely stunning at this time of year, with plenty for the kids to do.
Our Best Apple and Squash Chutney
Oh, and here’s that recipe we promised.
4 firm tomatoes
500g bramley cooking apples
250g sweet raisins
500 light soft brown sugar
1tsb mixed spice
1tsb ground black people
750 cider vinegar
Coarsely chop all the fruit and vegetables and place in a large heavey based pan with half the vinegar. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes until tender.
Add the raisins, mixed spice, back pepper and cook, stirring from time to time until the mixture thickens...about an hour.
Add the sugar and the rest of the vinegar, stirring well until the sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until the mixture is thick. Pot and seal. For the best taste, leave to mature for several weeks.