To celebrate our first-year wedding anniversary, Kieran and I decided to book an overnight stay at Burley Manor, just to relive a little bit of the magic from our wedding last year.
This beautiful hotel is situated in the very heart of Burley, one of our favourite spots within the New Forest, and has quite a fascinating history dating all the way back to 1212.
Just before checking in, we went for a small wander around this beautifully quaint village, which is famous for having a history in witchcraft. In the 1950s, white witch Sybil Leek used to live in Burley, and walk around the town with her pet Jackdaw on her shoulder.
While she eventually moved to America, her influence on the town still lives on. For this reason, you’ll find not one but two witch shops… I never pass up the opportunity to visit my favourite, A Coven of Witches, which is the perfect place to stock up on incense, crystals, and candles.
We then popped into The Queens Head, a cosy, rustic pub just a stones’ throw away from Burley Manor, for chips and a drink to kickstart our weekend of celebrating.
Before making our way over to the hotel, we walked around the back of The Queens Head, where you’ll be able to see across the grounds and entrance to the hotel in the distance. Here, we had a lovely view of the deer, as well as some very vocal and amusing geese, who were making their presence known to any passerby!
We then made our way over to Burley Manor. Just driving up to the house itself is enough to bring back some of the memories of my bridesmaids and I loading up the cars with my dress, décor, and overnight bags, before making our way over to the hotel to stay the night before the wedding.
Prior to our stay at Burley Manor, I was called by one of their lovely receptionists, Marilyn, who wanted to double-check that we felt fully comfortable before we checked in and to go over a few of their new Covid-19 secure procedures. We were also emailed an overview of this, just for extra peace of mind, meaning we felt extremely safe and up to speed before we even stepped through the front door.
When we arrived, there were numerous hand sanitiser stations dotted around the hotel, every member of staff wore masks, and there were Perspex screens to section off desks and queuing areas. As soon as we arrived, a member of the check in team also used a thermometer, just to check our temperature, too.
For additional safety, each room was sealed as soon as the cleaning team had finished. We therefore had peace of mind that no one had been in our room prior to our check in after it had been fully sanitised.
We checked into our lovely and spacious room, which overlooked the front of the hotel and grounds, which housed numerous deer and a very majestic (and noisy!) stag. I can’t say I minded too much, really.
After unpacking our essentials, we headed downstairs to the lounge for tea and coffee, and to soak in the lovely surroundings and classically rustic décor. Whilst here, we sifted through our wedding photos, in a bid to try and choose our favourites for our wedding album that we still haven’t sorted… oops. As usual, we struggled to choose and just ended up swooning over every one!
The events manager, who was passing through the lounge, also recognised us from our wedding last year, as he was the one leading the team on the day. He stopped by for a chat and catch up about how the past year has flown by, which was a lovely personal touch to our stay at Burley Manor.
We then headed back up to our room to chill for a little and get changed for dinner, as we made a reservation for 6:30pm in Burley Manor’s restaurant. I decided to leave my camera upstairs and just enjoy spending a little time with Kieran, without feeling the need to take too many photos.
However, the food was incredible and was the highlight of our stay. We both opted for a vegetable migas starter, which comprised of butternut squash, sourdough croutons, halloumi, and nutmeg. I then went for the Potato Gnocchi main, with Kieran going for the sirloin steak and chips.
Not one to ever forgo dessert, no matter how full he is, Kieran finished off with a dark chocolate tartine with white chocolate cream. I’m guilty of stealing a bite or two and can confirm it was definitely worth making the extra stomach room for!
A couple of glasses of wine later and with full but happy stomachs, we waddled back to our room. I decided to make the most of our lovely bathroom by running a relaxing bath and making a soothing evening cuppa, while still giggling at the occasional ongoing “moo-ing” noise from the stag.
The following morning, we woke up refreshed and eager to make the most of the delicious sounding breakfast menu. We were seated in the beautiful restaurant conservatory, which let in the glorious autumnal sunshine, and perused the offering over a cup of tea and Kieran’s trusted double espresso.
I opted for a small bowl of natural yoghurt and berry compote to start, followed by avocado and poached egg on sourdough, which was full of flavour and definitely the perfect way to get the day started. Kieran went for the French toast, which looked equally as delicious.
After breakfast, it was time to head up to our room and finalise any last-minute packing and prepare the room for our departure. Our bill for our drinks, our meal, and any extras was conveniently placed under our door on a sheet of paper on our departure morning, just to avoid as much crossover as possible during the check out process.
We then paid off our bill and said our goodbyes to the lovely Burley Manor team and made our way over to Barton on Sea to explore the coast and seek out another tea and coffee stop!
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay at Burley Manor. Not only was the hotel and room beautiful, but the staff made us feel so welcome. Whilst there was never any doubt that we would visit again after our stay, this visit has cemented our love for this stunning spot, and we can’t wait to stop by again soon.