Happy New Year from The Manor House

Wishing all visitors to our blog a very happy New Year!

2016 saw many fun and interesting events at The Manor and we welcomed some lovely guests to the house. It is lovely to see many returning guests year after year and to see all the fun ideas that people come up with in ways to use the house.
We have had Uni reunions, hen parties, art exhibitions, Mexican fiesta’s, English Country Garden themed weddings, tennis tournaments, grand weddings for 200 and a small perfectly styled intimate wedding for 50, a spooky Halloween themed party and a blissfully relaxed yoga retreat for a group from London. All in all a varied and eclectic mix which goes to show how the house can be used in plenty of different ways.

We have more to look forward to in 2017 starting with a fitness boot-camp this month and plenty more after. If anyone has any other ideas to put forward please do not hesitate to get in touch via email. We still have a few weekends left in the Spring and more later in the year.

As ever we are constantly working on little improvements in the house and out in the grounds and we hope to work in conjunction with some local suppliers to re decorate rooms and keep the house in tip top condition.

I am hoping to bring more information on places to visit in Dorset when staying with family and friends, good eateries, beautiful walks and the occasional seasonal recipe to indulge in.

Here is a pretty taken of The Manor on a winters morning –

Good morning from The Manor House

A photo posted by T A B I T H A (@tabitha_in_dorset) on

Watch this space….

T x

The Priory, Wareham – Eating Out

With wedding season upon us Harry & I have been working flat out at The Manor and Walled Garden to make sure everything is looking great and that our lovely wedding couples have the perfect day.

Depending on the weather, which has been temperamental at best the last few weeks we are painting, fixing, pruning and clearing. Harry has continued to amaze me with his ability to fix pretty much anything with the skill of a professional and we have a great team on the estate who have been working under tight time frames between guests to get essential maintenance completed.

Art Expo at The Manor

Art Expo at The Manor

Kids play / adults work!

Kids play / adults work!

We managed to squeeze a lunch date in one Friday, did our best not to talk shop and had a delicious lunch at The Priory in Wareham.

Wareham is a very pretty town a 15 minute drive from Moreton. It has lots to see and do on a day out and is situated on the river Frome, offering a pretty quay with boat trips and hire through the warmer months. There is a great pub on the river called The Granary and our favorite fish & chip shop “Chipperies” is well worth a visit too.

On this occasion we chose The Priory as it was lovely and sunny and they have the most beautiful terrace and garden which slopes gently down to their jetty and the river. There are 4 acres of beautiful cottage style gardens and various little gardens to discover. It has been privately owned for 40 years, which you can really tell in the loving way it is looked after. The flowers were in full bloom and as we didn’t have the children with us on this particular visit ( no under 12’s allowed unless at a private function ) we decided to make the most of it.

Garden at The Priory

Garden at The Priory

Harry on the terrace at The Priory

Harry on the terrace at The Priory

The menu is varied with a focus on seafood, Harry had Moules and I went for the dressed crab. It was all absolutely delicious. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly and knew where our food was sourced. After lunch we took our coffee through the gardens and ended up getting caught in a rain shower – luckily there was an amazing pod to escape to, all glass so you can watch the boats go by and relax.

Riverside pod

Riverside pod

Escaping the rain

Escaping the rain

If you are coming for a visit to Dorset and can get a reservation I would highly recommend a trip. In the past Harry and I have had wonderful romantic dinners in their wonderfully restored historic cellar, with canapes in front of the fire before hand. My next visit has to be for afternoon tea as I have heard they are delicious too! I now just need an excuse to go…

You know you are a certain age when…..

It has been creeping upon me quite slowly but recently we succumbed to getting a National Trust membership. It is not something I actively tried not to do, it always just seemed something that older, more sensible people do – getting the membership rather than paying high prices every time you visited a National Trust spot ( which we often did, utter madness)

So on a Sunday morning trip out Harry & I decided to take the children over to Studland beach for breakfast at Knoll Beach cafe and a nice long walk across the sandy beach towards Shell Bay.

The beaches are beautiful and long, there are great sand dunes and shelved safe waters for the little ones to pay in. The National Trust look after the beach and offer great activities in school holidays. The cafe serves yummy food but I would always suggest a picnic for warmer visits as it does get very busy, arrive early in the summer to avoid traffic!

We always head to either Middle Beach or Knoll Beach, both have excellent views of Old Harry’s Rocks and bathroom facilities.

If you are lucky enough to get a table treat yourself to lunch on the terrace at The Pig on The Beach (book waaaaaay in advance!) it has a delicious locally sourced menu and fantastic views on the sea. When we have been before we walk down from the hotel after lunch for a paddle and some rock pooling at Middle Beach. It is a bit quieter that end but equally beautiful.

Rock Pooling on Studland Beach

Rock Pooling on Studland Beach


I have this thing with floors! Pig on The Beach

I have this thing with floors! Pig on The Beach

On this particular visit we could not get a table at The Pig so hopped in the car and decamped to Corfe Castle, which is a 10 minute drive away from the beach. We arrived just in time to take part in the medieval reenactments that were taking place as part of an event. The boy one absolutely loved this and it has sparked a fascination with armor and medieval weapons.

The moral of this little tale is that without the membership this trip would have cost a lot more and we have since discovered plenty of other spots local to Moreton that are part of the national trust. Clouds Hill is a walk through the forest away. Hardy’s birthplace at Thorncombe woods and his later home at Max Gate. All our on our list of ‘to do’s’ this summer holiday’s.

We have a busy Bank Holiday coming up with a lovely wedding at The Manor House, a birthday sleepover for the girl one and party for Harry too. Exhausted just thinking about it!

T x

Weekend escapades

Good morning, happy Monday! It is a grey day here in Moreton and I am needing some serious motivation to get myself up and running, literally running, in the woods with little Plum.
We have had an interesting few weeks with our little Plum, quite traumatic and to be honest I don’t think I am entirely recovered.

part of the family

part of the family

Harry & Plum

Harry & Plum

Last Saturday we took Plum for a brief walk at a local wood whilst the kids played football and she was there one minute, gone the next! We searched for hours and must have walked miles to find her.. it was absolutely awful. The forest we were in is huge and I was fearing the worst. Luckily a wonderful couple found her, popped a lead on her and took her to the vets to have her chip scanned. We got the call and were so relieved! keeping her very close for the time being, thank goodness for technology and the kindness of strangers!!

We have been getting in lots of lovely new produce at The Dovecote farm shop and most of it is grown on site. It’s lovely to be able to pop in and have a coffee, read the papers and pick up some yummy bits and bobs, we enjoyed some delicious Seville marmalade over the weekend as well as veggies and sausages. The menu in the cafe has had as revamp and I enjoyed some lovely lunches there last week, soup, cassoulet and fishcakes..

Yummy soup

Yummy soup

Seville Marmalade made at The Dovecote

Seville Marmalade made at The Dovecote

We had a lovely Friday evening with our great friends Sophia & Mike, and on Sunday enjoyed a muddy and windy walk along the hill at the top of Ringstead, down to St Catherine’s Chapel by the sea and back. The sea mist was blowing in and we all got VERY wet and muddy, but the fresh air blew away the cobwebs. The views at the top are amazing and you can see along the coast and across to Portland. A highly recommended walk for anyone visiting Dorset.

After the walk we got the car stuck in a very muddy patch in the car park and needed rescuing by our friend & neighbour Scott and his trusty Defender, it was not quite how I had planned our Sunday on going but we redeemed the day by paying Scott & his family back for his time with a delicious supper of Osso Bucco and some lovely red wine.

I will be able to reveal the new interior scheme for our bedroom at the manor this week and will hopefully get started on the decorating by Wednesday.

I know what colours I think I want to use but they are not officially released until this afternoon – I think I need to run the idea by a few trusted friends first!

T x

A wonderful way to end the week…

We have had a super busy Friday – I met with three sets of wedding couples this morning all booked in for their big day this year.
I absolutely love a wedding and get a real buzz helping different couples plan their special day. It is always a really happy meeting at The Manor, even when it is pouring with rain like today I was met with smiling faces. What is really nice that for most couples it was their second visit to the house and they said it was even better than they remembered which is lovely to hear. One couple had never seen the house in person and booked anyway – and they were delighted with their visit which was a huge relief!

Our little family

Our little family

Lots of happy wedding couples at The Manor today

Lots of happy wedding couples at The Manor today

I received the sweetest gift from a couple from the Netherlands as a thank you – it meant a lot! Myself, Harry and the children will be enjoying delicious waffles as we snuggle over the weekend xx

The cottage is filled with the most spring like scent of Hyacinths and we have lots of Tulips over at The Manor. We have returning guests this weekend which is lovely. They have the very talented Louisa Loasby cooking for them over the weekend which is a great idea to give the group the treat of not cooking whilst they enjoy the house.

Plans for the weekend include a long overdue night out with friends, football training, a visit to Kingston Lacy, walking, reading the papers and a lobster supper.. I can’t wait!

Weekend of relaxation sorted!☀️#food #weekend #flowers #tea

A photo posted by Tabitha Schofield (@tabsschofield) on

T xx

Friday, Netflix & Food

Friday, my dear friend, we have made it. Another full week of work, meetings, catch up’s, kids, family and to do lists (mainly not ticked off I must add). Glorious sunshine hit Moreton for most of the week with crisp frosty mornings – my favorite type of weather. The sunshine looks set to continue over the weekend which is not only good for our guests arriving but also for us as we celebrate my pop’s 70th birthday this weekend.

GP celebrating his birthday last year.

I have been busy at The Manor preparing the house for the weekends guests, pottering around that house is most agreeable – painting, sorting, adding this and that moving stuff around. It’s lovely to think about how the guests will be using the space in the house. The Manor is in a great situation and when the sun shines the front of the house gets the full hit…

It is oh so tempting to just lie out on one of the beds and sunbathe like a cat but I am always busying about. I am determined to carve out a weekend stay there myself next year. Here is a view of the house when walking back from The Dovecote at The Walled Garden.

Just lovely.

We are looking forward to starting our weekend, the plans start mid week for the kids as they work out what what food they want to cook (weekend food is pretty important though hey?) They have chosen to marinate ribs for this evening and then they would like to do GP an afternoon tea tomorrow. Nanu is baking a cake so we will be getting other tea related things ready, I think a special birthday crown will also be needed for such an auspicious birthday.
Sunday we hope to do a coastal walk at Dancing Ledge – Harry is suffering with man flu so we need to get him fighting fit first.

But this weekend will mostly be – NETFLIX – I do not know how we have missed the last 7 or so years of this phenomenon. SKY blinkers were on I suspect. But, wow.. considering this is January and we are hibernating it is just perfect for us. Harry received Apple TV for Christmas and it is brilliant but Netflix is the shining star. Currently obsessed with Bloodlines, Narcos & Making a Murderer.. I know there is heaps of other stuff to start too but I don’t think I could cope with any more.

Have a great weekend.

T x

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