on August 27, 2006
Our first stop after landing in England was the Etrop Grange Hotel which offered a pleasant introduction to the proper English traditions, complete with extensive Christmas decorations and afternoon tea served in the ornate sitting room. Built in the 1700s as a guesthouse, the hotel has been updated for our time, but still retains the old-world charm, even with the wooden, chained pulls of the toilets, to ornate brass door handles. It took us several days to get used to the maze of stairs and hallways, but with 64 rooms, the hotel keeps an intimate feel with private sunrooms, a library, and secluded gardens. We were offered a temporary room for a small charge when we arrived since it was several hours before check-in and we'd flown from the US overnight. It was a nice welcome to be able to shower and take a nap before lounging in the common room and enjoying a hot drink. A buffet style English breakfast was served each morning in the dining room or you could opt for a hot breakfast plate. We also dined-in at the Coach House restaurant for several dinners during our stay and were served nicely presented meals of gourmet quality. The staff was extremely friendly and by the end of our stay, remembered us and our meal/drink preferences. Several occasions at breakfast, the server would comment, "I'm guessing you'll have 2 Veggie English Breakfasts?!"—they were always right! This hotel is a wonderful stay outside the city center and right next door to the Manchester Airport—a convenient location and well-worth a stay!
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