To the manor born

30 Jul, 2011 03:00 AM
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 Laurelville Manor is surrounded by landscaped gardens.
Laurelville Manor is surrounded by landscaped gardens.

IF you are looking for a luxury bed and breakfast or a romantic weekend away exploring historic York, Laurelville Manor is the place for you.

With all the conveniences of home without the responsibilities, owners Sandra Paskett and Phil Cowin will pamper you with good old-fashioned service in the comfort of their stately turn-of-the century Edwardian homestead.

The homestead was owned by the well-known York family, the Marwicks, for six generations until the 1990s, but has now been run as boutique accommodation under Sandra and Phil's guiding hands for about 18 months.

Recently renovated, the elegant home is surrounded by beautiful gardens and combines the old-style charm of 14 foot ceilings, wide bull-nosed verandahs and distinctive gables and turrets with the latest stylish necessities like heated bathroom floors and towels.

All you need to bring is yourselves and your clothes as everything else, including bathrobes and slippers, are provided.

After a night in one of the eight well-appointed mainly king-size rooms made up with fine white linen, luxurious quilts and angora and wool blankets, guests can choose from a traditional country-style breakfast including fresh free-range eggs cooked to order and slow-roasted tomatoes or home-made bread, continental poached fruits, a selection of muffins like strawberry and peach or chocolate and banana, cereals and muesli with juices, pot teas and plunger coffee.

Tea and coffee is freely available all day.

"People come here because they're treating themselves to some time out and they like the personal attention," Sandra said.

"It's very relaxing and you get waited on hand and foot.

"It's a home away from home."

You can spend time in the billiards room, playing the piano or just reading in one of the sitting rooms or relaxing on the verandahs overlooking the surrounding picturesque Avon Valley and town site.

If it takes your fancy, two traditional Dutch bikes are available to work up an appetite before returning for some afternoon tea of homemade sponge cake or scones with jam and cream, depending on what's available.

Cheese platters and individual requests can be catered for as well.

With no advertising, Laurelville Manor's reputation for service has spread by word-of-mouth.

Sandra can also cater for up to 120 people for functions like weddings under a white marquee on the front lawn and is branching out to specialised corporate functions like the one recently held at York's famous Moon Cave where she recreated pioneer style complete with enamel cups and plates, and organised the "arrest" of the company CEO.

Future plans include completing the landscaped gardens and building a function room.

Usually open only on weekends, Laurelville is now open from Wednesdays as well.

Spring and autumn are usually the busiest times of the year but at the moment, weekends are fairly solidly booked out until October so bookings are essential.

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