The General Stores
Manor House | 13 bedrooms | sleeps 40
The General Stores is furnished by Fashion and Textiles Designer and Upholsterer Liz Lewitt, in a bohemian, arts and crafts style - with items begged, borrowed, stolen and customised over the years from various sources.
50% of our bookings are for hen parties, from which we get repeat bookings and recommendations.
25% are three generations of families who recognise that we can cater both for the more senior guests (privacy in George Cottage) and the more junior (lots of toys, books, games, DVDs etc) and who struggle to get all three generations together under one roof.
And 25% are big birthdays with family and friends - 40th and 50th's - people who want a bit of a party in style but want to bring their children with them too.
The house does not have a conventional lay-out as it is three properties joined into one, but what it lacks in convention it makes up for in decor, leisure and entertainment facilities and cooking and dining seating and caatering equipment. (this is according to our guests, many of whom are now re-booking for a third time).
However, please double check all the rooms and facilities, and check with us for a suggested sleeping arrangement for your particular group of family and friends, to avoid suprises when you arrive and to make sure that all members of your party have as close to what they expect as possible!
Whilst it meets four star grading criteria, the house is furnished in a none too precious way so that friends and family can relax without being worried about cream furnishings and carpets. And there are wooden toys in every room where parents might be trying to cook or chat so that children are happy whilst parents relax.
The garden too is informal. Whilst we obviously aren't keen on dogs digging for imaginary bones on the lawn, the garden is fairly relaxed and user friendly with a hot tob, outdoor seating for 30+, BBQ area, a sunken trampoline and an extensive play area with pirate platform and castle.
And for hens - we offer the hot tub, spa facilities, facial steamer, foot spa, pamper hampers and in house beauty treatments, cocktail training &/or chocolatiere sessions.
|Size||Sleeps up to 40, 13 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||Weston Super Mare|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||100 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Bristol, Nearest railway: Gloucester|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||Pets welcome, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Jacuzzi or hot tub, Sauna, Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, TV, Video player, CD player, Pool or snooker table, Games room, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||13 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms of which 4 Family bathrooms, 3 En suites and 3 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||2 Sofa beds, Single beds (15), Double beds (9), Cots (2), Dining seats for 40, Lounge seats for 40|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Climbing frame, Swing set, Trampoline|
|Further details indoors|
The General Stores successfully merges the old with the new through the use of beautiful and sensitive decoration by fashion and textile designer Liz Lewitt. There are many fascinating original features still in evidence throughout, which help to tell the story of the buildings long and varied history, including the remains of a rifle range in the barn which was used for gunfire practice during the Second World War, and the series of bee skeps inset into the outside walls of the building into which small hives would be placed to protect them from the elements. Other points of interest are an internal Edwardian sliding casement window in the sitting room, doors and butterfly hinges which date back to the 1650's and an old bread oven from one of the General Stores previous incarnations as the village bakers.
|Further details outdoors|
The back of the property forms a three sided courtyard, creating a completely private oasis in the middle of a village setting, with views up onto the bracken covered hills behind.
The garden falls into various areas.The lower garden has an al-fresco table & seating for 30+, immediately outside the kitchen. There is an enclosed rockery and fresh herb garden from which you may pick herbs. There is an enclosed area with a large built in stone BBQ, and an upper garden for kids to play with extensive swings, pirate platform, small castle and climbing ropes.
However - please be aware that the house is in a village location - if you want to bring a PA system, decks and/or DJ's, let off fireworks or party all night in the garden to help you celebrate - don't book this house! We also often re-locate at weekends from our section of the main house to George Cottage behind the play area at the back of the top lawn.
All bookings are liable for a £500.00 refundable security bond, to be paid not less than four weeks prior to guest's stay. If the house is left as it was found, the laundry comes back in an acceptable state from the contract cleaners, the clearing up and preparation for next guests does not exceed 20 hours and there are no noise complaints, the deposit is returned no less than two weeks after the stay but within four weeks. If any monies are retained for repairs or additional cleaning, this will be charged for at £20.00 per hour, and receipts will be provided relating to repair or replacement of items within the house.
Whilst the garden is a seemingly private courtyard and has the feel of being quite isolated, the house is in a village location, with all the necessary amenties close by. For this reason, we ask that guests do not play music in the garden, vacate the hot tub by 10.00pm and vacate the garden by 12.00pm.
Our neighbours do not want or need to hear your celebrations! Nor do we if we are staying in the cottage behind the main house. However, once inside the main house, you can obviously stay up until what ever time you want, as long as no-one gets to hear you!
The Central England/Cotswolds region
The Royal Forest of Dean, Vale of Leadon and Wye Valley offer you the opportunity to see typical English Countryside at it's best ! The Royal Forest of Dean was designated as a National Forest Park in 1938, the first in England, and offers you its natural beauty and outdoor leisure. The Forest of Dean is steeped in history, from ancient megalithic sites through to the industrial revolution and the coal mining of the 20th Century.
The Forest of Dean lies in the western part of Gloucestershire, between the rivers Wye and Severn and on the borders of Wales and Herefordshire. It is one of the most distinctive areas of Britain having a seductive charm and character that is uniquely its own. Its range of stunning landscapes and spectacular scenery has inspired artists, craftspeople, inventors, poets and playwrights, as well as the many visitors who return to the area year after year.
The Forest of Dean consists of four quite different landscape areas:
The ancient Royal Forest lies at the very heart of the district with the market towns of Coleford and Cinderford offering an insight into the industrial heritage and history of this fascinating area.
The Wye Valley is an area of outstanding natural beauty and forms the western border of the Forest, separating England from Wales. This unique area offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities such as canoeing and fishing on what is perhaps Britain’s most unspoilt major river.
The Vale of Leadon is a quintessentially English area featuring rolling farmland, vineyards and black and white timbered buildings centred around the picturesque town of Newent in the northern part of the district.
The Severn Valley, through which flows the country’s longest river, is famous for its tidal bore, Blaisdon plums and perry pears. The old Severnside port of Lydney is the area’s main town, and is a thriving business and shopping area. Steeped in history, abundant in local food, rich in culture, and bursting with spectacular scenery, the Forest of Dean offers you the chance to discover a part of England unlike any other. Why not stay for a few days to fully explore the very best that the Forest has to offer.
Forest of Dean
The parish and town of Mitcheldean is positioned on the uppermost edge of the Forest of Dean, 10 miles from the city of Gloucester and 20 miles from Bristol. Mitcheldean is a small community - however as it has a Town Hall and a fairly substantial population, it is often called a town. It is positioned on the old route of an ancient road, which stretched from the Roman road between Gloucester and South Wales, and as such has a history stretching back to the Domesday book and beyond. The road would have been used for carrying iron, made from locally mined iron ore, so it can safely be assumed that there was a settlement close by.
It has a couple of pubs, three take-aways, a late co-operative convenience store and off-licence, a fruit and veg shop, a family run butcher,a post office, a library, a doctors surgery, pharmacy and beauticians - all you might need for a weekend away and all within walking distance.
Guest reviewsPowered by TripAdvisor
Guest reviews Powered by TripAdvisor
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7 Mar 2014
"everything you'd want for a weekend away with friends"
recently enjoyed a fab hen weekend at Liz's place. We were a group of over 20 and Liz looked after us superbly - great food (espcially breakfast) friendly and helpful yet giving us plenty of spac… More
12 Jan 2014
"Perfect, quirky, lush, high quality Hen House"
We booked the General Stores in November for a beautiful best friend's hen do - we're a creative lot who love cooking and have high standards and the house was absolutely perfect for us. SO … More
So glad it worked for you. We like hens and they always like the house! Everyone's a winner. I'm so glad you used and enjoyed both our kitchens and used them to their max - with one being set up predominantly for main meals in the upper malt house, now seating 40, and the lower malt house kitchen being equipped predominantly for baking.
28 Oct 2013
This place is just brilliant - it has everything (and much more) that you could ever need! I know it's not super cheap but when you consider how many bedrooms it has and the facilities it is actu… More
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Can't get a lot better than perfection!
9 Sep 2013
"Perfect place for a group break"
I stayed at the General Stores with the rest of my company for a weekend retreat at the end of August 2013. We used the upper and lower stores plus George Cottage and that easily accommodated all 20 o… More
Glad you enjoyed the weekend - and that it worked for you as a company thing and as individuals - I like the description of you all doing your own things around the house and garden during the afternoon.............the house does lend itself to this kind of thing when the weather is good. And now that we have doors on the green oak timber framed garden room and we hope to cover the BBQ area with another green oak timber framed open sided structure this year, there will be even more spaces to do this even when the weather is bad...........
4 May 2013
"Great fun in a bohemian house"
We had a great time in Liz's house. I stayed in the four poster bed room and it was super luxurious with a bath in the bedroom. The dining table was large enough for the whole party, which is a rarity in these large houses.
There was a large play area for the kids, and the garden got lots of sun. the two kitchens were well stocked and having two made cooking easier for a large group.
The two bedrooms next to the kitchen table are suited children, rather than couples or adults due to the proximity of the kitchen but the children were fine in there.
nice touches around the house, it really feels lived in, and little bathroom or welcome treats are left out which are a nice extra.
The house is very much in the village so its suited to family's and low key parties. Great walks all around the village, we only drove for 2 minutes and we were in the middle of the forest.
we had a great time and the house was very luxurious.
Thank you so much for your comments - we're really glad that you enjoyed the house and that the complimentary table of local artisan foods and drinks were appreciated!
16 Apr 2013
"Family friendly little slice of paradise - should i keep it secret?"
You know when you have a special occasion - you want to mark it with something a little bit different. Something with a bit of luxury, a little quirky - but cool. If this description is ticking a few … More
Fab - glad you had such a good time! Hope to see you again - but don't tell too many people hey?! You might not find a free weekend for yourselves!
26 Feb 2013
We were a large group of mixed ages gathering for a long weekend to celebrate the birthday of one of our family as it was a major milestone in anyone's life. We arrived slightly early but waited … More
Thank you for your thoughts re milk for a cuppa! Tea, coffee and sugar have always been left out for guests entire stays and we do now leave out individual UHT milks for guests so that they can have a cuppa as soon as they arrive.
We do have an extensive list of rooms and beds and do offer to do a sleeping plan for guests before they arrive, with additional units available if guests don't want to use top bunks in family rooms. And we do make it clear on our website and in our pre-arrival information that the house is not a conventional layout, being a linked together pub, village shop and malt house! And we do hope that it makes up for it with comfort of facilities and excessively well equipped kitchens and things for kids and families to do when they are here.
Thank you though for your other nice comments!
29 Dec 2012
"Great house for family and friends....."
In the autumn we had one of the most memorable of a few stays at Millend. Arriving with a large group of family and friends the kids immediately ran off to explore whilst we settled in to the large up… More
So glad you enjoyed the house - and thank you for respecting it and leaving it in a good state. We appreciate it!
19 Nov 2012
"Conniving woman, trying to take advantage of young guests"
Overall the place we stayed was okay, probably overpriced for the facilities and location, and a lot of the pictures looked nothing like what the place actually looked like etc. Also the 'gym' she claimed to have in the place was some dumbells and a rowing machine. No pictures at all on the website of the gym, nor the tiny toilet with a mouldy shower curtain. When we got home we were emailed a threat of being taken to court if we didn't pay a bill of £780 which included an unbelievable £40 to replace a door latch and £170 to replace a shower which already didn't work probably and the only thing we did to it was snap off a nob. and had an extremely mouldy curtain. Another one of the charges was £60 for an apparent three hours of looking for playing cards and taking photographic evidence. Possibly the most ridiculous charge of them all as £95 to clean a carpet. I would advise you to not stay in this place as the woman who owns it is a sly lying and deceiving piece of work, who tried to con and take advantage of guests, simply because they were young. We were told with the price came 20 hours of cleaning and yet she still tried to charge us £180 for approximately 11 hours of washing/cleaning. She also charged £20 for carpet detergent....
Suffice it to say that this was a male only booking and we won't accept one again.
The guests booked for a group of 20 and we let them know that the house could accommodate 25 but we only recommended that if it was a family group. These guests had 30 guests. They used vintage coats which they tore, and rugs and blankets from the sitting room to sleep the additional numbers.
After they had stayed they e-mailed to say that they had a great time and would like to stay again. Then when we said that there were issues with the state of the house, they turned offensive.
They left behind various t-shirts, boxer shorts, swim trunks and shoes - all ripped. We had to clear up urine, faeces, vomit, blood, used tissues littering the floor in front of a TV screen, used condoms, girls lingerie and hosiery, cigarette ends littering the garden and flowerbeds. We had to wash all mattress and pillow protectors as they smelt so grim. Two mattresses were heavily soiled. There were breakages to a cooker, a shower, a curtain rail and emergency break glass box - all of which needed replacing.
The reason we took so long looking for cards was that they were photographic pornographic playing cards, and as our next incoming booking was a three generational group, we didn't want the smaller members of the party finding the missing cards. Or any one for that matter.
The cleaners took 21.5 hours, and my partner and I took 5 working days to get the house up to standard for the next guests.
Apart from this group, we have only once in a whole year of bookings retained a small portion of a deposit for a broken oak chair, smashed TV remote and damaged pool table.
Considering the size of the house and the fact that large groups regularly come together to have fun and celebrate big occasions, I think all credit goes to the caliber of our guests and the way they respect and leave the house. They realize what hard work goes into the house to offer such good facilities in trying to ensure that guests of all ages and interests have a good time.
We receive questionnaires from most guests after their stays or personal e-mails, and any ideas/comments/constructive criticism we try and action the same week.
And a big thank you to the many of our guests who enjoy and respect the house and return again and again, many of them annually.
26 Sep 2012
"Can we book again for next year?"
Stayed at the General Stores for the bank holiday weekend in August with a big group of friends - 10 adults, 15 kids ranging from 2-16 years and as we left the question the kids were all asking is "can we book again for next year?"
It really worked well for us. The large dining space in the Upper Malt House was a great eating/cooking/socialising area. The character of the place was charming and all the bedrooms had a different theme. Lots of bathrooms too which was great. Thie kids loved the fact that they had so many rooms to play or hang out in. It caters very well for kids of all ages and is definately family friendly. We thought the kitchen area was superbly equipped with everything you need for large groups. Double dishwashers and fridges were extremely useful. The bar area in the Lower Malt House was fun too. The outside BBQ was a good one. We also made use of the hot tub however it did go green after a few uses :(
The only negative was that the downstairs Blue twin room, wet room and lounge felt damp and got a bit stuffy as there was no way of airing it.
Liz, the owner, was incredibly helpful when making the booking and giving us lots of advice on where to put people as the layout of the property is not easy to get your head around without seeing it. Didn't want to leave - felt like a real home from home.
Thanks for your great review. And re your comments about the downstairs rooms which are kind of damp feeling and air locked due to secondary glazing - we located a minor leak problem to an upstairs bath creating damp, and have also changed the layout of the house so that this room isn't used as much.
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