The Dumbleton Hall Hotel is a really wonderful venue for our event in the beautiful Cotswolds village of Dumbleton, near to Evesham. It is a magnificent traditional manor house set in 19 acres of grounds, which includes a lake and woodland. In the past, our main Rose’s event has been in November, but we decided to move it to September this year so that we could fully appreciate the beauty of the gardens. And we were lucky with the weather, especially for our main day, Wednesday, when we enjoyed sitting on the terrace dinking our Malfy gin and lemonades in the warm sunshine.
Dumbleton Days is a four-day event that started on Monday 12th September but some of our guests just came for the two main days; Tuesday and Wednesday, the first and last nights being optional. My friend Maxine and I got to the hotel midday on the Monday. Whilst waiting for our rooms to be ready, we set up a croquet pitch on the lawn behind the hotel as we planned to have a croquet tournament over the next few days. Maxine and I actually won this, but admittedly, we had played once before, whilst for everyone else it was their first time. It was all great fun.
For those of our guests who arrived on the Monday (over 80% of the number for the main two nights) we had a great evening of entertainment after dinner provided by Amanda Hayes. Actually, Amanda was Peter for the cabaret, which comprised of zany comedy, magic, songs and ventriloquism. This was followed by a disco.
We had a Sixties theme for Tuesday, that many of us observed. That is except in the morning for those you did a guided walk lead by Rebecca around hills behind the hotel. I would have liked to have done that myself but I wouldn’t have been able to keep up due to having problems with my leg. After lunch, I held a quiz all about chocolates and sweets, with the prize being a box of chocolates of course.
When everyone had changed into their Sixties evening finery we had a complimentary glass of fizz provided by the hotel before going into dinner. The excellence of the food was if anything even better than the superb standard of previous years. A little game I arranged for after dinner was a great hit and enormous fun. Everyone gets a mystery prize but not everyone get to keeps it – it might get stolen! Unfortunately, the singer I had booked for later that evening was unable to come owing her having got covid and her mother recently having had a heart attack. But the disco by Neil of mostly sixties music was a great floor filler.
Tuesday's 'Sixties' theme at Dumbleton Hall
Though still very tired from the night before, I had to get up fairly early to attend to the traders who had come for the Wednesday. We had MissTresses wigs, fashions from a local shop in Evesham called Shoe Emporium, and make-overs and shoes by Queen Bea. The lady who brought us a very nice range of jewellery last year was unable to come owing to ill health. We also had a swop shop but I don’t think it was used as much this time as it had last year.
At midday, we had a group photo shoot outside the hotel conducted by our photographer, David [see the title photo]. It is very sad that this was regrettably to be the last time David would be able to attend our events as he has been diagnosed with terminal cancer with the prospect of only a few months to live. David is a lovely, gentle person who we all love but despite the sadness, he was determined to enjoy himself at Dumbleton, as he loved it so much.
After lunch, Katie of the Shoe Emporium put on a fashion show with about half a dozen guests having volunteered to be models. Then later Christie of MissTresses gave a very interesting talk about types of wigs, styling and taking care of them.
We had another group photo by David when we gathered in the reception for our pre-dinner glass of Prosecco.
Then after another most excellent dinner, it was time for our Miss Rose 2022 Parade. Six of the hotel staff volunteered to be the judges (they really enjoyed doing this) and whilst they made their decision about the winners, we had a raffle with prizes having being donated by our guests and proceeds of the raffle given as a gratuity to be shared by the hotel staff. The staff always looked forward to our events and would make sure they would be on duty when they are held. They say our group is much better behaved than some other groups that the hotel has (mostly wedding parties) and they like the way we treat them as equals rather than servants. After presenting the prizes to the winner of Miss Rose 2022, the runner up and the Best Costume, it was disco time again with Neil.
Wednesday Gala evening and the Miss Rose 2022 Parade
Most guests left next morning with only 15 staying for the extra Thursday night. A few of the 15 spent the day relaxing around the hotel or visiting one of the very attractive local towns (Evesham is well worth a visit) whilst 10 of us went in 3 cars to nearby Snowshill Manor. This is a most fascinating National Trust property with a most eclectic mix of extraordinary curiosities packed into every corner of the manor house.
Our final evening in the hotel was relatively quiet. There was only one other couple in the hotel besides the remains of our group and we did not see much of them. With so few of our group staying the extra fourth night I was contemplating keeping to just three nights next year but this did not go down very well and my arm was metaphorically twisted to keep the fourth night. They just did not want our stay at the hotel to end and I don’t blame them. I didn’t either as I just love that hotel and have often stayed there with Maxine between our organised events.
So next year it will be the four nights, the first and last optional around the core main two nights. The dates will be Sunday 1st October for three or four nights or Monday 2nd October for two or three nights. It is a bit later than the dates we had this year as we have found some of our regulars could not make September because of holidays. Unfortunately, we don’t have prices from the hotel yet but we are hoping the inevitable increase will not be too much to put too many off from joining us.