4 gourmet breaks in Sussex
PUBLISHED: 16:08 13 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:17 16 October 2020
Claire Takacs Photography
From private lodges on a West Sussex wine estate to Michelin-starred food in an Elizabethan manor house, these short break suggestions are sure to whet the appetite
In beautiful countryside near Alfriston, Rathfinny Estate produces delicious sparkling wine from a Sussex Heritage award-winning and RIBA-nominated. The original Rathfinny farmhouse, the Flint Barns, has been sympathetically restored into comfortable accommodation for visitors, accommodating up to 31 people in ten separate en-suite rooms.
Sole use for larger parties, private events and specialist tastings can be arranged (under normal circumstances). The Flint Barns Dining Room restaurant serves comforting weekend meals and sumptuous Sunday lunches, although this is temporarily closed due to COVID-19 - overnight guests can dine from the Tasting Room picnic and seafood menus instead.
Apart from the obvious delights of the wine, one of the key attractions of the estate is its waling routes: the owners have worked with the National Trust and the South Downs National Park Authority to open the ‘Rathfinny Trail’ along Cradle Valley and through the vineyard.
Prices: nightly rates from £135 for a double to £284 for up to five people.
Tinwood Estate, near Chichester
Imagine relaxing with a glass of wine on your own private terrace, with views over the Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier vines towards the setting sun. These lodges, neighbouring the Goodwood Estate, are sleek and modern, with some witty nods to the surroundings: headboards made from bottle corks and stools made from barrels.
All of them have a king-size bed facing towards the floor-to-ceiling glass doors, which open fully onto an expansive deck with views over the vines.
The fridge comes stocked with Tinwood wine and new arrivals will receive a bespoke wine crate with tea, coffee, fresh milk and homemade nibbles to enjoy with your sundowners.
Prices: £195-£245 a night.
Gravetye Manor, West Hoathly
This beautiful Elizabethan manor house, with its glorious gardens created by William Robinson in 1885, is a destination in itself - one of those places where you feel yourself decompress going through the gates.
Add in the Michelin-starred cooking by executive chef George Blogg, and the sumptuously appointed bedrooms, and you have somewhere very special.
Cooking focuses on the freshness and excellence of the produce, much of it harvested from the kitchen garden. Garden tours are available on selected days from March to October with personable head gardener Tom Coward.
Prices: Autumn Abloom offer - £255 B&B in October and £238 in November.
This beautiful, laidback hotel enjoys an enviable location opposite Camber Sands.
Every overnight stay includes breakfast, dinner, elevenses, English wine at 5pm and a free experience class which might include pilates, wild swimming or kitchen skills.
Head chef Jamie Guy is formerly group head chef for Mark Hix and his fare is exquisitely simple, with many menu options cooked over an open fire. It’s also quietly healthy, with a focus on plants and seafood.
At present, the only way you’ll be able to enjoy the food is by booking a room, or becoming a member - as good a reason as any to book a minibreak!