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Wingrove House, Alfriston, East Sussex
For a classic country escape, you simply can't beat Alfriston, one of the oldest villages in Sussex. These days it's city-dwellers who flock to Wingrove House, a smart boutique hotel just off the High Street, looking for the Sussex idyll. There are 16 rooms, all with a warm, country-chic décor. The rest of the house has a trendy hunting lodge vibe; think muted grey-green walls, deer antlers and stuffed elk heads, while a modern restaurant serves seasonal menus from some of Sussex' best producers.
Surrounded by the South Downs National Park, Alfriston has a curious history - and famously attracted both smugglers and pilgrims who used it as a stop-off on the way to the coast. Learn all about them over a pint of Long Man blonde ale in the cosy Star Inn.
The hotel is in a secluded spot in the Sussex countryside, a 30-minute drive from the shops and promenade at Eastbourne.
By car: The hotel is a 2-hour drive from London, 40 minutes from Brighton and 50 minutes from Gatwick Airport. There is free private parking is available on-site.
By train: London Victoria to Lewes station takes around 1 hour. From there guests should take a connecting train to Berwick, which takes 10 minutes. Berwick station is a 5-minute taxi ride from the hotel. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Wingrove House is perfect for city-dwellers looking for a country escape - with great food, good walks and a local dose of smugglers' tales.
Service & Facilities
We love sitting on the veranda in the sunshine, with an icy Blackdown Gin and tonic.
- Room service
- Free Wi-Fi
Room 14, The Churchill, is our favourite, with its grand arched ceilings criss-crossed with scrubbed oak beams and great views over the village. It's a nice treat to have a such a warm, spacious bathroom with a lovely deep bathtub.
Standard Double, Superior, Deluxe, Premium Deluxe and the Churchill Suite
Facilities include: king size bed, ensuite bathroom with shower, Temple Spa products
Food & Drink
The restaurant is light, airy and rather modern compared to the rest of the house, and I love its commitment to Sussex produce. It hands down has to be the banoffie pie. It's a heavenly creamy, toffee and banana-y delight. Don't miss it.
The Wingrove restaurant: European cuisine, fish from the grill, steaks, Sunday roasts. Mains from £15. Open for breakfast Monday-Friday 7.30-9.30am, Saturday & Sunday 8-10am; dinner Monday-Satursay 6-9pm; Sunday lunch 12-3pm, dinner 6-8pm.