Search

Explore the South Downs from this country retreat

12:00 01 November 2015

South Lodge Hotel is a 45 minute drive from the South Downs National Park

South Lodge Hotel is a 45 minute drive from the South Downs National Park

(C)2007 {Christian Trampenau}, all rights reserved

Waking up to a panoramic view over the lawns in South Lodge Hotel is an experience to savour. A night or two in this tranquil countryside estate will wash the chaos of London out of your hair.

The Devil's Dyke suite. Each bedroom in the hotel is named after a nearby attractionThe Devil's Dyke suite. Each bedroom in the hotel is named after a nearby attraction

My partner and I stay in the Beachy Head suite which boasts floor-length windows and a balcony. I start to wish every morning could begin like this, with a coffee on the veranda as the dew evaporates on the grass.

I’d be surprised to hear of anyone not getting a good night’s sleep in this peaceful room. Then again, maybe my coma-like slumber is down to my choice of pillow which I’m able to hand-pick off a pillow menu. No you didn’t misread that.

I opt for the “relaxation pillow” which promises to relieve stress and increase positivity. I awaken feeling positive and stress-free – whether this is the pillow’s doing is another question.

The hotel is set amongst acres of woodland and parkland and is only four miles from the National Trust’s Nymans gardens.

A day out here to explore the wilderness and the romantic 19th century house is an absolute must. The house is steeped in history and interesting tales: it was partially destroyed by a fire in 1947, leaving behind ruins of a fairy-tale Gothic mansion.

A trip to the South Downs is also easily doable in a day from the hotel, as the edge of the national park is less than 45 minutes drive away.

Whether it’s the countryside’s rich tapestry of flora and fauna or bustling market towns you’re after, you’re bound to find it nuzzled somewhere in the park’s 1,600km2 of rolling English hills.

The best bit about a hotel like South Lodge is returning from a day’s hiking to one of the cosy living rooms, where a fire awaits.

And dinner in the Camellia restaurant turns a fun weekend break into a special occasion. Dark wood panelled walls and thickly-framed paintings give the room an elegant country house charm.

I start with the most tender lamb dish I think I’ve ever tried. It is a pressed shoulder with aubergine, spring onion, caper and anchovy dressing. The small square of meat falls away on my fork.

This is followed by a succulent but rather small cod dish. My partner thoroughly enjoys his pork belly. And a bottle of pinot noir, recommended by our wine connoisseur of a waiter, complements the dishes perfectly.

Although the food is of impeccable quality, it’s fair to say it lacks quantity. If it wasn’t for bread served with a delicious pumpkin soup amuse-bouche, we imagine we might go to bed hungry.

A full-English and a generous buffet at breakfast more than makes up for it.

In the evening we eat from the market menu, which is reasonably priced at £24.50 for three courses, but A La Carte is also available. The hotel’s other restaurant, Matt Gillan at The Pass, is for diners wanting to get a closer sample set in an open-plan kitchen setting.

Morning sunshine streaming through the huge windows in the Camellia restaurant sets the scene for an exciting adventure ahead.

This is the place to visit for a weekend of trekking in the South Downs with a luxurious touch, or for simply kicking back in a country retreat.

South Lodge Hotel, Brighton Road, Lower Beeding, Horsham RH13 6PS. 01403 891711

Southern Rail runs a regular service between London Victoria and Horsham, with a monthly return starting at £31.70.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

All explosions and buckling metal, this “true story of real life heroes” conveys terrifying sense of confusion of BP oil rig disaster

08:00

Pianist Neil Cowley tells Zoe Paskett about his success working with Adele and how we‘re just Spacebound Apes ahead of Union Chapel show with the Neil Cowley Trio

Yesterday, 08:00

Opera by Candlelight promises an evening of melody, mingling and merriment in support of the St John RISE Young People’s Project

Tue, 17:00

Zoe Paskett talks to Jack Cooke, author of The Tree Climber’s Guide, about the benefits of free climbing and why it’s ok to get a few bumps and bruises

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read entertainment

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now