South Lodge Hotel, Horsham, West Sussex, England
This 5* country house hotel is stunning, set amongst stretches of woodland and parkland. Driving up the long winding private road leading to the driveway and front of the house, you know you are approaching something exclusive with its beauty hidden away from prying eyes.
The first time we stayed here we had a gorgeous suite with a private terrace area with chairs and a table to enjoy the view of the grounds. The bathroom and shower room (actual room) in this suite were as big as the living/sleeping area, and made for a very relaxing pre-dinner getting ready area.
On our second stay, we stayed in the older part of the house decorated in a traditional neo-Jacobean style. The room was beautiful, but obviously a lot smaller than the suite we had stayed in previously.
The hotel boasts a Michelin star restaurant, the Pass, and Camellia which has been awarded 2 AA Rossettes. Both restaurants offer an excellent dinner experience. Below is a picture of Hus enjoying wine in the Camellia!
We had a cream tea in the lounge before dinner, but the full afternoon tea looked stunning. The lounge is small and intimate and it was full of guests enjoying tea and cakes; the best way to spend a Saturday afternoon!
There is also a nice bar area next to the lounge for afternoon tea, where one can find board games to while away the afternoon.
The Cellar at South Lodge is great fun!
Down a set of rickety stairs one finds a small cellar, comprising 300 wines which a sommelier can walk you though or the daily selection of 16 wines available ‘on demand’ from an ultra modern wine dispensing system. This state-of-the-art machine ensures wines are maintained in absolute peak condition and are served at the perfect temperature, and can be sampled in different sizes (just a taste, a small, or a large glass).
When we entered the Cellar, a group were being led by a sommelier through wines and enjoying gorgeous looking cheese boards. We decided we wanted something a little more informal and simply purchased credits for the dispensing machine, which we were talked through. We were also given some background on the wines in the machine, but then left in peace to enjoy tasting them ourselves. We liked the dispenser so much that we looked into buying one when we got home!
We have stayed at this beautiful hotel on two occasions and both times have absolutely loved it; I have recommended it to friends and family and would suggest this as a perfect UK location to celebrate something special or unwind in style for a weekend. To make the most of it, I would personally suggest splashing out for a Suite. I would suggest spending some time working up an appetite by having a long walk around the grounds, before taking a traditional afternoon tea in the Lounge and a wine tasting experience, finished with a late dinner in either of the restaurants.
Highlight(s): Wine tasting, dining.
Value for money: 9/10
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