A three-day jaunt into the countryside of West Sussex, England, is a soul nourishing experience. In a manner of speaking, it’s the place to replenish yourself and unwind. Leave your baggage at home and check your luggage into the fabulous five star Alexander House hotel and Utopia Spa for tip top pampering and the indulgence of fine quality food, wine, country air and walks in the natural surroundings of West Sussex.
Dating back to 17th Century, the magnificent and picturesque setting of Alexander House lays within 120 acres of glorious land. It is as perfect as a Turner masterpiece, with the touch and scent of an English rose.
We started off just down the road from Alexander House at The Crown in Turners Hill. The Crown is a charming little pub with great grub – cottage pie, fish and chips and bangers and mash – that sort of thing.
We meandered through Compton, East Grinstead and onto Horshem for afternoon tea and scones at South Lodge. A magnificent country house – like a Grand Dame in all her glory – in the heart of the dramatic Sussex Downs, South Lodge country house hotel was the perfect place to drop in for tea. After tea, a suggestion was made to go behind the scenes for a tour of South Lodge.
We happily accepted and started with the wine cellar, followed by the bar area, dining room, bedrooms and finally reached the hub of activity that is the kitchen. Michelin star dining by chef Matt Gillian prepared in this kitchen requires a three-month booking in advance.
When in England, do as the English do – a full English breakfast is a hearty way to start the day! Eat and then a walk on the downs for your daily constitutional. So we donned our Wellies (which are much needed at this time of year) and set out to enjoy an hour’s walk, which promptly became three hours!
The English countryside is gentle, pleasing to the eye and tranquil. This quintessentially British atmosphere quietly seduces you far and beyond…
We ambled our way through farmers’ territories and, eventually, invigorated by the walk, it was time to relax at the Spa…
What better way to end the day?