“A small, tranquil hotel in a converted 17th-century barn, hidden on an organic farm in the South Downs National Park”
The 6 bedrooms are clustered around a sunny courtyard. There are 3 different categories, ranging from small Deluxes to larger Superiors and Executives; none are particularly big, but they’re well equipped and extremely comfortable.
All are decorated in a rustic-chic style, with muted natural hues on the walls, Avoca woollen throws on the beds and textured rugs on the wooden floors. Each has a couple of French antiques, plus original charcoal drawings of farm animals by artist Shelagh McNicholas (owner Moya’s sister) - you can buy prints at reception. Kingsize or twin beds covered in crisp Egyptian linen and goose-down duvets guarantee a good night’s sleep, and luxurious bathrooms come with bathtubs, excellent walk-in power showers and Gilchrist toiletries. You also get bathrobes, an iPod dock, and lovely, local drinks in your minibar.
All rooms have an armchair or 2 for relaxing in comfort, and outside all but one (a Superior Room) you'll find a little patio with a table and a couple of chairs - ideal for soaking up the morning sun with a cup of coffee, or relishing the perfect peace with a glass of wine in the evening.
The chefs have real flair in the kitchen, and ingredients are sourced locally, some straight from the farm: fresh eggs for breakfast and organic meat at dinner.
Fine dining evening meals, available Wednesday-Saturdays are a real treat. The a la carte menu features surprisingly sophisticated options, given the rural settings, and attracts a local crowd. We loved our smoked eel croquettes. Sunday lunch is also available, as are light bites Sunday-Tuesday evenings (eg sliders with homemade brioche; sausage and truffle mash; club sandwiches). Once a month there's a 10-course Chef's Table experience; enquire for details.
Breakfasts are a hearty affair, with full English fry-ups (organic sausage and bacon from the farm), smoked salmon on toasted rye with onion cress, and homemade jam, croissants and pastries. There are healthier options, too, including fruit salad, juice, yoghurt and granola.
Afternoon tea is available on request - best enjoyed in front of the log-burning stove or out in the gazebo. Staff can also make up picnics to take on day trips - perhaps sausage and apple rolls, beef and horseradish sandwiches and a quiche.
Children over 12 are welcome, and outdoorsy kids will enjoy seeing the farm animals and going hiking. Really, though, this is a place of relaxation for adults.
Teens (over 12)
All rooms have bathtubs as well as walk-in showers, and can be set up with twin beds on request. The Executive Rooms can accommodate an extra bed.