Ashdown Park Hotel
East Grinstead, Sussex, RH18 5JR
Ashdown Park Hotel, Forest Row, Sussex
Set in the heart of the Winnie the Pooh county, this stately neo-Gothic hotel appeals as much to families as it does romancing couples. Highlights include an 18-hole golf course which meanders through the forest, a full-service spa and dinner at its two AA rosette Anderida restaurant.
The hotel is set in the heart of Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for A.A.Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood. It’s a seven-minute walk from the Ashdown Forest Centre, a launch point for dozens of walking routes, and 10 minutes by car from Pooh Sticks Bridge in Hartfield. Although no bears, you can meet the forest’s resident alpacas, llamas and reindeer at the Llama Park, a five-minute drive from the hotel and free entry for any hotel residents. East Grinstead station is 15 minutes by cab, where trains to London take an hour and 20 minutes.
Style and Character:
The main house is dominated by a grand ceremonial hallway with a massive stone fireplace and a baby grand piano. Ancient stone archways lead off to stately drawing rooms and out to the landscaped gardens.
Service and Facilities:
A big draw is the country club’s 18-hole par 3 golf course, of which the last nine holes meander through the forest. There’s also a spa offering Kerstin Florian treatments, a decent-sized indoor pool and tennis courts, plus the obligatory country house croquet lawn.
Most of the 106 rooms and suites have views of the grounds and forest, apart from the Fairway suites which overlook the golf course. Décor is of the traditional country house variety; think rich creams, dusky florals and crushed raspberry furnishings. Suites of varying size and grandeur feature oak-panelled walls, four-poster beds or whirlpool baths.
Food and Drink:
It’s a popular spot for afternoon tea, which is served in one of the drawing rooms or on the lawn.
The Anderida restaurant is the hotel’s stately two AA-rosette restaurant. Dinner is a formal occasion, enhanced by the baby grand piano tinkling in the corner. Cocktails and canapés are served in the drawing room, while menus are thoroughly perused. The Fairway Brasserie in the country club is more informal, but only open for lunch. Breakfast is also served in the Anderida and offers a continental buffet and cooked-to-order dishes, including poached Scottish kippers and a traditional full English.
Price Per Night