Last week I had the pleasure of visiting Park House Hotel and Spa nestled in the heart of the Sussex countryside surrounded by the spectacular rolling hills of the South Downs. I made the decision to visit because I felt pretty burnt after burning the candle at both ends. I had a stinking cold and craved the clean air of the countryside and some creature comforts. Being under two hours from London I couldn’t think of anywhere better to rest up and reboot.
As I drove deeper into the Sussex countryside I felt instantly charmed and grateful for its breathtaking natural beauty. I drove up and down tree-lined avenues, through tiny little winding roads where golden leaves gently fell like snow on the ground. Shafts of sunlight shone through the trees and cast everything in a magnificent golden light. I actually had to stop and take a few minutes to appreciate it properly. It felt truly magical.
Park House Hotel and Spa is situated in a little village called Bepton. Unlike many luxury country spa escapes this little gem is unpretentious and bears no airs or graces. There is no large, looming driveway or ostentatious gates to advertise the treasures it holds inside. In fact, from the outside you would never know you’d arrived at a place so unique and truly special. It appears as a humble country house that sits on the edge of a sleepy village road. Yet, as I stepped inside its magic came alive.
I cannot remember a welcome as genuine or friendly as the one I received here. Park House describes itself as “a home away from home” and I can think of no better way to sum up the atmosphere than this. The kind lady who checked-me in was so authentic and warm I felt like she was an old friend. Coupled with the crackling fire and cosy size of the property I felt immediately relaxed and at ease. I can’t stress enough how rare this feeling of sincere, kind hospitality is especially in a place that houses superior facilities and services.
My bedroom was the epitome of country chic and offered spectacular views of the hotel’s pristine golf course. I settled in and soon heard the call of the spa…
After a little swim, hot tub with herbal tea and steam I felt surprisingly refreshed and so much more relaxed. I happily hopscotched back to my room where I enjoyed an indulgent dinner whilst still dressed in my robe followed by a deep and very sound 10-hour sleep.
The sun streamed through the curtains the next morning and I awoke to a stunning day. Breakfast was fresh fruit and homemade granola (seriously impressed by the granola) with fresh coffee and juice served in the conservatory. The service was all smiles and super quick. I was itching to get outside and onto the South Downs so as not to waste a moment of the sunshine. The path onto the Downs is a mere two hundred meters from the hotel and the walks and views it offers does not disappoint.
From the hilltops you can see the English Channel glittering in the distance. You can see for miles and miles – the true meaning of what it is to “get away from it all”.
I came back to a hearty lunch of seasonal cajun spiced butternut soup followed by hake and vegetables. Everything tasted so fresh and I felt like I was nourishing my body and it was thanking me gratefully.
An hour later I found myself face down on the massage table. Forty five minutes after that, my muscles had been eased and I felt like I was floating on a cloud. It was then that I decided one night simply was not long enough and I promptly lengthened my stay another night. It would have been crazy to leave so soon. I wanted t0 bask in this beautiful country bolthole as long as I could.
Another evening of dinner in my room dressed in my robe unfolded. The next day I awoke with rosy cheeks and my cold had retreated. I enjoyed another quick walk in the surrounding fields before getting in my car to head back to London. My soul, spirit, mind and body had been restored. Park House has a very special place in my heart and I know it won’t be long until I go back. Who needs to book trip to Barbados to reboot when this glorious treasure lies so close to home?