Ashdown Park Hotel Hotel

Wych Cross, Forest Row, East Grinstead

Neatly sidling up to the bucolic glory of Ashdown Forest, country house hotel Ashdown Park could not be more quintessentially British if it tried. This part of East Sussex inspired AA Milne to pen the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Spend an afternoon here and you’ll start to see why. A short yomp south from the sprawling grounds brings you to a tributary of the River Medway with any number of rickety bridges to chance your arm at Poohsticks, or find a spot to settle down with a picnic provided by the hotel (oversized jar of hunny, optional).

A neo-gothic mansion, the main building houses 51 of the 106 rooms andre our pick of those available. If swinging cats is your thing, you could grab a tiger by his tail and be confident not to bang his head; huge is an understatement. King-size beds with high-quality linens come as standard in all rooms, with soft furnishings that, although a little tired, add to the character of the space. Bathrooms feature whirlpool tubs and under-floor heating, with stellar views of the estate.

The two-AA Rosette restaurant Anderida serves country classics in sizeable portions, with ox cheek pie with black truffle, parsley velouté and Savoy cabbage the standout dish. Doubles from £154.

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