You may be looking for an idyllic and unique destination to share with a loved one this Spring. If that’s the case, then we would recommend The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa from the Historic Sussex Hotels collection.
Set in Midhurstin the middle of the South Downs National Park (a town, which was first recorded all the way back in the 1100s) , this hotel is one of the oldest coaching inns still in UK existence, dating back as far as 1430. Modern day Midhurst is a true gem and its packed with a true sense of the past and real heritage, therefore giving it a distinct charm.
What is Historic Sussex Hotels? Historic Sussex Hotels is a privately owned collection of three very distinctive luxury hotels set in some of the most beautiful locations in West Sussex. Each hotel is unique in style, character and history, yet together they are committed to offering the highest standards of hospitality, comfort, service and cuisine.
Sleeping and reclining
The Spread Eagle embodies the historical setting and is home to features such as an inglenook fireplace and stained glass windows. Beginning the journey into the past, we were lucky enough to be residing in the Queen’s Suite during our stay. Although, The Spread Eagle is home to 39 bedrooms, we felt rather thrilled to hear we were in the most opulent and most characteristic of them all. This room is packed full of charming insights into the past, such as sweeping low ceilings, sloping floors and a simply gorgeous, carved four poster bed.
There is a real sense of history here in particular and a feeling of passing back through time. Beautiful. To complete the room, there is also a stunning, modern en-suite with standalone bath, walk in shower and an array of gorgeous toiletries to try from the on-site spa. Fitted with a few mod cons too, such as two flat screen TVs, in-room Wi-Fi and a Nespresso machine, there were just enough reminders of the present to keep us happy. The room and the feel of the space was absolutely perfect and would make the ideal setting for a luxurious, romantic trip away.
Dining at The Spread Eagle
Dining at The Spread Eagle was very much a tale of two halves. The meal began for myself with whole grilled scallops, complete with Jerusalem Artichoke Purée and Chips, Crispy Parma Ham and Sprout Leaves. The classic combination of the salty Parma ham and sweet scallop was executed excellently. The dish was light and very enjoyable, to say the least! We also would recommend the braised Beef with Parsley Mashed Potato, Button Mushrooms, Onions and Roasted Carrots. The beef melted in the mouth and worked well with as a dish. The Spread Eagle did do some classic dishes well and it was a real pleasure to see.
The importance of food provenance to Historic Sussex Hotels, according to the HSH themselves
One of the key components of our success is that we use quality, locally sourced ingredients from Sussex on our menu. We have great relationships with local suppliers, some of whom we have been working with for many years. They know exactly what we want and they deliver excellent produce to us every time and this ensures that the high standards we set are continuously delivered – it is a team effort, from field (or sea) to fork! The landscape in Sussex is not only some of the most beautiful in the country, but also some of the richest and most abundant.
However, one area we did feel let down by was the quality of the service and attention to detail. Here are Lussorian we really don’t like to focus on the negative, but on this occasion we feel it only fair to be honest. Rather than one big blunder, we in fact had a series of minor errors, which on there own would have been fairly small, but in totality they added up to a bit of a disappointing experience. On ordering the steak at the restaurant we asked for medium and it came rare, if not less than rare. Then my partner asked for no pistachios or nuts in here desert (on the menu it was noted down as pistachio ice cream), we were then presented with vanilla ice cream on a bed of pistachio nuts, which was quite bizarre and dangerous for those who could be allergic. Then at breakfast my partner asked for fried eggs and was given poached eggs, plus undercooked black pudding. As I say, these are really small things, but when you add them all together, the total sum of these errors does slightly let the rest of the hotel experience down. Looking at the issues, it seems as though the communication between the front of house and the kitchen had a few problems. Such as shame, as my half of the meal was fantastic, but my partners experience throughout the stay was not a good one.
Indulging and relaxing
A welcome string to The Spread Eagle’s bow is a contemporary and gorgeously warm, Scandinavian-style spa. For that extra touch of relaxation and luxury, we would certainly recommend you kick back and relax in the indoor heated pool in a room with high and lofty wooden ceilings. A perfect space for unwinding and getting away, you will also have access to a traditional sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. We would recommend taking a look at the overnight spa packages here, as they come up rather reasonable and we are sure the treatments will be as much of a hit as the spa space itself.
Would we return to The Spread Eagle? The answer is yes. A charming location with oodles of history, charm and character make for a very memorable experience. The only criticism we have is of our dining experience; which, on this occasion, to the sparkle off an otherwise wonderful stay.
Stays at The Spread Eagle Hotel & Spa are from £119 per night, based on two sharing a Standard Room, mid-week, on a B&B basis. www.hshotels.co.uk; 01730 816911
Disclosure: For this blog post we were able to gain access to a sample product or service.
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