South Lodge, West Sussex – Review

Situated close to Horsham in the heart of West Sussex, South Lodge is one of the hotels within the Exclusive Hotels chain. We recently had the opportunity to visit the hotel and review it for Lussorian and seeing as we are only based 45 minutes away it was hard to refuse!

The hotel is nice and easy to find with clear signage from both approaches. As you`d expect with a grand old manor house, there is a sweeping driveway which reveals the grandness of the property once you get passed the blooming azalias. First impressions count as they say, and the imposing Georgian style of the property didn`t disappoint. On entering the hotel we were greeted by very warm and enthusiastic staff who were only too pleased to help us relax as soon as humanly possible. In the blazing midday sun, the day could only start with a Pimms on the terrace of course whilst our room was made ready… ok, maybe 2 then!



As we we sipped away and took in the tranquillity of the views and peacefulness, what was immediately apparent was that this place is deffinately geared up for families with kids having the time of their lives. It’s a great place to let them run free!

Our room was spacious, beautifully designed and very comfortable. The bathroom was mostly marble and even contained the luxury of a TV… I`m absolutely sold on the idea of a TV above the bath, fantastic way to relax and a lovely touch.


We were advised of our booking into The Pass restaurant at 7.30 and in preparation of our huge 9 course meal we decided upon a walk of the grounds (which are clearly tendered to with great care). There`s an Azalia walk which is just stunning when the flowers are out (which they were luckily). There are also some lakes to explore and acres of fields… 96 acres in fact!

We were booked in for dining at the highly prized `The Pass` restaurant which has recently been awarded 3 AA Rosettes. Now this is not your average restaurant it has to be said. It’s headed up by Chef Matt Gillan whose previous experience includes Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London and Midsummer House Restaurant in Cambridge. The restaurant décor is truly unique in itself – think Hells Kitchen with a very open plan seating area which allows you to watch all the kitchen action first hand. Hats off to the team of chefs who must be tempted to swear very loudly every now and again but never do!


Gillan has devised 3 very clever menus, a five, seven or nine course tasting menu for both lunch and dinner. Our eyes were bigger than our bellies so we opted for the 9 course taster – we chose well! Every course was full of flavour and beautifully presented. This is what you get when you allow a decent chef some creativity, flair and passion! One word of warning if you do have the 9 course option, take it easy on the delicious home made bread at the start of your meal, by the 7th course we were beginning to burst but simply had to keep entertaining our appetites with the delicious foods. Compliments to the chef… he delivered the goods for sure!

We also have to mention our waiters who were possibly the best we have experienced to date (and we’ve seen a few!), hugely attentive and with a French accent to boot. Their knowledge, manners and respect certainly didn`t go unnoticed.

We realy have nothing negative to report about the experience in the slightest apart from the fact it got uncomfortably warm around 9pm onwards possibly because of the heat coming from the kitchen, but a little more aircon would do the trick. To sum up, The Pass is a truly unique experience that you have to try in your culinary lifetime. It`s also very reasonably priced – just make sure you have some room in your stomach before you go.

Overall, we felt the hotel was a fantastic experience for those looking for a little restbite. It is very geared up for the event market with an entire wing full of banqueting suites and impressive board rooms. The lack of a spa is perhaps the only downfall at this point in time, however we were advised that this is on the cards.

Thank you to South Lodge for making our stay most welcome.

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