January 30, 2022 | Elite Hotels
Make 2022 a year when there are plans aplenty, with dates in the diary and a good variety of events to look forward to. The experts at Elite Hotels’ three historic properties, based in beautiful locations in Hampshire and East Sussex, can help to make these plans and dates a wonderful reality…
Tylney Hall Hotel & Gardens, near Hook, in Hampshire, is a grand Victorian Grade II listed house with the longest uninterrupted view in Hampshire. This year, the hotel will be holding a Jazz Afternoon Tea on selected Sundays each month (from £39.50 pp) and a three-course Mothering Sunday Luncheon on 27 March (£38.50 pp), featuring a bespoke menu created by Executive Head Chef Mike Lloyd. Alternatively, start the weekend in style with the hotel’s Friday Feeling option (from £176 per room, two sharing), which includes a complimentary glass of wine from the Library Bar, overnight accommodation, full English breakfast, morning newspaper and full use of the Health Suite facilities and superb outdoor pool.
Whilst the hotel is a wonderful place to hunker down whatever the season, there are plenty of things to do in Hampshire and just over the border in Surrey. Downton Abbey: A New Era will be released in cinemas on 18 March 2022, with much of it filmed at Highclere Castle, just 20 miles away. The Castle’s cellars even feature an Egyptian Exhibition with artefacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb – an astonishing find so close to your hotel base in the year when Egypt celebrates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the location of the boy King’s resting place.
Visit the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, based in Whitchurch, Hampshire, on the site of a former paper mill, to understand the rare production processes used to make the world-famous gin. Choose between the 90-minute Discovery Experience (£17.50 per adult), which includes a guided tour and a G&T, or the Cocktail Masterclass (2.5 hours; £45 per adult).
History buffs young and old will enjoy Milestones Living History Museum in Basingstoke, which depicts life in Hampshire past with a maze of Victorian and 1930s streets and a recreated pier with vintage arcade games. Alternatively, Aldershot Military Museum (open Wednesday – Sunday) is housed in the only surviving brick-built barrack blocks and tells the story of daily life for both soldiers and civilians since 1854. Try out the assault course and visit the Cody Gallery – named after Samuel Franklin Cody, who pioneered the first manned aircraft flight.
Over the border in Surrey, The Sculpture Park in Churt (£10 per adult) is home to one of the world’s largest year-round sculpture exhibitions, with over 300 artists showcasing 650 sculptures. Specialising in 20th century, modern and contemporary sculptures, most of the exhibits within the 10 acres of grounds are for sale, so the displays change regularly. In Ockham, near Guildford, plan a spring visit to The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden, which reopens on 1 April 2022 for the summer season and features diverse art installations and picturesque walks.
Surrey and Hampshire have both seen a growth in local wineries over the last decade. Greyfriars Vineyard, on the Hog’s Back, near Farnham, has recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and offers tours and tastings from March to December as well as one-off yoga and wine tasting sessions during the summer months, overlooking the vines. There is also a shop selling the vineyard’s latest still and sparkling wines.
Themed breaks and special offers are available throughout the year at Tylney Hall Hotel & Gardens, including the Friday Feeling B&B package from £176 per room (two sharing), which includes 10% off the hotel’s Best Available Rate. Call Tylney Hall on 01256 764881 (www.tylneyhall.co.uk).
Elite Hotels’ two East Sussex properties – Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club, on the edge of Ashdown Forest, and The Grand Hotel, in a prime location on Eastbourne’s seafront, have a variety of seasonal packages and events in 2022, plus many local attractions.
At Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club’s fine-dining Anderida Restaurant, treat your loved one to a special Valentine’s Day Dinner (£45 pp) with a resident pianist adding to the ambiance. And, if you’re thinking of popping the question, upgrade to the Perfect Proposal package, which includes an overnight stay in a Master Suite, a bouquet of fresh flowers in the room on arrival, 40-minute spa treatment per person, glass of Champagne and canapés in the Drawing Room before dinner, two-course à la carte dinner (served in a private dining room with a personal waiter), Champagne toast after dessert (to celebrate the engagement!), full English breakfast, complimentary newspaper and use of the Country Club facilities. Surely such lavish fun will seal the deal!
Or why not treat mum to the Mothering Sunday Champagne Afternoon Tea (£49.50 pp) with two-hour sittings from 3pm on 27 March? The tea includes a delicious selection of finger sandwiches and cakes, a glass of chilled bubbly, and a small Molton Brown gift to take home.
The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne is renowned for its music heritage, having hosted composers such as Debussy and Elgar over the decades. The hotel boasts several spaces with wonderful acoustics – hence it is an ideal location to enjoy a classical music performance. From 29 March-1 April, Some Enchanted Evenings – A Musical Getaway is a three-night musical extravaganza covering everything from opera to show tunes (from £515 pp total – £171.50 pp per night – for three nights’ half-board accommodation and all performances).
Within reach of both hotels, Rathfinny Wine Estate, near Alfriston, East Sussex, produces some of the world’s finest-quality sparkling wines. The vineyard holds weekly Winter Tour & Tasting sessions each Saturday and Sunday from 10.30 am until 1pm (£25 pp) until April, before switching to a summer programme of events. Visitors can also simply turn up during the Cellar Door shop’s opening hours (daily, 10am to 5pm) and take a self-guided walking tour through the vineyard with the maps provided.
From mid-April until mid-May, get close to nature at a Singing with Nightingales evening (£79 pp; 7pm to 12.30am), where guests are taken on a guided woodland walk to hear nightingales sing. Conservationist and folk singer Sam Lee sings tunes around a campfire, and dinner and drinks are provided – all at a beguiling (and secret!) location near Lewes, East Sussex.
Celebrating the best in art, literature, ideas and politics, Charleston Festival (19-29 May 2022) is one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious interdisciplinary festivals, with over 100 speakers and 40 events. The festival takes place in the gardens of Charleston, East Sussex, once home to Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant of the artistic collective known as the Bloomsbury Group.
At Drusilla’s Park in Alfriston, East Sussex, children can try their hand at being a Zoo keeper for the Day (from £140 pp; selected dates from May to December 2022). Tasks include preparing food for the animals, cleaning out enclosures and getting to know the animals.
In July, Glynde Place, East Sussex, hosts the Love Supreme Jazz Festival (1-3 July; adult day tickets from £69.30 pp), where big names in jazz and soul such as Erykah Badu, TLC, Tom Misch and Lianne La Havas will play alongside a range of yoga sessions, food stalls and fairground rides.
In Eastbourne itself, visit the magnificent TOWNER Eastbourne, which offers two new art exhibitions that launch in February and run for several months: Jananne Al-Ani Timelines (12 February – 22 May) is a new moving image work which reflects on the relationship between Britain and Irag, and the multi-talented painter, printmaker, illustrator and tapestry designer Eileen Mayo will hold her first solo exhibition in the UK, entitled A Natural History (12 February – 3 July).
Many of the town’s biggest annual events will be back on the agenda in 2022, including the Viking International women’s tennis championships at Devonshire Park (17-25 June), Eastbourne International Air Show (18-21 August) and the annual Walking Festival (September 2022).
Notes to Editors
A small, independent UK-based hotel group, Elite Hotels has invested in some of the UK’s most beautiful historic houses since 1986. The first of these was Tylney Hall Hotel, Hampshire, followed by Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club, East Sussex and The Grand Hotel, Eastbourne. Each Elite Hotel is a member of Small Luxury Hotels, a prestigious consortium representing over 500 of the best independent hotels in 70 countries.