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Escape To the Great Outdoors in East Sussex With Elite Hotels this Summer

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Elite Hotels is showcasing the very best of East Sussex this summer at The Grand Hotel Eastbourne and Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club, inviting guests to visit the colourfully historic and picturesque county. From beachy adventures at The Grand Hotel to forest escapes at Ashdown Park, these summer experiences promise to unlock the secrets of the region.

beach

East Sussex comes to life in the summertime, and both The Grand and Ashdown Park Hotel mark the season with a summer to remember. There is also plenty to do on the hotels’ doorsteps, as Glyndebourne Festival – the hallmark for the summer opera season – returns with world-class performances set against the backdrop of Glyndebourne Opera House and the South Downs countryside.

Both hotels from Elite’s portfolio offer a family-friendly experience providing high-quality service, stunning gardens and views, award-winning dining, splendid afternoon teas, and a chance for some much-needed luxurious escapism.

Ashdown Park & Country Club Summer Highlights:
Set in 186 acres of lakes, secret gardens and woodland trails, Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club is located in the heart of Ashdown Forest, the inspiration for A. A. Milne’s delightful Winnie-the-Pooh stories.

This opulent forest mansion dates back to the early 19th century, and now features 106 bedrooms and suites, each suite named after a tree species found in the grounds or in the forest. Ashdown Park’s grounds include acres of grazing land where wild deer roam free, plus a lake with fountains and a jetty from which to view both the forest and stunning mansion. There is also a peaceful walled garden with herbaceous borders, a grand old greenhouse, apple trees and mature shrubs. The recently refurbished Country Club boasts a Fitness Studio, indoor pool, six treatment rooms and a nail salon. Guests can also enjoy use of the two tennis courts, a putting green, jogging trails and cycling routes, not to mention a wide variety of paths to walk in the extensive woodland forming part of the hotel grounds and beyond, into Ashdown Forest itself. Dogs are welcome at the hotel, with dog-friendly bedrooms.

Ashdown

A Very Choccie Afternoon Tea
In celebration of World Chocolate Day, for one afternoon only on 7 July, an exclusive chocolate-themed Afternoon Tea will be served on the terrace with wonderful views across the estate to the Ashdown Forest.

This special Afternoon Tea with a delicious chocolate twist includes a selection of sandwiches, cakes and pastries from the patisserie, warm freshly baked scones with clotted cream and fruit preserves, and your choice of blended teas or freshly ground coffee. Children accompanying adults will be given a Winnie-the-Pooh themed Afternoon Tea.

Chocolate Afternoon Tea on World Chocolate Day takes place Thursday 7 July from 2pm – 6pm and is priced at £30 pp.

Summer Steam Train Railway Experiences
Guests can take a trip back in time and journey on the Bluebell steam train, just 7 miles from Ashdown Park. The preserved railway runs daily, and seasonal rides and events offer a great family experience and unique opportunities to see rare steam-powered trains. Contact Bluebell Railway for ticket prices: 01825 720800.

Stunning Summer Landscapes
12 miles from Ashdown Park, the botanical heritage and stunning landscapes of Borde Hill make for the perfect day out for horticultural enthusiasts, country lovers and families alike. Created by Colonel Stephenson Robert Clarke from seeds gathered by the Great Plant Hunters of the early 1900s, the Edwardian Garden is renowned for its rare shrubs and champion trees. Tickets from £7 pp.

The Grand Hotel Eastbourne Summer Highlights:

The Grand Hotel is an iconic property right on Eastbourne’s glorious seafront and Victorian promenade. Superbly located just moments from the start of the South Downs Way, it is also close to Beachy Head and Birling Gap for day trips. Also, just steps from the hotel, is the excellent Towner Gallery, a contemporary art space.

The hotel has 152 bedrooms and suites, all luxuriously furnished, many with sweeping sea views, balconies, or private patios. Others have adjoining rooms which work well for family stays. There are two options for lunch or dinner, and the cocktail bar is a wonderful spot to enjoy a Signature Cocktail or a G&T. On a summer’s evening, drinks can be enjoyed on the open-air Chatsworth Terrace, with views towards the sea.

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Ladies Luncheons
This summer, The Grand Hotel will stage a Summer Ladies Luncheon, providing the perfect opportunity to get a group of friends together and listen to an enjoyable talk and a delicious three-course luncheon with wine.

Taking place on 11 July, this event is now established as a ‘must go’ in the town’s calendar, with tables hard to come by. A delicious three-course À la carte lunch with coffee will be followed by a presentation from local historian Alan Wenham, on four astonishing historical female figures from the local area – Mary Ann Gilbert, Lady Victoria Wellesley, Lady Emily Shackleton and Alice Hudson. Tickets £40 pp.

Mirabelle Seaside Lunch

Back once again, the Mirabelle Seaside Lunch has become a firm favourite in The Grand’s calendar. Taking place on Wednesday 3 August, guests can enjoy fine summer seasonal dining at the Mirabelle.

If the sun shines, the pre-lunch drinks reception will be held on the charming Prince’s Lawn at 12.30pm, with lunch being served at 1pm in the Mirabelle Restaurant, with the sumptuous menu featuring such dishes as Maldon rock oysters, smoked haddock and king prawn fish cakes, Newhaven cod loin, and French raspberry tart. Tables are shared for up to a maximum of six persons at £50 pp.

Summer Hiking by the Coast
Walking enthusiasts are being treated to a brand new trail – the 33-mile South Downs route from Eastbourne (the starting point is just a few minutes’ walk from The Grand) – to Shoreham-by-Sea, is one of the newest stretches of the long-awaited England Coast Path to open. The route offers stunning views helping people to connect people with nature. This new stretch, the 17th full stretch to open, will form part of the 2,700-mile-long England Coast Path, which will become the longest walking route in the world.

New Art Exhibition in Eastbourne
Named the Guardian’s ‘Exhibition of the Week’, A Life in Art & Reuniting the Twenties Group is two exhibitions presented simultaneously across Towner Eastbourne’s top floor galleries and a showcase from pioneering female gallerist Lucy Wertheim. Just moments from The Grand, visitors can enjoy Wertheim’s contribution to mid-20th century modern art, reuniting works from her collection, and telling her own story and that of the artists that she fervently championed. Over 150 works will be shown across both exhibitions. The exhibition is being showcased until 25 September in Towner Eastbourne. Tickets from £6.50.

For more information on these experiences or to book, please call 01342 824988.

Stay overnight at Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club from £260 per room per night in a Deluxe Bedroom (two sharing), including breakfast. Upgrade to a Master Suite with opulent four-poster bed, lake and parkland views, bay or stained glass windows, and luxurious bathroom, from £540 per night. Contact Ashdown Park Hotel on 01342 824988 (www.ashdownpark.com).

Stay overnight at The Grand Hotel from £250 per room per night in a Deluxe Bedroom (two sharing), including breakfast. Upgrade to a Master Suite with sea or swimming pool views, separate living room and Plasma TV, from £560 per night. Contact The Grand Hotel on 01323 412345 (www.grandeastbourne.com).

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.

Press: For media enquiries, commissioned press trips or photography, please contact Lizzie Cooper or Sue Ockwell at Travel PR on 07342 258570 (Lizzie) / 07831 126 356 (Sue) or 020 8891 4440 (main office number) or email l.cooper@travelpr.co.uk / s.ockwell@travelpr.co.uk.

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