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South Lodge, Horsham, West Sussex
South Lodge is a luxury country hotel sitting within acres of beautiful grounds in the heart of the Sussex countryside, just an hour from London. With a brand new spa, as well as two award-winning restaurants serving delicious, seasonal cuisine to rival some of the best that the capital can offer - and prices to match, South Lodge is ideal for a romantic weekend of body-pampering and fine dining.
We loved the feeling of being properly "out in the country" but just a short hop from city life. South Lodge is perfect for foodies wanting to enjoy first-rate British cooking then work off the calories exploring the South Downs Way on foot.
Situated between Haywards Heath and Horsham, with striking views of the South Downs.
By car: easily reachable from Brighton in 40 mins, London in 2 hours, and Guildford in an hour. Free private parking is available.
By train: Horsham station is a 13-minute drive away with trains to London Victoria (51 minutes), Peterborough (2 hours 40 mins), Southampton Central (1 hour 35 mins) and Bognor Regis (45 mins). thetrainline.com
Style & Character
It's a winning combination of old-style British grandeur and elegance in the restauarants and bars, with modern facilities and the fantastic spa. The dark wood panelling and antique furnishings nod to the hotel's historic past but can make some parts look a little dated.
Service & Facilities
Wandering through the hotel's gorgeous gardens, you can spot the UK's largest single-stemmed rhododendron, which is 120 years old and draws visitors from all over the world. We loved visiting the chickens who lay your morning eggs, in the walled kitchen garden.
- Gorgeous grounds
- Sunny terrace
- Billiard Bar and lounge
- Afternoon tea
- Steam room
- Indoor and outdoor pools
- Outdoor jaccuzzi
- Hydrotherapy pool
- Beauty bar
- Fitness studio
- Spin room
- Dog and family friendly
Naming the rooms after local places is a lovely touch. Crestwood has beautiful views across the grounds towards the South Downs. The bathroom with its walk-in shower is large enough to hold a party and the marble bath features a built-in television screen.
Smart and Cosy Rooms, Dog-friendly rooms, Junior Suites, Master Suites, Family Suites, and the Bothay Cottage
Facilities include: work desk, seating area, king or queen-sized bed, handmade mattress, Sky TV, soft furnishings, quirky furniture
Food & Drink
We loved the open-plan feel of Botanica in the new spa building with its large glass window overlooking the pretty grounds. Camellia serves up pescotarian paradise in a starter of cured and blow-torched mackerel with pickled kohirabi, yuzu and granita.
Tom Kemble at The Pass (temporarily closed): fresh on-site ingredients, seasonal. Dinner Wed-Sun. Six courses from £70.
Camellia: fine dining, two AA Rosettes. Dinner Monday-Saturday. Three courses from £45.
Botanica: spa restaurant, Mediterranean-inspired light bites, plant-based. Open Monday-Sunday. Large plates from £13.
The Cellar: wine and sharing platters.
The Billiard Bar: cocktails and informal dining.
The Watershed: open in summer, light bites.