Wednesday, 3 June 2015
Wine Travel: Gravetye Manor, Sussex
Did you celebrate English Wine Week last week? (We did!)
Either way, if someone mentions English wine to you, one of the first places you probably think of is Sussex.
The beautiful chalk soils of the South Downs have proven a hearty home for English vineyards, helping to produce increasingly delicious and award-winning wines, in particular sparkling wines not too dissimilar from Champagne.
Some of England's most famous vineyards and wineries have their home here - Ridgeview, Bolney and Bluebell among them - and it just so happens there's an absolutely glorious hotel right in the heart of them!
The grand and gorgeous Gravetye Manor Hotel couldn't be better located for a West Sussex wine holiday this summer.
This quintessential English Country House hotel is set within 100 acres of parkland just outside East Grinstead, with Bolney, Ridgeview and Bluebell vineyards all within a few miles of the estate.
The hotel staff are happy to help you arrange wine tours with all three of these vineyards (the package costs £99 for all three) and can help you visit other local wineries on request.
Its perfect location aside, there are plenty of other reasons why Gravetye caught my eye. For one thing, the estate has 35 acres of famously stunning gardens, with 17 recently renovated bedrooms, so it didn't surprise me to learn it won AA Hotel of the Year England 2014, and has a string of other awards under its belt.
And the hotel also prides itself on its English wine connections - it serves a variety of Sussex wines by the glass (rare for a hotel, even these days!) and also stocks a variety of different vintages of local wines, including Nyetimber's 2003 Blanc de Blancs and Bolney's 2010 Lychgate red.
So it's absolute heaven for English wine fans of course, but to be fair, there's also a pleasingly tempting range of wines from the likes of Brazil, Israel, Washington State and Canada too! I think I'd need to stay for at least a week to make my way through the most appealing wines on the list.
And then there's Gravetye's English wine masterclasses and English wine flights! The latter is a perfect accompaniment to the hotel's range of mouthwatering tasting menus and local produce.
This hotel really is a paradise for wine fans like me, and makes for a very luxurious base to explore Sussex wine country, so I'm very excited about booking a room for my fiance and I in the summer months. There's so many vineyards we want to visit and it seems this is the ultimate place to do just that.
If you need any more encouragement, just have a look at the hotel's TripAdvisor page. A brief look at the titles of reviews from the last week alone gives a glittering array of recommendations: 'Anticipate excellence', 'Paradise' and 'Just the best hotel experience we've had.' Gravetye Manor has just gone STRAIGHT to the top of my wine travel wish list.
Rooms at Gravetye Manor start at £260 (including a Full English breakfast for two and free wifi) and there are dining packages from £405 per room per night.
The words above are 100% my own and reflect my true opinion - however Gravetye Manor did pay a small fee for me to write this post and tell you all about their lovely hotel. This does not affect the review in any way - I only ever write about things I truly love, and that will never change. For more information on sponsored posts, please see the About Us page.