Great British Boltholes: Watch your head on the beam and bring a dog with you, if he behaves well the instructions are at the Horse Guards Inn, West Sussex
- Horse Guards Inn was a break for the House Cavalry in the 1840s
- The hotel is bijou – from its three rooms to the low beams in the dining room
- See the deer at nearby 17th-century Petworth Park, which spans over 700 acres
Land breaks are not much better than these. This 350-year-old inn – a stopover for the Household Cavalry in the 1840s – sits on an old country road in the West Sussex district of Tillington in South Downs National Park, and is the perfect spot for a Rejuvenating Weekend Getaway.
Owners Sam and Misha Beard are chairing a ridiculously beautiful retreat with a busy bar full of crackling fire and a collection of attractive nooks and crannies, all adorned with vintage signs and ephemera.
In summer you can enjoy outdoor drinks and fall into a deck chair or sit on a straw bale seat in the beautiful garden. They do not want to go. However, if you're just a short walk to Petworth Park, 700 acres of pristine trees, herds of deer, and Petworth House, a 17th-century jewel run by the National Trust, you must do so. An afternoon here is guaranteed to revive your love for the English countryside.
Recent Orders: The 350 year old Horse Guards Inn at Tillington was a breakpoint for the Household Cavalry in the 1840s, retaining many of its original features
The roomsAbove the pub are three en-suite modern country style bedrooms with Egyptian cotton towels, locally made lotions and homemade pastries. Think of brass beds, distressed wood picture frames, stripped planks, Farrow & Ball pastels and wildflowers in vintage vases. The inn is kid friendly and has well behaved dogs. We did not take either but stayed in "The Cottage," a shabby suite next to the pub, with its own front door, a lobby downstairs, and a cozy upstairs bedroom with lovely views of the alley and cemetery.
The foodTasty, healthy and imaginative dishes are served in the dilapidated dining room (watch out for the oak beams) or in the inviting bar. Either way, on a busy Saturday night, the atmosphere on the right bordered the exuberant atmosphere.
As an appetizer we had chalk-trout, cumin bread and pickled cucumbers and plump West Country mussels in brown ale, chili and cilantro.
The Crowd of the Inn: The inviting bar at the Horse Guards Inn, where the atmosphere on Saturday night is described as "on the right side of the hustle and bustle"
Main courses for me were a lip-smeared soy and tamarind stewed duck leg, chili, star anise, sticky rice and bok choy; a shiny and super fresh Brighton fillet of bbq with Bombay potatoes and Romesco sauce for Mrs. T. Eight hours later we had a homemade breakfast. When the bells rang for the morning service in All Hallows Church and the horses climbed up the hill for a Sunday hack, everything was fine with the world.
The USP: There is a calm in this place, which brings you back to a simpler time. Petworth Park has been virtually unchanged for centuries (go to the Capability Brown landscaped gardens before you go). Otherwise, turn off your phone, have Sam pour you a glass of wine, and feel your "happiness hormone" serotonin rise.
The Horse Guards Inn, Tillington, West Sussex. Double rooms are from £ 110 per night with breakfast. For more information, visit thehorseguardsinn.co.uk