Stay Here: Bailiffscourt, SussexBy Claudine Levy
Everyone should sleep in a faux medieval manor at least once in their lives. Specifically one built just for lols in the 1920s by the Guinness family, who were obsessed with all things Middle Aged. Narrow passageways wind their way through the mansion, flagstone floors sit unassumingly under foot, antique tapestries whisper secrets into the hallowed halls, and gothic windows sit like scars in the Somerset stone walls. As you can probably tell, Bailiffscourt is nothing if not atmospheric.
Bailiffscourt: The Accommodation
One of the charms of Bailiffscourt is that each of the 39 rooms are scattered in a series of quaint buildings across the property, including the main Medieval House, which is connected to the Thatch House by a secret underground tunnel. The Court and Coach Houses stand opposite the main entrance, while the Gate House, The Moat House and The Oaks sit beside the old moat overlooking the rolling fields beyond.
If you can, opt to stay in the Baylies – the hotel’s signature room which is decorated like something out of a BBC period drama. Think vaulted ceiling, four-poster bed, gargantuan wood-burning fireplace and his-and-her roll-top baths (yes, two baths). Rooms range from cosy Standard Rooms to majestic Feature and Deluxe Rooms, so you can have you pick of the crop.
Bailiffscourt: The Food
Before sitting down to dinner, make sure you grab a drink in one of the many cosy little lounges located in snug corners of the hotel. Once you’ve had a leisurely aperitif, head to The Tapestry restaurant – a broodingly elegant room with mullioned windows, tapestry-hung walls and classic medieval architecture. The restaurant is dedicated to using quality local ingredients sourced from Sussex, using them to create menus which mix innovation with tradition.
The food is modern British, which is centred around fresh interpretations of classic dishes such as honey roasted quail with Waldorf salad, herb crusted saddle of lamb with smoked aubergine caviar and pistachio souffle with chocolate tea ice cream.
Bailiffscourt: The Spa
This spa is something else. With a swimming pool encased in glass, you feel at once cocooned and immersed in the surrounding woodland. And with an outdoor pool and jacuzzi, you can zen out with nature at your fingertips and the fresh sea air in your lungs. Set amidst gorgeous gardens, the blissful retreat is just a 10 minute stroll over rolling hills to the seafront at Climping Beach.
The Spa includes facilities ranging from a state of the art gym, tennis courts, relaxation spaces and treatment rooms, where highly experienced therapists offer a wide range of body and beauty treatments using delectable Temple Spa products.