These local stays are great for an evening meal and a sound night’s sleep

Bliss at the Bell – The Bell in Ticehurst

Location: A public house on the Kent-Sussex border, in what was a rather showy Tudor property around 1560, but is now transformed into something utterly charming and unique.

The food: Recently described in the Michelin Guide as having ‘quirky surroundings; serious food’, the menu is full of Sussex’s finest – Bodiam côte de bœuf with triple cooked chips, Sussex coast fish, English strawberries with white chocolate and basil sorbet. Most of all, be sure to try the new spritz and cocktail menu for a sun downer around the garden fire pit.

The stay: Eclectic in the truest sense – it’s as if an eccentric nobleman has travelled the world and filled The Bell with curiosities from his travels, from vintage wallpaper to a fine collection of art by the likes of Tracey Emin, Banksy, and Picasso. Seven guest rooms and four garden lodges are individually designed – with silver birch branches, patterned tiles and huge copper bathtubs, – and the garden lodges look out onto a gorgeous pub garden by Chelsea Flower Show gold medal garden designer, Jo Thompson, who lives in the village. 

Prices: Mid-week doubles from £165

thebellinticehurst.com  

A Rural Getaway – The Queen’s Inn

Location: On the border of Kent and East Sussex, surrounded by attractions including The Kent and East Sussex Railway, Bedgebury Forest and three castles – all within a 20 minute drive.

The food: A carefully designed AA Rosette standard menu of seasonal dishes made with local produce, alongside sharing tapas and authentic Italian-style hand-stretched pizzas. Downstairs, relax in the bar with a pint of local bitter, a glass from the extensive wine list or a specially crafted cocktail, before dinner in one of the cosy and intimate dining areas. 

The stay: Charmingly refurbished from an old smuggling inn, with a wealth of stunning interiors. Its eight uniquely designed bedrooms offer modern luxuries, with a choice of King or Emperor sized beds, and can accommodate families or couples to make any occasion a special one. The Queen’s is ideal for a weekend of exploring and relaxing in the comfort of a welcoming and friendly inn.

Prices: Two people can stay with breakfast in a standard double room for £120; £160 gets you a superior double or family room. For a more deluxe option you can stay in a luxury double room for £180 or a deluxe suite for £210.

thequeensinnhawkhurst.co.uk

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