A Neo- Gothic retreat hidden in the forest
>> ENTERTAINMENT: Laura Nightingale WESTY HAS AN AUTUMN FEAST SEE PAGE 24 escaped the hustle and bustle of life for a night of tranquillity at Ashdown Park Hotel in East Grinstead
ASHDOWN Park Hotel is a four star luxury country house hidden in Ashdown Forest.
Located on the SurreySussex boarder in East Grinstead, the magnificent building boasts an awardwinning restaurant, grand bedrooms and sumptuous spa facilities.
It came as no surprise that Ashdown Park is a celebrated wedding venue and we ar- rived to excited guests preparing for the following day.
After checking in, we were guided up an impressive staircase, furnished with rich carpet and fabulous paintings to our first floor room.
We were lucky enough to stay in the Lake master suite, which not only possessed gorgeous views over the landscaped garden, but boasted a separate lounge area, dining room, Queensize bed and a huge bathroom.
Our suite was probably the size of our two bedroom terraced house.
As well as the home comforts, we also found some luxurious goodies including Molton Brown toiletries and fluffy white robes.
Our enormous decorated in suite was Victorian Gothic style with polished dark wooden furniture, heavy drapes and classic mirrors and lampshades.
Ahead of our visit we had heard that dining at Ashdown Park was a rich and rewarding experience and this was certainly true.
After freshening up we walked back down the stairs to The Anderida Restaurant.
The word Anderida is Roman in origin meaning hunting ground, which is appropriate for the venue.
The name not only reflects the wild game that roam in the forest but also perfectly describes the head chef’s hunter’s eye for tracking down the finest and freshest ingredients for your table.
We took a window seat in the fine dining romantic restaurant overlooking the pristine lawns.
Our table was dressed in thick white linen, heavy silver cutlery and large wine glasses – keen attention to detail that we were to see in the dishes to come.
Awarded two AA Rosettes, the a la carte menu was seasonal, creative and attractive.
We started our gastronomic experience with a plate of warm, freshly baked bread and a glass of crisp Spanish white wine, as recommended by the sommelier.
We were graced with an amuse bouche ahead of our starters, which was wonderfully light and elegant.
There was a lovely celebratory feel within the busy award- winning restaurant, but we didn’t have to wait long for our starters to arrive.
I went for a dressed crab dish, which was exquisite. Light, flavoursome and soft to eat, the crab meat went perfectly with the salty crisp placed on top.
My partner enjoyed a delicious ham hock, licking the plate clean.
Following a scoop of mango sorbet in between courses to cleanse our palates, I was presented with another in-
Elite Hotels, Ashdown Park.
The dinning room.