Get away from it all at Hydro Hotel, Eastbourne
Opened in 1885 as a seaside retreat, Hydro Hotel has continued to welcome guests for over 100 years....
Make 2022 a year when there are plans aplenty, with dates in the diary and a good variety of events to look forward to. The experts at Elite Hotels’ three historic properties, based in beautiful locations in Hampshire and East Sussex, can help to make these plans and dates a wonderful reality…
Elite Hotels’ two East Sussex properties – Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club, on the edge of Ashdown Forest, and The Grand Hotel, in a prime location on Eastbourne’s seafront, have a variety of seasonal packages and events in 2022, plus many local attractions.
Why not treat mum to the Mothering Sunday Champagne Afternoon Tea (£49.50 pp) at Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club swith two-hour sittings from 3pm on 27 March? The tea includes a delicious selection of finger sandwiches and cakes, a glass of chilled bubbly, and a small Molton Brown gift to take home.
The Grand Hotel in Eastbourne is renowned for its music heritage, having hosted composers such as Debussy and Elgar over the decades. The hotel boasts several spaces with wonderful acoustics – hence it is an ideal location to enjoy a classical music performance. From 29 March-1 April, Some Enchanted Evenings – A Musical Getaway is a three-night musical extravaganza covering everything from opera to show tunes (from £515 pp total – £171.50 pp per night – for three nights’ half-board accommodation and all performances).
Within reach of both hotels, Rathfinny Wine Estate, near Alfriston, East Sussex, produces some of the world’s finest-quality sparkling wines. The vineyard holds weekly Winter Tour & Tasting sessions each Saturday and Sunday from 10.30 am until 1pm (£25 pp) until April, before switching to a summer programme of events. Visitors can also simply turn up during the Cellar Door shop’s opening hours (daily, 10am to 5pm) and take a self-guided walking tour through the vineyard with the maps provided.
From mid-April until mid-May, get close to nature at a Singing with Nightingales evening (£79 pp; 7pm to 12.30am), where guests are taken on a guided woodland walk to hear nightingales sing. Conservationist and folk singer Sam Lee sings tunes around a campfire, and dinner and drinks are provided – all at a beguiling (and secret!) location near Lewes, East Sussex.
Celebrating the best in art, literature, ideas and politics, Charleston Festival (19-29 May 2022) is one of the UK’s oldest and most prestigious interdisciplinary festivals, with over 100 speakers and 40 events. The festival takes place in the gardens of Charleston, East Sussex, once home to Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant of the artistic collective known as the Bloomsbury Group.
At Drusilla’s Park in Alfriston, East Sussex, children can try their hand at being a Zoo keeper for the Day (from £140 pp; selected dates from May to December 2022). Tasks include preparing food for the animals, cleaning out enclosures and getting to know the animals.
In July, Glynde Place, East Sussex, hosts the Love Supreme Jazz Festival (1-3 July; adult day tickets from £69.30 pp), where big names in jazz and soul such as Erykah Badu, TLC, Tom Misch and Lianne La Havas will play alongside a range of yoga sessions, food stalls and fairground rides.
In Eastbourne itself, visit the magnificent TOWNER Eastbourne, which offers two new art exhibitions that launch in February and run for several months: Jananne Al-Ani Timelines (12 February - 22 May) is a new moving image work which reflects on the relationship between Britain and Irag, and the multi-talented painter, printmaker, illustrator and tapestry designer Eileen Mayo will hold her first solo exhibition in the UK, entitled A Natural History (12 February - 3 July).
Many of the town’s biggest annual events will be back on the agenda in 2022, including the Viking International women’s tennis championships at Devonshire Park (17-25 June), Eastbourne International Air Show (18-21 August) and the annual Walking Festival (September 2022).
Stay overnight at The Grand Hotel from £240 per room per night (two sharing), including breakfast. Contact The Grand Hotel on 01323 412345 (www.grandeastbourne.com).
Stay overnight at Ashdown Park Hotel and Country Club from £255 per room per night (two sharing), including breakfast. Contact Ashdown Park Hotel on 01342 824988 (www.ashdownpark.com).