Weekender: Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa in Sussex
Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa is a country house hotel with seaside walks and spa pampering on the doorstep
Closer than Cornwall – and with all charm
For weekend escapes, Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa is ideally located for a restful weekend with kids, friends or just the two of you. Less than two hours from south London, the hotel near Climping serves up country living on the West Sussex coast – with country house gardens and the pebble coast just footsteps away. And whether you’re cocooned in knitwear on blustery walks, relaxing in the gardens under snuggly throws or relishing blue skies on beach wanders, the hotel feels a world away from the everyday grind.
Bailiffscourt’s country house vibes on the sea
Set in 30 acres of parkland, Bailiffscourt feels every inch a kingly setting – the medieval-style main house is flanked by a clutch of gorgeous stone-built cottages, a 13th century chapel and picturesque gardens home to resident roaming peacocks.
Though the building only dates back to the 1920s – Lord Moynes of the Guinness family originally commissioned the antiquarian and architect, Amyas Phillips, to recreate a medieval mansion for the family’s country retreat – the painstaking sourcing of original stone, woodwork, doors, windows and fireplaces by Philips means Bailiffscourt feels rooted in a bygone era – think crackling open fires, softly lit flagstone corridors, panelled hallways, stone arches and courtyard rose gardens.
Our suite, a ‘Feature Room’, followed the regal style with deep crimson soft furnishings offsetting original wooden beams, a towering and lustrous mahogany four-poster bed, cavernous ensuite with roll-top tub, and elegant sitting room with deep-seated sofa and armchairs.
Flinging open the cast iron latticed windows, the hotel’s pretty gardens and courtyard give way to the dunes and sea in the distance.
Built in the style of a Sussex barn from natural green oak, the spa is surrounded by tranquil woodland and is an idyllic place to relax and recuperate. Open to non-hotel guests, on weekends the spa can be a little busier, meaning our favourite time to visit was midweek.
The large outdoor pool is heated all year round and sits alongside a whirlpool hot tub, while inside the magnificent exposed timber spa building lies a large indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room.
There are six calming treatment rooms with heated water beds and the Temple Spa treatments used in the signature facials and massages are some of the best in the spa business. Post-spa snooze, there’s a croquet lawn, tennis courts and acres to explore, or guests can follow signs to the beach, just a five-minute walk through the woods.
After dark, dinner is served by candlelight in Tapestry Restaurant, where historic fabric motifs adorn every wall and the dining experience feels rather traditional – ideal for multigenerational parties. Seasonality and locality is at the core of the dining here, with the ‘Climping Menu’ celebrating much local seafood and the ‘Sussex Menu’ highlighting the county’s superb producers.
We plump for the renowned Climping Beach starter: perfectly poached Selsey lobster alongside a warm grilled oyster with seaweed butter, with Selsey crab and brown shrimp mayonnaise, croutons, orange and coriander. To follow there’s a perfectly grilled John Dory with Jerusalem artichoke puree with truffle gnocchi – and homemade puddings to finish.
With such beautiful grounds, private dining and group gatherings can also be accommodated in picturesque locations around the property.
Stays at Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa are from £249 per night, based on two sharing a Classic Double Room, mid-week, on a B&B basis.
- Stays in the Baylies Suite are from £555 on a B&B basis, and £615 with dinner included
- Family Room – Climping – £285 (November) B&B £315 (peak season)
Visit www.hshotels.co.uk or call 01903 723511.