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Saltmarsh Farmhouse, Seaford, East Sussex
This comfortable retreat is surrounded by wonderful countryside with great forest, coastal and heathland walks and cycle routes and stunning views at every turn. There's hearty food, an inviting guest lounge, homely guest rooms peppered with original features and very welcoming service.
Rooms available from £197.10 per night
Saltmarsh is within the 700-acre Seven Sisters Country Park, a haven of rolling chalk downland, glorious heathland, river valleys and ancient woodland. There's diverse archaeology, a host of listed buildings and the striking Seven Sisters white cliffs. The number 12 bus is outside the front door, considered one of the most beautiful bus rides in Britain. Attractive villages and towns like West Dean, East Dean, Lewes and Seaford are nearby. There are a number of pleasant pubs serving good food within a short walk or drive.
By car: under 3 hours from London and Oxford, 2 hours from Dover and 3 hours 45 minutes from Birmingham.
By train: London Bridge to Seaford takes around 1 hour 15 minutes. The hotel is an 8-minute drive from the station. Book trains to Seaford.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
More modern touches, such as the Scandi-style lounge with its open fire in the centre and dining table looking onto the large garden with its sloped lawn, merge successfully with numerous retained original features, which include a 14th-century bread oven in the café. A good selection of art and design books in the lounge is a bonus.
This isn't the sort of place festooned with facilities, it's more a comfortable base to enjoy the stunning surrounding countryside. Within the national park, there's a garden and a guest lounge where meals are served and drinks are available. There's a café and information centre about the area open to the public.
- Honesty bar
- Free Wi-Fi
BED AND BATH
The six guest rooms are simply furnished in an appropriately rustic style and have views out to the gardens and the surrounding area. There are comfortable king-sized iron beds, clothes rails and some antique furniture. Antique pictures of plants and birds complete the look.
Room types: Seahorse, Under the Eaves, Seaview, Seabreeze, Saltwater Suite
Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with toiletries, hairdryer, tea and coffee facilities, free Wi-Fi
FOOD AND DRINK
Meals are served in the guest lounge and adjoining Friston Room. The menus are small, but the food is wholesome. For breakfast, there are cereals, croissants, pastries, and either a full English breakfast or the Turkish dish, Menemem. There's also a café, Saltmarsh Kitchen.
Friston Room: breakfast and dinner served daily (must be pre-ordered the day before). Breakfast served 8-10am.
Saltmarsh Kitchen: café and courtyard, serving light bites, pastries and snacks. Open from 10am.