COUNTRY-CHIC HOTEL REVIEW: THE HORSEGUARDS INN, TILLINGTON
Nestled deep within the Southdowns’, at the bottom of a picturesque country road in Tillington near Petworth, lies the quintessentially British Horse Guards Inn. A beautiful country-chic hotel with three en-suite bedrooms.
The setting is picture perfect, with the building preserving many of its features from the last three hundred and fifty years. Country-chic interiors adorn both inside and out, with the garden housing the most amazing hammock and shabby chic day beds for those to kick back and relax after having one too many gins.
We arrived at The Horse Guards early one Friday evening in June, the sun was shining, it was stunning weather for dinner and drinks in the garden. From the very beginning, everything went smoothly and check in was completely flawless.
Our room was a light and airy twin, decorated beautifully in Farrow and Ball colours and offering an amazing view over the beautiful church. There were shabby chic interior touches throughout and everything had been elegantly put together from the sumptuous 300 thread count bedding (you know, the one that makes you sleep just that little bit better) to the carefully selected Clipper Tea selection and bespoke biscuits left in a tray on the dressing table. Even the toiletries in the bathroom were bespoke, you could choose from Damask Rose or Zingy Grapefruit, both smelt divine.
After unpacking and freshening up, myself and my partner headed downstairs to the bar, where we ordered beautiful Elder flower fizz cocktails. We then decided that it would be lovely to eat outside so we found a secluded spot in the garden. The tables were dressed with old rustic flower pots, in them were bright pink geraniums and over the benches were comfy faux fur throws to make it all the more inviting.
The Horse Guards has an amazing reputation for food, and are notorious advocates for seasonal, locally sourced produce. With that in mind, for dinner I ordered South Downs' pigeon breast, lentil, barley and linseed risotto, broad beans with a parmesan crisp. My partner, as all men usually do, went for the Rother Valley sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce and hand cut chips. Our dinner was washed down with a rather fine Sancerre from the extensive wine list.
Everything about The Horse Guards is relaxed, even when the restaurant became really busy, the staff pulled through to offer the best fine dining experience possible, and I found them to be very knowledgeable in relaying the provenance of our food. Our waiter Dan was exceptionally funny and kept us amused with his dry humour. The locals also made us feel very welcome, which found us striking up a conversation and drinking till closing time with our new-found friends.
Later we couldn't resist room service, we ordered a large cheese board filled with the most amazing Sussex Cheeses, whilst watching a world cup game before bed. Our stay was exceptional, the beds were incredibly comfortable, which offered us a great night’s sleep.
The morning after found us feeling slightly delicate (gin does that), however we glided downstairs to the restaurant, which was laid out beautifully and there was the sweet smell of stocks from the large vases of flowers dotted around the room.
The full English breakfast was delicious, again an amazing feast of local produce, everything was cooked to perfection, and the morning staff were cheerful and chatty, what more could you want?!
To say that the food and service were sensational really would not do The Horse Guards justice, this place is flawless. Although I must say that this is by no means a cheap night away, you are however guaranteed the best of everything, great food, great company and a seamless service. If it is a relaxing break that you are after, The Horse Guards should be your first port of call.