Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year West Sussex and friends

Here's to another fabulous year of events in and around Sussex starting with the Constable exhibition at Petworth House!
Petworth House
The exhibition is from 11th January - 14th March 2014 and will provide an opportunity to admire over 40 outstanding watercolors and drawings created in and around Petworth by the great British landscape artist, John Constable. Many of the works on show were produced during Constable’s visits to the house in 1834 and have never before been exhibited as a group.
Petworth House
We're very excited about the upcoming exhibition given that we visited the Turner exhibition at Petworth House last year where many of the paintings were exhibited in the main house and, as with the Constable exhibition, you get a sneak peak at the houses' historic library (not normally open to the public). It's fantastic to get the opportunity to see this room - reminds me of Miss Haversham's room in Wuthering Heights.
Ionic Rotunder in Petworth House Gardens
Constable is principally famous for his oil painting, though later in life he also produced some wonderful work with watercolor. Highlights of the exhibition include rarely seen views of the house, park and nearby picturesque villages such as Tillington, Fittleworth and Bignor. Constable was also drawn to popular attractions of around West Sussex including Chichester Cathedral, Cowdray House and Arundel Castle.

Alongside the exhibition in Petworth’s modern exhibition room, visitors will see two showrooms in the house - famously described by Constable as ‘that house of art’. I also highly recommend a walk in the gardens when you visit the house (the photos in this blog were taken when I visited the House for the Christmas Fair in December).
Petworth House Gardens
Petworth advises advance booking following the sell out Turner exhibition last year. Call the house on 0844 249 1895 or book online.

Enjoy a wonderful day in Petworth admiring the exhibition and come back to Chequers to cosy up in front of the fire for a glass of wine and Sussex fodder produced by our chef, who like Constable is constantly inspired by what Sussex has on offer to delight our senses... wild venison stew anyone?

Visiting the Constable Exhibition at Petworth House?

Extend your stay at Chequers Hotel to take full advantage of exploring this area of outstanding natural beauty with our special exhibition offer.

Call 01798 872486 to book - ref: Constable Exhibition

A warm welcome awaits...

Lissette x

Saturday, 7 December 2013

A day out at SouthDown Gun Club

After having a number of guests to stay who are taking part in clay pigeon shooting events, our daughter invited some friends over to have a bash and see what all the fuss is about...
Southdown gun club corporate stand
South Down gun club is about 20 minutes up the road from chequers and offers a wide range of "targets" (all of which are clay). For those that have never held a gun or have no idea how to shoot one the club offers lessons.
Shooting Lesson at Southdown gun club
For those more experienced, the club offers competitions and for those that are members or attending with members you can go "up the lane" and have a go at some of the more difficult traps.

From what I hear, the lesson went well though I understand my daughter did not take to it like a "duck to water" and spent more time shooting the clouds than clay! What she did say though, as a huge fan of the sussex countryside, is that the setting was beautiful and she can see why people spend their weekends in the south downs enjoying spectacular views whilst revelling in the satisfaction of seeing clay puffing in to the air as they hit on their target!
Southdown Gun Club
After a great day of shooting clay they came back to the hotel for a well deserved bottle of locally sourced red wine from Hemming's in Pulborough and gluten free sausages and mash which John sources from the wonderful Hungry Guest deli in Petworth...delicious!!
Gluten Free Bangers and Mash at Chequers Hotel Pulborough
For anyone interested in spending a weekend at Chequers with their shooting party, contact John and Lissette for details. Also if you have any allergies like our daughter with gluten let us know when you book and we will source requested food for you (just like our daughter with the sausages)!

Lissette x

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Deer spotting and foraging season!

It seems I chose a very wet Sunday to go to Parham House for the deer spotting and foraging event last weekend but I wasn't going to let a little English rain put me off...
Parham House

1130am and on the deer spotting walk - very informative with Jim from Parham estate heading up the event giving us lots of information about the "rutting season". This is the time of year when male deer are driven by the urge to reproduce. From October to early November you will hear groaning and belching sounds coming from the woods together with the sounds of clashing antlers as males show off their virility to potential mates.

We stayed well sheltered under the old oak trees whilst we listened to the talk, keeping quite still to spot the estate deer...
Parham House Grounds
Back to base and at 1pm on the fungi foraging tour - a couple of "chaps in the know" advising us what you can and can't eat from Beefsteak fungus, to Horn of Plenty, Hedgehog Fungus and more!
Beefsteak Mushroom!
I have to say its a good job we had an expert to advise since at first sight this Beefsteak mushroom that I picked did not look appetizing but I was reassured that it will be delicious...pan fried beefsteak mushroom with beetroot and horseradish salad anyone?! I will still be cautious and only pick when with an expert - but it was a very interesting talk and one can go on advanced courses which is something I will definitely do in the future!
Beefsteak Mushroom!
The weekend of wildlife spotting didn't end there! On my trip to Climping on Sunday I caught a cheeky little peacock running out of the reception at Balliffscourt Spa...
A cheeky Peacock running out of the reception at Balliffscourt Spa!
I'm looking forward to  more nature watching and foraging on the doorstep of the hotel this week...today I'm off to the festival of Fungi at Pulborough Brooks RSPB!

Lissette x

Friday, 30 August 2013

Game season is upon us

With the summer days still here it is hard to imagine that the delicious "game season" is just round the corner; meaning our specials menu will be fuelled with locally sourced game. Last year our West Sussex venison went down a storm so we will have that on the menu again. If were lucky John will make his legendary "venison Wellington" and no doubt our popular homemade venison burgers will make a comeback! Lissette has already been picking blackberries in our garden and researching some recipes that will combine the delicious end of summer fruit with the seasons game; such as an autumnal pot roast of "roast grouse with hedgerow blackberries and salt-baked celeriac"....
Blackberries from the Hotel Garden
Deer on Pulborough Brooks
The onset of game season for those that love their seasonal food also comes with shooting season for those choosing to enjoy the seasons sport- in fact Grouse started on August 12th and Partridge will start on 1st September followed by the popular pheasant on 1st October!
Given that the award winning Norfolk Estate at Arundel famed for its "conservation and high quality Partridge shooting", the popular Chiddingfold Leconfield & Cowdray club and the famous Charlton club (mentioned in the August edition of Tatler as the most exclusive hunt club in England) are just up the road , we thought it was high time that we wrote a blog about the many shoots on our doorstep and celebrate the changing of season!
View of deer from Chequers Hotel Pulborough
We have done some investigations and found that each "bird" has its time so here is a list of shooting dates to jot down in your diary:

Oct 1st - Feb 1st
Sept 1st - Feb 1st
Aug 12th - Dec 10th
Aug 12th - Dec 10th
Aug 20th - Dec 10th
Aug 12th - Jan 31st

We are teaming up with gunsonpegs.com - they suggested we register as the hotel is situated in the middle of around 30 local shoots . Their website is in fact the best source of information for all of the "shoots" we mention below and many more!
Just a few of the other "shoots" taking place in and around Pulborough..
Ashbourne shoot, Bignor Park shoot , Borde Hill shoot, Bury Hill shoot, Cowdray Estate, Cowdowne Farm, Goodwood Estate, Kings Walk, Kinscote shooting Estates, Little Thakeham, Mayes Estate, Naldrettes, Old Park Farm LTD, Petsalls Shoot, Raggets Wood Shoot, Springhead Estate, Smokey Hole Syndicate shoot, Tattleton Estate, The Sloughbrook shoot, Turners Hill shoot and Wytings shoot to name just a few!!

So as summer officially comes to an end this weekend we can all start to look forward to the prospect of everything we love about Autumn...you can take Tatlers advice and "wear ladies tights (for the boys too) to keep you warm on country pursuits", "bring your sat nav" for finding fabulous remote shoots and rest assured in the knowledge that you can return to Chequers for a delicious locally sourced Autumnal dinner followed by a warming tipple by the fire! 
Chequers wonderful Inglenook Fireplace
Chequers is available for private hire as well as for smaller groups – Bed and Breakfasts and also evening meals catered for either from our a la carte menu or a menu devised to suit your particular needs...Fabulous food and fine wines from our local specialist wine shop "Hemmings", lashings of hot water, a log fire and space for the dogs!
Chequers contact details your requirements and to make your reservation!

Lissette x

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

West Sussex Golf Clubs On Our Doorstep

With 2 fantastic golf courses right on our doorstep, we have been out checking out the clubs and whilst we don't play golf regularly ourselves we have heard many fantastic things about the famous golf courses on our doorstop from guests who love their golf!
West Chiltington Golf Course
West Sussex Golf Course is one of the best in the area - a charming sandy outcrop of heathland - a stunning undulating site set on the edge of the Downs with views over the sussex countryside...
West Sussex Golf Club
The course was officially opened in 1931, having been designed by two outstanding golf architects, Guy Campbell, who also designed Princes’ and Killarney and Cecil Hutchison, designer of Gleneagles and Turnberry. (Very recently, Stafford Hotchkin has been attributed to West Sussex too). I's not surprising that the course is regularly judged one of the outstanding inland courses in Britain. West Sussex is a private club but visitors and societies by arrangement can play on the course. There are rules that apply (you need to be registered with an official golf club and have a handicap).
West Chiltington Golf Club also right on the doorstep, is set in the rolling Sussex countryside with some of the most stunning views the area has to offer. The club provides excellent golf practice facilities such as a driving range with covered and outdoor bays, a putting and chipping green as well as a practice bunker, all of which offer a beautiful panoramic view across the South Downs. All facilities at West Chiltington golf club are open to the public year round and have a number of exciting West Chiltington Golf Club events including the upcoming August Bank Holiday fun competition for members and non members.
I have visited both clubs and they are set in the most amazing landscapes. If you are a golf fan what better way to spend a weekend than enjoying these spectacular clubs and coming back to relax over a delicious locally sourced dinner and well deserved tipple at Chequers Hotel Pulborough!
Great news...we are teaming up with the wonderful West Chiltington Golf Club - with a "Play and Stay" late summer offer. Catch the last couple of months of the good golfing season and stay at Chequers Hotel just down the road from the golf club! Packages include bed and breakfast or dinner, bed and breakfast & golf at a reduced rate. Stay an extra night or two and enjoy not only the golf but all the attractions this area of outstanding natural beauty has to offer!
 Contact the hotel for details www.chequershotelpulborough.co.uk
01798 872486

We look forward to welcoming our guests who are interested in playing Golf in Sussex!


Monday, 15 July 2013

West Sussex Local Events July 2013

With summer well under way and the weather looking good for the foreseeable future there are lots of things to do locally over the next few weeks on the doorstep of Chequers Hotel Pulborough!

 We have just recovered from a hectic yet fabulous weekend of Goodood Festival of Speed with guests having a wonderful weekend again at this annual event. Fortunately for those sad it is over there will be a number of other events at goodwood this summer including the wonderful "Goodwood Revival" and "Glorious Goodwood"...we are excited already!
Goodwood Festival of Speed
In the mean time there are a whole host of other events to enjoy including Arundel Castle International Jousting Tournament 23-28th July and the fabulous Petworth Festival kicking off this week!
Other local events over the next couple of weeks:

  16 Jul - 23 Aug Petworth Festival
  19 - 20 Jul Uckfield Art Trail
  20 Jul Katherine Jenkins performance, Haywards Heath
  20 Jul Barnstormers Comedy ClubShoreham
  20 Jul Jamie's Wish Family Fun Day, Littlehampton
  21 Jul Rare Breeds Show Chichester
  21 Jul Charity Car Show, Shoreham
  25 Jul Ebernoe Horn Fair, Ebernoe
  26 Jul Jailhouse Screamers, Arundel
  26 Jul Blunter Brothers, Sharpthorne
  27 - 28 Jul Rox, Bognor Regis
  30 Jul - 3 Aug Glorious Goodwood
  30 Jul - 4 Aug Chichester Challenge

Other places that are just fabulous for a day trip from Chequers: 

Amberley, at the foot of the South Downs Way:
Amberly Castle
The South Downs National Park providing fabulous Walks and Cycle Routes:
View of the South Downs from Chequers Hotel Pulborough
 Arundel with the Castle and Wetlands Centre, Petworth House and Park, Parham House - open last weekend for the annual Garden Show on Saturday and Sunday, Petworth with its quaint antique shops, The Way and Arun Canal Boat Trips, River Arun:
River Arun
Bignor and Fishbourne Roman Villas, Pulborough Brooks Bird Reserve and the beautiful beaches at Littlehampton and East and West Wittering - blue flag awarded as mentioned in our previous blog post.  Also Horsham, Chichester, Worthing and even Brighton!
North Laines, Brighton
 There really is a lot to do in the area and with the childrens holidays upon us, parents will be pleased to know its all great for both the little ones and adults alike!

Lissette x

Sunday, 9 June 2013

A day at the British seaside!

With the weather warming up, I thought it would be a good time to write about our lovely local beaches - especially as 2 of them have just won blue flag awards (http://www.blueflag.org/Menu/Criteria)  for the cleanest beaches in England - Littlehampton and West Wittering!
People often stop off at the hotel when going to or coming from these beaches - sit in the garden and enjoy morning coffee, afternoon tea, a light lunch or even supper!

I used to go to Littlehampton beach a lot when my daughter was little and spend hours with her collecting shells from the beautiful sandy beach, with the tide there going out a long way exposing a mile of sand...

Home to superb sandy beaches, a bustling marina, harbor and stunning contemporary architecture, Littlehampton on the Sussex coast is both the perfect place to enjoy a fun family day out.
This seaside town’s attractions include the famously unusual East Beach CafĂ© and the UK’s longest bench, as well as West Beach Local Nature Reserve – a site of Special Scientific Interest. For those seeking activity -enjoy sailing and fishing on the River Arun. 
West Sussex Beaches
Many of Littlehampton’s annual events take place on the seafront or around the harbour including the annual Waterfront Festival, Carnival and spectacular Bonfire and Fireworks event.

Down a pretty windy road from Littlehampton you come to Climping - a little secret really!

Climping Beach, West Sussex
Climping beach, as with many along the south coast, has pebbles at high tide. But at low tide, a huge expanse of fabulous sand is exposed, making it an ideal spot for a family day out. The Beach is a quieter area of coastline than its neighbours of Littlehampton and Bognor Regis and much of the area is now designated to scientific interest.

 A great place to base a coastal walk; you have pebble and grass banks at high tide, and compact sand to walk along at low tide. Walking to the East you have the dune eco-system whilst to the West you are backed by countryside and the many private beach estates (Elmer, Middleton-on-sea, Felpham) that line this stretch of Coast.
Climping beach, West Sussex
These also include the beautiful non-commercialised beaches of East and West Wittering, internationally recognised for their wild natural beauty and wildlife.With a wonderful stretch of open countryside , West Wittering is a favorite destination for a family day out, whether you chose to swim in the sandy tidal pools on the beach or relax away from the sand on the extensive areas of mown grass close to the beach which are perfect for picnics, barbeque's and games. The area is also famous among wind and and kite surfers thanks to the unique winds, tides and vast stretches of sandy beach!
West Wittering Beach
The seaside village of East Wittering is slightly bigger than its neighbour Braklesham, but they both share a magical location on the seafront of Braklesham Bay...

In fact, there are so many things to do, you’ll definitely want to stay for longer!  Why not book this year’s holiday or short break - stay at The Chequers Hotel and use it as a base for visiting other local attractions.http://mt1.googleapis.com/vt?lyrs=m@218132368&src=apiv3&hl=en-GB&x=1021&y=687&z=11&s=Galile&style=59,37%7Csmartmapshttp://mt0.googleapis.com/vt?lyrs=m@218000000&src=apiv3&hl=en-GB&x=1020&y=688&z=11&s=Gali&style=59,37%7Csmartmaps
A memoir from our trip to Climping Beach last weekend...
Happy exploring

Lissette x