Purr up the chestnut-lined drive through the 600-acre estate. You’re high above the South Downs at Eastlands, sleeping 16 in front of views that arc away across the soaring switchback towards the Sussex coast. The Eastlands panorama of giant blue skies and rolling green comes unblemished by housing.
Inside, be wowed by the grand and baronial entrance and the staircase, made for sweeping-statement entrances. Glide away. Inside the drawing room and TV room, baskets of logs sit ready to burn on the open fires. Snuggle up with a book or dip into the DVDs and get together for films. Wifi buzzes throughout.
There’s tennis in the garden, complete with pavilion equipped with kitchen and bathroom. If you’ve energy left, walk the land to wind up at The Crabtree or Half Moon gastro-pubs. Or pop to The Pass, a Michelin-starred restaurant just a mile away. Sleep deeply in dreamy beds to the sound of silence and serenity.
Beyond the gates, the chestnut-lined drive suggests something special; an exploration of the 600 acres of arable farmland and woodland confirms it. There’s a fruit orchard to wander, a pond for picnicking, and bridle paths to take you to gastropubs for a refreshing pint and a bite.
Eat al-fresco on the terrace with the views panning out across the downs. In the walled kitchen garden, kids will find a playhouse in child proportions called Toad Hall with woodburner and kitchen for playing mini-mums. Play croquet on the lawns or tennis on the court with kitchen-equipped pavilion for Robinson’s refreshments.
There’s croquet on the lawns, horses on the gallops, and a ha-ha for your amusement. Walk the grounds, breathe the pure air, take a drink on the terrace. At Eastlands, the serenity hangs in the air like a white summer cloud.
The main living room needs its own postcode. Squishy sofas sprawl in front of roaring flames and a snug rug. Settle back, pick a DVD and make it a movie night. Or just curl up with a book, a Bovril and a beaming smile. From the windows, and from the balcony of the adjoining flat, the downs roll forever under brilliant skies.
For more toe-warming togetherness, try the drawing room, and if viewing tastes clash, head to the TV room, with another heartwarming open fire. To switch off with a little serenity, there’s a sound system, and wifi floods the spaces for those who simply have to stay in the loop.
Kids will love the games room, with its board games and seating, table tennis and mini-kitchen. The brick playhouse in the garden, Toad Hall, offers even more fun and frolics, with tables, chairs, a blackboard and more mini-mum fun in the kiddies’ kitchen.
Spaces at Eastlands are plentiful, so you can get together for cards and games, or peel apart for quiet contemplation with a hot drink and a hardback.
Can’t cook, won’t cook? You can and you will here in the huge handmade country kitchen with Aga, two ovens, five-ring hob and table to seat ten. If that’s not enough, try the baronial dining room, with space for 16 under the chandeliers. Or eat al-fresco out on the terrace on the coal barbie in the clean air and the serene silence.
Celebrating something? Call up our chefs and let us cook for you. With two dishwashers, we’ll even whisk away the washing-up. Light the candles, butter the bread and pour the wine while we get to work.
If a stiff walk and a little award-winning gastro appeals, head out on foot across the estate to The Crabtree for seasonal food, organic wines and hearty real ales. A slightly shorter stroll gets you to The Half Moon Warningild, for classic British dining, such as barbary duck or seabass.
The car will take you to The Chequers at Slaugham or the Red Lion at Handcross. Nearby, a small galaxy of Michelin stars glints at you. Within one mile is The Pass at South Lodge Hotel, while Ockenden Manor Cuckfield and Tristan’s in Horsham are also well within your orbit.
With smaller bedrooms, Eastlands could probably accommodate 50. But rooms are expansive, bold and opulent. Light floods in through tall windows, heavy curtains pool slightly on thick carpet, and beds come with soft cotton and cosy duvets.
The main house sleeps 14 in six bedrooms, and the adjoining flat sleeps two more. There’ll be no battle over the beds; all rooms are fit for royalty, with five kingsize beds and four singles. Each one is en-suite, while six have baths and showers and two have baths.
Whichever room you choose, you’ll sleep like a woodland log to the sound of the wind in the trees and the occasional swish of a bat.