Edwardian elegance with a twist

Sussex’s Monkey Tail Manor is the country manor house to end them all. The sweeping drive, classical Edwardian architecture, Corinthian columns and cocktail cabinets are a given. But so are a few twists. Like the plunge pool, hot tub and games room, and the permanent residents: the pygmy goats, the ponies and the micropigs.

Corinthian columns and cocktail cabinets

Looking for every element of an English country manor house to bring you all together? Sweeping drive? Tick. Classical Edwardian architecture? Tick. Secret garden? Tick. Paddocks, stables? Of course. Burr-walnut bar? Naturally. Master en-suite with rolltop bath? Oh yes. Monkey Tail Manor in the heart of Sussex does all this and more.

Set in five acres of lawn, paddock and woodland, Monkey Tail Manor sleeps 12 in five opulent bedrooms. It’s a huge slice of Edwardian opulence with a few modern twists. Dip into the heated plunge pool, simmer a while in the hot tub under the gazebo, chill in the summerhouse, meet the permanent residents.

Yes, kids will love pigs Patsy and Eddy, Ben, Jerry and Mr Whippy the goats, and ponies Starsky and Hutch. Oh, and the outdoor play area. You’ll simply love gazing at the Downs and vineyard from the tiered formal gardens, cooking in the Christian-style kitchen, warming your mitts around the firepit, and generally playing Lord and Lady from dawn to dusk.

From entering the electric gates to collapsing into four-poster beds at day’s end, Monkey Tail Manor offers a window onto another world. One bedecked with parterres and paddocks, Corinthian columns and cocktail cabinets, Rococo open fires and rolltops. Enjoy. You always knew you were meant to live like this.

Gardens and grounds

Lose yourself in five acres’ worth of paddock, woodland and lawn. Discover the secret garden complete with children’s two-storey playhouse, climbing frame with slide and swing. Let them burn more energy on the trampoline while you sneak out to the summerhouse.

Gaze out over the South Downs and vineyard. Sit out front in the sunshine with coffee and parasol. Follow the steps down to a lawn dotted with parterres and urns. Sink into the hot tub in the oak gazebo. Discover the Sundowner garden, a sun trap complete with heated sunken pool. Just add prosecco and pre-dinner nibbles.

Keep exploring to discover a woodland area with firepit, a yew tree tunnel, wishing well and an orchard. In the paddocks and stables, say hi to Starsky and Hutch, the miniature Shetland ponies, Patsy and Eddie the micropigs and Ben, Jerry, and Mr Whippy the pygmy goats.

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Living spaces

Interior detail here reads like an exclusive POA estate-agents’ listing. Living rooms come with vaulted ceilings, ornate cornicing and classic Edwardian architecture; the entrance hall leads to an original turned-oak staircase. Monkey Tail Manor is effortlessly elegant, yet it’s as homely as a hearty stew.

This house offers sociability as standard. Chop and chat with the chef from the kitchen sitting area or maybe just keep your eyes on the 44” TV with full Sky package. Wouldn’t do to disturb their concentration. Kids can escape to the snug/playroom with its TV, games area, mezzanine-level raised den and bookcases.

You’re likely to be found largely grazing in the drawing room, with its antique burr-walnut bar, bar stools for six, cocktail cabinet and drinks display. From here, you’ll pass through Corinthian columns to light the Jacobean fire and settle down on the sofas for Netflix, Amazon or Sky. Wi-Fi comes care of EE. Pass the port, Jeeves.

Cooking & Dining

Sociable spaces come baked-in here, especially in the kitchen/breakfast room/lounge area that’s a whopping 70 metres square. Monkey Tail Manor has no tolerance for lonely chefs. Keep them company in the Christian-style kitchen complete with granite work surfaces, raised granite breakfast bar, large sofa area and open fireplace.

Eat in the ornate dining room in front of the open fire beneath the chandelier. You’ll get a dozen around the table. Or dine out in the sunshine on the corner sofa and dining table. Prefer to put your feet up around the pool? Call in the experts from Dine Indulge or Let’s Cook for anything from a buffet to a banquet.

Get your takeaway tucker from The Golden Palace for kebabs, burgers, pizza and fish and chips, Villaggio for wood-fired pizza and Blue India for curries. Wash it down with local English fizz from Henning’s Wine Merchants. Or try an oh-so-English afternoon tea in the courtyard garden at Joanna’s Boutique Tearooms.

Book a table at the Bat and Ball Country Pub in Wisborough Green for 28-day dry-aged steak or slow-roasted pork belly. Try the Queen’s Head for baked camembert or beer-battered cod loin. Gatecrash the pizza and prosecco party at Monte Forte. Or tuck into Thai at Thirteen Church Street in Storrington.

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Not much here to get in the way of a good snooze, save the hoot of an owl or the snuffling of the pigs. Monkey Tail Manor sleeps up to twelve in five sumptuous bedrooms, four of which offer four-posters.

You’ve got Downs views from the master suite, measuring a mere 25 square metres. It comes with four-poster kingsize and huge bathroom complete with two basins, two showers, and two WCs in separate rooms within the bathroom. Bedroom two is similarly huge with a four-poster king, double sofabed and bathroom with bath and shower.

Bedroom three offers a four-poster double tester bed and bathroom with bath and separate shower, while bedroom four (The White Room) has a four-poster kingsize bed and shower room. Finally, bedroom five (The Cherub Room) provides a kingsize bed and shower room.

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Children welcome

Big holiday houses are wonderlands for kids. Five acres of lawn and woodland in which to run wild doesn’t hurt, either, especially when they come with toys and trinkets. The shining jewel here is the sunken plunge pool, heated to 27 degrees in summer. Take a dip, cool down, towel off, then it’s over to the playpark.

You’ll find the play equipment in the secret garden – yes, have fun finding it. Kids will lose hours on the two-storey playhouse, climbing frame with slide, and swing. If they’re not exhausted yet, encourage them onto the trampoline.

Over in the orchard, hunt for cob nuts or make dens in the shade of the trees. Then it’s off to the paddocks and stables to make friends with live-in residents Patsy and Eddie, the rescue micropigs, Starsky and Hutch, the miniature Shetland ponies, and of course the super cute pygmy goats – Ben, Jerry & Mr Whippy. Older kids can wrap up the day with stargazing from the hot tub or games and giggles around the firepit.

Inside, spaces are endless, offering scope for epic games of hide-and-seek, while a full Sky package, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video will fill the gaps in the action. You’ll find TVs in the drawing room and breakfast room. In the snug/playroom, a TV, PlayStation, board games, raised den and bookcases will also hit the spot.

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What people say

What people say

Monkey Tail Manor was an amazing house - had everything we needed for our weekend away. The kids particularly loved the animals! - Jane

History, wine and wild animals

Soak up the history at Arundel Castle and Brighton’s Royal Pavilion. Sip the wine at Nyetimber. Fish the lakes with Pulborough Angling Society. And perfect your swing at West Sussex Golf Club. Kids can head to Brighton for the i360 and the Sea Life Centre, to Chessington for a wild day out, or to West Wittering for bucket-and-spade fun.

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