The Spread Eagle – Midhurst, West Sussex
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The Spread Eagle elegantly marries history, tradition and character with contemporary, spoiling treats. In the fine, old-fashioned, oak-beamed dining room, earthenware basins dangle from the ceiling as a tangible reminder that here puddings are still presented to guests every Christmas using a prized recipe that dates back decades, just as tradition dictates. Yet the same coaching inn also sports an on-trend gin bar, with more than 100 different brands and 12 different tonics, plus garnishes from the garden. While the hotel’s main building dates back to 1430 and is set in the middle of Midhurst’s historic market town, you will also find an impressive spa and indoor pool beneath a contemporary Scandinavian-style roof. Plus, there’s a lovely lounge bar and conservatory where you can drink and dine, a terrace for relaxing and reading the papers, and bedrooms that are both chic and traditional, with crisp bathrooms. One sought-after room, the Queen Suite, has its own wig closet, while another has panelled walls hiding a secret passage reputedly used by fleeing smugglers. Here, past and present live perfectly in-sync.
Doubles from £119
+44 (0)1730 816911; hshotels.co.uk