If it seems a long haul through the winter why not try a little trip to Sussex to keep you going? My seaside and countryside picks can be enjoyed whatever the weather.
‘I do like to be beside the seaside’ – a fun weekend in Brighton.
If Brighton was good enough for the Prince Regent to let his hair down, it’s good enough for me.
And my friend Debbie’s ‘Strictly’ birthday party at Drakes Hotel proved a great setting for a little classic Brighton decadence.
Debbie and Alice in Alice & Co frocks at Drakes Hotel Brighton
Drakes Hotel is right on the seafront.
A glass of bubbly in my bubble bath with a view of the beach, the pier and the Brighton Wheel certainly rocked my boat and put me in the party mood.
We were entertained by the fabulous Sundaes trio, Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla.
OUTDOORS A windy walk on the beach will blow the cobwebs away.
INDOORS The Brighton Pavilion is always a winner. And if you’ve lost all your cash in the slot machines on the pier you can send a free e-postcard from their archive collection.
At the moment there’s a special exhibition of paintings of Brighton in the 1820s by Turner.
Including his watercolour ‘Brighthelmston, Sussex‘ which the Pavilion has just bought.
Enjoying fresh air and spa luxury in the Sussex Countryside
Heading inland the Ockendon Manor Hotel and Spa in Cuckfield looks at first glance to be the quintessential English country hotel. But step round the corner and there’s a striking new Spa house with an indoor/outdoor pool, spacious candle-lit lounging areas and six serene and contemporary bedrooms with private terraces.
When you’re done chillin’ totter round to the Michelin-starred restaurant in the old building and try the Cuckfield menu of local produce and some fine wines.
Some Alice & Co electric blue trousers with a top in wool crêpe
INDOORS Whoops! Forgot to order from Alice & Co for your little trip? Then pop into Edit in Church Street and trade in an old designer outfit for for something new. They also have some fab shoes and accessories.
OUTDOORS Visit the Kew Gardens seed bank at Wakehurst where they’re on a vital mission to preserve the world’s endangered plants.
Seed-inspired sculpture at Wakehurst
Or saddle up and hack in Ashdown Forest deep in AA Milne’s Pooh Bear country by the 100 Acre Wood and Christopher Robin’s House. The friendly Ashdown Forest Riding Centre has lessons, hacking and fields of the cute, pocket-sized horses they breed.
My horse Oscar had a few Eeyore tendencies.***
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Tho’ a Londonder I lived near, and went to school in Brighton, and love the town especially for a few days of alternative lifestyle. You went from crazy to sublime and your clothes reflect the latter! xxxS
A little of that sparkling Brighton light wouldn’t go amiss today- I don’t usually give up on a chance to go fabric hunting, but a combination of torrential rain and a tube strike has made me think an afternoon in with some old movies for ‘research’ will be my chosen option.