' I want to stay here forever, Mummy', our parting words with Bailiffscourt! We don't usually get such a strong reaction but I'm guessing it had something to do with the indoor pool and floating 'sausages' provide for the younger guests to play with during children's swimming times.
We only stayed one night here but we made the most of it with two swims and two trips to the beach.
The nearest; deserted Climping Beach- being within walking distance in the grounds and also Littlehampton, just minutes down the road; we visited the iconic East Beach Cafe and flew the kite that the hotel had kindly provided for Alexander.
Just two hours from London, through the picturesque Surrey Hills, in the shadow of Arundel Castle and set in thirty acres of private parkland you will find Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa.
It's not called a historic hotel for nothing! With the appearance of an ancient medieval manor it has a colourful history.
Created only in 1927, owned by the Guiness family it was painstakingly built using architectural salvage from the 1400's onwards, including moving whole buildings where necessary.
The end results is an amazing medieval hotel with thirty-nine characterful rooms spread over the main building and outbuildings in the grounds including the Court, Coach House, Moat House and The Oaks.
Our room was in the main building. With a huge bright bathroom; walk-in shower and roll-top bath and in the bedroom a four poster bed, a seating area, walk-in cupboard and windows on two sides (courtyard and out to the stunning grounds).
The decor is pure medieval, something that I really loved. It almost felt themed but without the tackiness that can sometimes go alongside, likely because in fact the hotel isn't new at all.
All the usual luxuries are provided of course; Temple Spa toiletries, plus free wifi that actually worked - no mean feat in a building with walls as thick as my arm is long!
We also had a full working fireplace which looked so good that I wanted to light it despite it being 'summer!'. The hotel provided a z-bed for Alexander, which he loved - along with his own toiletries and there was ample space in our room for all of us.
The hotel has lots to offer families and there is something for everyone. From the extensive grounds to a stunning spa with both indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs. The Spa, one of the nicest that I have visited in a long time, is enough to bring visitors back time and time again. It's set in the gardens in a wooden building that fits seamlessly in with the surroundings and really is a tranquil place even on a busy Bank Holiday.
I was lucky enough to sample one of the many, many treatments, all of which looked appealing. This is a serious Spa so the offering is world-class. My particular treatment - Relaxing Siesta' - a shoulder, face and scalp massage; perfect for me being pregnant, was divine and the therapist, Emma, very accomplished. As any mother will attest, thirty minutes off is already good, but throw in a super-relaxing massage and it's bliss!
Although there is of course room service and tea that can be taken in on of the cosy lounges, meals are served in the very medieval Tapestry Restaurant. Under Head Chef Russell Williams, the food is modern English with a big focus on local produce. They offer not one but two children's menus; one for younger guests with simpler food and one for the older children with more sophisticated options. Although a 'fine dining' restaurant, service was friendly and warm and we felt very comfortable dining with our (well-behaved!) three-year old. Standouts from the dinner included Honey Glazed Duck Breast - beautifully pink with crispy skin and a butter-soft, perfectly cooked chateaubriand.
Breakfast included a well-stocked buffet; porridge, cold meats and cheeses ( I love cheese at breakfast, so nice to have the option), fresh fruits, stewed fruit, cereals, yogurt and baked goods. The cooked breakfast options included enormous waffles that Alexander hugely enjoyed whist we couldn't resist the Full English - so nice when using top quality produce.
After a good night's sleep and a hearty breakfast we spent the day nearby at the beach then visiting the bluebell woods on the Slindon Estate; a National Trust area just fifteen minutes away finished off with a lovely swim before heading off back to London, fully relaxed after just one night away.