Almost 60 years to the day that Gravetye Manor opened its doors as a hotel, this stunning Grade I listed 16th century manor house reopens its Michelin-starred restaurant following a major redevelopment this month.
The new building seamlessly integrates one of Britain’s most historic gardens with Gravetye’s restaurant. Wall-to-ceiling frameless windows allow uninterrupted views over the flower gardens and beyond, bringing the outside in and creating an inspiring dining experience.
Under the direction of Lead Architect Sir Charles Knowles, in collaboration with interior designer Claire Nelson, the new modern décor reflects the palette of the gardens and creates an elegant and luxurious dining environment. Natural materials such as chocolate limestone, alabaster stone and reclaimed parquet oak flooring are complemented by crisp apple and olive-green velvet seating. Accent cushions in zesty limes, dusty rose pinks and fuchsia add pops of colour, whilst hand-blown pendant lighting is detailed with bronze and satin brass. A focal point of the restaurant is the new signature wall featuring botanically-inspired hand painted panels, designed by renowned French artist Claire Basler to perfectly compliment the Elizabethan manor walls.
As well as a front row seat to one of the country’s most iconic gardens, the new restaurant offers a sublime gastronomic experience courtesy of Head Chef, George Blogg. His signature Modern British menu features homegrown, seasonal produce from the Manor’s Victorian walled kitchen garden and, whilst the menu changes daily to make best use of the freshly available ingredients, diners can expect dishes such as slow cooked pheasant eggs with cured pork fat, roasted pink fir potato and charred spring onion; seared pointed cabbage with horseradish, nasturtium, buttermilk and brassica flowers; and Hampshire Chalk Stream trout with forced sea kale, trout roe, potato salad and sorrel yoghurt.
Gravetye’s award-winning wine list, curated by Head Sommelier Alexis Jamin, prioritises varietals from sustainable, organic and biodynamic estates alongside those from local producers including the Kent-based Chapel Down and Gusbourne estates and the Ridgeview vineyards in Sussex.
As one would expect, cocktails are botanically-inspired with Bar Manager Chris Menning’s bespoke creations featuring house-made floral and fruit-infused syrups and spirits that reflect the changing seasonal flavours of Gravetye’s gardens. Cocktails include the Summer (Honeycomb Doorly’s XO rum, Chase English elderflower, bee pollen syrup, lager), and Kitchen Garden (Del Maguay Vida mezcal, rocket, beetroot, lime, cynar).
Private Dinners, Weddings and Events
Atmospheric, elegant and considered, private dining is available for up to 30 guests, and is perfect for everything from family occasions to formal business dinners. Originally built for a bride over 400 years ago, Gravetye remains unmistakably romantic and is fully licensed for exclusive weddings for parties of up to 60 guests. During the summer, a bespoke oak gazebo in the garden is also available for up to 12 people and provides a quintessentially British picture-perfect setting for an al fresco afternoon tea.
Set over 35 acres and originally created by visionary gardener William Robinson, Gravetye’s gardens are overseen by Head Gardener, Tom Coward. In line with Robinson’s pioneering principal, Gravetye epitomises the wild garden, a landscape that celebrates nature, rather than controls it.
The Gardens include a 1.5-acre Victorian walled Kitchen Garden, constructed from local Sussex sandstone. Everything grown there can be found on the restaurant’s daily changing menus, which celebrate the fruits of the land and sea with fresh, delicate and seasonal flavours. Complete with a dedicated glass peach house, many of the methods used in the garden today mirror those used 100 years ago.
The 17 beautiful rooms fuse old world charm with modern-day luxury. Each is unique and impeccably furnished with beautifully restored antiques, original paintings and period features and adorned with freshly picked flowers from the garden. Owner Elizabeth Hosking, in collaboration with Designers Guild, has totally refurbished the large and luxurious garden-view Robinson Suite creating a stylish and tranquil space in a palette of soft greens, courtesy of the Fontainebleau elegant tulip bloom motif wallpaper and textured velvet soft furnishings.