Yuletide celebrations at Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club

By Natalie Blachford

Located In the heart of Ashdown Forest, Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club invites guests to celebrate the sparkling season at this majestic neo-Gothic property.

Celebrating 25 years as a hotel this year, Ashdown Park was built in the 1800s and was consecrated in 1927 by the Order of the Sisters of Notre Dame. The property was a teaching convent from 1919-1971 and its fabulous architecture, including the converted Chapel, provides a magical atmosphere for Christmas celebrations.

Arriving at the imposing 19th century hotel on Christmas Eve, guests can take some time exploring the forested areas, discovering misty lakes, and deer spotting in and around the grounds, and then make for the elegant lounge for a sumptuous afternoon tea with all the trimmings. The evening brings a Champagne and canapés reception, with the local choir singing a repertoire of classic Christmas carols. A candlelit dinner in the 2 AA-rosette Anderida restaurant follows, before midnight mass at the local church. Guests will be treated to warming hot toddies and mince pies on their return to the hotel.

Wake up on Christmas day at leisure with a hearty breakfast in bed or in the Anderida restaurant. Children will delight in a visit from Father Christmas and opening presents around the Christmas tree. A buffet lunch will be served in the Henry Clarke Suite with the soothing festive sounds of jazz, before the Queen’s speech is shown in the Drawing Room where tea and Christmas cake will be served. The evening begins again with Champagne and canapés before a traditional five-course Christmas dinner, and winds down with games in the Jacob Henniker Room.

Boxing day at Ashdown Park is a day to enjoy traditional English country pursuits, from clay pigeon shooting to archery in the vast estate. For those looking for a slower pace, the hotel’s health and fitness facilities will be available. The Richard Townley Suite welcomes guests to feast on a festive-inspired buffet lunch, before the General Manager’s Knowledge Quiz in the afternoon, whilst children can go treasure hunting in the grounds. Round up three days of festivities at the gala evening, including a delicious dinner, captivating casino games and live musical entertainment. After a hearty breakfast and one final ramble around the grounds the next day, head home feeling absolutely delighted that you haven’t had to wash up a pan or sweep the floor.

Experience the yuletide spirit from the moment you arrive until check out, from just £995pp for a three-night stay (24-27 December) and from £1120pp for a four-night stay (either 23-27 or 24-28 December), all based on two sharing, including all dining, hotel activities, use of health club, entertainment and country pursuits as specified in the hotel’s programme of activities.

New Year’s Eve at Ashdown Park is renowned as the most glittering affair, and this year will be no different with a choice of two celebrations, each with fantastic food and brilliant entertainment in beautiful settings. A black-tie gala event in Ashdown Park’s stunning converted Chapel (the Richard Towneley Suite), with a live band. Or, a dinner dance in the 2 AA-rosette Anderida Restaurant, with Champagne and canapés upon arrival, a five-course dinner and live music throughout the evening.

Ring in the New Year from £260pp in the Anderida Restaurant and from £269pp in the Richard Towneley Suite, both based on two sharing and including Champagne when the clock strikes 12 and an overnight stay, with breakfast the next day.

For more information and to book, call the team at Ashdown Park Hotel on 01342 824988, www.ashdownpark.com