Spring Cottage Amberley review

Spring Cottage

by Kate Hardy |

Relax in the heart of the countryside

You can't underestimate the value of getting away from it for a few days. Life is pretty hectic for most people and there are lots of demands on your time so it's good to occasionally step off the treadmill and kick back and relax.

And that's precisely what Rustic Escapes prides itself on – offering 'rural experiences' where you can get back to the simpler things in life.

Fire-at-Amberley
A cosy roaring fire

We stayed at Spring Cottage in the adorable village of Amberley, the perfect spot to chill out. Situated right on the edge of the Amberley Wildbrooks Nature Reserve, it perfectly meets the idea of a traditional English village with its individual cottages with thatched roofs and rose-covered archways with cottage garden plants. The village boasts a fascinating 12th Century church of St Michael's, a Grade I listed building, a tea room housed in a former slaughterhouse (!) a pottery where you can browse and buy local wares, a shop-cum-post office and a village pub.

Lounge-at-Amberley
Kick back and relax

Spring Cottage is no 'cosy cottage' - it's a very spacious family home with has three double bedrooms, two with ensuites (and one with a rolltop bath), a downstairs shower room, fully equipped kitchen with serving hatch, large lounge with dining area and a double set of patio doors leading out to a terrace with a swing seat and patio furniture overlooking the nature reserve. There are further steps that lead down to another terrace where (oh so delightful) there's a large hot tub! The hallway doors lead to an enclosed courtyard with planted borders and seating - ideal for breakfast or catching the last rays of the evening sun (if you're lucky!)

Dining room at Amberley
Decadent dining

The lounge at Spring Cottage is perfect for relaxing after a day out. It has a beautiful chaise longue and large comfy armchairs with a log burner in the fireplace and a TV with Netflix. The furniture is very good quality and complements the property very well. There are deep pile carpets and rugs, cushions and cosy throws, central heating and extra plug-in radiators for the depths of winter and a wonderful grandfather clock. Throw in books, magazines and DVDs and you certainly won't be bored!

Kitchen at Amberley kitchen
Fully-equipped kitchen

So you don't feel too cut off, there is Wifi although we found it a little unpredictable but that could have been due to the stormy weather or the fact we were deep in the country!

Welcome-basket-at-Amberly
Welcome basket with produce

The kitchen is well-equipped with a range cooker, microwave, dishwasher and Smeg fridge freezer and everything to hand you could need. There is a very-welcome welcome hamper to greet you on arrival containing fresh local produce such as cheese, butter, bread, biscuits and jam. There's milk in the fridge, team and coffee and a tray of complementary spirits in the lounge.

Landing-at-Amberley

An open balustrade staircase, complete with feature stained glass window, leads to the upstairs which has two lovely bedrooms. The master has a huge ensuite with separate rain shower cubicle, bath, loo, heated towel rail and radiator. The bedroom features a wardrobe that wouldn't be out of place in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and complementary chest of drawers, all in keeping with the age of the property, a super-comfy sleigh bed and a Juliette balcony.

En-suite-at-Amberley
…and a huge ensuite bathroom

It's a very special moment when you wake up to the view from the master bedroom (and the lounge). We visited on a wild and wet, gusty autumn weekend but we still had far-reaching views out across Amberley Wildbrooks Nature Reserve and the South Downs. It was wonderful to wake up and see such beautiful scenery - it feels so relaxing, as if you're hundreds of miles from the pressures of life and the big cities (in fact Brighton is only 25miles away and Chichester is only 13).

Rustic Escapes' kitchen offers a larder and bar which is stocked with essentials and luxuries should you wish to indulge and there's an honesty box in which to pay for any items that are used, plus good-quality frozen ready-meals in the freezer if you feel you can't make your own!

Amberly-room
Plenty of storage in the main bedroom

This is not just a holiday cottage rental though. It's an experience, as Rustic Escapes offer the chance to enjoy local culture/horticulture, so you can immerse yourself fully in the area of your choice. They offer guides on what to do and where to go/what to see and use local experts and concierges to make your stay as enjoyable and rewarding as you like. They can tailor-make an escape for you and even accompany you if you prefer. You can, of course, just do your own thing!

We visited Amberley tearoom, the former village slaughterhouse, on the Saturday afternoon while the rain lashed down outside. It was very cosy, full of interesting little knick-knacks and, of course, an interesting history but best of all, the food was delicious. Homemade soup followed by a large slice of homemade cake was a very welcome relief from the rain. This is a little gem and was quite busy. Run by a mother and daughter, all the food is homemade and freshly cooked.

Sunday broke bright and fair (at last!) with autumn sunshine and a sharp wind. We strode out across the nature reserve (binoculars are provided in the lounge) for a brisk walk before heading back to take in the village itself and what a gorgeous village Amberley is. The church and churchyard are well worth visit and there's a Commonwealth War Grave in its grounds. The pottery is more like a workshop than a shop and has some lovely pieces for sale from small jugs to larger items, all locally made.

Returning to the cottage, we indulged in the wonderful hot tub on the patio. It was the perfect day for such a thing - cold, bright and sunny but we were toasty in the tub and were able to look out over the nature reserve. Perfect!

Amberly-Spring-Cottage
Now that’s a hot tub with a view!

A short drive from the cottage is the pretty town of Arundel, packed full of eateries of all descriptions, antique shops, clothes shops, a vintage record shop, as well as a cathedral church, a castle and a river.

Amberley Stores and Post office offers a convenient store to buy essentials and local fresh produce which can be also delivered to your door.

Essential info

Spring Cottage

Amberley

West Sussex

077830.84970

www.rusticescapes.com

There is a direct train service from Amberley to London and Gatwick (the train station is within easy walking distance from the cottage) and there are bus connections to local towns.

Should you wish, Rustic Escapes can accompany you daily on your visits to ensure you make the most of your stay. Speak to their reservations advisor for personalised concierge services, drop-off service, airport chauffeur collection and Additional Experiences.

Prices

From £80 per person per night (based on 4 people staying a week) guests can choose from several escapes which include some experiences or visits such as Gardens of Sussex or Houses and Castles of Sussex.

Fancy a rustic break abroad?

Partida de la Mar is a restored farmstead (alqueria) located in the huerta, a unique and important farming region just 5km from the centre of the historic city of Valencia. Surrounded by fields of artichokes and orchards of orange trees, guests can immerse themselves in this unique agricultural region and enjoy its rich culture and history and of course excellent food including paella which originated in Valencia. They also plan to open another property to escape to in Spring 2020 in a mountain village near Alicante and a finca farm in Ibiza in 2021.

See the website for more details

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