East Sussex Journals

Sampling Sparkling Wines along the Sussex Coast

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A May 2011 trip to East Sussex by sararevell

Ridgeview Wine Estate Photo, Ditchling Common, United Kingdom More Photos
Quote: Not many foreign visitors would suspect that the South of England is home to a burgeoning sparkling wine industry. Not only does East Sussex have some beautiful coastline and inland walks, it is also the perfect place to sample some Champagne alternatives.

Breaky Bottom Vineyards

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Attraction | "A Serious East Sussex Sparkle "

Breaky Bottom Vineyards Photo, Lewes, England
Quote:
"All wineries claim to be award-winning. Awards aren’t important. Come here, taste the wine and make up your own mind!" Peter Hall, Breaky Bottom winemaker, emphatically dismissed wine honours, although his 2006 Brut Cuvée garnered two medals in 2010. A necessary evil perhaps.A chilly breeze blew through his kitchen but failed to sway the low, sturdy rows of vines growing in the tilted field outside. Over the hill and out of our sight were the towering chalk cliffs at Peacehaven. At my feet, a silky svelte cat with markings of a lynx sank its canines into my raffia bag. I tried to extricate it, more out of concern for the cat’s health than the bag. The first cork wa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 1, 2011

Breaky Bottom Vineyards
South Downs
Lewes, East Sussex
01273 476 427

Ridgeview Wine Estate

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Attraction | "Sparkling Red, Rose and White at Ridgeview"

Ridgeview Wine Estate Photo, Ditchling Common, United Kingdom
Quote:
As one of the largest wine producers in the area, Ridgeview is one of the few places that don’t require visitors to book an appointment ahead of time to visit. However when we turned up, there was a large group in their tasting room and we were asked to wait for ten minutes while they finished up and cleared the room ready for other guests. This wasn’t a problem for us but worth mentioning as it may be advisable to call ahead just to check they don’t have similar reservations or other activities booked at the time you hope to visit. While waiting, we wandered around the edge of their vineyards, taking photos of the twiggy vines and their fast-growing leaves. Minute clusters of new berries ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 1, 2011

Ridgeview Wine Estate
Fragbarrow Lane
Ditchling Common, West Sussex
0845 345 7292

The Cuckmere River Photo, East Sussex, England
Quote:
We attempted a couple of walks during our stay, the first a lot more successful than the second. We started out on a trail from the village of Litlington and headed south through the beautiful Cuckmere Valley, following the river until we reached the Golden Galleon pub at Exceat Bridge near Seaford. It’s about a two mile walk (one way) and at a reasonable pace, should take about 40 minutes but there are a few distractions along the way which slowed us down. The first is the white horse, carved into the chalk on Hindover Hill. The current incarnation was cut into the hill in the 1920s. The 90ft horse has been ‘scoured’ a few times since, which is why it appears in such good condition. ...Read More

Wingrove House Brasserie

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Restaurant | "A Winning Dinner at the Wingrove"

Wingrove House Brasserie Photo, Alfriston, East Sussex
Quote:
Wingrove House at the end of Alfriston’s high street has the unusual appearance of being colonial in style. Whereas most other Sussex buildings and homes tend to be truly English, Wingrove House is something a little different and special. We called their restaurant late in the day on a Saturday, hoping to book a table for two but we were out of luck. They were fully booked. The manager did have a table on their veranda though. They had outdoor heating lamps but on a fairly chilly May evening, we were taking a gamble. We arrived about thirty minutes before our reservation time and ordered a bottle of Rioja wine to enjoy in the lounge. The lady who seemed to be the principal host for arrivi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 1, 2011

Wingrove House Brasserie
High Street
Alfriston, United Kingdom BN26 5TD
01323 870276

Plough & Harrow

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Restaurant | "The Life and Soul of Litlington"

Plough & Harrow Photo, Litlington, England
Quote:
The small, one-street village of Litlington is both peaceful and perhaps best known locally for its tearoom. We stopped in at the village pub for our first meal of the trip and found that where the village road appeared quiet, the Plough & Harrow was doing brisk business with many tables already occupied or reserved for the evening.The bar was unusually deep for an old pub, with room to swing a cat if required. We looked down the blackboard menu, which offered a wide range of main meals and local produce such as smoked Sussex ham with egg, chips and peas, rabbit pie and sausages from neighbouring Kent.I opted for the local lamb rump with gratin dauphinoise potatoes and seas...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 1, 2011

Plough & Harrow
The Street
Litlington, East Sussex BN26 5RE
01323 870632

Bill's Cafe, Restaurant and Store

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Restaurant | "A Lunchtime Fiesta"

Bill's Cafe, Restaurant and Store Photo, Lewes, England
Quote:
On the hunt for somewhere to have lunch in the tiny town of Lewes, we were automatically drawn to Bill’s. We had been perusing the Harveys Brewery shop directly opposite and it was virtually impossible to ignore the popularity of this restaurant / grocery. Firstly, the place is huge and spans two (possibly three) buildings. Secondly there was a queue, which is often both off-putting and encouraging. Fortunately for us we joined the line when it was relatively short and we were seated within five minutes. In that time we were given the opportunity to look over the menu, which made ordering fairly quick once we had a table. While the seating organization seemed pretty straightforward, the se...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 1, 2011

Bill's Cafe, Restaurant and Store
56 Cliffe High Street
Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2AN
01273 476918

About the Writer

sararevell

sararevell
London, United Kingdom