Sussex Prairies

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A complimentary bottle of bubbly.

EXOTIC TALL GRASSES, rare breed animals and flowers as far as the eye can see are the big draw at Sussex Prairies B&B near the South Downs National Park, where a warm farmhouse welcome awaits.

‘Come find us in the gardens’ reads the sign on the front door that often greets guests arriving at Sussex Prairies in summertime. And – after a farmhouse-style welcome with home-baked cakes and tea – guests are invited to take a walk on the wild side through owners Paul and Pauline McBride’s magnificent six-acre prairie garden.

This horticultural pair have created a unique six-acre garden of some 600 different plants that give the illusion of a wild and flower-filled prairie. Inspired by Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, this haven of year-round colours and tall grasses is a treat at any time of year. Guest sculptors and artists hold shows here among the blooms, and guests are encouraged to take a picnic into the grounds in summer – and even pick some flowers.

Guests at Sussex Prairies B&B can also meet (and help to feed) the resident animals including Shetland sheep, rare breed pigs, roaming chickens and honey bees. Needless to say you can look forward to organic honey, golden-yoked eggs, home cured bacon and home-made yogurt for breakfast.

Red, Yellow and Blue

Each of the three airy bedrooms (Red, Blue and Yellow) is individually themed and designed with creature comforts in mind. We especially loved the Red room – bursting with personality and filled with eclectic touches from the McBrides' extensive overseas travels .

Overlooking the kitchen gardens, the Red bedroom features a contemporary four-poster bed and antique furniture alongside oriental rugs, coffee table art books and a tray of homemade biscuits and tea. A cosy sofa area makes a relaxing seating area to curl up in while the bathroom boasts a double-ended bath. There's no stinting on quality here – everything feels immaculate and daisy-fresh.

Slightly smaller is the Blue Bedroom, which has a teak kingsize bed, Egyptian tapestries and a quirky velvet loveseat from where you can gaze at the ancient oak woodlands around the farm.

Relax in an antique armchair overlooking the meadows where the Shetland sheep graze, in the twin-bedded Yellow Bedroom. Colourful trinkets from the McBride’s travels through Africa, Sri Lanka and Borneo add lively touches to this cosy room.  

While it helps to be green-fingered at this garden-style B&B (gardeners will be fascinated by all the varieties of shrubs and flowers), the warm welcome from Sussex Prairies' hospitable owners and the first-rate accommodation make this little farmhouse B&B a winner.

© Room for Romance

Sussex Prairies was reviewed for Room for Romance by Mairiona Cotter

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