So back when I became the boring adult age of 22, where no birthday is ever worth the rave until you reach 30 (which is a terrifying concept), me and john spent a few nights in Ticehurst at The Bell ‘Apparently’.
We booked two nights in their lodge called ‘between the lines,’ each lodge is completely unique and has a different themed design. Between the lines was centred around literature and classics, the country life of sitting by a log fire playing old board games, (John is going to kill me for not being able to name an old fashioned game he played back in the dark ages when he was a child) and reading a romantic novel. The theme is evident throughout along with a cosy romantic vibe, the place was just immaculately beautiful and I can’t wait to book another trip. If you want to book a night or two at The Bell click here, you can book a room in the main hotel or a private lodge, like the one we stayed in.
On the first day, after 4 hours of praying that kitty (or Jon snow as I like to call it to piss john off) – the car by the way – don’t ask – didn’t break down (very ironic, but that’s for a different day) we spent the time drinking in their bar and retiring to chill out in the lodge. We started up the log fire and john nipped to the shop to get a bottle of whiskey whilst I ran a bath. Anyone who knows us will know that baths are like the number one on our list of luxuries and one of the reasons we ended up together (besides Craig David – again, don’t ask) and seen as john left his copper, roll top, mother-of-all-luxurious bathtubs in the world behind in Kings Heath this was the best bath experience and we were making the fucking most of it. Like parents who have escaped the children for a night, we enjoyed not having Luna cry every time we kiss, or wipe her dirty arse across the carpet, or sit on our heads whilst trying to watch a movie. I lay in the bath and john sat on the balcony beside it, smoking a cigar (Mostly johns part, sorry mom), drinking whiskey and chatting beside the log fire. (As well as fighting over who’s music to listen to as the lodge had built in speakers all around.) It was perfect.
When it started to get too chilly we ordered a Chinese to the lodge. I made john do the shame walk into the restaurant to ask for plates and cutlery and turns out beside the fact Ticehurst is the most aesthetically pleasing and beautiful, tiny country village, they also do the BEST chicken in black bean sauce dish I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting, (and in 22 years ive had a lot). BUT they didn’t do yuk sung so y’know, point down to the beautiful village we wanted to move to. The village was so ‘British,’ the kind of country village that is portrayed to the rest of the world as what England is actually like, amazing architecture, 70’s cars, farmers delivering eggs fresh in the morning, fish mongers weighing out their fresh fish and a butcher on every corner. Instead of the pouring rain, vomit clogged drains and left over Chicken Balti on the pavement with bottles of bud and empty plastic packets of cocaine that is Birmingham.
On the second day we took a trip to Hastings, where we took a basket of smoked cheese biscuits and selection of pates intending to eat it on the beach like a 1950’s couple, but instead we found a true crime museum and spent hours sitting in an electric chair, marvelling at preserved evidence from big crime scenes and learning how to make weapons out of plastic spoons. So again another perfect day. (More on Hastings another time).
That night we ate at The Bells Restaurant and it was like a Michelin star, they really pay attention to detail and the décor of the place is just incredible. Morning, Afternoon and evening they have a centrepiece filled with suitable foods. In the morning is a spread of continental goods, pastries, cereals, fruit, and in the evening is a huge meat joint ready to be carved surrounded with various tapas. The menu’s they offer are ever-changing with the seasons and in pure autumnal country fashion we shared guinea fowl, mushroom arrancini, beetroot soup, braised leg and butter poached breast. It was completely different to what I would usually pick, I’m more of a frutti de mare kinda gal but it was divine and I will definitely be ordering it again. As for breakfast, i’m sure judging by my Instagram it was obvious I was going to have the eggs benedict or royale (I can’t remember which is which – the one with the smoked salmon) as that is my go to brekkie and john being john went with the biggest breakfast he could find…every morning.
The hotel and lodges themselves are honestly phenomenal and well worth the money, the attention to detail is incredible, every document, tour guide, wine list and lodge guide was addressed personally to me, every day they served homemade cookies in bell jars and loose leaf tea of every single variation possible. The quirkiness of the lodge was so intricate I don’t think we even uncovered all of its magic and I cant wait to book again and try a different lodge out as every one has its own secret. Between the lines had a headboard made from novels and hand drawn images from notebooks. It also had a mezzanine floor with chaise lounges and crates full of records. The artwork throughout the hotel is all one off individual pieces with a story behind them and all the rooms boast their own poetry fitting with the ‘storytelling’ theme they have created. It was like the whole of Alice in Wonderland was compressed into a building.
I can’t really say anymore because i’d be here all day waffling on about how amazing this place is. So with The Bell’s motto “I will always love you, my friend” I bid you farewell.