We stayed at South Lodge on a short break for two days in early January. I upgraded to a "traditional" suite in the more modern half of the building which was constructed in the late 1990s in the same style as the original 1880s house. We had what would have been, had it not been for the foul weather, a wonderful view across the hotel grounds to the South Downs. The suite was, in fact, a spacious room, with a very large bathroom with walk-in shower, double basin and, has been mentioned in several reviews, a TV set in the wall above one end of the bath. The main TV in the bedroom offered most Sky channels, including premium channels such as Sky Sports.
The welcome from reception staff upon our arrival was both friendly and professional, and we found the same quality of service throughout the hotel. Breakfast in the Camellia Restaurant was very good. We ate dinner in the same restaurant on both nights, and the food was excellent. The chef in the Camellia is Steven Edwards, the winner of Master Chef - The Professionals in late 2013. The quality of the meals on both evenings was excellent. The hotel has another restaurant, the Michelin starred "The Pass", where we did not eat. Although the Camellia does not (yet) have a star, it cannot be long before Steven Edwards' reputation and cooking lead to more awards.
A feature of the hotel is the wine cellar which, among other things, contains a wine machine; this dispenses samples of eight reds and eight whites, in measures from 25ml to 125ml, using a pre-loaded cash card - it is great fun!
In all, I cannot fault South Lodge for quality of accommodation, service and food. During the two days we stayed the hotel was a little lacking in atmosphere, but I put that down to the weather and the general feeling of depression which is normal immediately after Christmas and New Year. We certainly intend staying again, perhaps during the rhododendron flowering season, as the hotel grounds have wonderful looking examples of the species.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for your comprehensive review of your time spent at South Lodge. It is a pleasure to learn of your super stay and in particular your high praise for the accommodation, service and food.
Steven Edwards and the Camellia team were thrilled to read your comments. Our menus have a number of nods to Stephen’s time on MasterChef, including his winning dishes from the final. The duck and broccoli dish is a favourite of mine.
Our grounds do come into their own in the spring. In particular, our rhododendron on the front lawn (reputedly the largest in the UK) is quite spectacular and, dependant on the length and severity of winter will flower in March. It would be a pleasure to see you then.
With very best wishes,
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.