In with the new: the Sussex summer starts here
Reinvention is a way of life in Sussex. From artists and performers to winemakers and foodpreneurs, you’ll find pioneers and visionaries everywhere you look.
So if you’re planning a Sussex visit this summer, where do you start looking? Answer: no need, we’ve done it for you.
With the new season bursting spectacularly to life, here’s our insider’s guide to some of the top new additions to the Sussex cultural landscape this summer. See you out there very soon – don’t forget the sunscreen…
The new neighbourhood restaurant in Lewes is the solo debut of Richard Falk, former head chef at the Dairy in London with a spell at The Ledbury on his CV.
The fayre is modern British cuisine from seasonal local ingredients. Get ready for dishes like Trenchmore flank, salsa verde and smoked bone marrow on toasted milk bread; warm salad of Namayasai beetroot, chickweed and black garlic; and charcuterie from Hove producer Rebel. Anyone else feeling hungry right now?
Visit the website to book.
Burnt Orange, Brighton
“Wood-fired flavours and well-made drinks” is the offer, and the track record of the man behind Burnt Orange gives us every reason to be excited. Razak Helalat has already invigorated the Brighton foodie scene with The Salt Room and The Coal Shed. His new city-centre venture, in a revamped 16th century coach house, promises sharing treats aplenty, larger plates cooked over open flame and tantalising cocktails. The vibe is late-night and laid-back.
Opens June. Visit the website to book.
Goat Ledge, St Leonards on Sea
Ok, Goat Ledge isn’t exactly new. This shoreline community cafe – complete with bookable beach huts – has been delighting locals for ages with its legendary fish baps. But it has recently expanded, meaning more people get to sample Goat Life and its smart seafood-inspired menu. Our tip: try the Classic Crispy Fish Bap and Spicy Katsu Fries.
Walk in or visit the website to book a beach hut.
Stopham Estate Pinot Blanc 2020
Stopham makes some of England’s most exciting still wines, as their bulging awards cabinet shows. Their beautifully balanced Pinot Blanc is arguably the pick of the bunch, so the release of the latest vintage is definitely worth a look. Juicy, fruity and so refreshing – the perfect summer tipple.
Visit Stopham’s online shop to buy.
Albourne Estate Limited Release ‘Barrel 24’ Chardonnay
2018 was a bumper vintage for Sussex wines. The long, hot summer took grapes to unprecedented ripeness levels and produced some stunning still wines. This is one of them – a limited edition white made in a hands-off style and matured in a single 500-litre barrel for 12 months. Only 600 hand-numbered bottles were made, so if you’re keen to try a gently oaked English Chardonnay, our advice is don’t hang around!
Visit Albourne’s online shop to buy.
Hidden Spring Bacchus Fumé 2020
Rounding out our trio of Sussex whites is an exciting curveball from new Sussex Modern partner Hidden Spring. Bacchus is widely talked about as the English answer to Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc but not many people are fermenting it in oak. We’re delighted that Hidden Spring are, because they’ve come up with a real winner here. Spicy, floral, fresh, creamy and moreish.
Visit Hidden Spring’s online shop to buy.
Seaside Modern: Art and Life on the Beach, Hastings Contemporary
With the coast calling us all this summer, Hastings Contemporary’s new exhibition couldn’t be more timely. It traces our love affair with the seaside back to the first half of the 20th century, when artists’ fascination with beach life began feeding into the development of Modern British Art.
Works by LS Lowry, Eileen Agar, Laura Knight and Paul Nash feature alongside ad posters and archive photos. The star of the show has to be Mackerel Sky (1938), the newly-unveiled Ravilious watercolour thought lost for over 80 years.
Until 31 Oct. Visit the website to book.
Masterpieces in Miniature: The 2021 Model Art Gallery, Pallant House
Speaking of found artworks, Pallant House’s original model gallery was lost for decades until the pint-sized pieces were rediscovered in a suitcase in 1997. A new model gallery was created last year and has been rejuvenated for 2021.
Over 80 miniature works are displayed in three doll-house sized art galleries. A unique chance to get up close with Henry Moore, Vanessa Bell, Sir Peter Blake, Rachel Whiteread, Damien Hirst, John Akomfrah, Tacita Dean, Julian Opie, Lubaina Himid and more.
Until Spring 2022. Visit the website to book.
Mariana Castillo Deball: Walking through the town I followed a pattern…, Towner
Mariana Castillo Deball’s epic public artwork explodes a local archaeological discovery out on to the streets of Eastbourne. As part of England’s Creative Coast, she’s created a two-hour walking trail tracing the outline of a woman’s profile. Along the way, followers encounter sculptures of objects buried with The Frankish Woman, whose ancient remains were found in a nearby Anglo-Saxon cemetery.
Until 12 Nov. Visit the website to download the map.
The Star, Alfriston
After painstaking renovation, the eagerly-awaited Sussex addition to The Polizzi Collection opens its doors this month. 30 bedrooms lie behind the 16th century exterior, each designed in Olga Polizzi’s inimitable style. In The Inn, head chef Tim Kensett is turning Sussex’s natural larder of local produce into simple, honest menus that change with the season.
Opens 14 June. Visit the website to book.
Glamping, Oastbrook Escape
Oastbrook Estate recently joined the Sussex Modern family and we’re thrilled to share the news that they’ve added boutique glamping to their quirky accommodation offer. (Have you seen the Hobbit House?!)
Five bell tents and two tipis overlook the estate’s vines, meaning you’re never far from a bottle of something perfectly chilled. Stay on a Saturday for a slice of Sussex samba – Oastbrook’s flamboyant winemaker America Brewer hosts weekly Brazilian tapas and pagode music events.
Visit the website to book.
THE PIG-in the South Downs
This one’s a little way off opening but it’s already filling up fast. And no wonder. THE PIG’s homegrown restaurant-with-rooms concept has taken the South of England by storm since the original opened in the New Forest a decade ago.
Complete with its own vineyard, THE PIG-in the South Downs will be the eighth of the litter when it opens in Madehurst near Arundel this September. Weekend stays are already gone until December, so get booking for a midweek autumn treat or a super stylish weekender to kickstart 2022.
Opens 6th September. Visit the website to book.
So there’s your summer starter. We could have packed in a whole lot more, but truthfully the best way to discover all the new delights of Sussex is to get out and about and start exploring.
Use our Route Planner to create your very own Sussex Modern trail and #StayYourWay. Don’t forget to tag us and share your Sussex adventures.
Image credits, top to bottom:
Fork Lewes, Hikaru Funnell Photography
Albourne Estate, Barrel 24 Chardonnay label
Tacita Dean, Disappearance at Sea (Model Modern Art Gallery), 2020
Bedroom at The Star, Alfriston (thepolizzicollection.com). Photographer: Paul Massey