SUSSEX MODERN PRESENTS:

A curated week of experiences celebrating the best of contemporary Sussex culture, 13–19 September.

Modern Sussex is all about creative inspiration and here’s your chance to be part of it. Working with our brilliant art, wine and landscape partners, we’ve lined up a week of special events and exclusive collaborations for you to see out the Sussex summer in style.

Take your pick from gastro treats, guided trails, behind-the-scenes tours and more… all set against the backdrop of the iconic Sussex countryside. 

Here’s the current line-up. Be sure to keep checking back as we’ll be adding more new experiences over the coming days. 

Monday 13 September

Towner Gallery 

Virtual tour of John Nash: The Landscape of Love and Solace

As Towner’s comprehensive John Nash retrospective comes to a close, join co-curator Andy Friend on IGTV for a live-streamed tour of the exhibition. Think of it as your very own virtual one-to-one with the orchestrator of this captivating showcase.

When: Midday

Where: IGTV

How much: Free

Get involved: follow @townergallery on Instagram

 

Rathfinny

Guided Trail Walk & Tasting

Rathfinny are putting on a special series of hour-long guided walks along their picturesque Vineyard Trail, culminating in a tutored wine tasting. It’s an exclusive chance to peek into preparations for this year’s harvest and sample some of Sussex’s flagship wines, all under the expert tutelage of a Rathfinny guide. 

When: 11am

Where: Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, East Sussex BN26 5TU

How much: £15pp

Get involved: book online

In the area

Seven Sisters Cliff Walk

Between Rathfinny and Towner lie the Seven Sisters, the soaring chalk cliffs that make up one of Sussex’s most iconic landscapes. While you’re in the area, why not spend a couple of hours taking in the clifftop views and peering down on the legendary Beachy Head lighthouse? Read more

rathfinny-sussexTuesday 14 September

Rathfinny

Guided Trail Walk & Tasting

Rathfinny are putting on a special series of hour-long guided walks along their picturesque Vineyard Trail, culminating in a tutored wine tasting. It’s an exclusive chance to peek into preparations for this year’s harvest and sample some of Sussex’s flagship wines. 

When: 11am

Where: Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, East Sussex BN26 5TU

How much: £15pp

Get involved: book online

In the area

The Long Man of Wilmington

Who is Britain’s tallest chalk hill figure and why is he there? No one knows for certain but if you’re heading to Rathfinny for the morning, you’d be remiss not to make the 3-mile trip to go and see the mysterious 235ft high Long Man carved into the steep slopes of Windover Hill. Read more

Wednesday 15 September

Chichester Festival Theatre

Exclusive Sussex Modern Theatre Tour

Some of the most famous faces in theatre have trodden the boards of Chichester Festival Theatre. This one-off hour-long tour will see you follow in the footsteps of Imelda Staunton, Ian McKellen, Omid Djalili and Penelope Keith as you explore one of the UK’s most striking and architecturally significant playhouses. 

When: 5.30pm

Where: Chichester Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 6AP

How much: £5pp

Get involved: book online

In the area

Kingley Vale Walk

No trip to Chichester is complete without a stroll around nearby Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve, home to 11 types of orchid and ancient yews believed to be the oldest living things in Britain. Read more

 

Wiston

Wine + Art exhibition

Wiston Estate are turning their gorgeous Wine Barn into an exhibition space showcasing local artist Julia White. Sip a glass of Sussex sparkling while viewing artworks inspired by the South Downs and pre-order a picnic if you fancy staying on to enjoy the vineyards. Wiston Brand Ambassador Kirsty Goring will be on hand all day to chat about the wines. 

When: 12pm-7pm

Where: Wiston Estate, North Farm, Washington, West Sussex RH20 4BB

How much: £10pp incl. a glass of Wiston Brut NV or Rosé NV

Get involved: book online

 

Rathfinny

Guided Trail Walk & Tasting

Rathfinny are putting on a special series of hour-long guided walks along their picturesque Vineyard Trail, culminating in a tutored wine tasting. It’s an exclusive chance to peek into preparations for this year’s harvest and sample some of Sussex’s flagship wines. 

When: 11am

Where: Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, East Sussex BN26 5TU

How much: £15pp

Get involved: book online

 

**NEW ADDITION**

Bluebell Vineyard Estate

Food & Wine Pairing Evening

Bluebell are putting on a gastro treat in their gleaming new events space, overlooking the vines in this devastatingly beautiful nook of the Ashdown Forest. The team has expertly selected seasonal canapés to accompany all six of their award-winning Hindleap sparkling wines. Exhibited works by local artist Lisa Bagot complete the rather glorious picture.

When: Evening

Where: Bluebell Vineyard Estates, Glenmore Farm, Slider’s Lane, Furner’s Green, Uckfield TN22 3RU

How much: £55pp

Get involved: book online

Thursday 16 September

Stopham Estate

Sussex Wine Dinner 

Sussex still wine specialists Stopham have selected wines for a one-off hyperlocal dinner menu at Isaac At in Brighton – the UK’s longest-running restaurant serving only English wines. In gastro terms, it doesn’t get more Sussex than this. Part of the Bite Sussex Autumn food and drink festival. 

When: 6pm and 8.30pm sittings

Where: Isaac At, 2 Gloucester Street, Brighton BN1 4EW

How much: £45 for 3 courses + cheeseboard incl. Matched drinks

Get involved: book online

 

Depot

Sensing Through Scent (talk)

Lewes parfumier Nancy Meiland has one of the best noses in the business. In this fascinating talk at Depot cinema, she charts where perfume has come from and where it’s heading, as well as revealing tips on improving your own sense of smell. Stay on after the talk for the chance of a one-to-one fragrance consultation.

When: 7.30pm

Where: Depot, Pinwell Road Lewes BN7 2JS

How much: £11 incl. drink on arrival

Get involved: book online

In the area

Malling Down Nature Reserve

Lewes is situated in the South Down National Park, so whichever direction you take out of town, you’re in spectacular countryside in no time. Get some of the best views in Sussex, across the Downs to the south coast, from Malling Down Nature Reserve, an easy walk from the eastern edge of the town. Read more

 

Rathfinny

Guided Trail Walk & Tasting

Rathfinny are putting on a special series of hour-long guided walks along their picturesque Vineyard Trail, culminating in a tutored wine tasting. It’s an exclusive chance to peek into preparations for this year’s harvest and sample some of Sussex’s flagship wines. 

When: 11am

Where: Rathfinny Wine Estate, Alfriston, East Sussex BN26 5TU

How much: £15pp

Get involved: book online

 

Ridgeview

Sussex Modern platter in Ridgeview Wine Garden

Through the week, Ridgeview are laying on a sumptuous Sussex Modern sharing platter, complete with two glasses of their signature sparkling Cavendish NV. You’d be hard pushed to find a more idyllic dining spot than the new Ridgeview Wine Garden, among the vines with the South Downs beyond.

When: 12pm-6pm

Where: Ridgeview Wine Estate, Fragbarrow Lane, ​​Ditchling Common BN6 8TP

How much: £30

Get involved: book a table online

 

Wiston

Wine + Art exhibition

Wiston Estate are turning their gorgeous Wine Barn into an exhibition space showcasing local artist Julia White. Sip a glass of Sussex sparkling while viewing artworks inspired by the South Downs and pre-order a picnic if you fancy staying on to enjoy the vineyards. Wiston Brand Ambassador Kirsty Goring will be on hand all day to chat about the wines. 

When: 12pm-7pm

Where: Wiston Estate Wine Barn

How much: £10pp incl. a glass of Wiston Brut NV or Rosé NV

Get involved: book tickets

oxney-buildings

Friday 17 September

Oxney Organic Estate

Meet the owner, tour the vineyard, taste the wines

Organic winegrowing is still in its infancy in the UK and Oxney is arguably our first superstar organic producer. So the opportunity to spend 90 minutes with owner Kristin Syltevik, learning about the county’s largest organic wine estate and being guided through a tasting of Oxney wines, is one not to be missed.

When: 6pm

Where: Oxney Organic Estate, Hobbs Lane, Beckley, Rye, East Sussex TN31 6TU

How much: £25pp incl. tasting of the Oxney Classic range

Get involved: book online

In the area

A walk in the High Weald 

Oxney sits in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, one of England’s most diverse collections of nature reserves. This ancient landscape of rolling hills studded with sandstone outcrops and a centuries-old agricultural heritage is a national treasure and well worth exploring on foot. Read more 

 

Ridgeview

Sussex Modern platter in Ridgeview Wine Garden

Through the week, Ridgeview are laying on a sumptuous Sussex Modern sharing platter, complete with two glasses of their signature sparkling Cavendish NV. You’d be hard pushed to find a more idyllic dining spot than the new Ridgeview Wine Garden, among the vines with the South Downs beyond.

When: 12pm-6pm

Where: Ridgeview Wine Estate, Fragbarrow Lane, ​​Ditchling Common BN6 8TP

How much: £30

Get involved: book a table online

Charleston-Threshing-Barn

Saturday 18 September

**SOLD OUT**

Caccia & Tails x Bolney Wine Estate @ Charleston

The Sussex Supper Club

A memorable evening of food and wine awaits at an intimate supper club hosted at Charleston’s Threshing Barn (and we mean intimate – there are only 20 seats available, so don’t wait to book). Sussex wine legends Bolney have teamed up with local New York-Italian street-food superstars Caccia & Tails to present a seasonal five-course menu, complete with immaculate wine pairings. Wine expert and Bolney Brand Ambassador Helen Chesshire will be on hand to talk you through what’s in your glass.

When: 7pm

Where: Threshing Barn, Charleston, Firle, West Firle, Lewes BN8 6LL

How much: £75

Get involved: book tickets

 

Albourne Estate

LAST CHANCE: Gourmet vineyard picnics

We’re delighted that Albourne have decided to extend picnic season in the vineyard by a week. That means one last al fresco dining hurrah in a stunning vineyard setting. Pick up your basket of gourmet Sussex treats from the Tasting Room then head out to find a spot among the vines. We can’t guarantee an Indian summer but Albourne does have indoor dining space when the Sussex sun fails to shine.

When: 12-3pm

Where: Albourne Farm, Shaves Wood Lane, Albourne, West Sussex, BN6 9DX

How much: £40 for a picnic for two, vegan option available

Get involved: Order your picnic

 

**NEW ADDITION**

Bluebell Vineyard Estates

Vertical Tasting Evening

In this intimate tasting event, head winemaker Kevin Sutherland will guide you through consecutive vintages of Bluebell’s Hindleap Rosé from 2009-2016. It’s a rare chance to discover for yourself the magical effects of time and vintage on wines, over canapés, in the gorgeous setting of Bluebell’s new events space.

When: 7pm

Where: Bluebell Vineyard Estates, Glenmore Farm, Slider’s Lane, Furner’s Green, Uckfield TN22 3RU

How much: £75pp

Get involved: book online

 

Oastbrook Estate

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: 10% off at the cellar door

There’s even more reason to visit Oastbrook this weekend. You’ll get owner America Brewer’s trademark mix of fun and information on the tour and tasting, complete with food platter. But to celebrate SUSSEX MODERN PRESENTS: Oastbrook are also offering 10% off all wines bought on site on Sat 18 and Sun 19 Sept. We’ll drink to that.

When: 2-4pm

Where: Oastbrook Estate, Park Farm Oast, Junction Rd, Bodiam, Robertsbridge TN32 5XA

How much: £30pp for tour & tasting

Get involved: book online

 

Ridgeview

Sussex Modern platter in Ridgeview Wine Garden

Through the week, Ridgeview are laying on a sumptuous Sussex Modern sharing platter, complete with two glasses of their signature sparkling Cavendish NV. You’d be hard pushed to find a more idyllic dining spot than the new Ridgeview Wine Garden, among the vines with the South Downs beyond.

When: 12pm-6pm

Where: Ridgeview Wine Estate, Fragbarrow Lane, ​​Ditchling Common BN6 8TP

How much: £30

Get involved: book a table

In the area

Ditchling Common

A stone’s throw from Ridgeview are the tranquil woodlands, lakes, grassy banks and grammable views of Ditchling Common. There’s a nature trail on hand to guide you through the best of this gorgeous little corner of the South Downs. Read more

English still white wine tasting at Albourne EstateSunday 19 September

Stopham Estate | Bolney Wine Estate | Wiston Estate

Sussex Wine & Spirits Festival

Our week of Sussex treats finishes up in suitably celebratory fashion. Sussex Modern producers Stopham, Wiston and Bolney will all be in Brighton for the day, pouring their award-winning wines at a ticketed tasting showcase of the best in Sussex tipples. Part of the Bite Sussex Autumn food and drink festival.

When: 12pm-2pm | 2.30pm-4.30pm

Where: My Brighton hotel, 17 Jubilee Street, Brighton BN1 1GE 

How much: £10 + £1 Eventbrite booking fee (incl. welcome drink + complimentary tastings)

Get involved: book a ticket 

In the area

Devil’s Dyke

Hop on the Breeze-up-to-the-Downs bus from Brighton and a few minutes later you’ll find yourself at a legendary South Downs spot. The breathtaking Dyke valley is the longest, deepest and widest ‘dry valley’ in the UK – a popular walking spot for locals and Brighton’s best-kept scenic secret. Read more

 

Oastbrook Estate

EXCLUSIVE OFFER: 10% off at the cellar door

There’s even more reason to visit Oastbrook over this weekend. You’ll get owner America Brewer’s trademark mix of fun and information on the tour and tasting, complete with food platter. But to celebrate SUSSEX MODERN PRESENTS: Oastbrook are also offering 10% off all wines bought on site on Sat 18 and Sun 19 Sept. We’ll drink to that.

When: 2-4pm

Where: Oastbrook Estate, Park Farm Oast, Junction Rd, Bodiam, Robertsbridge TN32 5XA

How much: £30pp for tour & tasting

Get involved: book online

 

Albourne Estate

LAST CHANCE: Gourmet vineyard picnics

We’re delighted that Albourne have decided to extend picnic season in the vineyard by a week. That means one last al fresco dining hurrah in a stunning vineyard setting. Pick up your basket of gourmet Sussex treats from the Tasting Room then head out to find a spot among the vines. We can’t guarantee an Indian summer but Albourne does have indoor dining space when the Sussex sun fails to shine.

When: 12-3pm

Where: Albourne Farm, Shaves Wood Lane, Albourne, West Sussex, BN6 9DX

How much: £40 for a picnic for two, vegan option available

Get involved: order your picnic

 

Ridgeview

Sussex Modern platter in Ridgeview Wine Garden

Through the week, Ridgeview are laying on a sumptuous Sussex Modern sharing platter, complete with two glasses of their signature sparkling Cavendish NV. You’d be hard pushed to find a more idyllic dining spot than the new Ridgeview Wine Garden, among the vines with the South Downs beyond.

When: 12pm-6pm

Where: Ridgeview Wine Estate, Fragbarrow Lane, ​​Ditchling Common BN6 8TP

How much: £30

Get involved: book a table

What a week! And don’t forget we’re still adding to the line-up all the time. 

You can keep up with the latest SUSSEX MODERN PRESENTS: experiences by following us on Twitter and Instagram

 

Image credits, top to bottom:
John Nash, The Rainstorm, 1914, watercolour on paper. Courtesy of Private Collection
© Rathfinny / Vivienne Blakey
Chichester Festival Theatre © Philip Vile
Wiston Estate Wine Bar
Oxney Estate © GoneWild
Ridgeview Wine Garden
Stopham Vineyard

 

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