As lovely as local Herstmonceaux Castle and modelled on the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, Eastwood Observatory sits in Sussex’s High Weald. It’s a grand venue for 27 family and friends for relaxing and recharging, a place of English pomp sitting in oodles of lovely parkland. But the trinkets and toys make it truly spectacular.
You can wander the grounds with a gin looking serene and wistful in a floaty dress or a hunting jacket, or you can simply get stuck in. How about a few lengths of the 12-metre pool before breakfast? A couple of sets of tennis on the all-weather court? A giggly gathering in the six-person hot tub?
Indoors, the entertainment keeps on coming, with 65” TVs in both living room and cinema room. Shut out the world and lock yourself in to Sky, Netflix and Prime. Feed Facebook and the ‘Gram on the 20mbps broadband. Raid the library, bring your dogs to chase their tails around the ten acres, sleep in hotel-grade beds. Set your spirit free.
Bring your dogs to race around the ten acres, or bag the vineyard-wrapped grounds yourself to float around with a gin and tonic and a whimsical smile. Swim in the heated, 12-metre pool lit alluringly at night, or just sit up on the terrace and watch. Gather and giggle in the six-seater hot tub or wander the walled garden.
Bash a ball around the all-weather tennis court, potter down to the ponds for a picnic, play a little giant chess in the garden. Eat out on the terrace with meat on the coal barbecue from The Sussex Larder and wine from Sarah’s Cellars. Finish off with a game of giant chess.
Eastwood is grand and gracious and refurbed with relaxation in mind. Sink into squishy sofas in the living room that easily swallows 24 and tune into Sky, Amazon Prime and Netflix on the smart TV. Upload instantly to Insta on the 20mbps broadband. Spread out, make yourself at home, burn some logs, chew the fat.
Plenty of space here in the main living room for multigenerational partying but if you want to drop out and do your own thing, the sitting room with its 65” TV and sofa bed should do the job nicely. Escape for table football and air hockey in the games room, bag a book from the shelves or shut out the world with headphones and chill.
Eastwood offers plenty of opportunity for getting together over dinner. Big group of two dozen? No problem. The dining table seats 24. Cook for them on the range cooker, gas hob and electric oven. Stock up the two fridges and freezer with meat from Appleyard’s, veg from The Greener Grocer and fizz from Sarah’s Cellars.
Want to put your feet up? Ask us about bringing in a pro chef for a one-off celebration or a fully catered break. Pick from buffets, banquets, white-tie dinners or a hog roast or barbecue in the garden. Or make it a takeaway with an Indian from Eastern Promise, Sancho’s or Domino’s.
Eat out at Trinity of Battle, a child-friendly pub that’ll cater for your large group. Try The Brewer’s Arms for rump steaks and great pizza or the child- and dog-friendly Bull’s Head for wholetail scampi, Sussex steaks and ‘proper pies’. For lighter bites, Geo’s Coffee Shop can help out with paninis and baked treats.
For Italian, head to Bexhill to tackle linguine or lasagne at La Famiglia. Sample La Belle France at Sundial. Make it a meat-feast at Ribs and Co. Bangladeshi or Indian cuisine? Try Amira’s Kitchen. Or will it be tortellini gorgonzola or truffle ravioli at The Cottage Restaurant in Hailsham?
If you thought Eastwood wasn’t big enough already with its 12 bedrooms and 12 bathrooms, you can increase occupancy by three with two z-beds and a sofa bed. Beds here come with hotel-grade mattresses and toppers for a deeply delicious sleep.
All bedrooms except one offer kingsize beds, private bathing and heaps of sumptuous luxury. Bedroom one has an en-suite bathroom with bath, bedroom two provides a private bathroom with shower, while bedroom three and four give you en-suite bathrooms with showers.
Bedrooms five, six and seven all come with en-suite bathrooms with baths and bedroom eight has an en-suite bathroom with shower. Bedroom nine’s en-suite offers a bath. Bedroom ten offers a bunk bed and en-suite shower. Bedroom eleven has an en-suite shower. Bedroom twelve gives you a private bathroom with shower.
As lovely as Herstmonceaux Castle and the south-coast seaside might be, it’s likely that the main body of water that will hold your children’s attention will be the outdoor swimming pool, heated to 28 degrees and open from April to September. At 12 metres by five, it’s surely big enough for that 12-versus-12 water polo family face-off.
Around and about, you’ve got ten acres of parkland to explore with your family, friends and dog. At night, the pool lights up invitingly while you sit around on the terrace above, playing games and dodging bedtime. When you’re done, slide over to the six-seat hot tub to bubble, boil and be entertained by the ever-shifting heavens.
You don’t even need to bring your rackets and balls to outdo your dad on the all-weather tennis court: they’re provided. Get out there, then grip it and rip it. Complete the Observatory Olympics with giant chess on the terrace or indoors in the old nursery, now a games room complete with table football and air hockey.
For family film nights, you’ve two 65” TVs to choose from. The living room will swallow 24 easily on its squishy sofas and comes with 65” TV showing Sky, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Or pick the sitting-room snug to avoid the crowds and tap into alternative viewing.