“According to Hilaire Belloc, this remains the “oldest and most revered of all the prime inns of this world.” Steeped in history, this large, imposing building dates back to 1430. Not surprisingly stairs creak, corridors slant under low beams and there’s a real sense of cloak and dagger heritage within the oak panelled walls through which various dignitaries have passed including Admiral Nelson and Queen Elizabeth I. A “wig closet” in the sumptuous Queen’s Suite possibly stored the monarch’s russet up-do overnight. Mostly spacious rooms have carved four-poster beds and separate snugs. Here you will find proper hushed old school service; things get done without you noticing. There are various areas to relax in - leather armchairs by the bar, wicker chairs in the conservatory - but most tempting are the massage tables in the modern basement spa where there’s also a pool to swim off all the rich food.”
Written by Laura Campbell
“Why do people love staying in your hotel?
Guests love The Spread Eagle’s quintessentially English historic heritage which makes the hotel such a unique place to stay. The Spread Eagle is one the oldest coaching inns in England, dating back in parts to the 15th century. With oak panelled sitting rooms, exposed beams, open fires, four poster beds and, above all, friendly staff, it prides itself in being a real home away from home and the next best thing to having your own country escape.
What is there to do in the area?
Midhurst is a quaint county town and the gateway to a plethora of experiences all within a stone’s throw of the hotel. Guests can enjoy a stroll along the river, explore a Tudor ruin, and for those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors, walking and cycling on the South Downs, sailing at Chichester and the gardens at West Dean are popular options. Those looking for a bit more action can head to nearby Fontwell to watch the horse racing, watch the historic car and horse racing at Goodwood or spend the afternoon at the polo at Cowdray Park.
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
The Spread Eagle offers a full continental breakfast.
Do you offer other meals? And can you recommend good places to eat out locally?
The atmospheric candlelit restaurant with its inglenook fireplace serves lovingly cooked English food created by Head Chef Richard Cave Toye and Executive Head Chef Martin Hadden. Locally sourced from nearby farms and suppliers, guests can enjoy sparkling wine from Ridgeview, crab and lobster from Selsey, game from local estates including Cowdray, West Dean and Petworth and delicious lamb from the Goodwood Estate. The Lickfield Inn down the road offers a modern take on an independent British pub with an innovative menu that has made it a firm favourite amongst the locals.
Which are your most popular room types, and why?
The Queen's Suite, said to have accommodated Elizabeth I when she came this way in 1591 features an ancient and intriguing wig closet, possibly the last of its kind in a hotel in England. The White Room is entirely walled in fine Jacobean panelling and has a secret passage reputedly used by smugglers.
What facilities do you have for children and can you fit extra beds in your rooms ?
The Spread Eagle is a family-friendly hotel with a whole host of activities available for children during their stay including: a library of children’s story books, crayons and colouring-in, board games and an indoor swimming pool.
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
Just one hour from London, offering comfortable rooms, an award-winning restaurant and a state-of-the-art spa, The Spread Eagle is the perfect countryside retreat for those wanting to escape city life.”