Friday, June 17, 2011

The Halfway Bridge Inn & Woolbeding Gardens, West Sussex

Woolbeding Gardens, West Sussex
As we continue to celebrate brother-in-law Michael's 80th birthday, nine members of the family dined at The Halfway Bridge Inn and wandered through Woolbeding Gardens in West Sussex, "sitting halfway between the two historic market towns of Midhurst and Petworth, with a sky line dominated by the South Downs. Petworth, with it's famous country house, deer park and numerous antique shops and now established as the antique centre of southern England. Whilst Midhurst, voted by readers of Country life as the most pleasant town in England, is home to the Cowdray Estate, Cowdray ruins and international polo," according to the Inn's brochure passed around while waiting for our starters to be served.

Elizabeth and Michael - The Halfway Bridge Inn, West Sussex

If you click the link, you can open the menu and understand why we are all having such a difficult time selecting starters, the main course and afters. Wendy and Michael chose red and/or white wine for all. And of course there was plenty of ale, Doomsbar from Cornwall, for Peter.

The family wandering out of the Halfway Bridge Inn, West Sussex

A short car ride away, we had the opportunity to visit Woolbeding Gardens, newly opened in 2010. While the Village of Woolbeding was listed in the Doomsday Book of 1068AD, a home was recorded on the site in 1652 and the gardens of today were developed in the 1970's. Fortunately, we were the only guests at the gardens with not a bus filled with tourists in sight. 

Also fortunately for us, the rains held off and the weather was glorious as we made our way back down the lane to our cars. If you visit West Sussex, I highly recommend the gardens. While you may stride across the meadows, sit quietly in the Saxon church and meander through the vegetable plots at your own pace, you will need to make reservations in advance. 

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