Refined, contemporary cooking in a historical setting
At a glance
Open all year
The Rosette award for this establishment has been suspended due to a change of chef. Reassessment will take place in due course under the new chef. There are quite a few hotels in the UK with 'castle' in their names, but few can compete with Amberley when it comes to living up to expectations – it's a 900-year-old Norman fortress with twin-towered gatehouse and portcullis, and battlements built to rebuff invaders sweeping over the South Downs. Goodness, it's impressive. Within its hefty stone walls, the public rooms have kept to the spirit of the antiquity of the place, while adding a sense of contemporary luxury. Its main dining room, the Queen's Room, has a 12th-century barrel-vaulted ceiling, open fireplace, murals, muskets and tapestries, and tables laid for the business of fine dining. The kitchen meets 21st-century expectations, blending modern techniques and European tradition to produce striking, harmonious dishes. The wine list lives up to the setting, with a knowledgeable sommelier on hand to advise.