Local produce at the Bar at Roffey Park Institute

Local produce at the Bar at Roffey Park Institute

February 7, 2023 2:21 pm

It may surprise you to learn that Sussex is now the capital of the UK sparkling Wine Industry, giving even the most well-known Champagnes a good run for their money. New wineries are regularly being established across the region and old existing ones are heavily investing in new technologies.

Two factors are at play here to establish the perfect vineyards, the temperate climate balanced by the proximity to the sea and golf stream. And the South Downs with its chalky soils and protective nature of its rolling hills. Many of the vineyards are established on south facing slopes to gently soak up the sun.

There are many great sparkling wines produced in Sussex – Ridgeview, Nyetimber, Raffiny and Tinwood to name just a few. But the hidden gem that we have on offer at Roffey Park is from the Bluebell Vineyard just north of Newick, running alongside the famous Bluebell Railway. Small and locally driven, the name derives from the Bluebell Woods that surround the vineyard. Since their first planting in 2005, they’ve perfected their wines, producing some stellar English still and sparkling wines. Using traditional methods of production and creating only vintage wines, we highly recommend the award winning Hindleap Rose.

Still wines, although less famous, are still presenting very well and the quality is increasing year on year. Again, Sussex leads the way in introducing more well-known grape varieties like Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot Noir to their blends to run alongside the more traditional Germanic varieties that have always featured in English wines.

Our recommendation here is to take a trip just over the border to Surrey, still only a few miles north of Roffey to sample the fabulous Flint Valley, the flagship wine of the UKs largest winery at Denbies, Dorking. A zesty, light, easy drinking wine yet full of flavour and as good drinking in the bar or with food.

Horsham has always been famous for its beer. King & Barnes led the way until its demise in the early 2000s. The two brewers Bill King and Andy Hepworth established their own independent breweries and it is the Hepworth Brewery Beers that we now have on offer. The Pullman best bitter and the fabulous IPA Charger is worth a taste and the organic lager Saxon are all available on draught. There are also a number of craft beers from around Sussex. Look out for the Long Blond from the Longman brewery in East Sussex!

Gins have become the in vogue tipple of choice, the more local the better and we are proud to offer some fabulous local brews, Harley House Brighton Blue starts of blue and turns pink as you pour in the tonic! Cabin Pressure gin is the closest from Horsham, but don’t miss the Generation 11 from Chailey, the Silent Pool from the Surrey Hills or Chilgrove from Mid Sussex.

Wherever you are from its always good to sample the local produce, most of the suppliers mentioned here are small artisan organisations lovingly producing their products to maintain the highest quality. Be sure to support them whilst you are with us.

If you have any further questions about our drinks selection please get in touch.

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