This beautiful hotel is proof positive that small hotels are infinitely lovelier than their big brothers. It stands at the end of a pretty village with an ancient church on one side and the South Downs Way passing on the other. You enter through a walled garden that leads up to a stone terrace, where wisteria hangs from the balcony and bamboo sways in the breeze, a lovely spot to linger in good weather. In winter you retreat to the sitting room, where wood floors, an open fire and painted panelling give a warm contemporary feel. Super bedrooms have cool colours, smart fabrics and robes in excellent bathrooms. Two open onto the veranda, the biggest at the back overlooks the churchyard, some have double-ended baths, others vast walk-in showers. The restaurant, recently refurbished, has a chic rustic feel. An open fire keeps things cosy on colder nights, a wall of glass opens onto a dining terrace in summer. Delicious food waits, perhaps locally smoked salmon, slow-braised venison, sticky toffee pudding with salted caramel ice cream. Walks start from the front door: Cuckmere Haven and Beachy Head wait.