The next day at Amberley castle, I woke up to surprisingly heavy rain! It’d been so sunny the day before and the rain was the last thing I’d expected.
Being British though, you really learn to roll with the punches when it comes to the weather and so we didn’t even skip and beat and decided to postpone plans to explore Amberley village and instead have a long and leisurely breakfast at the castle! (I kid you not, we were the last to leave the room for breakfast).
Breakfast here is also pretty amazing! You start off with a buffet for your cereals, fruits and generally cold thing and then order off the menu what you’d like.
The food is so good and it’s the first time in ages that I’ve actually enjoyed scrambled eggs (and salmon) at a hotel I’ve stayed in. I avoid getting scrambled eggs all the time – it tends to be the easiest yet ironically the worst food you can get in some hotels so I absolutely love it when it’s done perfectly like it was in Amberley Castle – it really is one of my ultimate breakfast tests.
After breakfast, I ended up doing pretty much nothing but just chilling, reading and listen to the calming sound of the rain outside until eventually a familiar rumbling in my tummy reminded me it was time for lunch.
For lunch, we headed to The Townhouse where we’d been to the day before (it came highly recommended by locals and even on Tripadvisor) but had arrived too late for lunch. Lessons learned, we made reservations and arrived early.
The easiest trick in the book to having great meals when you travel is to simply get information from people who have dined in the same place you plan on going to – whether that’s on a blog like ours, a local recommendation or even on review sites, point is you’ll do well across the board if you just put in a few minutes of research to make sure the place you plan on eating is is a great fit for your tastes and boy was the Townhouse a great fit!
The freshly baked homemade bread came out still warm and the starters – I went for scallops and Lloyd went for tomato soup came out a treat! Just perfect! (Soup also always seem to taste better when it pouring with rain outside).
For mains, we both went for the steak with an extra portion of asparagus. (Asparagus is one of those weird things I’ve just grown to really love – it all kicked off a taste in a farmers market many moons ago in Seattle and I’ve been pretty into it ever since then).
Dessert for me was a honeycomb cheesecake (deliciously delightful) and a baked chocolate mousse with vanilla ice cream for Lloyd!
After lunch, we ventured out to check out some of the local stores Lloyd has been obsessed with since the day before.
I initially reluctantly tagged along (I was so stuffed, all I wanted was a comfy chair… plus, Lloyd is waaaay more into finding succulent plants that I am) but I ended up getting distracted for ages with one of the shop owner’s dogs that seemed perpetually laid on its back totally knowing full well none of us could resist its cheeky charm and would end up spending far more time than I’d care to admit tickling its belly and talking to it. 😁 😆 Cute dogs are so crafty!
(*Sidebar, I’m a major dog person and at one point had 18 dogs! Granted 13 of those were puppies one of my dogs has just had but still counts though. 😀 )
Another thing I’d been obsessed with for the longest time is English wines. Wines just aren’t something we’re used to in the UK (beers, gins, whiskies – yes, just not so much so wines) so when I found out there were some really great English wines a few years back, a trip to an English vineyard was something I’d always wanted to do.
This trip has already started off with me ticking off things in England I’d always wanted to do so it made sense (especially given how far down South we were in England) that I would end up going to visit an English vineyard.
It may have been early spring here but the grass was green and the sun was shining, making for the perfect afternoon to get stuck in my first experience of English wines.
Turns out, the terrain in this part of England, along with the sheltering thanks to the Isle of Wight is fairly similar to the Champagne region in France and as a result, the same grapes that thrive in champagne do quite well here.
It’s also the sunniest region in the UK and sunshine leads to sweeter fruits which can grow to full maturity and have the right sugar content to ferment into fantastic wines – all of which we found out as we roamed the grounds.
There are also a handful of lodges here so if you want a weekend in British wine country (its so good here that even Taittinger – the French champagne house – have bought landed here and planted their first wines vines to make their own English wines), this is the perfect spot to head to.
After exploring the vineyards for a bit as part of our tour, we headed over to the main building to taste those delicious Tinwood wines.
Wines, sunshine, a cheese board with local honey, olives…etc – what a fantastic way to spend an afternoon!
We left that vineyard in merry spirits and so very happy to not only have finally been able to indulge in great English wines but also to have had such a brilliant time doing so.
By the time we left Tinwood, the sun was clearly out to stay and with that, we headed over to Amberley to properly check out the village.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect of Amberley village before visiting. Truth be told, I only really came here for the castle so you can imagine my delight when I found here some of the quaintest English homes I’ve come across on our travels through England.
We’re talking thatched roofs, homes draped in wisteria and cottages older than anybody anywhere in the world.
What was meant to be a quick walk through the village soon turned into a 2 hours window shopping for the perfect village home (the homes here are pretty pricey, by the way).
Eventually, we headed back to our perfect slice of Amberley – the amazing castle, to kick back in the sunshine before heading out for dinner.
Dinner, like lunch before, was at another place we’d attempted going to the day before but couldn’t due to the fact that it had finished serving for lunch.
That place was The Parsons Table and it was another one of those brilliant local recommendations that just delivered on all its promises.
From afar, The Parsons Table is unassuming but once you taste that very first bite, you spend the rest of the evening looking forward to every bite of every meal afterwards.
Lloyd went for the rabbit to start while I went for the octopus (told you I like octopus).
For the main meal, I went for the catch of the day (the cod) while Lloyd went for the duck.
Dessert was the unanimously the white chocolate cheesecake with rhubarb for both of us.
Another brilliant meal to end a fantastic yet brilliantly uncharacteristically laid back day in the English countryside.