Thursday, 14 March 2019

5 hotels for spring flowers in South East England

Montagu Arms Hotel

Shake off winter with a stay at one of these five hotels that really start to flourish come spring. They each offer an uplifting display of springtime flowers alongside the elements the Good Hotel Guide champions as the real key ingredients of a memorable stay: character, good food and an outstanding welcome.

Whether you go dotty for daffodils or weak at the knees for wisteria, you’ll find a hotel in south east England to put a spring in your step this season.

Gravetye Manor

1. Gravetye Manor, Sussex

Every aspect of this recently spruced-up Elizabethan manor house is remarkable, but the springtime gardens deserve a special mention. Considered among the most important historical gardens in England, in spring the orchards cloud with blossom and the meadows shimmer through a rainbow of flora; March daffodils and sky blue Scilla give way to April’s wild tulips followed by a Pollock-esque display of native wild flowers in May. Fortunately, the restaurant, which hosts Michelin-starred chef George Blogg’s exquisite dishes (orchard and kitchen garden produce feature heavily) has floor-to-ceiling glass walls that open on to a garden patio so you can continue to feast your eyes on the springtime display – until you slip into slumber on a four-poster bed in your cosy bedroom. 

Cliveden House lunch

2. Cliveden House, Berkshire

Set amid magnificent National Trust grounds that run down to the River Thames, this luxury hotel has a racy past, both aristocratic and political. The sublime hotel, in a 17th-century stately home, is surrounded by exquisite National Trust gardens. New for 2019 is The Gilded Gardens of Cliveden featuring hundreds of thousands of daffodils – including 57 new varieties planted for this year – cascading from the Sounding Chamber, whose glimmering gates have been newly re-gilded with 23¾ carat gold leaf. (There’s a £10 charge for guests to visit the National Trust gardens; free for NT members.) For extra springtime vibes, stay in Spring Cottage (the name arises from a waterier kind of spring, but never mind!).

3. Montagu Arms Hotel, Hampshire 

While trusted Guide readers describe the Montagu Arms Hotel’s own gardens as ‘most attractive’, it’s nearby Exbury Gardens that really make a splash in spring. The garden’s daffodil meadow flutters down to the Beaulieu River, while the woodland puts on an outrageous show of colour with large-leafed rhododendrons, magnolias, azaleas and wisteria. Back at the Montagu Arms, make the most of the springtime weather in the garden’s comfy sitting-out areas, dine in the restaurant – it uses produce from the hotel’s organic kitchen garden – and sleep it off in a four-poster or half-tester bed in one of the characterful bedrooms. Montagu Arms’ Spring Indulgence Break Special Offer should lend some extra sparkle to the season, too! 

Hartwell House

4. Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire 

As you might expect for a Jacobean mansion that was once the palatial refuge of the exiled Louis XVIII, Hartwell House is fit for a king – inside and out. Public rooms are filled with antiques, oil paintings and flowers, while suites are lavish and bedrooms spacious, supplied with freshly baked biscuits. The 90-acre grounds, like the house, are maintained by Historic House Hotels on behalf of the National Trust in high style. Don’t miss the spring garden, planted with 10,000 daffodils; the sight and scent of the orchard’s blossoming trees is balm for winter-weary souls, too.

The Milk House

5. The Milk House, Kent 

It was tough to choose only one springtime display in Kent, the Garden of England, but The Milk House just nudged out the competition. This pub-with-rooms has a dairy theme and creamy palette that feel especially fresh in spring, with flowers in milk pails and a sunny terrace that’s starting to come into seasonal use. The kitchen’s creative, modern plates use fresh seasonal produce sourced from a 20-mile radius and are just the thing to refuel on after the 20-minute walk from nearby Sissinghurst Castle Garden, one of the most famous gardens in England. Work up even more of an appetite with a stroll along Sissinghurst’s Lime Walk, which bursts into colour for four weeks every spring with tulips, hyacinths and fritillaries.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

New Authors Added to the Chiddingstone Literary Festival Line-up

Following the huge success of last year’s events and the increasing popularity of Chiddingstone Castle’s Literary Festival, the organisers are expanding the 2019 programme from three to FOUR days. The Festival will take place over the first Bank Holiday in May, bringing yet more wonderful author events and entertainment to West Kent, for both adults and children. The four days of talks, performances and workshops are set in the historic house and grounds and have been carefully curated to ensure there is something for everyone of all ages and interests.

• Saturday 4th May – Adult programme day 1
• Saturday 4th May – Festival Drinks Party at Stonewall Park
• Sunday 5th May – Adult programme day 2
• Bank Holiday Monday 6th May – Family Day
• Tuesday 7th May – Schools Day

This is the Festival’s most ambitious programme yet, spilling over with riches and diversity, subjects this year include: true crime at the Old Bailey, powerful women’s poetry, new insight on Henry VIII, soldiers’ stories from World War II, terrorism in Africa, cutting edge forensic science, 12 months of applied self-help books, cookery from home and abroad, adventures in wine, 300 years of British Prime Ministers, revealing memoirs, thrilling new fiction, the origins and future of humanity, letters between mothers and sons, the inside track on Brexit and the current political turmoil, television personalities, and much, much more.

Adult Programme:

A lifestyle strand features some familiar faces from television; Giles and Mary from Gogglebox, wine expert Oz Clarke and the queen of Middle-Eastern cookery, Sabrina Ghayour. To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day Giles Milton will shed new light on the day’s events through the tales of survivors from all sides and TV historian Tracy Borman will expose the secrets behind the Tudor throne; the men who surrounded, influenced and sometimes plagued Henry VIII.

Fiction writers include bestselling author Joanne Harris who will divulge the inspiration behind her compelling new Chocolat novel, The Strawberry Thief, published 20 years after the original bestseller. Novelist Emma Darwin will reveal her struggle with her Darwin-Wedgewood heritage and her identity as a writer in This Is Not A Book About Charles Darwin, and in a new feature the Debut Novelists’ Panel features Elizabeth Macneal, Harriet Tyce and Richard Lumsden; all fresh new voices discussing their road to publication.

BBC Radio 4 scientist Dr Adam Rutherford will join Vybarr Cregan-Reid to consider the complexity of human evolution and what our future holds in this age of technology. Marianne Power will discuss her quest to find out if self-help books really can change her life with Jessica Pan who spent a year forcing her introvert self to become more extrovert – both with funny and moving consequences. At the age of 11, Tom Gregory became the youngest person ever to swim the Channel, he will tell his remarkable story of endurance, hardship and record-breaking triumph. Writer, journalist and widower of Margaret Forster, Hunter Davies now in his 80s, will explain how to live a long life and really enjoy it.

ITN’s Channel 5 news editor Andy Bell will be in conversation with the Guardian’s parliamentary sketch writer John Crace, author of I, Maybot about life after Brexit. The BBC’s Africa Editor Mary Harper will discuss her new book on Al Shabaab, one of the century's most successful violent jihadist movements with Edward Paice, Director of Africa Research Institute. Historian and political commentator, Sir Anthony Seldon will offer the inside track on the last 300 years of British Prime Ministers.

A fascinating insight into true crime is offered by forensic scientist Angela Gallop, talking to barrister Thomas Grant, about how she has solved many high-profile murders, and his history of the most sensational criminal dramas at the Old Bailey. Festival favourite Anna Pasternak returns with her new, surprising look at Wallis Simpson, drawing comparisons with divorced American Megan Markle. Local author David Lough and Donald Sturrock will be discussing the insights and intimacies contained in letters sent between two mothers and their famous sons; Winston Churchill and Roald Dahl.

Acclaimed Scottish Poet Laureate (Makar) Jackie Kay will talk to BBC Poetry Editor Emma Harding about her life and work, and Ana Sampson will discuss her new anthology of brave, bold and beautiful poems by women. Emma will also be hosting a new Poetry workshop for adults. Additional workshops include Creative Writing for Wellbeing and How To Get Published with author and poet Sarah Salway, and more Life Drawing classes from Eddie Armer. There’s a chance to take part in a Poetry Exchange podcast recording and a concert from local choir The Beech Green Singers.

Children’s Programme:

Once again, the Literary Festival offers a special programme for local schools and home-educated children. This year it features bestselling authors Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Dan Freedman, Maz Evans, awardwinning poet Joseph Coelho and performances from festival favourites Really Big Pants Theatre Company. Throughout the festival the bookshop will once again be manned by Sevenoaks Bookshop and there will be a host of delicious food and drink available from local suppliers over the Bank Holiday weekend, as well as the Castle’s own Tea Rooms. All tickets to the festival include free entry to the Castle and its collections.

For those who can’t wait until May, visit the Castle’s podcast page to listen again to some of the highlights from last year’s author talks

Festival Organiser Victoria Henderson said ‘We are thrilled with the line-up for this year’s festival; it offers such a wide variety of subjects and speakers, giving our visitors this wonderful opportunity to hear from so many high calibre authors, to take part and really immerse themselves in the joys of the spoken and written word. All are welcome, and as ever we aim to offer something for everyone.’

individual adult events £13.50, children’s events £6.00. Day tickets will be available on Saturday and Sunday, workshop tickets vary in price, see booking page for details.

For priority booking please pre-register :

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

5 hotels for hilly walks in South East England


London is garlanded by strings of hills that are perfect for a weekend break to stretch your legs. From the chalky downs of the Chilterns to the rolling South Downs, there are plenty of opportunities for walking holidays.

Here, the Good Hotel Guide has selected five of the best hotels for hilly walks in southeast England.

A grand hotel in the Chilterns

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to walks at Cliveden. Set between the River Thames and The Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this 17th-century stately home is a five-star base for gentle walks through rolling countryside and ancient woodland, along the Thames Path and past pretty villages. But no-one would blame you if you failed to leave Cliveden at all. It’s renowned for its exceptional hospitality, exquisite cuisine and stunning bedrooms – and the expansive Thames views, giant maze and glorious National Trust gardens make for excellent walks from Cliveden’s door.

Pretty villages and valleys in the Cotswolds

A wisteria-festooned arch frames the entry to the prettily refurbished Bay Tree Hotel, in a row of 17th-century honey-stone houses in Burford. Rising up from the Windrush river and jostling with tea shops and antiques, Burford is a gateway to the Cotswolds’ rolling hills and rambling villages, and some of the best walks in the Cotswolds follow the Windrush Valley. Back at the Bay Tree, put your tired feet up in the country-contemporary bedrooms. All have fluffy robes, upmarket toiletries, a Nespresso machine. The public areas are a weary walker’s haven, with flagstone floors, ancient beams, huge open fireplaces, board games, local ales and a restaurant serving well-crafted modern British cuisine.

See more hotels in the Cotswolds

In the footsteps of monks in the South Downs and Surrey Hills

In the 13th century, a hostelry on this spot provided sleep and sustenance for monks on pilgrimage to Canterbury. Nowadays The Crown Inn, Chiddingfold, does the same for walkers following undulating trails across the Surrey Hill Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the South Downs National Park. The timber-framed 16th-century country inn is full of traditional character; in the popular bar, local tipples are served amid medieval carvings, massive beams and inglenook fireplaces. Delicious pub grub is attentively served in the oak-panelled restaurant. The eight characterful bedrooms, all sloping floors and antique furnishings, have chic toiletries; three have a four-poster bed.

See more hotels in the South Downs

Real ales and a kindly welcome in the High Weald

Ramblers exploring Ashdown Forest and the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’s hills are welcomed to The Cat Inn with big smiles and a warm-hearted atmosphere. This comfortably modernised 16th-century freehouse-with-rooms, all oak beams and inglenook fireplaces, is a haven for hikers and real-ale enthusiasts, and its high-quality, generously portioned pub grub and efficient service leaves guests purring. Upstairs, newly redecorated bedrooms enjoy little touches such as a Nespresso coffee machine, fresh milk, decent toiletries, and reading material to help while away the time between walks.

The Royal Hotel

A right royal reception for hikers on the Isle of Wight

There are 500 miles of footpaths to explore on the Isle of Wight, unfurling over chalky clifftops, rolling downs and rugged coves. This sunny island is a walkers’ paradise, with an annual walking festival to prove it. Located just a few minutes’ walk from Ventnor seafront, The Royal Hotel has catered for everyone from Queen Victoria and 19th-century health tourists to 21st-century ramblers, so it knows a thing or two about catering for outdoorsy people, especially those with a taste for the finer things in life. Helpful staff are on hand to help with ferry bookings and directions, and the charmingly old-fashioned Royal Tea is just the thing after a day in hiking boots – but do leave room for chef Jon-Paul Charlo’s inventive cooking. The traditionally styled bedrooms have fresh fruit, flowers and garden views.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Discover the D-Day Story in Portsmouth

Portsmouth is fortunate to have so many excellent attractions which draw thousands of visitors to the city each year. The Historic Dockyard, with the superb new Mary Rose museum, HMS Victory and HMS Warrior are of course extremely popular. However, along the Southsea seafront you will find a real gem of a museum which reopened in April 2018 after extensive renovations and is well worth a visit: the D-Day Story museum.

D-Day – the 6th June 1944 – is undoubtedly one of the most significant military events in the nation’s history. Portsmouth – whose naval base has been a key feature of the city for 800 years – was crucial to both the preparations leading up to D-Day and in the supporting and co-ordination of the landings. This resulted in the largest ever assembly of military personnel, aircraft and ships that has ever taken place; thousands of Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and for many weeks were involved in bitter and bloody fighting, helping to bring the war to a successful conclusion one year later.

Since 1984, this momentous day has been commemorated in Portsmouth with a museum dedicated to D-Day. Last year, the D-Day museum closed for a comprehensive refit following the securing of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and in April 2018 the new building reopened: The D-Day Story was reborn.

The museum has carefully considered the needs of today’s museum goers in planning the displays, using interactive technology in a way which helps to imaginatively communicate the stories behind D-Day. It is important to add though, that paramount to the D-Day Story is the collection itself: this is not just about technology. The museum’s project team has diligently researched each artefact and also used the temporary closure of the museum to identify gaps in the collection. For example, it was agreed that as well as telling the story of D-Day from a primarily British perspective, it was important to illustrate the impact on the people living in France during the time of German occupation.

The new D-Day Story is ultimately dedicated to sharing the stories of individuals, whether they were sailors, soldiers or aircraft personnel or civilians; adults and children. The museum collection is effectively separated into three main sections: Preparation; D-Day and the Battle of Normandy; as well as the Legacy and Overlord Embroidery exhibition.

The D-Day Story has been designed to enable you to move through each of the different spaces at your own pace, with clear descriptions of each item in the collection. There are moving interviews with people who took part in the campaign, men and women who recall on camera what D-Day meant to them; many of the memories are extremely poignant.

For me, one of the highlights was the display where you can see the faces and hear the voices of the soldiers as they approached the beaches of Normandy on a landing craft, in a recreation of what the experience would have been like on that auspicious day in the early summer. It is extremely impressive.

The new D-Day Story is a lovely museum and suitable for all ages; a perfect place to spend a couple of hours or so and helping to ensure that the memories of D-Day are preserved and accessible to future generations. Visiting The D-Day Story

Open 10:00 to 17:30 (17:00 from October to March) daily, except 24, 25 and 26 December. Last admission is one hour prior to closing. During the year there are a number of special events including ‘Chilled Out’ Museum days for those who like a quieter visit and more subtle lighting and Touch Tours for blind and partially disabled visitors. In addition to the museum, there is a shop, café and gardens. Contact details:

+44 (0)23 9288 2555

Written by Simon Frost, Hibou Communication 

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

5 hotels for atmospheric Christmas markets

Canterbury Cathedral Lodge

Make your Christmas shopping a festive event to look forward to by staying at one of these convenient and cosy hotels near atmospheric Christmas markets in southeast England. Think handmade gifts and twinkly Christmas lights followed by mulled wine, roaring fires and some of the most welcoming hotels around.

A stately new Christmas market near a cosy, eccentric bolthole in the Cotswolds

Brand new for 2018 is Blenheim Palace’s Christmas Market (23 November – 16 December). The latest addition to Blenheim’s super seasonal festivities will fill the Great Court with wooden chalets piled high with textiles, jewellery, toys, ceramics and plenty more. Give the crowds of the high streets and malls a wide berth as you browse, then take a stroll through the palace’s grand rooms – lavishly outfitted to a Cinderella theme – and along Blenheim’s Illuminated Christmas Lights Trail (23 November – 1 January). Afterwards, spread out your haul in one of the splendid bedrooms in Artist Residence Oxfordshire, a charmingly eccentric small hotel in a 16th-century, thatched village inn in South Leigh. Downstairs, the bar has flagstone floors, a wood-burner and plenty of nooks and crannies; mulled wine is practically mandatory.

Cathedral views and Christmas shopping in Canterbury

Book one of Canterbury Cathedral Lodge’s comfortable, uncluttered rooms and absorb the Christmas spirit with splendid views of Canterbury Cathedral. Housed within an architect-designed complex, this contemporary hotel has a prime position in the serene grounds of the awesome cathedral, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. A stay here comes with after-hours access into the precincts, which make a peaceful retreat from the merry bustle of Whitefriars Christmas Market (16 November – 24 December), a continental Christmas market packed with 70-odd colourful cabins selling everything from handmade glassware to hot toddies. If your timings allow, don’t miss one of the cathedral’s advent carol services and Christmas concerts, or seasonal events at The Canterbury Tales attraction (pre-booking advised).

Hurley House

Thames-side walks and Country Homes and Interiors style near Henley-on-Thames

Hurley House, Marlow, brings great service, chic style and impressive cuisine to a picturesque stretch of the Thames Path. The smartly rustic bar has a cosy wood-burning stove, exposed brickwork, wooden beams – perfect for mulled wine or a Christmas afternoon tea, especially after a few Christmassy hours at Stonor Park, a grand family home with medieval roots located the other side of picturesque Henley. Country Homes and Interiors Christmas (22–25 November) in Stonor’s grounds is the perfect place to pick up creative Christmas gifts from more than 100 makers and brands. From 28 November to 9 December you can tour the house’s rooms, dusted with twinkling stars for the season, and pick up Christmas pressies and decorations in the gift shop.

The Milk House

Indie producers, twinkling polar bear statues and Christmas dining with a modern twist in Kent

With its indie shops and cosy cafes, Tenterden is a great place to pick up festive gifts and trinkets come Christmas shopping season, but when the Tenterden Christmas Market arrives Santa’s workshop couldn’t beat it for seasonal atmosphere (23-25 November). As well as local artisan producers, there are real reindeer, a snow machine, fairground rides, live music and late-night shopping in stores that have pulled out all the stops for the Christmas shop window competition. Take your haul back to Sissinghurst’s The Milk House, a pub-with-rooms in a 16th-century hall house that blends a buzzy, village-hub feel with a jocund dairy theme – think creamy-coloured bedrooms with such names as Byre and Churn, decorated with fresh flowers in milk pails. The Tudor fireplace is lit on cold days and the bar has timber beams, cask ales and local beers. You could dine on traditional Christmas turkey or change up your 2018 Christmas menu with blood orange duck confit, celeiac purée, pecan sautéed kale and redcurrant jus.

The Old Vine

A pub-with-rooms with Christmas market views in ‘England’s Christmas Capital’

The Old Vine, an 18th-century pub-with-rooms built over a subterranean 14th-century tavern, is just a short stroll from Winchester Cathedral. In fact, The Osborne and Little Room (bedrooms are named after fabric and wallpaper designers) has Georgian plaster panelling and views over the green of the cathedral – which just happens to be the atmospheric setting for what is recognised as one of Europe’s best Christmas markets. Inspired by traditional German markets, Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market (17 November – 20 December) has a British Crafts Village, nativity scene, open-air ice rink and more than 100 chalets in the cathedral’s historic Close. Mulled wine, bratwurst, mince pies and stollen fill the air with irresistible seasonal scents.

Friday, 21 September 2018

6 family-friendly hotels for half-term breaks in South East England

Chewton Glen

This October half term, treat the family to a stay at one of these family-friendly hotels in South East England, chosen by the Good Hotel Guide.

1. Treehouses and history lessons: Chewton Glen, Hampshire 

This model of a country house hotel and spa in an 18th-century manor house on the edge of the New Forest speaks to children as much as it does to their parents and grandparents. Guests of all ages can appreciate indoor and outdoor swimming pools, on-site cookery courses and a woodland stream to follow to the beach. In-the-know families bed down in one of the Courtyard or Coach House suites, with a private walled garden or private access to the hotel’s extensive grounds. For a special treat aim even higher: tree-house suites in a leafy setting have a mini-kitchen, a wood-burning stove, a spa bath, and a breakfast hamper in the morning.

While you’re there: If your little history buffs are studying Lord Nelson and the Battle of Trafalgar visit Buckler’s Hard to see what life was like for 18th-century shipbuilders.

Hartwell House

2. Spa treats and hedgehogs: Hartwell House, Buckinghamshire

Children over six years old can bed down at Hartwell House, a National Trust-owned Jacobean mansion in an Arcadian landscape. For more privacy and direct access to the gardens, book one of the large suites in Hartwell Court, the restored 18th-century riding school and stables in the grounds. You can take the kids to Hartwell’s renowned spa at certain times, and roam the 90 acres of gardens and parkland filled with statues, temples and an obelisk.

While you’re there: Don’t miss Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital. It’s home to the country’s only hedgehog memorabilia museum, an animal hospital and a red kite flying aviary.

The Old Vine

3. A designer pad and steam trains: The Old Vine, Winchester 

At first glance, a Grade II-listed 18th-century inn on the edge of the cathedral close might not sound like a great fit for families, but The Old Vine’s Designers Guild Annexe is spot on. This self-contained townhouse apartment across the street from The Old Vine has two bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room, all stylishly decked out with fabrics and furniture from the Designers Guild. Also good for families – guests have the use of a small garage so the surrounding countryside as well as Winchester city centre can be reached easily.

While you’re there: Ride the Mid Hants Railway, a.k.a. The Watercress Line, a steeply graded heritage railway with a fleet of steam locomotives that was used to transport watercress from the beds in Alresford to London. The Wizard Express steam train with Harry Potter-style coaches takes to the rails 27-28 October.


4. Movie nights and LEGO: Cliveden, Berkshire

Children are made to feel part of the Cliveden family when they stay at this extensively restored Italianate mansion in beautiful grounds. Younger kids can play with a selection of games and toys. Older families can settle down for movie night with a wide range of DVDs. There’s a special children’s menu and children’s service, or families can dine together throughout the evening. Or if you’d prefer a grown-ups-only dinner, babysitting service is available, as is room service. Outside, get lost in the giant yew tree maze, follow the woodland play trail or simply explore the 376 acres of National Trust grounds.

While you’re there: Go LEGO crazy among 80 million LEGO bricks at LEGOLAND Windsor Resort. There are also more than 55 interactive rides, building workshops and amazing models of scenes from Europe and the USA. 

Hever Castle

5. Royalty and an adventure playground: Hever Castle B&B, Kent 

Combine history lessons with childhood princess/prince dreams at Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Bolyen. Bedrooms occupy two Edwardian additions to 13th-century Hever Castle; the wings are a blend of Tudor-inspired features and modern-day comfort, and your individually decorated bedroom may have a golden chaise longue, a four-poster bed, or a glimpse of the castle through leaded windows. Some rooms can accommodate a cot or a camp bed for children up to the age of 12; others have a sofa bed; and a double and single room can be turned into a suite for up to five guests thanks to a strategically placed door on the landing.

While you’re there: There’s no need to go anywhere! Residents have complimentary access to the castle and grounds during opening hours, including the great new adventure playground. If you do want to venture further afield, the British Wildlife Centre has badgers, harvest mice and Britain’s first walk-through red squirrel enclosure.

Park House Hotel and Spa

6. South Downs views and alpacas: Park House, Sussex 

Luxurious but unstuffy, Park House is foolproof for families who appreciate country house living. The hotel has a home-away-from-home feel, and guests of all ages are made to feel welcome. Deluxe family suites have a double bed that can be turned into two singles, plus a sofa bed or a single bed for kids. There’s no skimping on the views here either; windows overlook the grounds and South Downs countryside. For more independence, book one of the cottage suites, with a small kitchen, private gardens and plenty of space for the whole family.

While you’re there: Take an alpaca for a walk! Children over 6 years old can lead one of Dunreyth Alpacas' friendly creatures on an hour-long walk through the woods. Booking ahead is essential.

All hotels have rooms available at time of writing.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Major new Tate acquisition comes to Southampton City Art Gallery

Le Passeur (The Ferryman), 1881, William Stott of Oldham (1857–1900) Photo ©Tate Purchased with funds provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund (with a contribution from The Wolfson Foundation) and The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation 2017.

Beneath the Surface: William Stott of Oldham and British Impressionism exhibition will open 14 September 2018 – 12 January 2019 The star of the show, William Stott of Oldham’s painting Le Passeur (The Ferryman) is considered a key moment in the breakthrough of British Art to naturalism and established Stott as one of the most progressive British artists of his day.

Secured for the British public with funds provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Art Fund (with a contribution from The Wolfson Foundation) and The Hintze Family Charitable Foundation, this painting will be displayed in Southampton City Art Gallery as part of a UK wide tour in partnership with Tate.

This exhibition will show Stott in the company of those who, like him, contributed to the development of British Naturalism and Impressionism and will also include examples of French Impressionism, drawn from Southampton’s permanent collection, to place British art of the 1880s and 1890s more broadly in a dialogue with French painting of that time. Shown alongside Le Passeur will be work by some of Stott’s contemporaries who were influenced by the move in painting toward rural Naturalism, illustrating what connects Stott to them at this moment in his career and what distinguishes his singular vision.

This exhibition has been guest curated by Professor Sam Smiles and will include significant additional loans from Russell-Cotes, Southwark Art Collection, Tate, Towner Art Gallery and Victoria and Albert Museum.

Southampton City Art Gallery is the second of four UK-partner galleries to display Le Passeur, thanks to funding from National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund, the John Ellerman Foundation and Art Fund. The work will also be exhibited at Gallery Oldham and Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Councillor Satvir Kaur, Cabinet Member for Homes and Culture said:

'Having such exceptional work of early British Impressionism on loan from Tate alongside art drawn from our city’s own permanent collection, has resulted in another amazing exhibition for Southampton and Southampton City Art Gallery. It helps cement us as an international destination for arts and culture, and I hope local residents and visitors alike take the opportunity to make the most of it.'

Lead Exhibitions Officer Dan Matthews, Southampton City Art Gallery said:

'The generous loan of this key work from Tate has given us the opportunity to borrow paintings by a number of artists not represented within our collection such as George Clausen, Bertha Newcombe and Henry Herbert Le Thangue. We hope this display will enable our audience to learn more about this important era of British Art.'