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Great British Boltholes: A stay at The Angel Inn in Petworth 

Great British Boltholes: An Angel for the Instagram age with this medieval inn boasting skilful interior design

  • The Angel Inn is a few minutes from the market square in Petworth
  • Sarah Hartley says its interior design subtly mixes traditional with new
  • There are seven bedrooms and the restaurant offers ‘creative gastropub dishes’

Petworth has always been dominated by Petworth House, the stunning National Trust-owned property with a 700-acre deer park and Capability Brown grounds. 

But now visitors are tempted to look beyond the park walls.

This market town has shaken itself into the 21st Century to attract a new crowd and enliven the locals. It’s been cited as one of the best places to live in the UK. It’s a gastronomic pitstop en route to the opera at Glyndebourne. 

Heavenly: The medieval Angel Inn is located in the heart of Petworth town

There are festivals such as Petworth Fringe, Petworth Summer Festival (which runs until August 3) and a literary week in October.

Indeed, you could be in the Cotswolds, such is the plethora of smart Farrow & Ball-hued antiques and gift shops, galleries and boutiques. Award-winning restaurants, cafes and delis are awash with on-brand offerings, including locally sourced, locally farmed or vegan menus. Find a tired cheese sarnie, a warm pint and a shabby B&B if you can…

The Angel Inn, a few minutes from the market square, is up with the hunt. From the Farrow & Ball Pitch Blue-painted pub sign through to the chandelier in the Scots Pine bedroom, it is Instagram-ready. 

Skilful interior design subtly mixes traditional with new, so no guests will feel out of their age depth. Thankfully, the refurbishment has not eliminated the creaks and groans that come with the inn’s medieval origins.

One of the rooms at The Angel Inn. There are seven bedrooms in total

One of the rooms at The Angel Inn. There are seven bedrooms in total

The large open bar is all warm wood, beams and slate floors. Scrubbed wooden tables, mismatched chairs and pews with cushions make for an informal hub. It’s still a draw for locals too, so the menu is seasonal and offers creative gastropub dishes. 

Charlton cheddar and roasted capsicum tart, summer salad, new potatoes and Goodwood bacon lardons, anyone?

Upstairs, seven bedrooms belie a grander establishment and vary from warm woodland colours to jewel-box velvets in the more dramatic Scots Pine. The room also comes with a king-size bed and a huge bathroom with walk-in shower and a bath for two.

A stroll around town leads to the browsable treasures at Petworth Antiques Market, while Augustus Brandt, a ‘destination store’, has 17 rooms to explore for those with serious money to spend.

Tuck into divine brownies at The Hungry Guest (there’s also a Hungry Baker and Hungry Butcher) and for lunch alfresco, the excellent New Street Bar and Grill has a small courtyard. 

Sarah Hartley says The Angel Inn is the perfect place to relax and indulge in a cheeseboard

Sarah Hartley says The Angel Inn is the perfect place to relax and indulge in a cheeseboard 

But if you don’t feel like straying, relax in the inn’s walled garden with a glass of rosé and a cheeseboard with chutneys and grapes. 

Sit under the stars, the wisteria and magnolia tree strung with fairy lights… and enjoy.

USP: A retreat that ticks every box, moments from the bustle of town.

The food: Scrumptious gastropub fare and reasonably priced too, with starters such as buffalo mozzarella, peas, broad beans, mint, lemon and olive oil for £8.

The rooms: Thoughtfully designed, from discreet country luxe to Pre-Raphaelite opulence.