East Sussex hotel Ashdown Park Hotel & Country Club is marking its 25th year as a hotel with a celebratory gala dinner in October.

Taking place on Saturday 27 October, the 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner will be held in one of the most stunning and atmospheric parts of the hotel – its neo gothic converted chapel, the Richard Towneley Suite.

Built in 1924 and consecrated in 1927 by the Order of the Sisters of Notre Dame (during Ashdown Park’s time as a teaching convent from 1919-1971), the chapel boasts high vaulted ceilings with wooden carvings, glorious stain glass windows designed by Harry Clarke and a large working organ and bell tower.

The 25th anniversary dinner, hosted by managing director of Elite Hotels Graeme Bateman, will offer exceptional fine dining with a five-course menu designed by executive head chef Andrew Wilson, inspired by the original menu served at Ashdown Park’s Grand Opening in 1993.

After a Champagne and canapés reception, guests will enjoy dishes including smoked haddock mousseline with caviar and Champagne sauce; roast loin of local venison with black truffle pressing, baby leeks, roasted salsify and tarragon boudin; and lemon parfait with white chocolate glaze, raspberry mousse, orange dome and hazelnut crunch, followed by coffee and petit fours and a cheeseboard.

Entertainment will come from West End show band Too Darn Hot, who will be performing hits from the past 25 years throughout the evening. Their second visit to Ashdown Park Hotel this year, Too Darn Hot will be bringing performers and musicians who have appeared on stage at some of the West End’s biggest shows.

Ashdown Park Hotel is steeped in history, with records of a mansion house on the estate dating back to the early 1800s and work on the existing house starting in 1867. During World War I Ashdown Park was used as a hospital and convalescent home for Belgian soldiers, before being taken over as a convent in 1920.

The nuns remained at Ashdown Park for 50 years, until in 1971 the property was bought by the United States International University in 1971 and the chapel deconsecrated. In 1974 Barclays Bank took over Ashdown Park to use as a training centre, before current owners Elite Hotels bought the site in 1993 and opened Ashdown Park as a luxury hotel and country club.

Managing director of Elite Hotels, Graeme Bateman, said: “I am delighted to be celebrating Ashdown Park Hotel’s 25th anniversary in style – we’re really going to be pulling out all the stops to make this a night to remember. I’ve seen a lot of changes in Ashdown Park’s 25 years as a hotel, but exceptional service, fantastic food and showstopping entertainment have been constants throughout. The Gala Dinner will be a fitting way to celebrate all of the hotels achievements, its loyal staff and the guests who have supported us over the years.”

The 25th Anniversary Gala Dinner will start at 7pm on Saturday 27 October, with tickets available for £95 per person.

For more information and to book, call 01342 824988, www.ashdownpark.com

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