The village of CavendishThe picturesque village of Cavendish dates back several centuries and is snuggled deep in the heart of West Sussex with extensive views of the South Downs to one side; to the other is the distant sea views around the bustling seaside resort of Brighton and Hove. Either side of Cavendish are the two tiny (fictional) hamlets of Loxfield and Charnley.
Haywards Heath, and the historic town of Lewes, are the nearest big towns and do exist.
Cavendish is the quintessential English village. Surrounding the circular village green is the historic Saxon church of St Nicholas, one of the last to be built under Kind Edward’s reign over a thousand years ago and this, together with the small hall attached to it, plays a key role for the villagers’ social and spiritual activities. Just along from here is the 16th century public house, the Half Moon, along with a row of pretty terraced houses that open up on to the green. Across the road is a small parade of shops consisting of the butchers, bakers, newsagent and a greengrocer. Further along stands the Cavendish museum, a small converted cottage displaying the local folklore, festivals and archaeological finds and celebrating the heroic villagers who gave their lives during the two World Wars. Cavendish also has a primary and junior school beyond the village green.
The residents celebrate as many festivals as they can so there is a fantastic community spirit. They embrace the local folklore and legends of the area and not a month goes by where there isn’t some weird and wonderful myth to toast or traditional song and dance to perform. These celebrations take place at various locations – mainly on the land surrounding Lord James’ property or on the village green.
The original manor house, occupied by Lord James Harrington’s ancestors, was converted into a country hotel called Harrington’s back in the 1930s. James’ father declared the multi-roomed manor far too big for a family of four. Instead, he had a red-brick home built closer to the village with a long sweeping drive. James added a large garage later. He also ensured that enough land remained by the new house to hold village events and added a tennis court and patio.
Harrington’s is now a thriving country hotel for the well-to-do and is gaining a reputation as ‘the’ place to stay in the South of England. James managed to secure the talents of chef, Didier Le Noir, who sources local ingredients and delivers a menu to die for. Never one to rest on their laurels, James and his wife, Beth, are always searching for ways to improve and refresh the hotel to keep one step ahead of competitors and, as such, are confirming their status in the luxury hotel business.