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Menus are so last year, find out why at South Lodge Hotel

So I (Henry) worked out a winning system. Glorious Goodwood and its glorious hats and dresses and Pimms and Champagne was in danger of being a lovely but rather expensive day out.

Goodwood horse Jumping and South Lodge Hotel
For five races straight Henry and I picked a horse we liked the sound of and for five races we didn’t win a bean. Well that’s not quite true, Henry did demonstrate his pleasing lack of gambling expertise by putting a bet on for me that returned less money than the original stake. 10 pound bet, nine pound return. I was charmed rather than irritated because he’s so handsome (Apologies, I’m in love).

And to be fair to him he made up for it with a stroke of genius. In race number 6, the last of the day, instead of picking horses we liked he suggested we go for the two with our least favourite names. I chose one with a name of a girl I’m not a huge fan of (pulled my hair at school) and Henry chose one to do with cats as he doesn’t like them much.

Despite having the longest odds going, in they galloped for a photo finish. Henry’s won by a whisker but he paid for supper with the winnings so I managed to stifle my irritation and pretend I was pleased his had beaten mine.

The supper in question was at South Lodge Hotel and the food was a surprise. A genuine surprise although we weren’t surprised by it being a surprise. I should probably explain that ramshackle of a sentence.

At The Pass restaurant (Michelin star and 4AA Rosettes thanks very much) the super talented Matt Gillan has created Surprise Menus. You simply let them know what you definitely don’t want and they tailor-make something marvellous. It was a delight. And twice as exciting as waiting for food you chose yourself. I’m never going to use a menu again – seems a dreadfully dreary concept all of a sudden.

Delicious Meal at South Lodge Hotel
After food I must admit we didn’t last long. We had grand plans of a late night enjoying the ambiance and chatting to other guests but a long day combined with, and I quote, “gorgeous beds with divinely comfortable handmade mattresses and breathable hand-finished duvets,” had us comatose in a matter of minutes.

It’s a wonder anyone ever gets out of the beds in the morning. I was considering staying put for 14 years until squatters rights kicked in so I’d never have to leave. But then I remembered we still had plenty of Henry’s winnings still to spend…

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