While many guests visit Park House to enjoy our beautifully secluded location, there is also a buoyant arts scene to discover within easy reach. Whether you have a passion for theatre, music or visual arts, it promises to be a truly creative summer in West Sussex this year, with events for all tastes starting this May. Here are some highlights on the way:
Sussex art, at its most intimate: What has 248 arms, 113 locations and a massive assortment of brushes, tools and canvasses? Chichester Open Studios Art Trail (May 2nd-10th) promises a wonderfully intimate celebration of the Sussex arts and crafts scene. Besides a huge range of painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewellery and more, this event also lets you meet the creators themselves. An art event with a big difference, this is your chance to watch the artists at work, meet them in their studios and buy unique items. There is no entry fee, all venues are within easy reach of Midhurst and visitors can pick and choose between exhibitors exactly as they please. A full list of venues and artists is available at www.chichesterarttrail.org
Acres of arresting sculptures: With a collection of over 400 contemporary works commissioned over the past two decades, the Cass Sculpture Foundation (Goodwood) is another great Sussex art attraction. Featuring the best contemporary exponents of sculpture, visitors can roam the twenty-six acre grounds and enjoy work ranging from the sublime to the spectacular. Open throughout the summer it is an excellent day out. Full details and opening times here: www.sculpture.org.uk
An enlightening tour of British modern art: Arguably the best collection of its kind, the Pallant House Gallery is an absolute must for anyone with a taste for twentieth century art. Regular gallery tours and events offer the visitor a revealing insight into a huge range of artworks from Peter Blake to Eileen Agar. A sample of the collected works can be viewed online, along with current news, opening times and other details: pallant.org.uk
The play’s the thing: Whether your tastes are nostalgic or modern, there are some exciting performances in Sussex theatres this summer. Our two recommendations couldn’t be more different, but should both tempt theatregoers: Jean Anouilh’s The Rehearsal (8th May- 13th June, Chichester Minerva theatre) is a thought-provoking play within a play that examines the nature of performance and desire. Meanwhile, those who prefer more light-hearted entertainment will enjoy the classic Gershwin musical “A Damsel in Distress” (Chichester Festival Theatre 30th May- 27th June), based on P.G. Wodehouse’s comic story of mismatched lovers. cft.org.uk.
Turn a creative detour into a delightful short break: With the countryside at its most vibrant and so much to see and do this May, why not treat yourself to a relaxing country escape? We have the perfect location, with superb facilities including our own spa, lawn tennis courts and an excellent restaurant on site. Do also keep an eye on our Seasonal Promotions Section for some of the best hotel and spa deals in Sussex.