A one-two punch of sleepy rural beauty and cultural smarts, just under two hours south of London. It’s also harvest time for the vineyards, which often accept volunteer grape pickers (and offer a hearty staff lunch as a thank you). A 15th-century inn with additions from the 1930s and 1960s in Alfriston, a traditional downland village with medieval roots. The Star, part of the tried-and-true Polizzi Collection, joins Hotel Endsleigh in Devon’s Tamar Valley and Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes, Cornwall. Chef Tim Kensett, who came 600 miles south from Braemar’s Fife Arms, has created a concise, approachable menu that draws heavily on Sussex produce: South Downs lamb with spelt and chilli; local clams with sourdough and basil.