Alfest is all about the best the South Downs has to offer in Food, Drink and Music!
ABOUT. Situated on The Tye in the historic and picturesque village of Alfriston, the Gun Room is said to have been the gun store for the Duke of Wellington. The Gun Room is Rathfinny’s Cellar Door, where you can taste our wine and where we offer carefully selected gifts and wine-related products, championing local goods and artists. Takeaway tea and coffee is available.
Whilst there, visit the Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley Heritage Centre and read about the fascinating history of Alfriston, dating back to the medieval period, and learn more about the Cuckmere Valley and the burgeoning English wine industry.
Whilst we await the release of our first Sussex Sparkling in 2018, currently maturing in individual bottles in the Winery, you are invited to taste our still wine in the Gun Room, under the Cradle Valley label. Our wines are light and crisp and generally made from a blend of Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc although we occasionally blend these grape varieties with our Chardonnay.
Learn how we turn our grapes into fantastic Sussex Sparkling wine on one of our exclusive tours.
Walking through the vines in a small group with our experienced guide, exploring the Vineyard and the history and wildlife of the Estate, is the beginning of a truly memorable event which incorporates your choice of refreshments Winemaker's Lunch or Afternoon Tea in the beautiful Tasting Room of our Winery. All our Estate Tours start from the Gun Room, so why not come early to have a browse around the shop? You can purchase a voucher from the Gun Room or book online.
We try, where possible, to source all our products in the following priority - local, East Sussex, Sussex, England, UK and international. So for example, we thought long and hard about stocking the superb Caudalie cosmetics range, which is French. However, as all their products are derived from vines and as they are a company with a similar ethos of excellence to ours, we decided to stock them. Takeaway tea and coffee and a selection of sweet treats are available.
We aim to champion local artists and, for example, we asked ceramicist Alison Milner to design a range using the Estate as her inspiration. Look out on her ceramics, tea towels and stationery for the butterflies and plants she discovered, and even the yellow colouring she got from boiling down one of the plants on our land, the kidney vetch. Other artists we have established a relationship with include visual artists Lisa Joffe, Julian Sutherland- Beetson and Adam McNaught-Davis, and photographer Viv Blakey, whose gorgeous landscape photographs are also featured throughout this website. We are always keen to hear from more local artists and designers, so pop in or drop us an .
Finally, we’re delighted to be able to showcase a changing selection of Harold Mockford’s paintings. He is one of Sussex’s best artists and it’s an honour to have his work in the Gun Room.
We have given the upstairs space of the Gun Room to the Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley Historical Society. There is a permanent display about the fascinating history of Alfriston which dates back to the medieval period. Researched by scholars, this high quality display contains a great deal of information about the local area, showing how this beautiful part of the South Downs has changed over time, ending with information about the burgeoning English wine industry. Please come and enjoy this resource.
This space is also available for local groups to use by prior arrangement with Alison Cowley, the Manager, who can be contacted by telephone or email.
GUN ROOM BY CAR. The Gun Room is a short walk from the two car parks in Alfriston. When you are on Alfriston High Street, walk in the direction of The George Pub, and then turn left down the narrow pathway called The Twitten following the brown tourism sign to the Alfriston Heritage Centre. You can see The Gun Room from the top of the pathway.
GUN ROOM BY BUS. There are local buses to Alfriston village. Take the 126 bus, which runs from Eastbourne to Seaford, via Polegate and Alfriston. Alight at The Willows Car Park just at the entrance to Alfriston. From here, walk up North Street to the centre of the village and the High Street, and follow the directions outlined in the By Car paragraph above.
ALFRISTON BY TRAIN. The nearest stations are Seaford, Berwick and Polegate.