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Insider Guides

An Insider Guide To West Sussex With Florist Nikki Tibbles

Hailing from the small Sussex market town of Petworth, British florist, and founder of Wild at Heart, Nikki Tibbles is the embodiment of her brand.

Her creations of haphazardly arranged blooms can be spotted London wide, with her original turquoise island shop in Notting Hill a familiar signpost to locals. Then there’s her equally happy Central London store, iconically flanking the entrance of Liberty London.

It seems Tibbles – like the flowers she arranges – sprouts joy wherever she roams. Not least in the capacity of her Wild at Heart Foundation, a dog rescue charity founded in 2014.

Here, Nikki Tibbles shows us around West Sussex, or as she calls it “home” (beloved dogs in tow).

We have 48 hours in West Sussex; where should we eat, stay and play?

The Horse Guards Inn in Tillington. Beautiful rooms, the best food outside of London, roaring fires, gorgeous gardens and amazing walks. Just outside historic and beautiful Petworth.

Essential items to pack?

Hunter wellington boots, cashmere blanket, scented candle and dogs.

The best time to visit West Sussex is…

All year round.

Favourite towns to explore…

Petworth for antique shopping.

Our first pitstop should be…

The Hungry Guest in Petworth. The best deli ever.

Your favourite hotel to check-in at is…

If I wanted a treat I would stay at the Bailiffscourt, near Climping beach.

For an early morning workout head to…

The South Downs for a walk.

Where should we go for breakfast?

Cowdray Farm Shop & Cafe

How about for a long, lazy lunch?

The Hollist Arms owned by a great friend Angus.

And for dinner with friends?

The Hollist Arms. A good long lazy lunch will always turn into dinner.

A must-try spot for date night?

The Horse Guards in a cosy corner by the fire. For a daytime date – a picnic on the South Downs or Petworth Park surrounded by deer.

Your favourite restaurant in town?

I do all that in London, I go to my favourite trusted, local pubs in West Sussex.

A real treat would be The Kennels at Goodwood for a lovely long lunch.

Where should we head post-dinner?

Home for more drinks in front of a roaring log fire.

The drink to order at the bar…

Champagne with homemade quince cordial.

The culture spot to rave about…

Cass Sculpture Park .

The best place to treat yourself is… 

To have the time to walk along the beach is a real treat. I love walking from Climping to Littlehampton for breakfast or lunch at Thomas Heatherwick’s beautiful oyster clad café that sits on the beach.

For great shopping head to…

Giovanna Ticciati to buy amazing furniture in Petworth.

The one place only locals know about… 

The many incredible walks – you can walk for days without seeing another person.

For the best views head to…

From the top of the South Downs.

For a change of pace try…

Reading a book in my field and roasting vegetables on my Green Egg under my chestnut tree.

Great day trips include…

From Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight for the day; Arundel Castle; Petworth House and Park.

A book to read before we go (or while we’re there)?

Wilding: The Return of Nature to a British Farm a book about Knepp Castle Estate.

How should we spend the final day of our trip?

A long delicious lunch at The Hollist Arms or The Horseguards followed by shopping at The Hungry Guest for treats before you head home.

What’s your West Sussex secret?

I have no secrets.

In a word, West Sussex is…


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Any Questions or Tips to add?