Eating out in West Sussex

So, I already have an article about great places to eat out in the Chichester area, but now I live slightly further away I thought I’d cast my culinary net a bit wider and comment on where else I love in West Sussex…

  • Three favourites so far are The Fountain – Ashurst, White’s Bar & Kitchen in Steyning and The Swan Inn – Fittleworth. All are owned by the same family and have really interesting menus of traditional British food very well done. The burger (even though I’ve banned myself from eating a single burger in 2012 which means I’ve eaten one nearly every damned week) in The Fountain is awesome.
  • Thirteen in Storrington is a fantastic Thai restaurant down a quiet side street. The food oozes authentic flavours and is so rich and interesting. It’s not particularly cheap but you’ll be blown away by the freshness and quality.
  • The Duke of Cumberland Arms in Henley (near Midhurst) is amazingly good and has a fantastic option for Sunday lunch – but you’ll need to book way in advance!
  • Also worth a trip is The White Horse – Storrington in the town itself, excellent staff and a nice Sunday lunch. The only thing lacking is a bit of atmosphere which is common with many restaurants in small hotels, they just always feel a little too quiet. I had the garlic soup last time I visited which was so amazing – but I couldn’t go within 50ft of anyone for 4 days afterwards. Small price to pay if you ask me.
  • The Chardonnay Restaurant – Storrington – yes, it really is called that. I am not sure if I should recommend this place as although the food was excellent it was like dining in an old peoples home. The menus were plastic coated and you were given both olives and wait for it… bombay mix as you waited for your table. Olives and Bombay mix are always a favourite combination of mine, like beef stew and ice cream or wood shavings on toast. The food was good though and huge portions. I’m really torn as to whether I recommend it or not!
  • The Pass – Lower Beeding at South Lodge Hotel received a well earned Michelin star last year, the restaurant takes special care over the provenance of the food it serves which is always a great touch. It was the first time I’d dined in restaurant inside a kitchen and it was great fun (although when you book you have to make sure you get a table near the action as there are a couple of tables with terrible views). You can even get closer to the action and go and see them prepare your meal itself. It must be *murder* for the staff though knowing they are under constant scrutiny from customers – no shouting or swearing allowed!
  • I couldn’t find a website for The White Lion in Thakeham but it’s tucked away down a pretty street and is a very traditional, busy local pub that serves great food. The menu is really extensive with lots of specials and they also do some *huge* kobe steak burgers. Not that I’ve had one of course, cof. The only slight issue is the mushroom farm nearby which is pretty intense! Lovely food and service though.
  • Vintage Rose – Storrington cafe in Storrington does fantastic sandwiches and cakes if you’re after something lighter. A huge menu and the crayfish tail with rocket sandwiches are excellent
  • The Crabtree Public House – Lower Beeding – I’ve just written about this one in the post below, but to recap it serves excellent local food and you can really tell from the menu what is seasonal at the moment. Prices are reasonable as well!
  • Restaurant Tristan – Horsham If you fancy incredibly well presented food with real imagination and though in the flavours AND happen to be in the Horsham area then I don’t think you can do much better than this great, tiny restaurant. The staff are very friendly as well and they do a fantastic Eggs Benedict if you pop in for breakfast.
  • Jamie’s Italian – Brighton I think it’s probably impossible to be disappointed here unless you were expecting a quiet, romantic destination (last time I went there were about 7 prams in the lobby! eww kids). The menu has loads of interesting choices and the food is prepared really quickly even when it’s heaving in here. My personal favourite is the flash grilled feathered steak although the Bolognese is pretty awesome.
  • Food for Friends – Brighton However, if you don’t fancy the hectic and somewhat “TV Chef” aspect of Jamies then I really recommend Food for Friends. It’s a great place to take somebody who thinks they don’t like vegetarian food as I am sure the awesomely inventive menu will convert them. Everything here is also not going to add any inches to your waistline, you can almost feel the healthiness in the food. It’s not a preachy hand-knitted-sandals type of place though and their food has a really international flavour, especially from the middle east.