From bijoux inns to award-winning restaurants, Sussex has a wealth of beauty and experiences to offer. Whether you’re spending your time walking in the South Downs National Park, dressing up for Glyndebourne or revving those engines at Glyndebourne, hospitality comes in all shapes and sizes, but it’s always serving up a feast as the Good Hotel Guide will tell you with six lovely pubs with rooms in Sussex…
The Cat Inn, West Hoathly
This Victorian freehouse-with-rooms brings historic charm and contemporary updates resulting in a warm welcome and plenty to tuck into. A favourite amongst ramblers, locals and foodies alike, The Cat Inn is praised for its real ale and ‘proper beer’ as well as its generous pub classics with a twist. Seasonal ingredients sit pride of place on the menu, and historic details like the Inglenook fireplace add to the charm as you settle in for the evening.
The Horse Guards Inn, Tillington
This 350 year old pub in The South Downs National Park was once a favourite of the household cavalry, which is where it got its name. Today it is an elegant pub with rooms offering a delightful retreat from the world. Stylishly decorated with wooden tables and chairs, oak beams and stripped floorboards, they serve a daily changing menu of food sourced from the garden or foraged from the wild hedgerows or seashores nearby. However, it is the little details that really add charm. Roast chestnuts foraged from Petworth Park on one of the open log fires in the winter or lounge on straw-bale seats in the garden in the summer, surrounded by the on site vegetable patch.
The White Horse, Chilgrove
In the foothills of the South Downs, close to the Goodwood Estate, The White Horse at Chilgrove is an award-winning pub with rooms, recommended for its five star standards. Tucked away in its own quiet corner with the Sussex countryside unravelling around it, the pub has a contemporary cottage style to its interiors (steamer trunks, four poster beds, wool throws) and honours its traditional pub roots with a delectable menu sourced from the nearby estates. Key features include Chilgrove wood pigeons, rabbits and trout, Goodwood cheeses and fine ales to wash it all down with.
The Blacksmiths, Donnington
A pub known for its gourmet fare and beautiful surrounding gardens, The Blacksmiths at Donnington also has three rooms to stay in. Offering light, airy and contemporary style that has made exemplary use of the historic building’s original features, the relaxed, dog friendly escape takes great pride in its home grown and locally sourced food. Herbs come straight from the garden, while the seasonal British fare takes inspiration from ingredients in the surrounding area.
The Halfway Bridge, Petworth
A 250 year old inn between Petworth and Midhurst, The Halfway Bridge is stylish and cosy all at once. In this genteel part of the world peppered with country houses, polo clubs and deer parks, the restaurant with rooms offsets original beams and characterful stonework with a neutral colour palette and carefully chosen decoration. The restaurant serves everything from an a la carte menu to gourmet sandwiches, while guests are invited to stay in their luxurious Cowdray Barns within the grounds. Beautifully renovated, there are six en-suite rooms and a suite in the inn’s former stable yard, each providing a sense of total privacy in a home away from home environment.
The Crab & Lobster, Sidlesham
Looking out across the tidal mudflats of Pagham Harbour, The Crab & Lobster is a whitewashed restaurant-with-rooms serving up rustic-chic style in understated elegance. The predominantly seafood menu is served with creative flair, while guests are invited to stay in stylish rooms in the adjacent Crab Cottage. Fresh flowers greet you on arrival, and if you stay in a deluxe room you can take full advantage of the sea views thanks to a set of binoculars left that are readily available for use.