Friendly, bustling inn with beamed rooms, real ales and good wines, interesting food and seats in garden; bedrooms
The good pub guide review
This is a nicely refurbished late 16th-c pub with a Georgian façade. A friendly and informal beamed bar is to the left of the front door, with fender seats around an open fire, scatter cushions on a built-in wall seat, a couple of armchairs and a few simple seats and tables; darts. Harveys Best and a couple of guests from breweries such as Larkins and Long Man on handpump (guests change every couple of weeks), around 20 wines by the glass from a good list and a growing collection of gins, served by friendly, courteous staff. The dining room has a cottagey feel with pretty curtains, bookshelves on either side of a small fireplace, horse pictures, rosettes and pieces of china, a long red leather wall seat and wheelback and farmhouse chairs around white tables; board games. A small room leads off with high-backed red leather chairs around light tables, a big ornate gilt-edged mirror, antlers and a chandelier; a lower room with contemporary seats and tables has a retractable roof. Outside, there are seats on the front terrace and picnic-sets on grass, and steep steps lead up to a lawned garden with more picnic-sets. The nine bedrooms (three in the pub, three in the pretty Old School Cottage) are attractively decorated and comfortable. The pub is part of the Buckhurst Estate on the edge of Ashdown Forest and named after the Earls and Dukes of Dorset.
The good pub guide food review
Enjoyable food includes sandwiches, guinea fowl, pigeon and smoked chicken terrine with farmhouse chutney, prawn cocktail, eggs benedict, fish and chips with tartare sauce, seafood linguine, sea bass with samphire, brown shrimps and cockles, salad niçoise, monkfish with serrano ham crisp and parmentier potatoes, côte de boeuf (for two) with fries and béarnaise sauce, and puddings such as lemon and lime posset and plum and apple crumble with cream or vanilla ice-cream.