Hardens Guide to the Best Restaurants in West Sussex
Hardens guides have spent 32 years compiling reviews of the best West Sussex restaurants. On Hardens.com you'll find details and reviews of 23 restaurants in West Sussex and our unique survey based approach to rating and reviewing West Sussex restaurants gives you the best insight into the top restaurants in every area and of every type of cuisine.
Featured West Sussex Restaurants
. Amberley Castle
British, Modern restaurant in Amberley
The “stunning surroundings” of a semi-ruined medieval castle dating from 1103 complete with ramparts and working portcullis make this hotel (part of Andrew Brownsword’s group) a “beautiful venue for a romantic date which you won’t forget”. With a rare and original barrel-vaulted dining room ceiling, the dining room is situated upstairs in the castle: “the food is average but the staff are helpful and obliging”.
. The Pig in the South Downs
British, Modern restaurant in Arundel
Madehurst - BN18
“You really can’t go wrong with Pig food... great bar, great restaurant full of people all enjoying themselves with tasty food and wine” at the eighth and latest in the shabby-chic litter of Pig hotels, in a “stunning location” on the South Downs. It also serves “great local wines”, which will soon be joined by bottles from the 4,000 vines planted on the estate, due to be harvested for the first time this year. A small but vocal minority complain of “bistro food (just!), London prices and cafe service”.
. The Horse Guards Inn
British, Traditional restaurant in Tillington
Upperton Rd - GU28
“A proper gastropub in a bucolic setting” – this “cosy” tavern on the edge of the Petworth estates sits in a quintessential village setting (complete with neighbouring post office, red phone box, and little lane to the church) and a meal often starts with a drink in the “lovely, large garden”. One of the most commented-on West Sussex destinations, it provides “a modern and eclectic menu” – “not the normal selection you see in most pubs” – which results in “really delicious food made with top-quality seasonal ingredients”. (For example “hoglet stew in red wine sauce with feta cheese or superb salmon, cod and seafood with chorizo”.) All this plus “great beers” and a thoughtful wine selection.
. The Parsons Table
British, Modern restaurant in Arundel
2 & 8 Castle Mews, Tarrant Street - BN18
“Delightful, fresh and delicious food served by friendly staff” make this “great local restaurant” an “exceptional find”. Chef Lee and foh Liz Parsons met working at Claridge’s and had a successful career in Vancouver before returning to open under their own name in 2015. “The fish is especially good, with delicate seasoning”, and there’s a “great-value set lunch”.
. Bailiffscourt Hotel
British, Modern restaurant in Climping
Climping St - BN17
This “beautiful” hotel a few minutes’ walk from the sea is “very popular and it’s not hard to understand why” – “the Guinness family’s impressive recreation of a medieval settlement”, built 100 years ago, is “like a film set”. Its dining room is very much “a ‘hotel restaurant’, though a decent one”, with “traditional and well-prepared food”.
. Cassons Restaurant & Bar
British, Modern restaurant in Chichester
Arundel Road, Tangmere - PO18
“A visit to this delightful restaurant is an event, not just an opportunity to eat”, agree the many fans of Viv Cassons’s “very good” cooking – who snap up bookings for the regular themed diners. Her husband, known simply as ‘Cass’, looks after the wine list and front of house. Even those who find it “a bit dated” say the food is “very good”, and its “traditional” qualities include the fact that it’s “well priced”.
Fish & seafood restaurant in Worthing
2 Marine Parade - BN11
“Worthing’s finest!” – this “funky, classy”, family-run spot on the seafront excels for its “fresh seafood treated with care”; there’s a “short menu that delivers on all fronts”, “friendly service” and an “exceptional evening ambience”. Top Tip – “best crab sandwiches around”.
. The Pass Restaurant, South Lodge Hotel
British, Modern restaurant in Lower Beeding
Brighton Road - RH13
In the second half of 2022 (well after our annual diners’ poll had concluded), Ben Wilkinson (formerly of The Cottage in the Woods) was named as chef to relaunch the open kitchen, chef's counter operation at this foodie hotel. It hit fame when it first launched in 2008, quickly winning a Michelin star, when it was one of the early adopters of the now-ubiquitous open dining-as-theatre approach. In recent years it has struggled to hit an even keel seeing a number of chefs come and go for different reasons. His eight-course menu is £120 per person.
. The Royal Oak
British, Modern restaurant in East Lavant
Pook Ln - PO18
North of Chichester and at the foot of the South Downs, this rural pub (with two letting cottages) is consistently well-rated for “fantastic local food cooked perfectly”. You can choose pub classics like fish ’n’ chips or burgers, but the majority of the menu is too ambitious to qualify as ‘pub grub’.
. The Earl of March
British, Traditional restaurant in Lavant
Lavant Rd - P018
The view (towards Goodwood) from the window is said to have inspired William Blake’s anthem, Jerusalem, in 1803, but the current future is uncertain at this eighteenth-century coaching inn, which shut its doors in early October 2022. We await news of the new incarnation of this vantagepoint over ‘England’s green and pleasant land’.
. The Ginger Fox
British, Modern restaurant in Albourne
Muddleswood Road - BN6
This “picture-book thatched country gastropub” from Brighton’s Gingerman group in a “beautiful, isolated setting nestled under the South Downs”, is “just perfect on a sunny day when you can eat in the attractive garden”. It’s “much more than a pub”, serving “inventive dishes”, “done with refinement”, along with “a wine list including bottles from 10 Sussex vineyards”.
. Wilding Kitchen
British, Modern restaurant in Horsham
Knepp Estate, Worthing Road, Dial Post - RH13
Knepp Estate’s rewilding project is now producing and cooking wild meat and fresh produce from their market garden; you can eat in the café, in a restored Sussex barn, in the dog-friendly open-air courtyard (breakfast and lunch every day), or the restaurant (open for lunch, Wed to Sun).
. The White Horse
restaurant in Graffham
This former village pub in the South Downs National Park is now a restaurant-with-rooms with an 8-course tasting menu plus a la carte dining from former private chef Grant Jones, who trained at Le Gavroche. Game from the surrounding countryside and fresh fish landed at Chichester harbour are staples of the kitchen.
. The Hollist Arms
British, Modern restaurant in Lodsworth
This “excellent South Downs destination in a picture-perfect village” – “with fine, restaurant-quality cooking” from chef Jesse Bryson (ex-Noble Rot and Leroy) – “is flourishing for good reason”. The stone-built seventeenth-century pub was taken over in 2020 by Angus Davies, a former manager at Chez Bruce and Lorne.
restaurant in Worthing
60 Ferring Street - BN12
“A gem in sleepy old Ferring”, serving “great, good-value tapas” in a “delightfully unrushed” atmosphere – this “lovely” spot was founded in 1986 by Granada-born Manuel Quirosa and his wife Sue. They retired five years ago, passing the business on to sons Luis, the head chef, and Miguel, whose “much-needed revamp has turned it into a trendy local restaurant”.
. Coppa Club Haslemere
British, Modern restaurant in Haslemere
The Georgian, High Street - GU27
“An ideal location next to the Thames” is a plus for both London outposts of this national chain, which have “superb” situations near Tower Bridge and Putney Bridge and outside terraces with cute outside ‘igloos’. In ethos, they resemble hotel brasseries… just without the attendant hotel: staff are “accommodating” and even if the food is not exciting it’s dependable and relatively affordable.
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