Find this pub, formerly a coaching inn in the days when horses had to tackle Ditchling Beacon on their way to the coast, at the village's main crossroads.
Expect low beams, scrubbed tables, a log fire in cooler months - all give a sense of comfort with fresh flowers and clever light touches. There are two separate bar dining areas, plus a small terrace and pleasant garden.
On the food front the form is to initially order at the bar - and your food is brought to you. You can simply order a snack - such as Olives with Bread & Dunking Oil, or good sandwiches (although we have had reports of sausages with little flavour & leathery skins in one variety) - or eat more elaborately.
The menu sources local produce when at all possible and while this changes with the seasons, starters such as 'Rabbit, Pork & Pistachio Terrine with Chutney'; 'Char-grilled Mediterranean Vegetable & Goats Cheese Salad with Balsamic Dressing' 'Moules Mariniere' and 'Roasted Wood Pigeon, Plum, Lardon & New Potao Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette' set the style.
Perhaps to be followed by 'Chestnut Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil'; 'Cider & Apple Pork Sausages with Whole-Grain Mustard Mash & Red Wine Jus'; 'Pan-Fried Sea Trout with Wilted Chard, Seasonal Vegetables & Chorizo Barley' and 'Sirloin Steak with Parmentier Potatoes, Roasted Cherry Vine Tomatoes & Wild Garlic Butter' listed among the mains.
The sweet-toothed might be tempted by 'Banoffee Crème Brulée with Coffee Ice Cream'; 'Baileys & White Chocolate Mousse in a Brandy Snap Basket' or 'Raspberry & Apple Crumble with Balsamic Ice Cream' - while cheese lovers have a selection of Sussex varieties from which to choose.
Staff are friendly and helpful.
They have comfortable bedrooms - and the pub makes an excellent base from which to explore the area.
- Food Style: Best Pubs for Food
- Lunch: all week, mains £12 to £18
- Dinner: all week, mains £12 to £18
- Wine: a well-chosen list travels the world, and has something for everyone
- Children's portions: Children's Menu
- Wheelchair access: Yes
- Nearest station: Hassocks Rail (2 miles)
- Directions: See the map at the top of the page
- Outside eating
- Rooms available