Great Sussex Roasts
From their own organic farms to cosy surrounds or special menus, these pubs and restaurants stand out for a Sunday roast
With a view….
The Perch, Lancing
This cafe/restaurant is right on the beach at Lancing, midway between Worthing and Brighton so you can watch the waves through the large windows when it’s too parky to paddle. It’s also a good spot for sunsets. There’s an excellent roast here 16.00 to 19.00 on Sundays with impressive sharing boards. The combined meat roast even defeated my carnivorous brother and sister-in-law. There’s also a good lentil wellington version for veggies. It’s a favourite Muddy bike ride stop, there’s a playground, public exercise machines and grass for a kick about nearby. Dogs are welcome. Nice to know it’s an eco-friendly building as well.
Break out of the boozer and get up into the South Downs for your Sunday lunch at this lofty vineyard with pop-up roasts and brunches on selected dates in its Flint Barns. It’s perfect to combine with a walk around the estate and your four-legged friend is welcome. Come early, read the papers with coffee and cake or a Bloody Mary then choose from two or three courses, accompanied by the estate’s own wine. After, go wildlife spotting among the vines or lounge by the woodburner or in the courtyard, with a book, game or jigsaw.
With their own organic farms…
The Dorset Arms, Withyham
Organically-reared meat and game from the historic Buckhurst Estate appear on the menu of this 18th century pub. With roast sirloin of beef or loin of pork on Sundays. A classic bangers and mash meanwhile features sausages made to owner Lord De La Warr’s favourite recipe. The estate is part of the ‘100 Acre Wood’ of Winnie the Pooh fame. Ashdown Forest, AA Milne’s home village of Hartfield (where you can pick up a map to the Pooh Sticks bridge) and Groombridge Place are nearby so there’s plenty of opportunity to walk off your lunch. There’s even a cottage for staying over.
Farmer Butcher, Chef, Goodwood
Arriving from the estate’s organic Home Farm just metres away, meals here are low on food miles, big on taste. Beef, pork and lamb are all reared on the estate and the restaurant uses as many cuts of meat as possible (start by sharing a nose to tail butcher’s board if you’re game). The decor is wonderfully quirky, with antique finds from around Goodwood like spanners and vintage radiator grills from racing cars on the walls and fossil collections under tabletops. It’s within metres of the wonderful outdoor gallery at Cass Sculpture Foundation for strolling afterwards.
The Sussex Ox, Polegate
This secluded pub down a county lane is served by its own organic farm raising beef, lamb and pork and growing potatoes. Naturally these grace the Sunday lunch menu. There’s also a veggie roast. Check out the vintage pictures of the farm and owners’ relatives on the walls – it’s been in the same family for 70 years. It’s close to pretty Alfriston and sits under the Wilmington Giant, so is a good choice for walkers.
Cosy foodie pubs…
The Coach and Horses, Danehill
This pub has a knockout garden but come the cooler months you can hole up in its cosy historic interior. Slow roasted pork belly is among current Sunday options. Weave the Coach & Horses into a day trip, riding the vintage trains at nearby Bluebell Railway or visiting the National Trust’s Sheffield Park and Gardens or the Ashdown Forest. The pub also has three suggested circular walks on its website to help you work up an appetite.
The Cat Inn, West Hoathly
This friendly and characterful 16th century pub is a double Muddy Award winner so it’s clearly well-loved. There are beamed ceilings and an inglenook fireplace in the bar, historic side rooms and a large extension for dining. The Sunday menu typcially includes roasted Orchard Farm pork loin, shoulder and belly. Close to the Ashdown Forest, it’s perfectly placed for walks, visits to major gardens and the Bluebell Railway. There are also smart bedrooms for a weekend break.
The Crown Inn at Dial Post, near Horsham
Fancy roast turkey before Christmas? It’s on the autumn menu at The Crown Inn, using free range birds reared locally. You can also double up with a beef and chicken duo roast. There’s a proper nut roast for veggies and the gravy is gluten free. In season, specials are likely to include game. Leave room to share the great value assiette of puddings. Christmas lunch here is super popular do get planning well ahead.
The Snowdrop Inn, Lindfield
Think you should have a Yorkshire pudding whatever roast you pick? You can at the Snowdrop Inn, Lindfield where it comes with beef, chicken or pork belly. There’s also a vegan cashew and butternut roast on offer. Comfort food starters include a baked camembert to share.
This city restaurant is a carnivore’s delight. It specialises in steak cooked over burning charcoal and on Sundays there’s a sharing beef roast at £38 for two. Between noon and 16.00 get your chops around your half of a 500g Black Aberdeen Angus, 35 Day Dry-Aged Roast Sirloin of Beef served with roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, honey roast root veg, seasonal greens, Yorkshire pudding and beef gravy. Plus, one child goes free per paying adult. You can even gift the sharing roast with a voucher.
Hotel du Vin, Brighton
‘Rookie mistake’ said a friend when she spotted me starting with the soup here. She wasn’t wrong. The Hotel Du Vin Sunday lunch is a four course affair all-in for £26.95 so you need to pace yourself. The mains always include a choice of roasts and pie but the real highlight is the ‘French market table’ – a mini buffet you visit for the second course that is choc-full of fresh seafood, cured meats and anti-pasti. My, those prawns are good. There’s a brunchy cocktail list too for the full indulgence. Among other Brighton eateries, Busby & Wilds has won awards for its roasts and new WildFlor has a good rep.
At this smart town centre hotel a three course Sunday lunch for just under £20 typically includes a choice of chicken, beef or slow cooked lamb or a lentil, nut and vegetable roast. Kick off with perhaps a cheese souffle, smoked salmon or duck salad, leave room for the likes of key lime pie or pistachio creme brulee. You can also gift a roast with a voucher.
Good for groups…
The Highdown, Goring-by-Sea
If you’ve a big family lunch in mind or like a choice of areas to sit, The Highdown, a hotel, pub and restaurant combined, is a good bet. A mushroom bourguignon pie is an interesting choice for veggies alongside the meat roasts. It is also hot on allergies, with a good number of gluten-free choices. The option of a mini pudding with coffee is a nice idea if you’re too stuffed to go for the full dessert. Afterwards, take a stroll in the pretty public garden just next door.
Duke of Cumberland Arms near Midhurst
Can’t wait till Sunday for your roast? This pub with large garden lets you book a roast joint for four people or more any day of the week with a minimum of two days notice. Choose from a four rib of beef, leg of lamb or loin of pork and a whole free-range chicken, all of which come accompanied by the traditional Sunday trimmings.
Got a favourite Sunday roast spot not listed? Please share in the comments box.
Words: Debbie Ward