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Where to eat al fresco this winter in Sussex

Whether you're looking for a heated marquee where you can (finally) catch up with friends, or just a cosy festive experience with family, there's some stunning outdoor spaces to enjoy this winter.

Coppa Club, Brighton

Coppa Club, dining igloos, igloo dining

These gorgeously intimate, private igloo pods at Coppa Club are always a luxe experience – book one to enjoy in December and January with your household. Perfect for an Insta-worthy dining experience with your nearest and dearest. Minimum spend £30 per person.

The White Hart, Stopham

Muddy’s eagle eye has spied an impressive-looking marquee outside this gorgeously cosy country pub, situated right next to the historic Stopham Bridge just outside Pulborough. It’s the most mesmerisingly tranquil setting and view – and the food isn’t bad either. The festive seasonal menu is full of classic gastro pub fare at its finest.

The Berwick Inn, Berwick

The cosy outdoor dining pod at this East Sussex pub couldn’t look more decadent and festive if Father Christmas himself were sat at the table. Available for groups of six, it’s the perfect venue for a really special family meal or experience. Serving pub faves, with everybody including kids and vegans catered for.

Kinsbrook Vineyard, West Chiltington

A restaurant inside a polytunnel? Trust us, it works. Kinsbrook is the latest addition to the Sussex vineyard trail and it’s a real ground-up enterprise. The KIN Bubble restaurant is a gorgeously decked-out polytunnel that manages to be light and airy, but also cosy and festive, at the same time. Choose from the a la carte or book a seven course Christmas set menu. Snap up some of the debut wine releases while you’re there – Muddy’s wine aficionado fam recommends the Bacchus.

The White Hart, South Harting

Another White Hart – you could do a tour of them, were you so inclined. Get cosy inside a specially erected Christmas Tipi complete with 14ft Christmas tree, sparkly fairy lights and toasty heaters at this West Sussex inn. It just oozes rural charm and has more than a touch of the Scottish Highland lodge about it – the views over nearby Harting Down are spectacular too. Food-wise, it’s cosy classics all the way.

The Royal Oak, Midhurst

The heaters are on and the wine is mulling in the magical Christmas marquee at The Royal Oak. Whether you choose to eat inside the cosy pub or in the marquee with friends, there’s a festive cocktails menu to get stuck into and a ‘substantial meals’ menu on top of the usual Christmassy pub fare like baked camembert, pie of the day, and ham, turkey and chestnut Scotch egg.

The Bell Inn, Ticehurst

Pop on your best festive hand-warmers and head out to The Bell Inn, Ticehurst, to enjoy a catch-up with friends in the heated corrugated iron Potting Shed. While you’re there, admire the new neon sign and other bits and bobs that make it a really unique space. The seasonal menu is full of sumptuous pub grub with a nod to head chef Oscar’s South American roots. Also the hot chocolates look complete bliss.

East Beach Cafe, Littlehampton

Not quite al fresco, but as good as with a beachfront location, East Beach has Christmas locked down with festive fairy lights, a gorgeously convivial atmosphere and even cosy blankets for chilly customers to wrap up warm. There’s nothing cosier than looking out over a broiling, gunmetal grey sea from the warmth of this lovely cafe whilst scoffing down the legendary tiger prawns with garlic and chilli, without a doubt all Muddy wants for Christmas.

Hove Place, Hove

Get cosy with your gang in the winter garden at Hove Place, which is covered and heated and decked out with fairy lights. Food can be ordered from the December bistro menu or the FareShare menu, a substantial meal that gives back by donating £2 to charity Fare Share.

The Sussex Ox, Polegate

You can book a table in the outdoor heated marquee at this country pub for groups of up to six from multiple households, so definitely one for that festive catch-up with your girlfriends.

Find more ideas here

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4 comments on “Where to eat al fresco this winter in Sussex”

  • Co Hoax December 20, 2020

    very nice and cosy looking. BUT if these are just available these days because of the current situation, that is pretty sad really.

  • ms A King-Turner December 18, 2020

    Such a good feature! Please do variations on this theme as the New Normal goes on…

    We want to see our family in mod, i mean Mid-Sussex, before Christmas for a meal.
    After several ‘Sorry, closed’, they found one pub near them, at Loxwood.
    Not sure if there’s heating, but we’ll wrap well and take our wellies.

    Kind regards

    Bognor Regis

  • Dave Skinner December 15, 2020


    Have a look at the Lamb West Wittering.

    The outside space is Amazing!! A true winter wonderland meets apres ski bar!

    Great pub food and some wonderful Winter Cocktails!

    • edinchief December 23, 2020

      Thanks Dave – great recommendation!


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