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Restaurants to book now

Counting down until you can eat out again? Sussex's gourmet hotspots are getting ready to open their doors and already taking bookings - here's our pick of where to make your reservation.

etch., Hove

Already established as one of the leading restaurants on the South Coast, etch. from MasterChef: The Professionals winner Steven Edwards boasts a tasting menu that changes with the seasons, using quality produce from in and around Sussex. Muddy reckons Steven’s definitely a chef to watch and etch. is festooned with accolades from the Michelin and AA judges among others. Bookings are open now for dates from May 18.

Gravetye Manor, East Grinstead

The Michelin-starred, glass fronted restaurant at Gravetye Manor offers a seasonal lunch and dinner menu. It’s all driven and inspired by the stunning, walled kitchen garden and only local suppliers are used. Executive head chef George Blogg worked at two Michelin-starred restaurants and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire before taking over and winning Gravetye its first star. Bookings available from May 26.

The Cat Inn, West Hoathly

Technically a pub not a restaurant, but worthy of inclusion for the quality of the food and general atmosphere. Owner Andrew is a former general manager of Gravetye Manor, and what he doesn’t know about hospitality isn’t worth knowing. With a covered outdoor area, this one’s good to go with restricted hours from April 15 and if you can’t wait til then, try the Finish At Home offering on April 3.

Wild Flor, Hove

Oh, don’t get Muddy started on the girolles she had at Wild Flor before the last lockdown (or was it the one before?). For classic cooking, great wines and a fantastically relaxed atmosphere, Wild Flor is your go-to. Date night, girls night, family gathering – whatever we’re allowed, basically! Opening May 20 and taking bookings now – and there’s also a Wild Flor To Your Door for Easter weekend which features lamb and wild garlic and looks divine.

The Curlew, Bodiam

Another one Muddy’s been dreaming about since visiting early last year. The Curlew is absolute rural foodie heaven, with much of the produce coming from owner Matt and Will Devlin’s The Small Holding just across the border in Kent. Open from May and an absolute must-visit, for the friendly atmosphere and warm welcome and the unique approach to social dining – which we much prefer to social distancing, frankly.

Heritage, Slaugham

Pioneering chef Matt Gillan raised the cash to turn The Chequers Inn into Heritage in just six days. The stunning restaurant with rooms, featuring Matt’s signature progressive cooking in tasting menus from three to nine courses, will reopen in June and is taking bookings. For at-home goodies, head to Matt’s Parlour.

Sussex Pass at The White Hart, Wadhurst

Sussex Pass only launched at The White Hart in December, meaning it’s had pretty much zero chance to welcome guests since then. Undeterred, the team has focused on Sussex Pass @ Home and also a brand-new alfresco dining area which you’ll be able to try out from April 16. Expect a showcase of the best seasonal Sussex and Kent produce. Taking bookings now.

Pitch, Worthing

MasterChef winner Kenny Tutt is set to have a busy year with not one but two new openings, a grill kitchen inside Brighton’s upcoming Shelter Hall and Bayside Social, an all-day casual dining restaurant on Worthing’s seafront. With Pitch, he serves up modern and contemporary British classics, wine and cocktails. Taking bookings from May 17. There’s also an Easter feast from the Pitch At Home offering to tide you over until then.

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