Food and booze news - including a big wineries weekender, new pubs, dining and drinks launches across Sussex
I’ve got my ear firmly to the ground, so before it fills with ants, let me tell you the exciting goings on I’ve been hearing about… Sussex food and drink launches and more
First Sussex wineries weekend
A host of the county’s great wineries are teaming up for a special wine weekend this 15-16 of June, which happily coincides with Sussex Day and Fathers’ Day. Get the date in your diary because there will be some great stuff going on besides tours and tastings, like a sausage barbecue at Oxney Organic Estate near Rye; a barbecue and produce market at Bolney near Haywards Heath; picnics among the vines at Ridgeview at Ditchling and picnics, children’s activities and a pop-up cinema showing Sideways at Albourne Estate near Hassocks.
New Sussex Vermouth
In further booze news, Rathfinny vineyard at Alfriston, which debuted Seven Sisters Gin last year is set to launch a Seven Sisters Vermouth in the summer. Start planning to mix the two in martinis and negronis! Its first sparkling wine will also be ready this year and it has an exciting new visitor experience up its sleeve that will be launched in early summer – keep your eyes on Muddy for details.
Friday night tapas
It’s all happening at the vineyards. If you live near Bolney, check out the new wine bar in town. Bolney Wine Estate will now be open from 4.00pm to 10:30pm every Friday for glasses of its own vino accompanied by English-inspired tapas. The new bar will also be serving Foxhole English Gin and a range of other spirits and tipples and during March you can get a free glass of Lychgate White or Red when you spend £10 or more on tapas. Monthly themed nights on the first Friday of every month will kick off with a Battle of the Chefs in April, then a ‘G and Tea’ dance in May.
Artie’s new pub
Already well known for tapas is Artie’s Kitchen in Chichester. Now the restaurant has a new project on the go – a pub. It is currently revamping the Foresters Arms in Graffham, though they tell me this will offer something different to tapas so watch this space. It hopes to open at the end of March.
Eastbourne’s cutting edge beach huts
Something that doesn’t include food or drink (obsessed, moi?) It’s not usually the coolest of Sussex’s resorts but Eastbourne has upped the ante with its new Grand Designs-style beach huts. Its latest, Spyglass, rotates on a turntable to give views of the sea and pier, like a traditional seaside telescope. It joins What Unearthed, which was inspired by local archeological discoveries. Check them out east of the pier and look out for pop-up events there in the summer. The next hut will be unveiled in Autumn.
Dinner up the i360
You can already have a tipple up there, get married and watch the odd drag performance, now sky-high dining up the BA i360 in Brighton is going to become a thing. Three course meals will be served in the pod on selected dates, the first of which are 26 April and 4 May. More dates will come up in Autumn. And yes, you get to come down between courses to use the loo!
Sussex Produce Company expecting a sibling
Sussex Produce Company is gaining a sister. It’s popular Steyning shop and cafe, which has been open ten years, is going to soon be joined by a new shop in Goring-by-Sea. Like its Steyning incarnation, locally-sourced veg, bread and deli items will be its stock in trade, though you won’t be able to eat on site.
This little piggie came to Sussex
The Grade II-listed Madehurst Lodge, near Arundel is set to open as The South Downs Pig in 2019. The Pig is a chain of restaurants with rooms that’s already big in Hampshire and the South West. If you’re in the East of Sussex you needn’t miss out either because a Pig will be opening within striking distance at Canterbury, Kent this very autumn. The Pig at Bridge Place will takeover what was the Bridge Place Country Club where bands including Led Zeppelin played back in the ’70s.
You’ll get to tuck in in a conservatory kitchen restaurant or tuck yourself into bed in one of the rooms – some of which will be in ‘hop pickers’ huts’ in the grounds.