The White Horse
What We Love
- A sumptuous country inn on the edge of the South Downs, with breakfast and moreRelaxing in the friendly local pub with an equally local ale
- Sampling some of the fine local produce on The White Horse's varied menu
- Staying in a prestigious Epicurean Collection country inn
What To Know
- Walls are very thin – a problem if your neighbors are night owls or particularly loud
- Stag rooms have a private courtyard and hot tub
- Free WiFi works best in the reception and bar area
Featuring its own helicopter landing site and chic designer cabins, The White Horse in Chilgrove, West Sussex, takes its place at the luxurious end of the country-inns spectrum. This boutique inn offers an equally warm welcome to its visitors who’ve come from far and wide as it does to its friendly local regulars. The White Horse’s dedication to championing Britain’s rich culture, heritage and natural beauty has led to its inclusion in The Epicurean Collection.
Not forgetting its village roots and with a GQ Food & Drink Award for “Best Pub” and a Harpers award for the Best Drinks Offer in a Pub under its belt, the homely watering hole offers the perfect stop off for walkers and cyclists who fancy a pint of real ale or a coffee and cake on the pub benches, which dot the green out front. The AA Rosette-awarded restaurant prides itself on its “forest-to-fork” ingredients. Expect to dine on a menu of South Downs lamb, field mushrooms and pork tenderloin, plus plenty of seafood options and pub classics, all washed down with an equally impressive wine selection.
Rooms come with or without hot tubs and copper baths and feature a selection of Bramley bathroom amenities, alongside a private courtyard boasting spectacular South Downs views. Wrap yourself in four-poster sheepskin, wool and Egyptian cotton luxury, surrounded by elegantly rustic furnishings. After a sound night’s sleep in your relaxing room, wake up to a delicious full English to recharge your batteries before venturing out for some fresh South Downs air.
The White Horse Inn has recently won three more awards, and was crowned “Part of the Pub Group of the Year” by The Good Pub Guide, the “South East Winner” at The Good Shoot Hotel Awards 2015 and was named runner up for the “Funkiest B&B of the year 2016” by the AA.
How to Get There
We’d heard good reports of the food at the White Horse. We regularly visit other gastro-pubs in West Sussex, and have always been delighted by the warmth of our reception, and the excellence of the food. On this occasion, we had wanted to treat a guest to a good meal. We duly booked for 7.30, and arrived only a couple of minutes later. Perhaps it was 7.50 by the time we placed our orders, after consulting the menu.
Our waitress was rather cold and surly. All three of us had the same impression.
The starters (three tomato soups) took some time to arrive, but were pleasant enough.
However our main course didn’t arrive until 9.10. By about 8.50, we had asked whether we’d somehow been forgotten; other guests around us seemed to have been served. Our waitress promised to go and see what was wrong. The food itself, when it eventually came, was good---nothing wrong with the quality of cooking in the kitchen. Our waitress offered us free desserts, by way of compensation. As it happened, we didn’t want desserts. But we did want an explanation for the delay.
The manageress arrived. She was brusque and defensive, saying that several guests had arrived all at once, and that this had slowed things down. She did offer to remove the service charge, and take 10% off the rest. “I’ve been in the hospitality business for many years,” she boasted, as though it was us who were in the wrong. (Assuming what she said was true, surely she should have learned by now that a simple straightforward apology might have been enough to clear matters up, and also that a restaurant should be able to handle orders coming in quite quickly; though it’s worth adding that we hadn’t noticed any sudden inrush of other customers at any time, and certainly not when we came through the door.) Eventually she said “Well, I’ll comp the whole meal for you,” and strutted off in high dudgeon.
This left us all feeling most uncomfortable. We hadn’t wanted to leave without paying anything. As I’ve already noted, the food was uniformly good. The ill humour and high-handedness of the manageress in dealing with our modest complaint was much worse than the delay in serving us. What could have been a very enjoyable evening out had been spoiled somewhat quite unnecessarily. We certainly won’t return.
The White Horse is perfect for a quick get away and time out from every day. Beautiful location, quirky modern interior design, attention to little details in the rooms and a comfortable bed.
The food is fabulous and the seasonal offerings do not disappoint. The wine list is interesting and well priced. We had super service from all of the staff at dinner and breakfast the next morning.
Well done to the team and we will be back!
We decided to stay last minute near Chichester and I searched through many dog friendly hotels, nothing seemed right until I fell upon the White Horse, beautiful accommodation however still amazingly pet friendly.
The staff couldn’t have been anymore accommodating, even delivering fresh milk in the morning to our door for our pre breakfast coffee or tea.
Food and drinks were delicious too. Good value.
Thank you White Horse