Storrington is a small town in West Sussex, a few miles inland from Worthing. Its in the South Downs National Park, at the foot of the downs, on the north side of the ridge.
This is a guide to its pubs, well places that serve alcohol and food, so that includes the odd cafe and restaurant as well.
- Its surprising, for a rural area, and a National Park at that, that few of these establishments have a great view (an obsession of mine). Nothing on the ridge, just the Sportsman at Amberley, the White Hart at Stopham Bridge, and the Black Rabbit in Arundel, and the pier pavilion in Worthing really count.
- Pretty much every pub here has pretensions of being a gastro-pub, with pricing to match, say £13, or more, for a burger. Few of them have the cooking to match, and fewer still of them consistently have the cooking to match. Many times I had great food, returned, and had a disappointing experience. And not everyone want to spend £25+ for lunch (say main + pint + coffee + tip) every day! Prices are shocking compared to (say) Brighton or London.
- The other thing is that there are still a lot of local pubs for a sparsely populated area. Many are quiet at lunchtime. The busiest establishment in the area is probably the Costa Coffee in Storrington village centre. This is a lesson that most pubs still haven't learnt. For a pub to survive, it needs to be a welcoming place for a hot beverage (as 'Sheldon' would say), not just alcohol. Costa, on the other hand opens early, is open all day, is bright and airy, has WiFi, is a little 'anonymous' (i.e. you don't feel rushed to leave to give them back the table), a person there on their own doesn't look like Johnny no mates, and a coffee and pastry is about £5, and its busy all day long. Just as well it doesn't serve wine!
- Finally, in this day and age, these establishments need to be more aware of people with special needs - banisters on both sides where there are steps, some chairs with sides (so you can push yourself up) for example. Special needs doesn't just mean step free or wheelchair. Theses reviews (and the choice of venues) reflect the need for a nearby parking space. A plea to venues: If you have steps, have a handrail, on both sides!
To Do: The Countryman (Shipley), Horse Guards Inn (Tillington), Big Plant Nursery Jungle Cafe (Ashington), the newly re-opened Black Horse in Amberley, and some local vineyards.
Sadly, my frail lunch companion succumbed to coronavirus. Appropriately, The Moon was our last meal. Thank you, to The Moon, and to every one else. Cheers!
Final Update: Jan-21.
Storrington, RH20 4DR
[Dec-19] Pleasant pub in the Storrington Town centre. Pretty beer garden at the back. Park in the Waitrose or Library car parks.
Friendly. Food patchy of late. Awesome Sunday roast carvery. Our 'go to' pub.
Storrington, RH20 4JN
[Sep-19] Just outside Storrington on the Pulborough road. Parking. Pubby part, a conservatory, and a beer garden. Very good value lunchtime 2 or 3 course deal.
New landlord - Sep'19 with a much shorter menu (thank you!). Variable food in the past, but by far the most popular lunchtime food pub in the area.
White Horse Hotel
Storrington, RH20 4DJ
In Storrington town centre. Small car park. New management (again?). Pleasant but very quiet one lunchtime. Check if serving weekday lunch
Storrington, RH20 4DU
[Oct-19] In Storrington town centre. Large car park. Small outside space.
No food and a lads-drinking atmosphere when we visited one evening. A quiet lunchtime had a much better atmosphere. Food 1/3 to 1/2 the price of other pubs in the area, e.g. £7 burger.
North of Storrington
White Lion Inn
Thakeham, RH20 3EP
On a quiet road in Thakeham, north of Storrington. Lovely country pub, but you'll need a satnav to find it. Beer garden. Ample parking.
Truly a gastro pub. Excellent food. A large menu but brings it off. Easily the best food on this list. Highly recommended!
West Chiltington, RH20 2PF
Picturesque hotel with pub, restaurant and outside seating in West Chiltington, north of Storrington. Ample parking.
Quite busy at lunchtime. Nice enough but not special.
Five Bells Inn
West Chiltington, RH20 2QX
Quiet, pretty looking roadside pub in West Chiltington, north of Storrington. Real ales. Expensive food did not impress.
On the A24, Ashington, RH20 3DD
Very large food orientated pub in Ashington, just off the A24. Nice outside seating. Ample parking.
Been there 3 times. First time had a great lamb shank. Second time was so so. Third time I got the runs from a cloudy pint and was charged £8 for a glass of house red.
Near Storrington, RH20 2JN
Rambling pub with parking in West Chiltington village center, north of Storrington. Nice but not special.
Pulborough, RH20 2DX
On the Amberley-Pulborough Road. Ample parking opposite.
Expensive, £5.75 pint, double expresso charged as 2 expressos, limited menu choice (most items were off). Cool music (or very noisy if you use hearing aids )
Near Pulborough, RH20 2HE
In Nutbourne. Very pretty pub in a very quiet hamlet. Easy road parking outside. Outside seating
Great drinkers pub. Excellent gastro-food. Pubby atmosphere. Nice service. Busy on a Friday lunchtime, but we were the only customers on a rainy Wednesday lunctime.
Pulborough, RH20 1DS
Riverside country pub by the old (by-passed) Stopham bridge, west of Pulborough. Idyllic setting with lots of outside riverside seating. Ample parking
Highly recommended for a drink on a warm summer's day. So-so food (watery curry with little rice and less chicken, unseasoned fish).
The Swan Inn
Fittleworth, RH20 1EN
A great village pub for a coffee or drink (opens at 8:30am !). Real ales. Very welcoming. Beer Garden. Lovely history... artists used to stay here, including Constable, and paid their tab with paintings, which now adorn the walls. Sadly, food not so good.
A few miles west of Pulborough. There's a gantry over the road by the pub, so you can't miss it! A few parking spaces outside, or along the busy main road.
Bridge Inn - Amberley
Amberley, BN18 9LR
Nice country pub with pleasent outside seating by Amberley Station and the old bridge. Parking outside.
Continue down the quiet lane the pub is on, then turn right at the end, for a pretty 1km walk to a historic church in North Stoke. Nice food.
George & Dragon
Amberley, BN18 9LW
Country pub on the road out of Amberley towards Arundel. Parking. Rear suntrap terrace with a nice view.
Food a bit mixed ... kofta, salad, home made hummus, and, err, potatoes
Riverside Tea Room
Amberley, BN18 9LW
Tearooms with large terrace overlooking the river an historic bridge.
Idyllic riverside setting. One for the summer. Haven't been there since it reopened. Its strange website doesn't have a riverside picture!
The Sportsman (re-opened, again)
Amberley, BN18 9LR
Pub on a quiet road, but the terrace has great views overlooking the wetlands. Ample road parking.
Now re-opened under new management. Rumour has it a 50K annual rent doomed the previous owners. Great views as ever. Drinks seemed expensive (£18 for pint, a large and a small wine). Food not special for the price.
The Black Horse (re-opened)
Amberley, BN18 9NL
[Oct-19] A very warm welcome to the re-opened Black Horse in Amberley village. Very nicely refurbished modern interior. Restaurant. Bar. Garden Room (for tea and cake). Garden patio. Expensive for the area - weekday lunch is £20/£25 for 2/3 courses. Open all day. Access via 4 steps or a longish step free ramp. Slightly awkward parking in the narrow village streets. Our experience was spoilt by their billing policy.
Near Arundel, BN18 9PB
Remote but very popular pub at the end of a quiet lane with a large riverside terrace overlooking river meadows, with Arundel Castle views. Access via Arundel (no direct route from Amberley) via a pretty riverside lane below the castle. Part of the pub is done out as a coffee shop.
Idyllic setting. Highly recommended on a summer's day. Food quickly served, but a bit overpriced for the portion size / quality. However, the outstanding river terrace view trumps everything. Easily the best summer pub on this list!
George at Burpham
Near Arundel, BN18 9RR
In Burpham, a quiet hamlet. Access via A27 near Arundel (no direct route from Amberley)
Not been there for years. On our to-do list.
The White Horse Smokehouse and Grill
Steyning, BN44 3YE
[Sep-19] The stables of a former coaching inn in Steyning village centre. £8 set lunch (not Sunday) excellent value for the area. Evening mains around £13. Large pubby part and restaurant part by an open kitchen. Outside seating, some raised overlooking the high street. Only a few parking spaces. Village pay car park, or park a 5 min walk away.
Recommended. Interesting mix of grill and fine dinning. Ribs had been so slow cooked, the bone was soft, served on greens with mash! Busy at lunchtime. Will return. Easily the best value weekday lunch on this list
Worthing Pier Southern Pavilion
Worthing, BN11 3PX
Art deco glass pavilion at the end of the pier. Drinks only. On-street pay parking, or 10 mins walk along the coast promenade to the end of the CPZ
Stunning. Very highly recommended. Access - no steps but 150m walk along the pier (but plenty of seats for a rest along the way)
Cafe des Artistes
Worthing, BN11 2ES
Cafe on Worthing pedestrian promenade. Small, but has a roof terrace (drinks only), and a beach terrace. Swimming pool pay car park 100m, or walk 10 mins along the prom. to the end of the CPZ
Simple food, but great location. Very highly recommended.
Bridge Inn - Shoreham
Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 5DE
Town centre pub. Rear terrace has great views over the river estuary. Small car park.
Lancing, BN15 8RA
Cafe on the raised seafront promenade. There is a road outside, but it is private, i.e. no drop-off or parking for the disabled, but there is level access for wheelchairs from a pay beach front car park about 100m away. Free parking on nearby streets.
Outside seats and bar stools have a sea view. Table seats not so much because of the raised shingle bank.