CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Sussex Life today CLICK HERE

All change in Chiltington's Jolly Sportsman Gastro Pub, East Chiltington

PUBLISHED: 15:25 04 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:39 20 February 2013

All change in Chiltington's Jolly Sportsman Gastro Pub, East Chiltington

All change in Chiltington's Jolly Sportsman Gastro Pub, East Chiltington

But no tears have to fall when you enjoy a jolly good lunch at The Jolly Sportsman in East Chiltington - although for her taste, Lulu Larkin wishes that it had been less of a blackboard jungle...

MANY thanks to all the Sussex Life readers who wrote in to recommend that Daniel and I visit The Jolly Sportsman as being a quintessentially Sussex pub serving outstanding food in Desperate Dan portions at amazing prices. Well we did, it does and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. Here's why.

Firstly the warm welcome. Not just from the friendly staff, but from a roaring log fire spitting and crackling in the hearth and the sound of everyone enjoying themselves. A young man enters backwards through the door with an armful of logs. "Oh, hello, I'll be right with you" and proceeds with pyromaniacal enthusiasm to hurl the timber on to the fire sending sparks flying and smoke billowing everywhere. But we didn't mind. It was a snappy cold winter's day and it made us feel warm and cosy-toasty.

Housekeeping duties over, Nathaniel gave us a tour of the restaurant to ensure that we were happy with our table. How considerate. The restaurant is divided into two: the main bar used to be a Victorian alehouse and the atmosphere is maintained with dripping waxy candles on the polished oak tables, distressed mirrors, wood panelling, perching stools at the bar and a selection of more than 90 malt whiskies behind it. The other half is brighter with modern pictures and views out to the garden and Downs beyond but we decided to snuggle down on a table near the fire, where a friendly bulldog was lurking in the hope of Bill Sikes lobbing him a sausage.

And then yes, of course, the food. There's an exciting and diverse selection here but my one and only cavil is that the most tantalising dishes, 'specials of the day' and the wine list are on various blackboards either above or behind someone else's table in microscopic writing. As a result you're hopping up and down like a jack-in-a-box, apologising to diners tucking into their steak and ale pie, going back to the printed menu and then forgetting whether it was mussel or celeriac soup. Help - it's a blackboard jungle - get me out of here!

But our charming waitress, Rachel, was at hand to help us scythe our way through the menu and guide us through the 200-strong well-priced wine list, from which we chose a gutsy Shiraz. While Daniel chose the carpaccio of venison with pomegranate vinaigrette, I went for a robust salad of warm pigeon breast, Jerusalem artichoke and balsamic dressing. Mmmmm.

Full article was puclished in theJanuary edition of Sussex Life, 2009


More from Food & Drink

Treat yourself, family and friends to lunch and afternoon tea with a visit to one of these fantastic Sussex tea rooms

Read more

What could be nicer than a sleepy Sunday afternoon in one of our beautiful Sussex pubs? Here are some of our favourites…

Read more

Whether you’re looking for fine dining, pub food, a romantic meal for 2 or a taste of something from further afield, eating out in Sussex really has something for everyone. Here’s our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more

A warming glass of something delicious is a vital ingredient for the festivities. We round up some of the best Sussex tipples

Read more

For food-loving friends, whether far-flung or local, Sussex produce makes the perfect present

Read more

After a glittering ceremony at The Grand Brighton on 25 October, we announce the winners of the 2018 Celebration of Sussex Life Awards

Read more

The 2018 Celebration of Sussex Life Awards are fast approaching, with the ceremony taking place at The Grand Hotel, Brighton on 25 October. We’re delighted to announce our finalists…

Read more

Brighton’s The Chilli Pickle is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Co-founder Alun Sperring talks about his passions

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search