Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Horse Guard's Inn, Tillington, Sussex


It's been a full-on week as I've raced around the country; from London to Newcastle, to Northumberland, back to London and then to Sussex.  It would be fair to say I feel pretty tired and jaded by life at the moment so a night away in a cosy pub was just what the Dr ordered!  I first came across this little pub when we were staying nearby and we tried it out for Sunday lunch.  It was a hit on all fronts and when I saw they had three rooms above the bar, I filed it away for future use. 

The Horse Guard's Inn, perched precariously on the slope of the village hill, is old.  About 350 years old and it shows in every nook and cranny.  There are low, wonky beams; sloping floors and miniscule doorways.  There are open fires in each of the downstairs four rooms but it's usp has to be it's quirky vintage d├ęcor.  Everywhere you look are brocante finds that have been utilised and upcycled.  The bar dominates the main room and the other rooms are home to a myriad of old pine tables and mismatched chairs for diners.  There is only one small sofa and I guess if there's one thing that I think is missing at the Horse Guard's it's somewhere comfy to collapse after eating their delicious dinner!  Talking of dinner - all their food is sourced locally and they display their suppliers on a chalk board.  Their fabulous garden is also home to many of the vegtables and herbs that find their way to your plate.  Between us we had venison with purple sprouting broccoli and roast potatoes and a griddled pork chop with bubble and squeak and curly kale.  The venison was deliciously pink and gamey and the pork was perfectly cooked, succulent and 'piggy'!  We also sampled their homemade bread which literally was like manna from heaven - served with their organic olive oil and pomegranate molasses (I'm so going to steal that idea!) to dip it in.  By the time we got to puddings we were beaten!  But for those who can always fit in a dessert you could take your pick from a chocolate torte, a ginger parkin sponge with ginger wine sauce and ice-cream, local cheeses as well as a variety of homemade ice-creams and sorbets. 

We slept well in a cosy beamed room with a wonderful view of the village church opposite before partaking of a hearty English breakfast.  We had been hoping for a walk before we headed back to London, but the weather put a stop to that; we watched as the rain was blown horizontal by the fierce winds and decided that an hour by the fire was a much safer option - I even tried my hand at some knitting (left for customers to pass the time away in good old-fashioned style).  This is a fantastically relaxing place to unwind and let life's cares drift away.  The only regret is that the weather wasn't conducive to sitting outside and enjoying the country garden, but you know what that means?  I have to go back in the summer...

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