After a bit of research this morning, I uncovered another pub which is located in the golden slice of pub paradise between Chichester and Midhurst. We've already found plenty of gems there, and set off hoping to find one more.
As we cruised through the beautiful South downs, we passed through village after village, each with its own pub. When we finally made it to East Dean, we were struck with some reservations. We think it's fair to say that this pub doesn't look like much from the outside, but never the less, we bravely marched inside to confront our fate.
It turns out that all of the character has been saved for the inside. Oak floors , beams and bare brick walls are the very definition of rustic. This is a free house, and they make the most of that by offering a wonderful selection of beer, cider and wine, not to mention proper coffee. After taking in the inner charm of this pub, we were plunged back in to our pool of uncertainty when we were left standing at the bar for some time. We were however eventually served and told we could have any free table, where our drinks would be brought over.
The lunchtime menu here isn't big, but it is big enough, and after some of our recent reviews, we were pleasantly surprised at the prices. All the meals on offer were £10 or less, including your classic sausage and mash, fish and chips and gammon. Dad went for the sausage and mash, while I went for a smoked salmon ciabatta with lemon mayonnaise. I also bullied myself in to ordering a side of chips to go with it at £3.50. I believe both of our orders came in at £9.50.
After the small service blip at the bar, we were there after treated with much courtesy and friendliness, and it wasn't long before our food was placed before us. Dad was delighted with his choice, polishing it off while I was only half way through mine. The mash was smooth and well seasoned, the gravy delicious, and the sausages, and I quote, "were exactly what sausages should be". My food was also excellent. The bread was fresh and crisp, the smoked salmon was plentiful, the chips were golden and crispy and the mayonnaise was full of lemony goodness.
Luckily our bravery prevailed over the initial trepidation, as we thoroughly enjoyed our trip to this pub. It is a rare thing in deed to get high quality food for under £10, especially in the golden slice of pub paradise. Out here in the country, within a stone's throw from Goodwood, you can expect to pay slightly over the average. It is hard to find fault here, and if we were being picky, we think a touch of background music may have taken the atmosphere up one notch. This is though a good pub, run by good people and they sell good food at a good price. What's not to like?
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