Worth getting out of bed for
Goodwood (www.goodwood.co.uk) estate in the Sussex downs boasts a beautiful historic house and one of the country’s most impressive private art galleries. Various sporting events are held in the extensive grounds, including motor racing, horseracing and golf. It also hosts the annual Festival of Speed, Goodwood Revival and Vintage at Goodwood. Visit West Dean House (+44 (0)1243 811301; www.westdean.org.uk) for its gorgeous gardens and sculptures, or go for a blustery coastal walk at West Wittering, a 20-minute drive away (www.westwitteringbeach.co.uk). Sporty types will love Cowdray Park (www.cowdray.co.uk) for its golf and polo clubs; there’s also the ruined Tudor mansion of Cowdray to admire. Chichester’s picturesque market boasts Roman remains, a Gothic cathedral (get here for evensong, to hear the choristers’ mellifluous melodies) and chichi boutiques. See a play at the Chichester Festival Theatre (www.cft.org.uk), which sparkles from a recent refurbishment (the hotel has a pre-theatre menu). Uppark House (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-uppark) is a beautiful National Trust property, 20 minutes from East Lavant by car. The house burned to the ground in 1989 but was meticulously renovated; its views of the Downs and the south coast are stunning.
There are two Smith-approved favourites to choose from nearby. The Crab & Lobster (+44 (0)1845 577286) on Dishforth Road is another restaurant with rooms. Like the Royal Oak, its menu celebrates local ingredients, including Selsey crab and sardines plucked from the south coast. Amberley Castle (+44 (0)1798 831992) near Arundel serves tender venison, succulent seafood and magical desserts: strawberry soup in a crisp cage with mint sherbet, banoffee pie with chestnut, toffee shards, salt caramel and banana sorbet, and pistachio cake served with aniseed ice-cream and raspberry ‘air’.
Purchases Wine Bar (+44 (0)1243 537352) is the oldest wine merchants in Chichester. The Fox Goes Free in Charlton (+44 (0)1243 811461) does a mean steak and kidney pie, and real ales. The Three Horseshoes in Elsted (+44 (0)1730 825746) is worth the half-hour drive for the garden with stunning views over the South Downs. The Anchor Bleu (+44 (0)1243 573956) in picturesque Bosham.
Have a break from shopping and toast your new acquisitions with a piping hot brew and some cream-slathered scones at the award-winning St Martins Tea Rooms (+44 (0)1243 786715; www.organictearooms.co.uk) at 2-3 St Martins Street, Chichester. The pretty, grade II-listed building houses toasty log fires, and portions are generous – try the organic lemon and almond sponge, nutty flapjack or chocolate tiffin.
June Polo British Open Championships (+44 (0)1730 813257; www.cowdraypolo.co.uk). July Festival of Speed, Goodwood. Horse-racing at Glorious Goodwood (+44 (0)1243 755055; www.goodwood.co.uk).
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Smith extra at The Royal Oak
A bottle of house wine
From the Guestbook…
A wonderful couple of nights at this delightful pub. Delicious food and excellent service, everyone we spoke to was keen to help us with any enquiries and was really friendly too. ...more