West Sussex, United Kingdom

The Crab & Lobster

Rates from (ex tax)$173.13

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP165.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Contemporary rusticity

Setting

Pagham Harbour bird sanctuary

With a prime location overlooking West Sussex's picturesque Pagham Harbour, The Crab & Lobster hotel is a classic 16th-century inn with understated good looks (including flagstone floors and fireplaces) and everything you could want from a stay in an old pub: warm and welcoming bar, overstuffed leather sofas, top-notch cuisine and comfortably elegant bedrooms.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A bottle of house wine on arrival

Facilities

Photos The Crab & Lobster facilities

Need to know

Rooms

Four; plus a self-contained cottage.

Check–Out

11am; earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $173.13 (£138), excluding tax at 20 per cent.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (GBP165.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include breakfast. Two-night minimum stay at weekends. (Rates increase on bank holidays and during Goodwood events).

Also

Self-contained Crab cottage has two double rooms and can be booked for £220 a night Sunday to Thursday or £250 a night at weekends (add £30 a night for each guest after the first two).

Hotel closed

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

At the hotel

Small garden, car park. In rooms, flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player iPod dock sound system, free WiFi and broadband internet connection, Noble Isle bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Standard rooms 2 and 3 are smaller, but have large baths with rain-showers. The Deluxe rooms are slightly larger and have lovely views over Pagham Harbour; room 1 has a bath tub; up in the eaves, wooden-beamed room 4 has a walk-in shower (but may not be the best for beanpoles, thanks to its low ceilings).

Packing tips

Binoculars for birdspotting; vintage finery for Goodwood Revival; jelly shoes for walking along West Wittering's pebbly beach.

Also

Pets unfortunately cannot be accommodated. A three-night minimum stay applies during the Festival of Speed and the Goodwood Revival, as well as over Bank Holiday weekends.

Children

Children stay in parents' rooms for £30 a night; babysitting can be arranged with two weeks' notice (£10 an hour).

Food and Drink

Photos The Crab & Lobster food and drink

Top Table

Snag a table by the inglenook fireplace.

Dress Code

Casual cable-knits and sailing clobber.

Hotel restaurant

With flagstone floors and specials chalked on blackboards in trad-pub fashion, the Crab & Lobster's Modern British menu focuses on locally landed fish and locally reared meats. Look out for the Selsey crab and sardines caught on the south coast.

Hotel bar

Perch with a pint on dark-leather stools at the polished-pine and brick bar, or cosy up with a bottle of wine in a pair of leather bucket chairs.

Last orders

The pub is open 11am–11pm; food is served 12–2.30pm and 6pm–9.30pm (9pm on Sundays).

Room service

None, but there are tea and coffee trays in rooms, and minifridges with complimentary mineral water and milk. Guests' breakfast is served in the main restaurant, 7.30am–9.45am weekdays; 8.30am–9.45am weekends and bank holidays.

Location

Photos The Crab & Lobster location
Address
The Crab & Lobster
Mill Lane, Sidlesham
PO20 7NB
West Sussex
United Kingdom

Planes

Southampton airport is 30 miles away and roughly 45 minutes by car and train. From here, you can grab a cab or collect your hire car.

Trains

Chichester station is a 20-minute drive from the hotel. Southern (www.southernrailway.com) runs a service directly from London Victoria in roughly an hour and a half.

Automobiles

The drive from Chichester shouldn't take more than 25 minutes along the A27. The A3 will get you to and from London.

Worth getting out of bed for

You're spoilt for choice here; go for a lazy amble round Pagham Harbour, spotting fantastically named birds such as wigeon, ruff, godwits and knots (plus a few common or garden gulls). For a bit of fresh sea air, a short drive will get you to the shingly shores of Selsey and the Witterings, to Chichester Harbour, or little village harbours, including Bosham.

Goodwood Estate is only 20 minutes by car; as well as a year-round events programme (horse power of all kinds being a theme), there's a golf course and spa. Petrol heads and adrenalin junkies are also catered for, with flying lessons (+44 (0)1243 755066) and track days. Check out the Breakfast Club motor meetings on the first Sunday of the month from March to November, and follow up with a peek into the Duke of Richmond's Regency pile.

Local restaurants

Stop for lunch at The Royal Oak, a gastropub in East Lavant that turns out sophisticated little plates – trio of pork with black-pudding bon-bons, anyone? The Fox Goes Free at Charlton (+44 (0)1243 811461) is great for a pub lunch among locals; there’s a pretty garden, too. Both of these are a short drive away, as is Selsey, which has a clutch of perfectly good pubs and frill-free curry houses.

Local cafés

In nearby Bosham, have a wander round the village harbour and poke your nose into the Bosham Walk Art & Craft Centre, where you'll find The Captain's Table (+44 (0)1243 574554), a sweetly unassuming tea room, for warming cuppas and home-made cake or soup and savoury snacks:

Reviews

Photos The Crab & Lobster reviews

Anonymous review

‘We’re almost there,’ said Mr Smith, leaping back into the car after asking at a garage for directions to the Crab & Lobster. ‘It’s just a few minutes away’. We had only left the A27 and its comforting sodium-orange glow recently, but had quickly plunged into the inky black of a West Sussex night. Reaching the end of a wet, winding road, a stout, whitewashed building appeared.

Even at night, the hotel has an end of the worldish feel to it. Beyond the car park, in the infinite night, was Pagham Harbour, a nature reserve, and beyond that the Channel. All that stood between us and the very edge of England was a 350-year-old inn, its ‘restaurant with rooms’ sign swinging in the night breeze. Taking the last remaining parking space, we headed inside, eager to begin the business of unwinding after a long day.

Walking through the door we are instantly in the middle of the packed dining room and feel, for a moment, terribly inappropriate. Like latecomers to a theatre. Diners look up briefly from their Crab & Lobster fish pies with cheddar mash, then return to their plates. The specials board distracts us for a moment with words such as ‘baked trout’ and ‘lemon posset’, and we remember how hungry we are. It’s just as well we’ve reserved a table.

We are staying in room one, directly above the restaurant. The hum of diners drifts up through the ancient floor as we unpack. There is something very Austen about this room, I decide. The old windows are the sort you’d look out to see Mr Darcy, if I weren’t with Mr Smith. Then there’s the walls’ Farrow and Ball blues and sages, the fresh cut flowers and exposed beams. Yes, we could indeed be Regency travellers, if it weren’t for the flatscreen TV and sound system. Mr Smith gets very excited about the iPod docking station before realising he’s forgotten to bring the iPod.

Dinner gets off to a flying start with salmon parcels, stuffed with crab and crayfish, topped with caviar. The menu here is seafood-centric – as one would expect from an inn with both ‘crab’ and ‘lobster’ in its name – and there is a decent wine list. But, alas, just one flavour of sorbet (orange) is available tonight.

Full and drowsy we trudge up the stairs to bed, far too sleepy to choose a DVD to watch – tomorrow perhaps. Tonight is about the luxury of sleeping in an utterly dark, utterly silent place. Undisturbed by the wailing rubbish vans, police cars and juddering night buses of the city, we drift off dreaming dreams so vivid we both remember every single detail the next morning. On waking, we finally get to see West Sussex by day. Outside is a Miss Marpleish lane, a smart house opposite. Beyond, lies Pagham Harbour and an endless sky.

Breakfast is another fishy affair, with smoked salmon and scrambled egg on English muffins. Mr Smith can’t resist the full English and its locally sourced ingredients. A history of the inn and the harbour hangs on the thick stone wall behind us. Back in the 600s, when the harbour was still called by its Saxon name, Udring Hven, some unfortunate invading Danes were hacked to death in what’s now the car park for refusing to convert to Christianity, it informed us. Centuries later, soldiers heading for Agincourt stayed here on their last night before leaving for France. During the Civil War the royalist Lieutenant Governor and his two nephews met a sticky end just outside the inn’s front door when the area fell to the roundheads. For a barely there spot at the end of the world, this place has seen its share of the action, we think, as we head out on a hopefully-less-eventful walk to the shore.

This is a timeless place. The skyline virtually unchanged since Mr & Mrs Saxon first arrived here, dispatched the Romans and set up house more than a millennum beforehand. This is strangely comforting. We breathe in the fresh, ozone-flavoured air of the south coast and promptly forget about the Danish invaders.

The hides along the edge of Pagham Harbour hint at this place’s ornithological importance. The binoculars in our room, and a kindly lady twitcher, help us spot cormorants, grey plovers and other twig-legged species stepping delicately through the mudflats.

Any weekend here will have a Famous Five sort of wholesomeness about it, we decide, as we crunch along the shingle beach picking up shells. In addition to glorious walks, favourite things to do here are sail and birdwatch. Then head to any one of the Midsomerish towns and villages – The Witterings, Bosham, Midhurst or Chichester – for tea and scones. Goodwood is close by, too. We stop at its farm shop and stock up on interesting jams and exotic pickles.

With the sky turning a rich purple, we return to the Crab & Lobster for a leisurely soak with L’Occitane bath products. We then make our way back down to the restaurant. Yesterday, the gentleman at the table behind us had a rather lovely selection of English cheeses and we are determined to end this meal with a plate of our own. The mood tonight is boisterous, happy. There seems to be a real fondness for this inn at the end of the world, but tonight it feels as though it is at the centre of it.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Crab & Lobster’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Everything, accommodation and food! Most amazing cooked fish. East beach Selsey, short drive away. The best fresh crab sandwiches I have ever eaten! D and D fisheries catch their own crab and is so fresh and good value.

Don’t expect

Entertainment, this is a proper chill out hotel with a great bar, food, and lovely staff. nothing was too much trouble.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Sep 2016

We loved

The food is fantastic! One of the best breakfasts I have ever had. The rooms are very comfortable, we had a deluxe and it was a really good size. Service is also very good, the staff are very accommodating.

Don’t expect

Any lively nights. the restaurant is always busy and has a lovely atmosphere but there is nothing else in the area, which for us was what we looked for.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Aug 2016

We loved

The location- piece and quiet (apart from the kitchen extractor fan!)

Don’t expect

Lots on the doorstep- you will have to get in the car, but this is The Crab and Lobsters appeal

Rating

Stayed on 20 Jun 2016

We loved

Warm welcome from staff, delicious food both dinner and breakfast and peaceful location. Recommend walks along footpaths/nature reserve

Don’t expect

As a busy pub/restaurant parking can be tricky.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Jun 2016

We loved

The room in the roof was lovely. The staff so friendly. The restaurant and food was fantastic. All within a delightful hamlet overlooking the estuary. A little piece of heaven and a real pleasure to visit! Lovely walks around the nature reserve. Take binoculars. Lots of lovely walks all around the area.

Don’t expect

It is comfortable casual which suited us perfectly

Rating

Stayed on 22 Apr 2016

We loved

Breakfast, dinner and service. 

Don’t expect

Many nearby restaurants

Rating

Stayed on 1 Apr 2016

We loved

Returning again - always a delight; peaceful location; lovely atmosphere; great food; attentive service - lovely people. Recommend taking a pleasant walk round the harbour (take boots if wet). The hotel is in easy reach of all that Chichester has to offer.

Don’t expect

Lots of rowdy activity or spacious parking (it's so popular).

Rating

Stayed on 4 Mar 2016

We loved

Mark and Jackie, the scrambled eggs on toast and fresh flowers in the room.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Sep 2015

We loved

Nice room, comfortable bed, lovely bathroom with great shower.

Don’t expect

Very little storage room for clothes. My stay wasn't peaceful as the person above had TV/radio on all night so I found it hard to sleep.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Sep 2015

We loved

The setting,very quiet, and in a lovely position.The food was fabulous.Room 4 is superb.all the staff we met were very friendly and helpful.

Don’t expect

Late night raves.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Aug 2015

We loved

The friendly service, good food and comfortable room.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Aug 2015

We loved

The cottage, it was perfect for our girls' reunion. We loved our own space to chat and catch up in, especially since one of those days was extremely wet and we felt all cosy. We loved the restaurant and the breakfasts.

Don’t expect

Lively nightlife, pampering.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Jul 2015

We loved

The warm welcome and snug, stylish bar and restaurant area.

Don’t expect

it to be anything other than it claims to be - a sophisticated take on a country pub offering comfortable rooms and excellent care and catering

Rating

Stayed on 9 Mar 2015

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in The Crab & Lobster’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Everything, accommodation and food! Most amazing cooked fish. East beach Selsey, short drive away. The best fresh crab sandwiches I have ever eaten! D and D fisheries catch their own crab and is so fresh and good value.

Don’t expect

Entertainment, this is a proper chill out hotel with a great bar, food, and lovely staff. nothing was too much trouble.

Rating

Stayed on 14 Sep 2016

We loved

The food is fantastic! One of the best breakfasts I have ever had. The rooms are very comfortable, we had a deluxe and it was a really good size. Service is also very good, the staff are very accommodating.

Don’t expect

Any lively nights. the restaurant is always busy and has a lovely atmosphere but there is nothing else in the area, which for us was what we looked for.

Rating

Stayed on 2 Aug 2016

We loved

The location- piece and quiet (apart from the kitchen extractor fan!)

Don’t expect

Lots on the doorstep- you will have to get in the car, but this is The Crab and Lobsters appeal

Rating

Stayed on 20 Jun 2016

We loved

Warm welcome from staff, delicious food both dinner and breakfast and peaceful location. Recommend walks along footpaths/nature reserve

Don’t expect

As a busy pub/restaurant parking can be tricky.

Rating

Stayed on 10 Jun 2016

We loved

The room in the roof was lovely. The staff so friendly. The restaurant and food was fantastic. All within a delightful hamlet overlooking the estuary. A little piece of heaven and a real pleasure to visit! Lovely walks around the nature reserve. Take binoculars. Lots of lovely walks all around the area.

Don’t expect

It is comfortable casual which suited us perfectly

Rating

Stayed on 22 Apr 2016

We loved

Breakfast, dinner and service. 

Don’t expect

Many nearby restaurants

Rating

Stayed on 1 Apr 2016

We loved

Returning again - always a delight; peaceful location; lovely atmosphere; great food; attentive service - lovely people. Recommend taking a pleasant walk round the harbour (take boots if wet). The hotel is in easy reach of all that Chichester has to offer.

Don’t expect

Lots of rowdy activity or spacious parking (it's so popular).

Rating

Stayed on 4 Mar 2016

We loved

Mark and Jackie, the scrambled eggs on toast and fresh flowers in the room.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Sep 2015

We loved

Nice room, comfortable bed, lovely bathroom with great shower.

Don’t expect

Very little storage room for clothes. My stay wasn't peaceful as the person above had TV/radio on all night so I found it hard to sleep.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Sep 2015

We loved

The setting,very quiet, and in a lovely position.The food was fabulous.Room 4 is superb.all the staff we met were very friendly and helpful.

Don’t expect

Late night raves.

Rating

Stayed on 26 Aug 2015

We loved

The friendly service, good food and comfortable room.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Aug 2015

We loved

The cottage, it was perfect for our girls' reunion. We loved our own space to chat and catch up in, especially since one of those days was extremely wet and we felt all cosy. We loved the restaurant and the breakfasts.

Don’t expect

Lively nightlife, pampering.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Jul 2015

We loved

The warm welcome and snug, stylish bar and restaurant area.

Don’t expect

it to be anything other than it claims to be - a sophisticated take on a country pub offering comfortable rooms and excellent care and catering

Rating

Stayed on 9 Mar 2015