Stepping inside this 350-year-old 'restaurant with rooms' in West Sussex on a blustery cold afternoon captured that cosy feeling I usually get from a village pub with an open fire. On a Sunday afternoon the place was heaving with families and friends tucking into mounds of comfort food such as roasts and pies with mash.
My dinner at the Crab & Lobster was booked just a few hours later and despite the food looking tempting, I refrained from caving in to the aromas and swiftly checked into my room.
The room overlooks Pagham Harbour, a nature reserve, which I could have observed for many hours; but the long journey had made me sleepy so, I drew the thick curtains for 40 winks before my friend Jo arrived. The snooze in the darkened room did me wonders, even though I could faintly hear the hum of the diners below. However, a good night’s sleep was assured without the sound of cars or any other noise.
The menu, as the pub name suggests, makes good use of locally caught seafood by nearby Selsey fishermen; but there are also meaty dishes like Char grilled Premier Scotch Reared Steak and Pan Roasted Fillet of Pork wrapped in Serrano Ham. There is also a specials board to order from, which changes daily, and wine lovers can rejoice with a list so long it resembles an encyclopedia.
The Crab & Lobster is a restaurant where both visitors and the community mix in total harmony. The service was superb, efficient without being intrusive, and made me feel like I was in the company of old pals, so much so, that I am already planning a return visit. Perhaps this time in the summer so I can explore the peaceful surroundings of this part of the world.
A night’s stay for two at the Crab & Lobster on BB basis costs from £175. A night’s stay for two in Crab Cottage on BB basis costs from £290. Main meals in the restaurant start form £16.75, starters from £6.75 and desserts from £7.25.