The Crab & Lobster features four double bedrooms (standard and deluxe), plus a cottage with two double bedrooms. I stayed in room number one directly above the restaurant. The first thing I noticed was the thick carpet and I couldn’t resist taking off my shoes to feel the sensation under my bare feet. The room is finished to a high standard with a comfortable bed, a mismatching deep sofa, tub chair and a bureau. There is an exposed beam almost in the centre so, I made a mental note to try not to clash with it. Sadly the opposite happened and I had only been drinking tea!
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.
Feeling suitably hungry after my nap, I bounded downstairs and back into the pub. The snug room with its rich colourful upholstery gives a contemporary vibe to an otherwise ancient place. The low ceilings, warming fireplace and snug seating arrangements around the bar adds to its charm.
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.
Sadly, I was unable to make room for a whole dessert, as I was stuffed from all the homemade bread and squid I had for a starter as well as the fish of the day I enjoyed with delicious seasonal greens. Though, when my friend's Stem Ginger Treacle Tart with Clotted Cream Ice Cream arrived, I was happy to help her finish it! Light in texture (and made on the premises), it provided a sweet ending to the meal.
The next morning, the waft of breakfast - especially the bread - had me jumping out of bed quicker than normal and I headed down to the dining room to munch on a small selection of cold food such as Dorset cereals, freshly cut fruit and yogurt while I waited for my cooked breakfast to be delivered. The fishy theme continued with smoked salmon and mackerel, but I opted for the fresh bread with scrambled eggs.
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.
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