The Best Restaurants In Sussex

Lulu Larkin has reviewed more than 300 restaurants for Sussex Life.<br/>Here are six of her favourites. We would like you to suggest some more that she might try in future issues


Grand Hotel, King Edwards Parade, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN1 1AD

tel: 0132 412345

The Mirabelle was the first restaurant I reviewed for Sussex Life and I loved everything about it: the grandness of the Grand with its top-hatted, liveried doormen ushering you through the revolving doors at a genteel speed, its Edwardian but unstuffy elegance, the delightful dining room with views out to sea, impeccable service and oh, of course, the wonderful food at decidedly un-grand prices (�22 for a three-course lunch, �39 dinner).

Head chef – and chairman of the Master Chefs of Great Britain – Gerald Roser is a gastronomic magician, who time and again conjures up imaginative yet unpretentious menus in which every ingredient, however simple – and often grown by Roser himself in his Sussex garden and orchard – is prepared with great passion and attention to detail. Bravo!

Moonrakers Restaurant

Most Read

High Street, Alfriston, East Sussex BN26 5TD

tel: 01323 871199

Snuggled in the middle of the medieval village of Alfriston, Moonrakers is one of the most enchanting restaurants in Sussex. Mind your head as you step down the worn stone step into the low-beamed dining room adorned with paintings by local artists and tables aesthetically decorated with fresh flowers by co-owner and front-of-house manager, Polly Mockford, as pretty as a picture herself.

If it’s a fine day, either Polly or her husband Robin Bextor, father of Sophie Ellis, will invite you to have a drink on the cottage garden terrace overlooking St Andrews Church and the Tye – a splendid sward dipping down to the Cuckmere River – while you glance over the menu. 

Moonrakers became a firm favourite after a gourmet evening last year to celebrate the best of local Sussex produce.

It was more like a country house party as Robin, the most genial of genial hosts, introduced strangers to each other who over eight courses of excellent food and a flight of wine, became friends.

You may remember Moonraker as being Roger Moore’s worst Bond film unlike its namesake, which is simply the best.


Balcombe Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 1XP

tel: 01444 441102

Whether it’s a simple meal on the terrace with a glass of wine, Sunday lunch with the family or a six-course degustation dinner among friends, Jeremy’s is an absolute delight and has everything one could wish for in a restaurant.

The food on the ever-changing menu is locally-sourced, of the highest quality, exquisitely presented and utterly delicious; the wine list is imaginative yet well-priced and the staff are polite, friendly and knowledgeable. Added to which, Jeremy’s is set in the beautiful gardens of Borde Hill Park with views over the lake and a spectacular fountain designed by local artist, Allissia de

Lucy Spofforth.

The restaurant will again be hosting its popular weekly themed autumn suppers from Tues 12 October featuring the best of Sussex, game, comfort food etc. At just �30 for four courses you might want to discover the joy of Jeremy’s for yourself.

Webbe’s Rock-a-Nore

1 Rock-a-Nore Road,Hastings, East Sussex

tel: 01424 721650

I’d already reviewed Webbe’s Cafe in Rye and the Wild Mushroom in Westfield – run by Paul’s wife, Rebecca – when Ruth, a foodie friend, invited me to Hastings for his third restaurant venture in a listed Regency building overlooking the fishermen’s nets on The Stade. Given Paul’s love of the sea and his devotion to providing the freshest of all things fishy, this was the perfect location.

And from the first nibble of our light-as-a-feather haddock fish cakes, sprightly sprats, mackerel morsels and cod tempura dipped in aioli, I was hooked. The generous starters were a real catch at �3.50 per dish or five for �15 and there was an impressive range of carnivorous and vegetarian main dishes, too.

Rock-a-Nore is the ideal starting – and finishing – point to explore the explicit and hidden delights of Hastings. Quite simply, it’s brill.


Felbridge Hotel and Spa, London Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex RH19 2BH

tel: 01342 337700

A popular winner in the Best Sussex Eating Experience category at last year's Sussex Food Awards, the Anise restaurant has been nominated for a second time against prestigious opposition from both sides of the county including The Curlew in Bodiam, The Pass at South Lodge, Horsham, Whites in Steyning and the Coach & Horses at Danehill.

The Felbridge Hotel & Spa is within easy reach of Gatwick and is offering either an overnight or 8-15 day package  including bed and breakfast, parking, free transfer to the airport and full use of the spa tennis courts for �105.

At that price and once you have tasted executive chef Frederick Tobin's menu at Anise, you may decide not to go on holiday after all.


23 Baker Street, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 4JN

tel: 01273 682256

I offer no excuses for recommending another superb fish restaurant on the East Sussex coast. Bardsley’s fish and chip shop was founded in 1926 by Lancashire blacksmith, Ben Bardsley, who moved to Brighton during the Great Depression to serve the local community and support his growing family.

The business flourished and passed on to son, Jim and daughters Isobel and Harriet before being taken over by Ben’s grandson, Roy Brown, who is now first fryer at the Baker Street shop and restaurant.

Since opening the Max Miller Room – a tribute from one local icon to another and featuring one of Max’s stage suits in a glass caser as well as music hall memorabilia – Bardsley’s has become an iconic landmark in Brighton and features on the English Heritage trail of the city. There are rumours of re-naming it The Cheeky Chippie.


Is there a great restaurant that you think Lulu should try? Send your suggestions to

Comments powered by Disqus