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Overview

The whitewashed and wisteria-clad inn dates from 1768 and its rural position beneath the South Downs between Chichester and Petersfield made it a good staging post for horses when travelling over the Downs; now it's the perfect place for foodies and wine lovers to be fed and watered, as well as a base for exploring the glorious downland landscape on the doorstep.

Traditional charm vies with contemporary rustic-chic in the timbered bar, where you'll find crackling fires, wooden floors, old paintings, mirrors on Farrow & Ball walls, and the papers to peruse with a pint. Upholstered benches, furry rugs and dramatic horse print wallpaper adorn the dining room; beyond is the dramatic vaulted and timbered barn, replete with wrought-iron chandeliers, huge candlesticks, antique dressers, and a vast table for private parties.

Fifteen guest rooms combine rustic charm with supreme comfort and elegance (two of them have private hot tubs), the perfect setting to enjoy the peace and calm of the countryside. In the morning, following a hearty cooked breakfast, head out into the rural splendour of the South Downs National Park for plentiful walking, cycling and riding trails.

Rooms from

15 doubles: £125


Good to know

  • All major credit cards accepted
  • Private & alfresco dining
  • Disabled access
  • Parking available
  • Helicopter landing site available
  • Dog stay: £15

Family favourite
Two adjoining double-rooms offer private en-suites for both parents and children, while cots and Z-beds can also be provided. A private courtyard makes for an excellent private play area and can even be set up for a family croquet match.

Events and celebrations
Up to 14 guests can be accommodated in the stately Baron Lafite private dining room. For larger gatherings you can reserve the private garden during the summer months.

Dog-friendly
Dogs are very welcome in the bar area and can stay overnight in each of the rooms, too.

Rooms

Hidden away behind the inn and housed in attractive wood-clad buildings, each of the rooms open out onto a private courtyard or lawn, edged with lush borders filled with herbs, shrubs and colourful summer flowers.

Named after deer, ducks and game birds, the rooms cleverly combine rustic elegance with contemporary design and a huge does of quirk. Expect funky steamer trunks, retro lamps and phones, sheepskin rugs on trendy chairs, eye-catching feature wallpaper, including blown-up images of Goodwood in its hey-day, and architectural four-poster beds. There are also 50" Smart TVs and Nespresso machines.

Smart tiled bathrooms either boast rain showers or vast copper baths and posh Bramley bathroom products - book Stag rooms 1 or 2 for your own private patio and hot tub, ideal for a long soak after strolling the Downs. Bliss.

Restaurant & bar

Kick off your wellies, sink into one of the leather chairs and settle in for a few hours - the White Horse is a true country pub offering the best in food and drink.

Monthly menus evolve with the seasons and draw on the rich larder of local produce. Selsey fishermen deliver fresh lobster and crab to the door, shooters drop off pigeon, rabbits and seasonal game shot on local estates, and venison comes from South Downs Game at Duncton. The best pork for miles around is reared over the hill at Funtingdon and draws discerning diners for Sunday lunch.

Tuck into sandwiches or one of the grazing boards in the bar at lunchtime; eat where you please at dinner, perhaps following celeriac and apple soup with partridge, roasted celeriac, braised red cabbage, crispy kale and game jus, and pear & almond tart with chocolate sauce.

Whatever your poison, be it boutique gin, an espresso Martini, fine wine or a pint of local ale, the amazing choice of drinks behind the groaning bar will be sure to slake the most adventurous of thirsts. Gin lovers should peruse the mouth-watering G&T menu, which champions the locally distilled Chilgrove Gin (just up the road). The cellar brims with fabulous wines, the impressive Red Book collection lists some opulent Burgundies and some 1st growth Bordeaux wines, all selected by renowned vintner Barry Philips, whose shop stands across the drive from the pub.

Private dining

Experience a slice of regal English countryside in the stately Baron Lafite private dining room. Located in the separate barn conversion, up to 14 guests can wine and dine under magnificent candelabras. For larger parties, including weddings and corporate events, you can reserve the private garden (there's a croquet lawn to keep guests amused) during the summer months. And for something extra special, why not hire the vintage Citroen van, which has been converted to a stylish alfresco bar, to offer your guests ice-cold glasses of Nyetimber Champagne?

Things to do

Located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, recognised as one of the most important chalk landscapes in England. This lush, wildlife-rich countryside offers abundant opportunities for walking, cycling and riding.

For reviving country walks head to Kingley Vale National Nature Reserve or the Halnaker Tunnel of Trees, but if you'd prefer to feel the sand between your toes or see the ocean stretching out in front of you make your way to East Head beach, West Wittering beach and Chichester Harbour, all of which are a short drive away.

For golfing, horse racing and motorsport events head to Goodwood, which is on the doorstep. There are plenty of sites of cultural interest to explore, too, including the Roman city of Chichester, Arundel Castle, Boxgrove Priory and the Weald and Downland Living Museum.

Getting here

Directions

Nearest train station: Chichester
Taxi from station: 15min
Drive: Southampton 55min; Brighton 1hr; London 1hr 45min

Address

1 High Street, Chilgrove, Chichester, West Sussex PO18 9HX

Reviews

"Absolutely excellent dinner at The White Horse in West Sussex. The staff were so welcoming and the food just amazing. Thoroughly recommend a visit" - Suzanne, visited October 2019

Prices & availability