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Crab & Lobster in West Sussex review: A British break to truly 'switch off' and unwind

You can experience fine dining and truly relax and switch off in the country, after just a short trip down the A3!

As much as I love living in London, when the British sun finally shows it's face, there's a large part of me that aches to be by the seaside.

And like most Londoners, my usual idea is hop on a train to Brighton and hit the pebbly shores and nightlife there - an idea usually shared by hundreds, if not thousands of other people - you're lucky to even find somewhere to lay your beach towel.

The Crab & Lobster, in Sidlesham, is situated on the Pagham Nature Reserve

Never had I considered a trip to, nor heard of, the village of Sidlesham in West Sussex, until I was invited to the Crab & Lobster, situated on the beautifully isolated Pagham Nature Reserve.

First impressions

When my partner, Tom, and I arrived we were greeted by blue skies and a friendly member of staff who showed us to our room.

Our Deluxe room (£195 a night from Sunday - Thursday, including breakfast) provided us with all the homely comforts we could want in order to fully "switch off" from the world.

I enjoyed the comfy bed and power shower whereas Tom immediately wanted to play with the gadgets - TV and in-room hifi.

A relaxing view!(Image: Get West London)

However, the sunny view from our window was too hard to resist so we spent the evening exploring the Pagham Nature Reserve - a serene, isolated and peaceful hour-long walk later and London tube commutes and life's stresses had melted away.

Dinner

I was getting myself dolled up for dinner, at the in-room dressing table, when I realised I'd left my hairbrush at home! - but there was no drama as a lovely member of staff immediately lent me hers.

Dressing table inside the Deluxe room(Image: Get West London)

Tom was keen to savour the last moments of sunshine so we started our evening by enjoying a drink in the beer garden.

Crab & Lobster's award-running restaurant lived up to - and excelled our expectations. I had warned staff in advance that I needed a Gluten Free vegetarian meal (yes, I know!) so I had no idea what I would be able to eat until I sat down.

Tom on the other hand had spent days previously eyeing up the menu, keen to try everything!

My light, fresh, pea soup (Soup of the Day) whet the appetite whilst Tom tucked into Traditional Fish Soup with Rouille and Cheese Straw (£9.00) served with homemade bread and butter.

Now for the mains... The chef had prepared me an off-menu treat of Halloumi fricassee, a lovely, tangy Mediterranean dish with paired beautifully with our house white wine.

And the pièce de résistance was Tom's Pan Fried Torbay Sole, Sea Herbs, Violet Potatoes with Black Garlic and Crayfish Butter (£20.00, from the Specials board).

Every mouthful of fish was savoured!

He enjoyed the fish so much I literally couldn't get a word out of him. When I asked how it was, he looked longingly at his plate and said: "I'm having a moment."

Tom described the fish as "perfect" as it fell off the bone. He seemed to want to savour every bite!

My favourite part of the meal was the Raspberry Parfait, Vanilla Meringue with White Chocolate Ganache (£7.35), a rich, creamy, fruity treat that almost had me licking the plate.

Tom opted for Stem Ginger Treacle Tart with Clotted Cream Ice Cream (£7.35), of which he said: "It's not dense or sickly, it has a gorgeous warming note and rich caramelisation. That's really something quite special."

Crab & Lobster's restaurant deserves full marks for food and friendly staff

Overall the restaurant receives a throughly deserved 5/5. The front of house staff were friendly, very attentive and made our evening even better.

The beauty of Crab & Lobster's restaurant is that the food is made from scratch, locally sourced, expertly prepared and presented to perfection. Kudos to the chef!

The room

We walked off our indulgence along the country path the Crab & Lobster is situated in, caught a glorious red sunset and spotted hares larking in the fields.

An evening stroll and a sunset in the country - very romantic(Image: Get West London)

The bed was inviting and the room a cosy temperature, but this is where my only bugbear comes in. Although clearly original and characterful, I had a poor night's sleep as there were a herd of elephants above us.

The Deluxe room had a comfy double bed with a view(Image: Get West London)

Or at least that's how it sounded. The noise of pacing footsteps at 4am (yes, 4am, the pain!) from the upstairs guest carried though the creaks of the wooden beams, oops! I'm sure you'd sleep like a baby if you had a more considerate upstairs guest.

Breakfast

Any sleepy grumps soon melted away when we chowed down for more delicious food at breakfast.

Fresh and locally sourced breakfast, yum!

I had an off-menu dish of poached eggs, grilled tomato and gluten free bread, whilst Tom enjoyed a Full English Breakfast, washed down with tea, orange juice and helpings of fruit and yoghurt from the buffet - a perfect start to the day.

West Sussex

Our mini getaway ended with a long walk along East Wittering beach, just a short drive away from the Crab & Lobster, exploring the seaside town and of course, an ice cream.

What better way to relax then a long walk on a deserted beach?(Image: Get West London)

We left West Sussex well-fed, relaxed and refreshed having genuinely switched off from our working lives in London.

About Crab & Lobster

A night’s stay for two at the Crab and Lobster on a Bed and Breakfast basis costs from £175.

A night’s stay for two in Crab Cottage on a Bed and Breakfast basis costs from £290.

Main meals in the restaurant start form £16.85, starters from £6.95 and desserts from £7.35.

For more information please visit their website or call 01243 641233.

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