Sam and Janet Bakose hit the spot with the Crab and Lobster at Sidlesham and have now done it again with this recently reinvented restaurant with rooms just off the A272 between Petworth and Midhurst. It’s ideal for a South Downs walking weekend, or for browsing the antique shops in Petworth, or for visiting Cowdray Park.
  The pleasing 250-year old coaching inn has been renovated, with a sensible budget, on the back of the success of the Crab and Lobster, to make it contemporary-stylish but relaxed and unselfconscious. From the walk-around bar with tables and chairs against the walls you wander into three cheerful, smallish dining areas.
  The six bedrooms, all different, are smart, comfortable, spacious. The basic colour scheme is pale off-whites, offset by judicious injections of colour or quirky design features such as a wall half-plastered brick wall or a row of chunky old roof beams upended to form panelling. They are housed in the inn’s former stables. Our favourite is no 5.
  When we visited, the food was as expected for the price: local fish and game alongside Mediterranean dishes. Nowadays, places such as this can’t hold up their heads without their own ‘forager’ to collect interesting wild food, so hope to be there on a day when samphire, wild garlic or wild mushrooms crop up on the menu. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, a mix of locals and travellers.