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The Crab & Lobster, Sidlesham, West Sussex
Tucked next to the waterside, get the real deal in fresh Sussex seafood at this foodie pub perched on the edge of a popular birding spot, Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve, and within easy reach of Chichester and the coast, with its choice of pebble and sandy beaches.
Rooms available from £179.86 per night
The birdlife is a major focus here and there's an RSPB centre just around the corner, where you can pick up walking maps or join guided events. A little further down the coast are the beaches of Selsey and West Wittering - the latter a sandy favourite. Besides the coast, Chichester's cathedral, shops and theatre are within range, as is the racing at the Goodwood Estate.
By car: Oxford and London are both around two hours' drive away from The Crab & Lobster. Brighton is 1 hour 10 minutes from the hotel. There is free parking available.
By train: London Victoria to Chichester takes around 90 minutes. The hotel is a 15-minute taxi ride from Chichester station. Book trains to Chichester.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
The pub, which dates back 350 years, has low ceilings, an open fire and an old snug area. Colourful upholstery helps bring the place smartly up-to-date. It's a comfortable space with plenty of banquette seating and cushions. Some of the bedrooms are in the eaves and make a feature of the exposed beams.
Service was friendly. The facilities aren't huge - there's a small garden and terrace and a car park. Those staying in the cottage will find handy inclusions like a dishwasher and coffee maker.
- Free Wi-Fi
BED AND BATH
There are four standard and deluxe rooms, all with double beds. Separate Crab Cottage has two double bedrooms plus a lounge and kitchen, and a cloakroom beside its main bathroom. All bedrooms are comfortably furnished in restful colours.
Room types: Standard, Deluxe, Crab Cottage
Key amenities: Queen size bed, ensuite with combined bath and shower, Noble Isle toiletries, fresh-cut flowers, flatscreen TV, iPod dock sound system, free Wi-Fi
FOOD AND DRINK
Selsey, just up the coast, is famous for its crabs, and you'll find them in many forms on the excellent menu at the pub: in salads, baked in their shells or made into crab cakes. There's a good range of other seafood besides (including fish at breakfast), and the meat dishes also have a local provenance. Around 30 wines are available by the glass.
The restaurant: Selsey crab, locally caught fish, set lunch menu. Open Monday to Friday 12-2.30pm and 6-9.30pm, Saturday and Sunday 12-9.30pm.
The bar: 17 wines by the glass, premium spirits, beer garden. Open daily 11am-11pm.