Having driven through Lewes (in Sussex) a couple of times I knew I wanted to spend a weekend away from London there, so when our anniversary came around it seemed like the ideal time to do it. We booked to stay at The Pelham House Hotel - a lovely old house in the middle of Lewes that looks out over the South Downs (although it was so foggy we couldn't see much beyond the end of the hotel garden!)

I had originally wanted to eat at the hotel restaurant as the menu looked very appetising and at £20 for 2 courses seemed reasonable. However we were told that the hotel restaurant was fully booked, so were recommended the The Pelham Arms pub, which is a 10 minute stroll up the high street. I'm so glad that we ended up eating at the Pelham Arms.

We arrived, welcomed in to a cosy pub, with a dining area to one side. The table reserved for us was in the corner of the dining area, and once we'd seen the pub and the restaurant area, we decided that we'd prefer to eat in the pub area, so our table was changed straight away.

Nestled next to the fire with a pint of Badger's excellent 'Pickled Partridge' ale, we were ready for some food. The kitchen at The Pelham Arms uses local Sussex suppliers for food where possible, and is committed to using ingredients that have been ethically and responsibly produced - as all kitchens should, but often don't! Starters cost £6-7, and include various pates and terrines, soups and croquettes. I chose the locally smoked salmon pate with confit beetroot, tempura mussels and chive crème fraiche. The boy had pheasant, pigeon and apricot terrine with spiced chutney and brioche toast. Both starters were seriously delicious, and packed a proper punch of flavour. 

On to mains, for which they offer 7 or 8 dishes, including 2 vegetarian, and a daily special or two. Mains start at £12 and go up to around £18. And they are worth every penny. I would normally be a bit more adventurous than ordering a steak, as that's what the boy often goes for, so I'd try some of his and order something different for myself. On this occasion, however, the boy wanted a burger, so I had to oblige and order the steak. What a brilliant decision that was - the meat tasted so good, both the burger and the steak. It tasted as real meat should, full of flavour and absolutely delicious. Both mains were accompanied by the Pelham Arms 'house' chips - thin skin-on potatoes cooked until crispy outside but perfectly soft inside. The burger was pretty good too!

We had no space for pudding, but could have chosen from muscovado and hazelnut tart, mint pots, a cheeseboard or a whole host of other sweets.  

The staff at The Pelham Arms were great - there when you needed them but not hovering over your shoulder watching you eat. And it's great value too. We booked with a deal of a 2 course meal for 2 which included a free bottle of wine, so for all our greediness and drinking; the evening only cost around £55. Incredible value!

I would highly recommend a visit to the Pelham Arms - it's worth the trip to Lewes just for a meal there. For more information or to contact the pub for a booking, visit their website: http://www.thepelhamarms.co.uk/.


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