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Friday 7 September 2012

Sluttery Travels: The Crab and Lobster, Sussex

The final stop on our Sussex Week road trip was a Mr & Mrs Smith approved inn and B&B in Sidlesham, in West Sussex. The Crab & Lobster had a tough act to follow after we'd spent the night in Amberley Castle!

The Crab & Lobster is right on Pagham Harbour Bird Sanctuary. This confused us a little and we didn't really know what to expect. Were we getting a waterfront? Boats? Birds? All of it? Erm, yes. Sort of. You can see the harbour in the distance, but the marshes are the real eye candy. We went to explore the second we'd parked up and spotted a little family of crabs swimming along. This is as close to countryside/seaside as you'll get. The two together is pretty magic and frankly feels like you're spoiling yourself far too much.

You probably don't need your en suite to have a seating area but it's really very cool that it does. A couple of the rooms have bath tubs if you'd rather. The rooms aren't huge, especially not if you stay in the eaves of the building but they are perfectly formed. And so unbelievably relaxing. Our first hour here was spent having a bit of a sit down and deciding that we were 'definitely getting up in a minute'.

I don't have knots in my shoulders anymore! That's the sign of a good trip, isn't it? When you stay somewhere so relaxing that you come home feeling totally refreshed. It's just so damn peaceful here.

Now, let's talk about the rest of the Crab & Lobster. We lost a good few hours in the beer garden, reading books with a pint or two of local ale and then we had one of the nicest meals we've had in a long time. We weren't mega hungry, having eaten fish and chips on the beach a few hours before (yes, we're beachy cliches, we also played on the Penny Falls). Our seafood risotto and Thai monkfish curry were both fantastic. It's simple food made with local ingredients and cooked brilliantly. Service was friendly and fun, but not in your face. The whole place just feels very warm. Gosh they make running a hotel look easy.

Couple this with a fabulous breakfast in the sunshine (AMAZING sausages) and just a two hour drive back to London and I was suddenly plotting a return trip. In fact, I've spent the past three days plotting return trips. A double room is around £130 with breakfast. I think I'll be coming back very soon.

We've stayed in some proper gorgeous places this week. The George in Rye is an ideal place to start your exploring and it's hard not to fall for the quaintness of Rye and I'm so pleased that we got to stay in Amberley Castle. But The Crab & Lobster? I'm going to come back time and time again. I can't fault it at all. It's one of the best hotels I've ever stayed in.

Many thanks to Mr & Mrs Smith for arranging our road trip and footing the bill for our stays. We paid for our drinks and extras but we weren't paid to write our reviews.

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