The Royal Oak

'A busy country pub with a warm and cosy restaurant', Charles Ullmann's 200-year-old inn is in a village at the foot of the South Downs. 'The decor is rustic, with bare brick, flint walls and oak beams,' said a Guide inspector. An open fire, close to the bar, is appreciated on winter days, particularly by walkers. The restaurant, adjacent to the bar, has 'subdued lighting, rustic wooden tables and chairs, linen napkins' (background music was found 'intrusive' this year). Paul Tansley, the new chef, tries to keep the journey from field to fork as short as possible for his dishes. 'We enjoyed slow-roasted venison cooked to perfection, accompanied by a mighty wedge of pommes dauphinoise. We were tempted, but too replete to try desserts like Eton Mess or dark chocolate and orange brownies.' Tables are set on a terrace or in the small garden for alfresco dining during fine weather. Bedrooms, some in the main building, others in a converted cottage and barn behind the pub, are well equipped; most look over farmland or the downs. Breakfast has a wide choice.
  • A very good meal in a busy country pub. The restaurant was warm, cosy. Furnished with solid, wooden tables and high-backed suede or leather wooden chairs and leather sofas. The bar is fairly limited in size. The decor is rustic, with bare brick, flint walls, beams and brick floors. The lighting was reasonably subdued, the napkins were cloth, the waitress service was attentive. Background music was a bit intrusive. Dogs were allowed in the restaurant. The food was very good, although the wine was quite expensive. Parking in the hotel car park was quite difficult.

    N H, 28/10/2013

  • Really excellent. Looks and feels like a pub but rooms are very comfortable. Every detail thought of. Food is first class but vegetables charged extra.

    Dale Vargas, 11/11/2011

  • A popular and stylish pub/hotel/restaurant in an attractive and peaceful village location. Cheerful, efficient and willing staff. Our room, although fairly small, was stylish and comfortable. The breakfast, with lovely fresh fruit and good choice of cereals, was excellent. The dinner menu didn't appeal to our 'traditional' tastes. Few vegetables are served, and those we ordered as an extra were very lightly cooked. But we enjoyed our stay.

    John Bickerdike, 06/08/2011

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Local attractions

Arundel Castle
Built at the end of the 11th century and situated in magnificent grounds, overlooking the River Arun.
Chichester Cathedral
Despite being nearly 1,000 years old, Chichester Cathedral is famous for its modern art, including a window by Marc Chagall, a tapestry by John Piper and a painting by Graham Sutherland.
Fishbourne Roman Palace
One of the largest collection of in-situ Roman mosaics in Britain.

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Contact Details

The Royal Oak

Pook Lane EAST LAVANT West Sussex England PO18 0AX

Telephone

01243 527434

Further Information

Bedrooms

5, 3 in adjacent barn and cottage, 2 self-catering cottages nearby.

Open

all year.

Facilities

bar/restaurant, free Wi-Fi, terrace (outside meals), small garden, unsuitable for disabled.

Background music

jazz in restaurant.

Children

all ages welcomed.

Dogs

not allowed in bedrooms.

Credit cards

all major cards.

Prices

[2014] per room B&B £125-£220. À la carte £35. 1-night bookings refused weekends, bank holidays.