Lickfold Inn, Petworth, West Sussex

Emma and I are exploring the area around our new house. Being right on the border of Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex, we have the abundance of 3 counties to explore!

Having lived in London until recently, with its burgeoning food scene, it has been an adjustment to be in the rural surroundings of leafy Hampshire. I’m coming to appreciate that some of the best cooking is to be found in its independent pubs. I hesitate to use the term gastropub, which seems to have fallen out of favour but suffice to say Lickfold Inn has a serious chef in the kitchen, which isn’t churning out pre-cooked Hunter’s chicken

If you’re ever heading to Lickfold Inn, be aware it’s a little distance from the nearest town of Petworth. Having not consulted the directions properly, I navigated us in error to Petworth town centre

We came here for a light lunch and opted for the lighter and more inventive-looking bar snacks menu. I did actually book a table in the restaurant but we moved to the cozy bar area, where the bar snacks are served

We started with a couple of crunchy dishes – pork crackling & apple and chicken skin, yoghurt & pine. Both were excellent appetisers with enough tangy contrast in their accompaniments to cut through the more fatty base

Next to arrive was a skewer of 3 grilled medium-sized prawns served with spicy mayo but with the spice served as a dust on top of the mayo so that you could customise the heat level

Having heard the neighbouring table order an extra scotch egg, we had to try one as it’s one of the kitchen’s signature dishes. It was served in an egg carton for comedic value but the egg was anything but a joke. The yolk oozed satisfyingly as we cut into the egg and the sausage meat envelope was moist and well seasoned

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of our favourite dish. Undersold on the menu as fish finger sandwich, the kitchen uses up the trimmings from top class fish used in the restaurant by creating a turbo-charged filet o’fish

It is said that every good chef should have a signature terrine and the wild rabbit, tarragon and apricot version here was worthy of an experienced and confident chef. A good way to end our savoury journey

Our dessert of cheesecake and pear was ever so slightly disconstructed. Light yet flavoursome

If they can do this level of flavour and finesse with bar snacks, I’m looking forward to eating in the restaurant proper. We will definitely be back

The Lickfold Inn
Highstead Lane, Lickfold, W Sussex GU28 9EY

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