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The Crab & Lobster, Sidlesham, West Sussex
Bird watcher or not, you'll be bewitched by the location of this pub, tucked away on the edge of Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve - a top place for spotting wildlife. You'll want to linger indoors too, though, over fantastic meals made with locally caught seafood. Bedrooms are smart and comfy, and there is a separate cottage for longer stays with the option of self-catering - if you can bear a night without the wonderful crab served in the restaurant. It's a quiet spot, but close to Chichester and a choice of pebble and sandy beaches.
Nearby West Wittering is one of the best beaches in Sussex, with plenty of sand - just be aware, the parking charges are steep.
The hotel is in the middle of the Chichester countryside, with a wildlife reserve and plenty of beaches on your doorstep.
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. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
Foodies will like it here - particularly if seafood is your bag - and nature-lovers will enjoy all the different birds they can see. The fish-shaped specials blackboard is a nice touch, and spotting a heron just outside was wonderful.
Service & Facilities
We love the quality finish in the bedrooms and the thoughtful
touch of local guidebooks in the
cottage. Fold-out beds can be added to the cottage - the best bet for families - as well as some of the pub bedrooms. Children's portions are available in the restaurant.
- Free Wi-Fi
The deluxe room with a feature shower nestled into eaves is our favourite. We also love the cottage kitchen, and its helpful gadgets and shelves with local books. There are binoculars by the window in the some of the rooms to help you look for birds on the marsh.
Standard, Deluxe, Crab Cottage
Facilities include: 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 & Drink
The presentation of the dishes is modern, colourful and creative, and baked crab was a wonderful comfort dish on a miserable day.
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.