On our adventures around Sussex, we’re often in need of a quick Pitts-Stop and a bite to eat as we dash from one place to another. Now that half term is nearly upon us, we’re also conscious that many of you will be looking for somewhere to park up and refuel in the middle of a day out with the kids. With that in mind, we thought it would be helpful to share some of our finds. Cue the Queen’s Head at West Chiltington.
West Chiltington in West Sussex is not somewhere you’d necessarily visit by chance. It’s genuinely off the beaten track of the main roads but you arrive to discover a pretty village with chocolate box properties and lots of curious street and property names like Smock Alley, Hobjohns, The Hollow and Picketty! The village also has a 12th century church that has an interesting oak shingle spire, paintings from the 12th, 13th and 14th century, and 17th century stocks and a whipping post on display. There’s even a small village museum and a smock windmill (although the latter is now a private home).
However, West Chiltington is the sort of place you might wash up if you’ve been out with the children at half term visiting nearby Pulborough Brooks nature reserve, Amberley Museum, the South Downs or Parham House and find yourself in need of refreshment. Luckily, the Queen’s Head is on hand to help.
The Queen’s Head
Right in the middle of the village, the pub has a courtyard eating area with fairy lights, soft outdoor sofas and a children’s play area. Head indoors to a warm and welcoming bar and restaurant with an eclectic assortment of shabby chic décor, deep sofas, and a warm fire!
The lunch menu has plenty for kids and includes firm favourites like nuggets, fish fingers, pizza and macaroni cheese, all at £5.95. For us oldies, we had a choice of ciabatta, or starters, mains and desserts.
We opted for the halloumi fries with peach and chilli jam to share (they gave us an extra-large helping as a sharing platter) followed by mussels and the whole baked camembert with warm crusty bread and chutney – perfect for warming the cockles on a cold winter’s day.
The service was great and they cater for vegans and also had burgers, battered cod and bangers and mash with most dishes costing a reasonable £14 or £15. It all arrived promptly and was good, honest pub grub, in short just what the doctor ordered. We didn’t opt for pudding but could have happily tucked into crumble or sticky toffee pudding.
The Queen’s Head, therefore, becomes the first on our list of great little Pitts-Stops and we left ready for the challenges ahead. Oh, and while you’re in the area, you might also enjoy this South Downs and Parham circular walk although beware the car park at Kithurst Hill is closed until March 2022.