Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sussex Gastro Pubs Series: The George & Dragon at Burpham



The Sunday pub-walk is a longstanding tradition in the Stanfield family, and one that I have continued to observe into adulthood, despite no longer having the obligation of a dog to exercise. I'd thought we must have discovered every decent country watering hole in Sussex in the last however many years of weekend adventures, so it was a pleasant surprise to find somewhere new to fuel up at before braving the elements today. The George and Dragon at Burpham (pronounced at 'Burfam') is tucked away at the end of a long winding country cul-de-sac, right in the middle of a sweet little village. I guess it's what one would call a 'gastropub' - the focus being very much on the food, and with more of a chic restaurant feel than your usual rustic rural tavern. But it's still cosy and friendly, and amazingly buzzy despite being so far off the beaten track.

At around £15 for a main course, the food isn't cheap, but it's good. There was only one vegetarian option for each course, so I went for the soup of the day (onion & Gruyere) as a main course, while the others had roast beef and poached haddock, respectively. We were all impressed with the quality of ingredients, preparation and presentation of our choices and didn't resent paying a little more for something a cut above the usual Sunday roast. Having been so impressed with the mains, it would have seemed a crime not to sample the desserts, which all sounded so delicious that it was difficult to choose. I couldn't resist the 'dark chocolate brownie with homemade vanilla ice cream'; my companions picked 'orange and cinnamon bread and butter pudding' and 'raspberry panacotta' between them. The awed silence that accompanied the devouring of our puds (pictured above) was testament enough to their excellence, and by the end we were all quite blissfully replete.

Everyone was glad of the walk that followed - a circular route that took us out of the village via its Norman churchyard and up onto the ridge behind. Apart from an alarming number of animal corpses along the way, it was a lovely landscape, and you could see for miles from the up on the tops. But what had started out as a pleasantly mild afternoon suddenly turned into a miserable murky evening when a cloud of menacing mist descended, chasing us back into the village at an alarming rate. But it was worth it to see the dramatic sunset that ensued, and we were safely inside the car and on our way by the time it really came on to rain.

Today's itinerary was provided by our rather out-of-date edition of Pub Walks in West Sussex by Mike Power - a very useful guide to finding country pubs which have a decent walk nearby.

1 comment:

  1. Rowan, I think you and I both know that Burpham is rightly pronounced in the most amusing way possible, with no credence given to tradition or local preference. That said, didn't know about the George and Dragon, so will bear that in mind for future out-of-town jaunts.

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