Gin Festivals, Fiestas and Parties!

Make Arundel your base when you visit these Food and Drinks Festivals…

Although the Arundel Food Festival has been on hiatus for the last few years there’s still loads of great festivals for foodies to enjoy in the surrounding areas.

Food festivals are a dime a dozen these days, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the urban events that have popped up over the last few years pale in comparison to those found in the countryside. Unlike the large scale commercial ventures that have proved to be a magnet for urbanites, the festivals we’ve featured here are community run affairs that shine a spotlight on the very best artisan craftsmen and local producers.

Book into one of the many excellent B&Bs or hotels in Arundel and spend a weekend indulging in your favourite foods – you might even discover some new ones along the way!

West Dean Chilli Fiesta

The nearby West Dean Gardens truly come alive during August each year when literally thousands of chilli-lovers make the pilgrimage to the West Dean Gardens Chilli Festival. The festival has been run for over two decades now and presents visitors with over 200 species of chillis in West Dean’s picturesque Victorian Glasshouses. You’ll be able to bone up on chilli growing techniques, watch cooking demonstrations and taste every conceivable kind of chilli product. Once you’ve eaten your fill you can dance your socks off to Latin tunes and even learn how dance the Salsa!

Arundel Festival

The Arundel Festival has been running for 40 years now and has become a key date in the community’s social calendar. Not only is there a bounty of live music and performers to enjoy throughout the 10-day festival, but there’s also some fantastic food on offer courtesy of The Swan Hotel, The Burger Shop and The Loft. The festival is absolutely ram-packed with a huge variety of events both free and ticketed. Free street theatre keep the town buzzing throughout the 10-days, but it’s the annual Dragon Boat Race that consistently provides the biggest spectacle.

Weald & Downland Living Museum Food Festival

This award-winning museum should definitely be on your list of things to do if you’re thinking about visiting the area, first opening to the public in 1970 the exhibits focus on the preservation of historic buildings many of which have been transported in their entirety to escape demolition. Although it might seem like the organisers are temping fate by hosting open flames so close to these old buildings the annual Food Festival has proved to be a real hit, attracting celebrity chefs and top demonstrators.

Craft Beer & Gin Festival at The Norfolk Tap

It was only matter of time before a fashionable craft beer came to Arundel and The Norfolk Tap ticks all the relevant boxes: trendy styling, wide range of beers from all around the world and some truly winning events. On top of pub quizzes, free cheese afternoons and movie nights, they also run an annual Craft Beer & Gin Festival that showcases dozens of beers from the West Sussex, as well as highlighting the talents of local mixologists and musicians. This year expect to see award-winning produce from Liverpool Gin Distillery make it’s way across the country, as well as plenty more tasty treats!

Three Arundel Restaurants Perfect For Celebrations

Pull up a seat at one of these mouth-watering restaurants…

We might only have a small town here in Arundel, but doesn’t meant that you should discount the excellent string of restaurants we have here.

We know there’s nothing quite like a home-cooked meal to show someone that you care, but sometimes the circumstances can work against you. Say your oven packs in and you have to wait a week for your stove parts to arrive, or maybe your local shop just doesn’t have the right ingredients that you need. Whereas it’s always a nice idea to cook someone dinner for a special occasion, when you’re planning a big celebration with plenty of guests it’s just a better idea to book out a restaurant instead.

We’re really proud of the spread of fantastic restaurants we have on off here in Arundel and that pride shows every time you step into one of our popular, independently run restaurants. Each and every restaurant that we’re featuring on this list go out of their way to make the customer feel at home, and they also make some truly divine food to chow down making them an ideal choice for your next Birthday or Anniversary celebration.

It doesn’t matter what food you’re looking for, you’re bound to find something to your taste here in Arundel – just make sure that you book well ahead of schedule!

Papardelle Ristorante and Osteria

Traditional Italian dining collides with an informal bar vibe at Papardelle which manages to deftly balance two separate menus. During the day diners can relax in the informal ‘Osteria’ on the ground floor. Guests are invited to enjoy a glass of wine, play a game of chess and choose from a menu that emphasises simplicity and quality over everything else. The more formal ‘Ristorante’ upstairs caters to a different kind of meal and is perfect for a luxuriously long Italian meal that will linger in the mind for a long time to come.

Butlers

 

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The hardworking team at Butlers have been providing a high-class dining experience to Arundel for years now and they’ve continued to build on their success by updating and improving their already plush surroundings. This Summer saw the opening of their gorgeous terrace area complete with bountiful flowers and wicker chairs. They’ve also just finished refurbishing a stunning private dining room seating 18 people, just keep in mind that they will not admit guests below the age of 12 during the evening services.

The Parsons Table

Locally sourced food and classic cooking are the order of the day at The Parsons Table. Head Chef Lee and his wife Liz are at the heart of this businesses’ success. The pair met 20 years ago in London whilst they were both working in Claridge’s Hotel and they’ve been good enough to bring their years of experience to Arundel.

Lee’s food focuses on preparing food in the simplest of fashions, so that the stunning local ingredients he uses can do the talking, whilst his team of talented chefs and waiters round out an informal yet impeccable dinner service.

Eat At One Of These Top Arundel Restaurants

Getting a bite to eat in Arundel is hardly a challenge with the number of lovely bakeries dotted around the town…

…not to mention the numerous quaint tearooms tucked away here too.

But, if you’re looking for something more substantial, then you might consider dropping in to one of the many stellar restaurants that our market town is home to. Whether you’re looking for a slice of authentic Italian cooking, a massive gourmet burger stack or a refined plate of locally prepared ingredients, you’re sure to find somewhere good to eat – just make sure that you make a booking as early as possible to avoid disappointment:

The Bay Tree

 

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Angela is the owner of the bistro-style Bay Tree and has worked hard to create a warm, welcoming environment where guests can relax in. The menu here changes seasonally and draws from classic flavour combinations, so even the fussiest eaters are bound to find something to their taste. Smoked salmon starters sit alongside a tempting Braised Pork Belly and Pork Rib Ballotine, hinting at the care and attention that the chefs put into each plate at this well-respected eatery.

La Campania

 

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One of two award-winning Italian restaurants bearing the same name in West Sussex, Arundel’s La Campania was once a pub but has since traded in the traditional design for stylish Portfolio modern doors and a pared-down ristorante-chic that fits snugly into the fashionable set of restaurants that Arundel has collected over the years. The menu is full of classic Italian dishes that always go down well with a big crowd like anti-pasto, meatballs and classic pizzas.

Arundel House

 

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This 19th century town house in the centre of Arundel is one of the more lavish places to stay in town, but it’s also home to one of the best restaurants too! The dining room is only small but that makes a dinner reservation there all the more memorable. Open for lunch and dinner, their menu offers an ever-changing selection of locally sourced ingredients presented in a classic fashion. On the last Friday of each month diners can also enjoy the music of Julie Stardust.

The Black Rabbit

 

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As far as riverside pubs go, you could do a lot worse than The Black Rabbit. Although this well-jept country pub is busiest during the Summer months, the team here are kept busy throughout the year as a result of their excellent food output. Traditional pub classics like Prawn & Avocado Cocktail and Whitebait sit alongside more adventurous fare such as Buffalo Wings and ‘Nduja Chicken with bean and thyme mash. For those with a sweet tooth, there are no fewer than 8 desserts on the menu here with a dazzling array of ice cream flavours which will no doubt please the little ones.

The Burger Shop

 

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Gourmet burgers might have come into fashion a few years ago, but the public’s taste for them has certainly endured, hence the popularity for Arundel’s very own burger joint, The Burger Shop. The owners here have kept things simple here with only 6 beef burgers and 2 chicken burgers available for hungry carnivores with highlights including the spicy ‘Holy Fire’ and massive ‘Mac Attack. The drinks menu keeps in line with the restaurant’s no holds barred approach, so grown ups can treat themselves to serious cocktails and ‘hard shakes’ to go with their burgers.

Walk Your Way To One Of These Nearby Pubs

Autumn is well and truly upon us!

Although we can all mourn the loss of the balmy summer months, there are a few silver linings to the changing of the seasons.

British pubs take on a completely different vibe during the colder months. The outside seating is abandoned from October, open-fires are lit inside and menus are changed to reflect the change in consumer appetites. Gone are the Summery BBQ options and old familiar friends, like warming game pies and stews return to the table, along with stocky stouts and hot sticky desserts.

Don’t let the shorter days and chilly nights keep you inside this Autumn, wrap yourself up in a cosy jacket and scarf, then stride off into the great outdoors to find one of these fantastic pubs in the Arundel area:

The Black Horse

 

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Clive and Victoria are the owners of this classically decorated country pub in Walberton just three miles away from Arundel. This family run pub was completely refurbished in 2012, brightening the interior and modernising the spacious dining area, whilst retaining its quintessential traditional charm. The menu changes seasonally and features a rotation of pub classics and a few new ideas that you might not be so familiar with.

The Spur Country

 

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This spacious 17th century pub comes recommended by The Good Pub Guide and features all the hallmarks that you’d expect from a cosy traditional pub. Household name ales, such as Sharp’s prolific Doom Bar and Courage’s Directors can always be found on tap, and two large log fires merrily crackle throughout the colder months. Hot food is available on a daily basis with the menu catering to casual diners, as well as those looking to get a full blown three-course meal.

The Holly Tree

 

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Built in 1867, The Holly Tree is the other pub in Walberton that provides a bit of healthy competition for The Black Horse. Recently under new management, this tidily presented pub is a magnet for hikers throughout the year and makes for a great pit-stop in a long day of hiking. Those looking for a slap-up meal will not be disappointed as the team at The Holly Tree are constantly working to improve their menu with a range of specials, discounts and deals.

The Maypole Inn

 

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The humble surroundings of the Maypole Inn are at their most idyllic during the colder months when locals stamp the snow from their boots upon entering and cheerfully greet newcomers. There’s a truly charming family vibe at this little pub and whilst they’re not currently serving food, you’ll find their wide selection of excellently kept ales will prove to be a meal in themselves. Regular fancy dress nights and pub quizzes also keep this little community humming along throughout the week.

Home Grown Baking Heroes

We all love a sausage roll, but not everyone loves to actually bake.

Baking is a hobby that takes real time and effort, as opposed to eating which only requires the aforementioned if you’re intending on consuming a whole bakery.

Still, this goes a long way to explaining why there are so few bakers and so many cake eaters. Thankfully, Arundel is well known for its small community of baking enthusiasts who have been busying themselves for years creating and selling their fantastic baked goods.

It doesn’t matter what you’re looking for, whether it’s a top-class Apple Butterscotch Tart or an award-winning loaf, the bakers of Arundel and its surrounding areas can help you out:

Those Baker Girls

It’s always a pleasure to see people following their dreams and that’s exactly what Lesley and Gill Tapson have done. Whereas other people would have perhaps thought of starting a cleaning business or buying a pre-existing franchise, Lesley and Gill have followed their passion for baking and created a business that has proved to be an unqualified success. You can find them selling their wares at the Arundel’s Farmers’ Market on the third Sunday of every month (except August) or you can contact them directly to get a cake designed and baked for you!

13 Dozen Bakery

Every town has its ‘go-to’ bakery, a place where you’re guaranteed to be able to grab a bite to eat with minimum fuss and maximum satisfaction. For the town of Arundel that place 13 Dozen Bakery, whilst other towns might have fallen under the spell of chain stores and multinationals, the people of Arundel have stayed staunchly loyal to this little bake-house where you can pick up quality baked goods throughout the week, as well as fresh break, pasties, sandwiches, and a good range of hot and cold drinks. Long may the independent bakery reign!

Pallant of Arundel

There has been an independent grocers in Arundel for centuries, a tradition that Pallant of Arundel has sought to continue over the last decade. Business partners Mark Robinson & Jonathan Brantigan spent years working with some of the most prestigious food retailers in the business before deciding to start their own small business right here in Arundel. They sell everything from wines to cheese and meats, but there’s also a good range of pies and quiches to peruse too…

Drink Gin & Bake

 

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If all this chat about baking has got you eager to try your hand at doing some yourself, then why not give it a go? Although you could find a cookery book or peruse the internet for a recipe that catches your eye – there’s no need to bother looking when Wiz from Drink Gin & Bake has dedicated a whole blog to outrageously attractive bakes. Wiz is an Arundel-based engineer-cum-amateur baker who has been wowing the internet with her wacky creations, and she’s been kind enough to share the recipes! You can check out her Instagram to keep up to date with what she’s been making and then head to her blog to look for how to make them!

Tip-Top Cafes & Tea Rooms

Visiting a tea room is something of a rite of passage when you come to Arundel…

Arundel is often described as the quintessential English market town.

Well placed between the spectacular South Downs and the Sussex Coast, the town has managed to maintain its distinct nature through years of careful preservation and a strong community spirit that has helped resist the usual swathe of High Street stores that has come to be expected in so many parts of Britain. Here in Arundel there has long been a deep respect for independent retailers which encompasses every sector of the retail industry from grocery shops and bakeries, to hotels and restaurants.

This respect for tradition and heritage has led to a number of stellar tea rooms and cafes being established all of whom gently competing to provide visitors with the best post possible experience, whether it be a quintessential Cream Tea or a slap up Full English Breakfast.

These cafes have consistently proved themselves as quality establishments that have not only please visitors, but have also won over the locals’ hearts – no easy task!

Partners Cafe

A long standing favourite for locals and tourists alike, Suzanne and Lewis preside over this small but fastidiously cosy cafe. Partners cater for every taste and appetite, happily serving all breakfasts to an impeccably high standard from a simple slice of toast to a full blown steak breakfast.

On top of offering an excellent breakfast spread the small team here also excel at simple wholesome lunches cooked to perfection, including hand-cut freshly prepared chips.

Tarrant Street Espresso

The Arundel High Street is always a joy to wander down, shop windows exhibit their unique goods and alluring scents drift out of open doors. What better to accompany your walk than a delicious cup of freshly ground coffee? Tarrant Street Espresso only opened recently, but it has quickly become a haven for coffee lovers all over town with its excellently served coffee and clean cut aesthetic. Drop by during the day to sample their wide selection of homemade cakes and sip an indulgent hot chocolate.

Motte & Bailey Cafe

 

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The team at Motte & Bailey perform an impressive balancing act every week serving food from up to four different menus throughout the day. Their breakfast menu is served every day featuring their unique take on a Full English, as well as a handsome menu of egg dishes that should please any vegetarian. Their lunch menu features some classic cafe grub and some winning brunch offerings. Then, during the evenings from Wednesday to Saturday, the cafe turns into a bustling tapas bar serving a staggering array of dishes as well as a good range of wines.

Belinda’s Tearoom’s

For over half a century Belinda’s has been synonymous with excellence. Marie, Kim and Sonia pull the strings here and all three ensure that the food served on the premises is freshly made right there.

Fresh local produce is put to the forefront here, as well as traditional cooking and bakes that you simply will not be able to buy anywhere else. They have a wide range of cakes that are perfect with a cup of tea but they also serve some classic English cafe dishes such as Chicken and Ham Pie and even a traditional Roast Dinner.