In West Sussex, near the Surrey border, Lurgashall is a timeless piece of English countryside. A short drive through narrow, leafy lanes off the Guildford to Petworth road, the village is small but impeccably formed.
The 16th century Noah’s Ark Inn sits shyly away from the corner of the cricket green, butting up against the serene churchyard of St Laurence. On the other side of the gently sloping green is the small Post Office, and a handful of quaint cottages.
I was at the Noah’s Ark to celebrate my 58th birthday with the family. It’s a friendly place with a real sense of history and community.
Arriving intentionally early for drinks in the bar, we settled into a cosy corner of the original building, local drinkers – and a dog sitting comfortably on one of the bar stools – mingling happily with out-of-village diners.
The main restaurant is in an airy, high-ceilinged barn-like later addition which retains a homely feel. The Sunday roasts – beef or pork – were well presented, generously proportioned and not extortionately priced for this neck of the affluent Sussex woods. Vegetables were nicely different from normal pub offerings, and according to their website they source as many ingredients as possible within 50 miles.
Service was exemplary throughout. Cheery, efficient and friendly but without ever being obsequious. And replacing sweet orders with a birthday cake we brought ourselves was not a problem, it was even whisked off to the kitchen to be presented by singing serving wenches.
The Inn is the perfect complement to the delightful village. Work off your Noah’s Ark indulgence with a stroll around the green and churchyard and if you’re still in party mood, take the short drive to Lurgashall’s very own vineyard.
“The Noah’s Ark Inn, Lurgashall, West Sussex”:http://noahsarkinn.co.uk/