Looking at why The White Horse in Graffham is a love affair made in Sussex
The White Horse in Graffham is owned by tech entrepreneur, Glen Manchester, and his wife Asta. The pair, who live locally, were captivated by the tranquillity of the location and the beauty of the surrounding area and needed no extra persuasion when the opportunity to create a restaurant with rooms presented itself in April 2023.
Work to realise their vision began immediately, starting with the creation of a large dining space, beautiful gardens, and six bedrooms which overlook the beautiful downland landscape. As we head into 2024, the fruits of their labour are now there for all to see and it is Absolutely Sussex’s one to watch this year.
The beautiful location boasts 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside and sits within striking distance of Cowdray, Goodwood and the arty hub of Petworth. The restaurant now comprises an inviting bar and thirty-eight cover dining area, as well as a ten-seater private dining room.Guests will also find six beautifully appointed bedrooms located separately to the restaurant, whilst the extensive garden which wraps around the building has plenty of seating, as well as an outdoor kitchen for dining and drinks during warmer months.
The team in the kitchen is led by Chef de Cuisine, Grant Jones, who trained at Le Gavroche in Mayfair before becoming a sought-after international private chef for high profile clients. Grant brings his experience and passion for classical French cookery to the kitchen, with menus centred on contemporary and seasonal fare, capitalising on the abundance of great produce in the immediate area. All the venison, for example, is sourced through the Sussex Woods Deer Management Scheme, with the ethos around reducing the number of fallow deer on the South Downs to allow for accelerated regeneration of the woodland. The restaurant is proud of the great relationships it maintains with local gamekeepers, cheese makers, farmers and even a small fishing boat (run by father and son) at Chichester Harbour, which brings in the daily catch.
The restaurant offers guests the choice of either an a la carte or tasting menu. Typical dishes from the a la carte might include: Sussex pork terrine with caramelised apple purée & hazelnut salad (£12)’ Green Egg roasted crispy sweet potato fondant, sweet potato crisp, wild mushroom cream sauce & new season rainbow chard (£21); Wild sea bass, Jerusalem artichoke, lobster beignet & rouille (£32); Rack of South Downs lamb, braised shepherd’s pie & squash purée (£34); Sussex Pear charlotte, caramel sauce, homemade pear sorbet (£9); and Chocolate brownie, chocolate crisp, passionfruit purée & salted caramel ice cream (£9.50). An example from the daily specials menu is “Tourte de Chevreuil’ roasted & braised shoulder of South Harting fallow deer pie with parsnip purée, parasol Graffham mushrooms, glazed heirloom carrots, & venison jus.
Alternatively, the Tasting Menu comprises eight courses and is priced at £120 with an optional wine flight priced at an additional £90. The wine list has been curated by Tim Killen and features a fantastic array of global wines, including drops closer to home from Roebuck Estates Vineyard in Petworth; there are of course local ales and beers from the likes of Langham Brewery, as well as seasonally inspired cocktails.
The beautiful interiors have been designed by Sussex-based interior designer, Anna Hewitson, and each room is named after local wildflowers. The six ensuite bedrooms are the perfect bolthole for a countryside escape, with three of the rooms enjoying decked areas overlooking the fields and woodland beyond, and a fourth garden terrace being added in the new year. Botanical fabrics and a palate of soft hues are inspired by the surrounding landscape alongside sumptuous blankets, cushions, and fresh flowers. Guests will find a well-stocked mini bar; Nespresso coffee machine and in-room drinks list (for those wishing to enjoy an aperitivo in their room whilst taking in the views). The bathrooms are stocked with Bramley toiletries, fluffy robes and Dyson hairdryers. Of course, there will also be home-made treats from the kitchen and every room benefits from a Samsung smart TV should one wish to pop on an afternoon film. Rooms are available from £175 per night B&B – so cheer yourself up this January with a visit to one of Sussex’s hottest destinations.