Chocolate and the Calcutta Cup at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on January 25th, 2013 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

It’s not too early to be thinking about Valentine’s Day. It really isn’t. First of all, book your table in the restaurant at the Horse & Groom in East Ashling. Or by the fire in the bar. Next, take a look at our menu.

Of course, Valentine’s Day is about more than just a meal. Of course it is. How about a day at the races at the Valentine’s Day Racing meet at Fontwell, followed by dinner at ours? Or catching Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday at the New Park Cinema before a late supper at the Horse & Groom?

Can’t do anything on the day itself? That’s OK, because the Old Dairy at West Dean Gardens is the venue for an evening made for lovers. Chocolate lovers that is. The From bean to bar – the magic of chocolate evening of flavours and tastings takes place on 8 February. Or, you can watch England take on Ireland in the 6 Nations in our bar on 10 February. There’ll be chocolate puddings available. And real ale. And Sunday roasts.

Talking of the rugby, before England travel to Ireland, they must first host Scotland in the Calcutta Cup on 2 February. Despite the injuries, we’re favourites, but experience has taught us that there is nothing more dangerous than a Celtic underdog.

Want to read about six of the best England v Scotland games? Here you go. Want to go back to 2007 and watch Jonny Wilkinson taking the Auld Enemy apart? We do can that, too.

For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.

Local lamb and fishy favourites at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on January 14th, 2013 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

Happy New Year from everyone at the Horse & Groom! So, what to talk about in 2013? Well, even after all the indulgence of Christmas, there are a few foodie events coming up that have us licking our lips.

The big one for January, at least as far as we’re concerned, is the splendidly titled An Evening of Lamb at the Old Diary at West Dean College on 25 January. It’s all about learning how to cut lamb and cook it in different ways. There’s even the chance to order a West Dean lamb for Easter. We recommend that all post-talk brainstorming takes place over an ale or two in front of our fire.

With food on the brain, the Chichester Farmers’ Market is back on 18 January, which is an opportunity to replenish your stocks of meat, cheese, bread, cakes, etc. But if you don’t fancy the shopping, our menu is looking as good as ever. Go with the zeitgeist and pop in for a shoulder of lamb.

There’s one more foodie event to mention. Those of a certain age will always associate one particular food and food brand with Chichester – Shippams. The Novium Museum is putting on a film archive afternoon on 25 January all about how this local business became an international success story.

Abstinence, schabstinence – January is going to taste great! Oh, and one more thing: the 6 Nations rugby kicks off in a few weeks with Wales against Ireland and England against Scotland. Excited much, us? Well, go on then.

For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year from the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on December 21st, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

There are only a few days left, so the bar at the Horse & Groom is full of talk of last-minute shopping, late-night wrapping and when, where and how to cook the turkey. Thank goodness for the beer and fire.

As usual, we’re open till late on Christmas Eve, 12-2pm on Christmas Day and 12-6pm on Boxing Day, the 27th and the 28th. It’s normal hours between the 29th and 31st, and then on New Year’s Day it’s 12-6pm. There’s always plenty of Christmas cheer, so pop in whenever you fancy.

Before we hunker down for seven days of festive eating and drinking, there is still the chance to get some Christmas carols in. There are free carol services at Chichester Cathedral every day up until Christmas, including midnight mass on Christmas Eve.

If you’re out and about over the Christmas week, and the weather permits, the Weald and Downland Sussex Christmas kicks off on Boxing Day (and runs until New Year’s Day) and is a chance to walk off the Christmas pudding. Also, Fontwell Racecourse has its annual Boxing Day race meet for those who fancy a festive flutter.

We’re all looking forward to a festive couple of weeks and hope to see you in the bar or restaurant. If you can’t make it in, merry Christmas and a happy new year from the Horse & Groom!

For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.

Celebrations, carols and Christmas at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

We said we wouldn’t mention the C word unless England beat the All Blacks and well, by the end of 80 minutes it felt like Christmas had come early in the Horse & Groom in East Ashling. Talking of celebrations, there is plenty of festive cheer to be enjoyed locally.

There’s no better place to indulge in some Christmas spirit than our bar, but because you can’t sit in front of our roaring fire and drink our real ale all day, every day, I had better tell you about life outside the Horse & Groom.

The big fat man in the red suit is making an early appearance at West Dean on 15 and 16 December, as part of its Winter Wonderland season. The weekend will see the glasshouses and walled garden transformed into a magical grotto. There’s also the chance to nab some festive gifts. When you’re done and in need of some refreshment, we’re just down the road!

It’s also the season of Christmas carols and there are plenty of free concerts taking place at Chichester Cathedral, including a BBC Sussex carol service on 15 December. There are also free Christmas carols at Pallant House Gallery on 20 December.

So, that’s Santa and singing covered, which leaves us with eating and drinking. Obviously, I should point you to our Christmas menu (and our delicious usual one) but for those few times you won’t be tempted by our restaurant, Chichester Farmers’ Market on 21 December is a great chance to stock up on goodies.

Anyway, bring on Australia and Wales, and the 2015 World Cup! Oh, and the 6 Nations in February!

For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.

Razzamatazz and rugby at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on November 27th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

I finished the last blog talking about James Bond and the fact that you don’t have to go far from the Horse & Groom in East Ashling to get behind the wheel of his famous Aston Martin DB4.

Well, there’s no Goodwood Breakfast Club this month but the motor circuit and a very special track day is only a short spin away. Not a bad Christmas present or festive party? We can have Christmas dinner waiting for you after a hard day behind the wheel (check out our Christmas menu).

Talking of special Christmas events, Chichester Festival Theatre presents the Rat Pack at Christmas – Vegas Spectacular on 1 December. As the theatre is undergoing a major refurbishment, The Venue is playing host to this night of famous songs. You might be tempted to raise a small glass of something festive at our bar before or afterwards.

Another way of getting into the Christmas swing is a tree dressing afternoon at the Weald & Downland Museum on 2 December, or if you’re not quite ready to decorate your own tree, you can get creative and add your own special ornament to the tree at the Novium Museum throughout the month.

For a gentler introduction to Christmas, Christmas Thursdays start at Pallant House Gallery on 6 December. Entrance to the gallery is free and there will be carols in the house. This Thursday also marks the first of three evenings of late night shopping. For more festive shopping, the Chichester Christmas market takes place on 13 December.

Of course, you might just want to escape it all (and the weather!) and there’s no better place than the Horse & Groom. Come and join us as we cheer on England against the All Blacks this Saturday – there will be no mention of Christmas, unless of course we win!

For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.

Why Christmas is best at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on November 13th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

I know it’s only November but the Christmas bookings are mounting up at the Horse & Groom in East Ashling, so now’s the time to make your reservation. Our Christmas menu is up on the website, the fire is aglow on a daily basis and the beer tastes great, so what’s not to look forward to?
And, we’re not the only ones getting festive in November. After all the humbug and the national dressing down last year, the powers that be have got their act together and Chichester will have Christmas lights this year! The big turning on is taking place on 24 November in the city centre, along with fireworks sponsored by John Lewis (whose Christmas ad is a corker). There’s the prospect of some late night shopping on the Saturday, too.
Other Christmas goings on over the next couple of weeks include a Christmas market at the Weald and Downland Museum on 17 and 18 November and a Winter Warmer Creative Weekend at West Dean from 23 to 25 November, where you can try your hand at everything from curry making and metalworking to ballroom dancing and yoga.
Of course, not everyone is quite ready to embrace the festive spirit and there are plenty of non-Christmas events to enjoy. There’s late-season racing at Fontwell Racecourse on 18 and 28 November and the cold weather always has us longing for the cinema: the New Park Cinema down the road has some great films on, including North by Northwest and Lawrence of Arabia.
It’s also showing Skyfall for anyone who hasn’t already seen it or who wants a second helping of Bond and his famous Aston Martin. Talking of Astons, you don’t have to go far from the Horse & Groom to get behind the wheel of one. More details next time.
For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.

Pumpkins and pyrotechnics at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on October 26th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

Now, if you want tales of things that go bump in the night this Halloween, you could do worse than have a chat to some of the regulars at the Horse & Groom in East Ashling. You could also pay a visit to the Novium Museum, where you can listen to some Chilling Tales of Chichester on 28 October.
Hopefully there won’t be any stories of stiffs stumbling around the cathedral grounds the previous night (it’s the Stonepillow Big Sleep Out on 27 October and everyone taking part should be tucked up in their tents), but if spooky stumbling is your thing, Cowdray is hosting a ghost walk on Halloween night.
Of course, after Halloween comes Bonfire Night, and fireworks have been known to go off at the Horse & Groom. But for a more organised display of pyrotechnics, there are the usual nights out locally, including a Firework Spectacular at Fontwell. I’m sure there will be something at Goodwood as well. Whether you get up to, we’ll have the fire going and the beer flowing to keep you toasty.
After a hard evening of scaring or at the bonfire, you may just want to watch a film. If there’s nothing good on your TV, The Shining is on at Cineworld Chichester on 31 October and the Page Turners into Screen season at the New Park Cinema continues with Rebecca on 2 November and The 39 Steps on 9 November. Or, you might just want to come to the pub! We have plenty on offer to warm you up – you can check out our menus online (this year’s Christmas menu is up now, too).
For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.

Horsepower and horticulture at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on October 9th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

I finished last time by mentioning the upcoming show of horsepower at the Weald and Downland Museum’s Autumn Countryside Show on 13 & 14 October. Well, there is lots more horsepower to be enjoyed on the Sunday – Goodwood Racecourse is signing off the season with a Spitfire display.

A few of the regulars will be interested in this and even those who don’t make it up the road will still be able to enjoy the flying finale from the pub over a beer. The display is scheduled to take place at 1pm, an hour before the racing starts. It should be a great day, with Goodwood offering a special Olympic price of £20.12 for the Gordon Enclosure!

On the same day, horsepower of a very different kind will take place over Goodwood Motor Circuit. The circuit is hosting the Greenpower National Finals, which feature young drivers racing their electric cars. This is an IET Formula 24 event and there will be plenty of very special race cars on display.

The hottest ticket of the month is for Noel Coward’s Private Lives at Chichester Festival Theatre. If you can’t see the play, which runs until 27 October, there are plenty of other interesting events in Chichester in the coming weeks. For the green fingered, there’s the Art and Nature talk on planting design on 20 October at West Dean College, while for big band fans, the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines is playing at Chichester Cathedral on the same day.

Whatever you get up to, there will always be a warm welcome at the Horse & Groom in East Ashling. The real ale, open fire and our hearty menu are waiting!

For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.

Hops, Hitchcock and horses at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on September 27th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

As our CAMRA award suggests, we love our real ale at the Horse & Groom in East Ashling: it is expertly cared for in our underground cellar and raised directly to the glass by a traditional hand pump. So, we were delighted to read that the number of breweries in the UK has topped 1,000, with over 150 new ones opening in the last year. That means lots of great beer!
From one British institution to another: the Alfred Hitchcock season at the Chichester Cinema at New Park starts soon. From The Thirty Nine Steps to North by Northwest and Strangers on a Train, there is plenty to talk about over a pint and something to eat.
Staying on the subject of great Britishness, the Goodwood Breakfast Club returns on Sunday 7 October, following a break for the Goodwood Revival. The theme is Soft Top Sunday, so we’re looking forward to some fantastic cars lining up on the motor circuit. We’re only down the road and our restaurant is the perfect place for a pit stop and a hearty roast after a wander around Goodwood.
The season at Goodwood Racecourse may be nearly over but that doesn’t mean there’s no more local racing to enjoy until next year. Fontwell Park Racecourse hosts a two-day jump racing festival on 5 & 6 October. Also over that weekend, West Sussex Opera is performing Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury at the Assembly Rooms in Chichester.
The following weekend there is another chance to see some horsepower in action: this time it’s a combination of heavy horses and vintage tractors at the Weald and Downland Museum’s Autumn Countryside Show on 13 & 14 October. After a busy day in the Sussex countryside, we’ll have a drink and a roaring fire waiting.
For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.

Beer, cheese and apples at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on September 17th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

If I asked what goes best with a pint of real ale from the Horse & Groom, what would be the answer? One would definitely be a good cheese board and, for those of you who agree, there is the chance to indulge and educate the inner cheese demon up the road at West Dean.
On the evening of 5 October, ex-deli owner and cheese enthusiast Rosemary Moon will take her audience on a journey through British cheeses, with an emphasis on the local, from the soft and mild to the pressed and mould ripened. We’ll have the Horse & Groom cheeseboard ready and waiting for an after-show tasting session!
So, you’ve got your real ale and cheeseboard in front of you in our cosy bar (or even in the garden!) – is there anything missing? Well, how about a good crunchy apple or some apple chutney? You might even want to swap the ale for a cider. Talking of all things apple, West Dean is again the place to be on the weekend of 29-30 September as it hosts its annual Apple Affair. As well as the food and drink, there are food demos, an art exhibition and, rather intriguingly, an apple doctor.
A nice pint and a bite to eat might be just what you want after an afternoon at the races and Goodwood’s penultimate race day of the season takes place on 26 September. On the subject of Goodwood, if you still want more vintage car action after the Revival last weekend, head to Tangmere Aviation Museum on 23 September for its Classic Wheels military vehicle and classic car show. A rare 1973 Montreal Alfa Romeo and a mid-1920s Grand Prix Bugatti are among the highlights.
For more info on the Horse & Groom or to book a table or a room, contact Mike and Michelle on 01243 575339 or info@thehorseandgroomchichester.co.uk.