Cosmopolitans and Cobras at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on September 5th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

Now, rarely do we get requests for Cosmopolitans at the Horse & Groom, but Antony & Cleopatra at Chichester Festival Theatre (7-29 September) may change all that, for a short time at least. Why? Because Kim Cattrall, of Sex and the City fame, is playing the Queen of Egypt. So, come and enjoy a pre- or post-theatre cocktail in East Ashling.
Something else red that you might see at the Horse & Groom over the next few weeks is a vintage sports car or two as the Goodwood Revival takes place up the road (14-16 September). This year’s event is celebrating, among other things, 50 years of the AC Cobra, so there should be some very special cars passing by.
Our lovely rooms are ideal for making a weekend of it – our very own Chichester hotel is a converted flint barn. The Revival isn’t the only thing going on over that weekend – the annual Chichester Local Food Fare takes over the city centre for the two days, with a mobile farm coming to town for the kids on the Sunday. There is always a wealth of great local food to try and buy – it’s impossible to leave with empty bags (or an empty stomach!).
Also at Chichester Festival Theatre, and staying with the outdoor theme, Alan Titchmarsh brings his one-man show Trowel and Error to the city for one night on 16 September. Talking of getting in the garden, the Horse & Groom garden is still open and we’ll be enjoying it as long as the evenings and good weather last (but if it does get cooler, the log fire in the bar is ready to go!).
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.

Great August festivals at the Horse & Groom

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

So, the Olympics are over – has anyone else got withdrawal symptoms? Some of the locals have, although I’m pleased that the requests to mark up a shot put field in the Horse & Groom garden and a running track round the car park have stopped.
That’s not to say we’ve given up on anything sporty. The Goodwood Revival is fast approaching, along with the prospect of some very nice cars parked outside, but before we get to that weekend, there is the not-so-little matter of the Goodwood Racecourse inaugural August Bank Holiday festival.
For this three-day party, Goodwood is combining horseracing and some Vintage festival-style glamour – the dress code is 1950s, so I think there will be plenty of lace gloves and Brylcream on display. We’re just down the road from the festival, which makes our Chichester accommodation – a lovely converted barn – an ideal base for the partying.
Another festival taking place over that weekend is the rearranged Chilli Fiesta at West Dean, which always draws a big crowd. Our bar is open to those needing to put a few fires out! Talking of gastronomic delights, aside from the Horse & Groom lunch and dinner menus, the Little London Food Market takes place on 25 August and the Chichester Farmers Market is next in town on 7 September.
Of course, it pays to be prepared for some great British rain and, aside from popping in on us, you could take shelter at the Chichester Festival Theatre, where Kiss me Kate (“a belter of a night” in the Telegraph) is running until 1 September. And if you’re pining for the Olympics, there’s a free garden exhibition at Pallant House Gallery at the moment on 1972 Olympic Posters, featuring work by pop artists of the time, including David Hockney.
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.

The Olympics and other sports at the Horse & Groom

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

Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you’ll have noticed that it’s Olympics time and there’s non-stop sport on the TV for the next fortnight. But considering that the big yellow thing in the sky has finally made an appearance, I think the Horse & Groom garden is a better arena for your exertions.
But that’s not to say that we’re not sporty. Indeed, with Glorious Goodwood kicking off soon (31 July to 4 August), we’re gearing ourselves up for lots of activity. With the racecourse just up the road, the Horse & Groom is in the perfect place to start and end the day. Whether you’re celebrating your winners or drowning your sorrows, you’ll get a friendly warm at our bar!
If you’re going the distance at Glorious Goodwood, or just looking to stay a night, you can rest easy in our comfortable Chichester accommodation. If you book to stay on 4 August, you can get up and enjoy some horsepower of a different kind on the Sunday. Goodwood Motor Circuit, just round the corner from the racecourse, is hosting the Goodwood Breakfast Club Thoroughbred Sunday event – expect lots of pre-1966 classics, in particular cars celebrating their 50th anniversary in 2012, including the Ferrari 250 GTO, AC Cobra and Lotus Elan.
Something else to get you fired up is the Chillies, Curries and Beyond food day at West Dean on 18 August. Some of the locals were disappointed that the Chilli Fiesta was put back (to the August bank holiday), so I reckon this should tide them over. Of course, you don’t have to do a course to enjoy something tasty, there’s always something with some oomph to it on our restaurant and bar menus (although you won’t get any of those nuggets that make Usain Bolt go so quickly!).
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.

Ruins, relics and rockets at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on July 11th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

We know a thing or two about relics at the Horse & Groom in East Ashling – and that’s just some of the regulars! – but there is another type of relic worth mentioning: the enormous Roman bathhouse that is the centrepiece of the newly opened Novium museum in Chichester.
I haven’t visited it yet but from what I hear, it’s very impressive. Talking of things Roman, Fishbourne Roman Palace is holding its Festival of British Archaelogy between 27 July and 2 August, during which you can have a go at being an archaeologist. All that digging is bound to make you thirsty and the Horse & Groom bar is the perfect place to quench that thirst.
Keeping the ruins theme going, Cowdray Ruins is hosting another of its picnic theatres on 17 July: this time it’s Sleeping Beauty. Fingers crossed for good weather! If it does rain, West Dean is putting on two classical concerts by the Chilingirian quartet in its Old Library on 14 and 17 July. We’re ideally placed for a pre- or post-show drink and bite to eat.
But we want it to be hot and West Dean also does heat, with its famous Chilli Fiesta taking place on 27-29 July. The stalls brimming with chilli-inspired foods are a real treat! Before that, if you like things with a bit of bang, the Chichester Festivities closes with its usual fireworks display on 14 July, which is a great excuse to head to the Trundle with a picnic (and pop in on us on the way back).
Also, talking of bangs (the bat on ball type), Priory Park in Chichester is hosting a celebrity cricket match on 22 July. It’s free to take in all the action and our garden makes a great venue for a post match debrief!
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

Festival and Festivities at the Horse & Groom

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

It has been a bruising few days for English sport – we drew the last test against South Africa and fluffed our penalties again in the football. What with all the rain around East Ashling and Chichester, I think it’s about time we had something to cheer us up.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is as good a place to start as any and this weekend will be busy with drivers, cars and fans alike. We’re in a prime spot for a pre- or post-festival drink and bite to eat and we get to see quite a few special cars go past too.
It’s not all about Goodwood and cars though. The Chichester Festivities have kicked off and there are some great events on this year. You can always count on a journalist to entertain and, this year, filling the John Simpson spot, Peter Sissons is talking about his life as a news reporter and presenter on 8 July.
Cerys Matthews is playing on 12 July in Chichester and then there’s the finale fireworks on 14 July, which are a great excuse to pack a picnic, pop into the Horse & Groom for one and then head up to the Trundle.
Talking about alfresco entertainment, Shakespeare is doing the rounds over the next couple of weeks. The Taming of the Shrew is being put on in the beautiful setting of West Dean Gardens on 28 and 30 June and 2, 4, and 6 July, while Romeo and Juliet will play out their star-crossed story at Cowdray Ruins on 4 July.
If the rain does return, the Derek Boshier: David Bowie and The Clash exhibition is well worth catching at Pallant House Gallery, as is the Peter Blake & Pop Music show. Alternatively, you could come and get your culture at the Horse & Groom bar!
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

Flood fighting and Father’s Day at the Horse & Groom

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

Plenty of our locals like to get out on the water but recently I’ve been expecting to see their boats moored up in the car park, or at least pretty close by. Needless to say, they haven’t been put off by a drop or two of rain, although the garden has been pretty quiet for this time of year!
It’s Father’s Day this Sunday, so once they’ve opened their presents of canoes, oars and assorted wet weather gear, we’re looking forward to seeing plenty of dads (and the rest of the family!) for lunch and a few drinks.
If none of those gifts will hit the mark, a night at the races probably will – Goodwood Racecourse’s Three Friday Nights season continues on Friday with Dermot O’Leary providing the DJ set and we’re perfectly placed for a warm-up drink (or a post-flutter one if the power cuts out again!). There’s another one on 22 June as well.
If horseracing isn’t your dad’s thing, this might be: an exhibition on record cover art begins at Pallant House Gallery on 19 June. Rather intriguingly, it’s called Prints of Darkness. Alternatively, you can get him tickets to the Blues on the Farm for the following weekend (21-24 June). What’s not to like about a wealth of great music and beer? If you don’t fancy camping or don’t want to take a chance with the great British weather, our lovely Chichester accommodation is available.
But who’s to say that we won’t be bathed in glorious sunshine? If we are, then this will be great too: Cowdray Ruins is hosting some picnic theatre on 21 June: the play is Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
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

The Diamond Jubilee at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on May 29th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

So the big weekend is nearly here. We’ll be doing our own celebrating in East Ashling and there is plenty going on in Chichester, Goodwood, etc. to mark the Diamond Jubilee. The Horse & Groom is the perfect base from which to take it all in.
There is a big Queen’s Jubilee Gala Day procession in Chichester on 2 June, which starts off in town before heading to Priory Park. If you’re there over lunchtime and can’t make it back to the Horse & Groom for one of Mal’s lunches, Little London Food Market is on again in East Street.
If you have booked some Diamond Jubilee weekend accommodation in Chichester in one our rooms, getting up to Goodwood Motor Circuit early on 3 June for a special Rule Britannia Goodwood Breakfast Club, which will include a Pit Lane street party, will be a doddle. The gates are open at 8am and the chequered flag comes down at 12, so that’s perfect timing for lunch in the Horse & Groom garden.
If you want to carry on the Jubilee celebrations, there are more going on at the nearby Cowdray Ruins on 3 June, which include side shows, cream teas, music and stalls. On 4 June, the celebrations continue at Goodwood, with Goodwood Motor Circuit hosting its Planes, Games and Automobiles event.
You might want to put your feet up after these Jubilee weekend celebrations (with a pint or two in our bar) but it’s not long until things get going at Goodwood again. Goodwood Racecourse’s Three Friday Nights season kicks off on 8 June. After an evening of racing, Groove Armada is in charge of the music, and if you need somewhere close by to stay the night, we can provide the bed!
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

Real ale and real art at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15th, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

All eyes may be on the extra -long weekend for the Queen’s Jubilee – hopefully we’ll be out in the sunshine in the Horse & Groom garden in East Ashling for that – but there’s plenty worth celebrating before then.
I think the celebrations should begin with the revival of British stout: I read this article the other day and, apparently, this drink is making a comeback as microbreweries go from strength to strength, which is all the reason I need to mention the Horse & Groom bar, its real ales and CAMRA award!
A good time to have a pint of real ale is before or after a day at the races and there is plenty of racing on close to us. Goodwood’s May Festival takes place on 24-26 May, which is the perfect excuse to book accommodation in Chichester in our smart rooms and make a break of it. Before that, Fontwell Racecourse hosts its British Heart Foundation Charity Raceday on 16 May.
Of course, the weather’s not to be counted on much at the moment, so it’s worth having a few indoor activities up your sleeve (apart from frequenting the Horse & Groom, of course). There’s a great Keith Vaughan exhibition at Pallant House Gallery until 10 June – Selsey-born Vaughan was one of the most significant artists of his generation. Also, Canvas starts soon at the Minerva Theatre in Chichester – it’s a comedy based around a camping trip to Wales, so expect rain to feature.
Now, if the heavens decide to shut up shop, there are a couple of good markets on in Chichester. Little London Food Market takes over East Street on 19 and 26 May, and Chichester Farmers’ Market is in town in 18 May.
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

The long weekend at the Horse & Groom

Posted in Uncategorized on May 2nd, 2012 by Horse and Groom – Be the first to comment

No sooner had I mentioned getting outside and enjoying the Horse & Groom garden and countryside air, then we are treated to a return to winter: pouring rain and gale-force winds. Needless to say, everyone’s been inside and a few have even been eyeing up the fire in the bar.
Now, I really should focus on indoors events, but where’s the optimism in that? Besides, there is a lot on outdoors in the next couple of weeks that just a stone’s throw from the Horse & Groom. With fingers crossed for better weather, the Goodwood horseracing season kicks off on Saturday (5 May) followed by a second meet on 10 May. We’re only down the road, so we’re perfectly placed for a pre- and post-meet drink and bite to eat.
If you want to make a long weekend of it and book one of our lovely rooms, Goodwood Motor Circuit is hosting the Goodwood Breakfast Club Super Car Sunday on 6 May – it starts early and finishes in time to get back to the pub for one of Mal’s lunches – and on bank holiday Monday, there’s an antique collectors fair at Goodwood House.
If antiques aren’t your thing, the nearby Weald and Downland Open Air Museum is putting on its Food and South Downs Fair on 6-7 May, which always features lots of great local food and drink. Alternatively, Cowdray Ruins has its Pirates and Smugglers Day on 6 May. It also has a Ghost Walk on 11 May.
All in all, there is plenty going on locally over the bank holiday. Let’s just hope the weather plays ball!
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

Racing, records and Reed at the Horse & Groom

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

Now that we’re well into April, how safe is it to start talking about outdoor events, or even the Horse & Groom garden? I’ll ignore the thunder forecast for this week and get on with it. The Goodwood Three Friday Nights event is in the local paper, so that’s a good a place to start as any.
These nights aren’t until June, but it’s well worth organising tickets and everything else in advance. Goodwood Racecourse is only up the road, which means our Chichester accommodation is perfectly placed if you want to make a weekend of it. Dermot O’Leary and Mike Skinner have been confirmed as the post-racing DJs for two of the nights. Rumour has it that Goodwood was trying to get Mark Ronson back for the third slot but we’ll have to see who the opening night act is.
The Goodwood Racing season doesn’t start until early May but, in the meantime, Fontwell Racecourse is hosting its CICRA Raceday on 20 April. We’re not too far away for a pre or post raceday pint and meal.
If those weather predictions do prove to be true and we have to entertain ourselves inside, when you can drag yourselves away from the Horse & Groom bar, Uncle Vanya is playing at the Minerva Theatre and, based on all the reviews, it’s a bit of a must see. Timothy West is among the stellar cast. There’s also the chance to get backstage at one of five theatre tours that start in 21 April.
Going back to June, I’ve seen adverts for the Chichester Festivities and this one-man tribute show to Oliver Reed caught my eye. It would be rude not to have a couple of liveners before seeing this one (not to mention a few more after it!).
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