In winter a big inglenook & roaring log fire tick all the ‘welcome’ boxes at this 17th-century inn nestling below the South Downs. Gentle refurbishment has retained the building’s inherent character & the food follows suit: it doesn’t try to be too cheffy or fashion conscious, preferring instead to keep things simple by using local & seasonal produce. Mind you, there are plenty of appealing Mediterranean influences at work here: scallops are served with a spicy Provençal ratatouille, while slow-roasted pork is given a sunny hue with its roasted tomato & chickpea cassoulet & some crisp Parma ham. Otherwise, the menu stays with solid, Brit-based grub – smoked haddock in Harveys Ale batter, duck breast served on a bubble & squeak cake with port, juniper & chestnut jus, sticky toffee pudding & more besides. Out back is a garden with a boules pitch – a reminder of the kitchen’s continental allegiances, perhaps.