The Earl of March

Lavant Road Lavant , Chichester, PO18 0BQ

1 reviews

33 Gastropub West Sussex

The Earl of March

SquareMeal Review of The Earl of March

When Ritz hotel executive head chef Giles Thompson took over this character Sussex village pub overlooking the South Downs, the local dining out brigade roared their approval. His expertise is evident, from the attractive refurbishment to an accomplished way with local produce – fashioning prime-quality raw materials into fine, yet simple dishes. There’s seasonal game in many guises, including loin of venison with red cabbage, curly kale & a thyme red-wine jus, & fish also plays a big part on the menu, with starters such as diver scallops and minted pea puree, or oak-smoked salmon with potato blinis, or perhaps a crab & ginger bisque with Parmesan ciabatta. Good wines & service are added bonuses.

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Food & Drink: 8.0

Service: 9.0

Atmosphere: 7.0

Value: 7.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

Sven E. 09 September 2009

We looked at the local competition, The Royal Oak, which has a prettier setting, but the Earl Of March felt fresher and had a more interesting menu. I don't know if the menu is set for Autumn, as there are a lot of delicious-sounding but substantial dishes. I would have cheerfully eaten almost all of them. Bread was a fine (home-made?) wholemeal, although it came one slice at a time and was accompanied by a silly sliver of butter on black slate. Water was readily provided, and the only quibble a pedant might have with the menu was the circumflex in fraÎche. Tables are bare and quite closely packed, all the better for peering at other diners' dishes. There's also a bar menu and a lunchtime/afternoon seafood shack. ( I don't know why I'm bothering saying. There's a perfectly good website) We shared half a dozen small but excellent oysters, and then Madame had a pretty plateful of scallops with pea purée, and then a good chunk of perfectly medium-rare fillet of beef with rösti and greens. My main was duck breast with blackberries and hotpot potatoes, a blessed change from gratin dauphinois. With the blackberry sauce and cabbage it really worked. My starter was the only so-so dish – mussels in a cider cream sauce, which was overlarge and undersweet mussels in a heavy cream sauce devoid of cider taste but full of raw red onions. I shouldn't have ordered it, but it's a silly dish to serve as a starter, because it guarantees you won't be able to face dessert. I had conceded defeat, but Madame launched into an in-depth interrogation on the local cheeses. She then faffed interminably until the excellent waiter, probably despairing of ever again seeing home, offered her a half portion. The staff were very good throughout, although it was a quiet evening. There's a rewarding wine list, with about 15 wines by the glass, although I wasn't very tempted by the dessert list. Sherry? Madeira? Aussie muscats? We'd already had a glass of Prosecco, a half of Harveys and five glasses of wine. Espresso was made by someone who doesn't drink espresso. The service-free bill was £105, which isn't cheap for a pub with paper napkins, but was fair given the quality of the ingredients and cooking. Not perfect, but highly recommended.