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The “number one favourite” for miles around, this atmospheric 16th-century inn is loved by everyone – not least for its “fantastic ambience and quirky owner”. Original beams, open fires and panelling strike an archaic note, but the food is bang on-trend and the quality is “consistently high”. Most produce is sourced locally from Fletching’s market gardens, the Rye day boasts or neighbouring farms, allowing the sophisticated restaurant to deal in seasonal ideas ranging from Portland crab linguine or tempura scallop and monkfish with grilled lime and red pepper jam to slow-braised Sussex beef ragù with pappardelle, wild boar and apple sausages or “the best pheasant ever”. Meanwhile, a chalked-up slate in the casual but gentrified bar offers simpler dishes along the lines of organic chicken, leek and mushroom pie or char-grilled rib-eye steak and chips, while wines are sympathetically chosen from small producers and lesser-known regions. The Griffin also boasts a glorious terrace and garden overlooking Sheffield Park (NT), complete with sizzling Sunday BBQs in summer. Excellent accommodation and splendid breakfasts too.
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