The Jolly Sportsman

British, Gastropub, Pubs·

SquareMeal Review of The Jolly Sportsman

Half-hidden down a one-way lane in the South Downs National Park, this former Victorian alehouse is owned by seasoned restaurateur Bruce Wass, who has an intelligent grasp of what people want to eat – witness an eclectic restaurant menu that touts the likes of moules marinière, devilled duck hearts with crispy artichokes and bone marrow or slow-cooked pork belly with quince aïoli, fennel and onion-seed crushed potato. Ingredients are sourced with unusual care, and desserts are well worth saving room for – perhaps roast pineapple with salted peanut-brittle ice cream. You can also nibble on five-cheese ploughman’s, charcuterie, pike quenelles or boudin blanc in the bar, terrace and garden. To drink, explore the range of microbrewery beers, and don’t miss out on the 200-bin wine list. Although it’s just 20 minutes from Brighton, this is a world away from the big-beach bustle.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
British, Gastropub, Pubs
Cool, Cosy, Fun, Quiet conversation, Romantic, Traditional, Unique
Food Occasions
Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Sunday roast
Alfresco And Views
Beer garden, Great views, Outside seating, Terrace
Special Features
Dog friendly, Gluten-free options, Live music or dancing, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
Perfect for
Birthdays, Celebrations, Child friendly, Dates, Group dining [8+], Romantic, Special occasions
Food Hygiene Rating


The Jolly Sportsman is a rustic, country bed and breakfast located a stone's throw from Sussex's idyllic South Downs. Whether you plan on resting your head for the night in one of its cosy bedrooms, passing through on a dog walk or looking forward to a hearty Sunday lunch, the contemporary restaurant is a must.

With lots of natural light in the summer thanks to the huge patio doors that lead out to the garden, and atmospheric fireplaces and log burners in the winter, The Jolly Sportsman's dining room is a cosy spot. Decor feels modern but sympathetic featuring wood-panelled and exposed brick walls, next to deep crimson and aubergine paint shades and sumptuous leather chairs in autumnal tones. 

The concept behind the menus revolves around traditional cooking techniques over a live fire and using the freshest, seasonal ingredients sourced from Sussex. While many restaurants make big claims about sourcing locally, The Jolly Sportsman packs quite the punch by only using daily caught fish and meat from farms within a strict 20 mile radius. Bread is made daily in-house, as are the delicious puddings. 

While the menu changes regularly due to its seasonal nature, a flavour of what you can expect includes soy glazed pork belly, dukkah with olive oil and bread, as well as boquerones to nibble on, complemented by a range of aperetifs like a rhubarb martini and limoncello spritz. Current starters include gorgonzola and pancetta croquettes with celariac puree, as well as burrata with black olives, kiwi, tenderstem and pear, alongside citrus cured mullet with blood orange, garlic aioli and croutes. 

The selection of main dishes offers a bit of something for everyone. For those craving gourmet pub grub, the fish and chips is a go-to, while the grilled aubergine, pomegranate, freekeh and quinoa salad or wild garlic risotto with courgette and pine nuts make for great veggie options. If you want to try the chef's speciality, though, allow them to indulge their love of flame cooking and choose the cuts from the grill with new potatoes, shallot and a caper salad, which has a smokey edge. 


What's cuisine does the restaurant serve?

British with a speciality in live fire cooking.

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Can you book at The Jolly Sportsman?

Yes, it is strongly advised to make a booking prior to arriving to avoid disappointment

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What is the dress code at The Jolly Sportsman?

No dress code

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What is the menu like at The Jolly Sportsman?

Locally sourced British food with some international elements. Cooking over live fire. Please see website for sample menus

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Does The Jolly Sportsman offer gluten-free options?

Yes. Please let us know of any dietaries so we can accommodate for you.

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Chapel Lane, East Chiltington, Lewes, East Sussex, BN7 3BA

01273 890400 01273 890400


Opening Times

Mon 08:30-10:30
Tue 08:30-10:30
Wed 08:30-10:30
Thu 08:30-10:30
Fri 08:30-10:30
Sat 08:30-10:30
Sun 08:30-10:30
All day
Mon 12:00-23:00
Tue 12:00-23:00
Wed 12:00-23:00
Thu 12:00-23:00
Fri 12:00-23:00
Sat 12:00-23:00
Sun 12:00-20:00


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01273 890400 01273 890400

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