A Shooter's Lunch at The Dorset Arms

The Dorset Arms is, quite simply, one of Britain's finest pubs.


In fact, this is so much the case that it is tempting to say no more and, therefore, pique the reader's curiosity to the extent that they seek out this traditional ale house and discover first-hand what makes it so special . . . but, then again, it is difficult not to want to tell others about such a marcellous discovery.


We took a break from our long morning in the field to have lunch at the hosteltry which has been owned by the Sackville family since its doors first opened in the 16th century.


It takes its name from the Earls and Dukes of Dorset, one time heads of the Sackville family. Owing to such a long lineage of ownership, there is little about the place that isn't imbued with the family and village life. To some extent, the pub feels like an extension of the family's drawing room, with family photographs, prize ribbons, and stories decorating the walls and backs of menu cards on each table. In the surrounding area, one has the opportunity to stroll through the real life '100 Aker Wood', made famous for Winnie the Pooh in the books by A. A. Milne, and visit Charles Rennie Mackintosh's favourite countryside walks in England.



The current manager of the pub is a deft hand at maintaining at once a smart and traditional feeling to the bar and restaurant, not a bit of evidence of the place being stuffy or twee like so many public houses in the country.


Rooms are available to book as well, although, alas we were not able to sample the accomodation during our photoshoot, we all remarked on the journey back to London that this would be a place to which we would return (before too long, hopefully!). We cannot recommend heartily enough this pocket of peace and quiet in the Sussex Weald.