A spell at The Cat will leave you purring with contentment. With its regulars chatting at the bar, its blazing fire in the huge inglenook, its hops, pewter and mix of airy and cosy dining areas, this early 16th-century, timber-framed village inn exudes character and bonhomie. One of our greatest gastropubs, its landlord Andrew Russell, previously GM at nearby Gravetye Manor, mixes professionalism with a natural flair for people. As for the food, from chef Alex Jacquemin, there’s no trumpeting and no fuss and, as a result, its superb quality is all the more delightful. ‘I recommend the pie and chips,’ says Andrew. And what a steak, mushroom and ale pie it is. Leave space for a homemade pud too. Upstairs, there are four attractive, luxurious, well-equipped bedrooms, one very large, another with a view of the pretty church. In the morning, after a sophisticated breakfast worthy of Gravetye, follow the path through the churchyard for a spectacular view across the valley.
Doubles from £125
+44 (0)1342 810369; catinn.co.uk
The Priest House in the Village and visit Wakehurst Place (Kew in the Country) 5min by car away. Standen and Bluebell Railway close by too.
Our Steak, Mushroom and Ale Pie – homemade, proper pie.
Visit Bluebell Vineyard nearby and return laden with delicious, sparkling wine!
CLAIM TO FAME
They have been here since the 1450s and are one of only two Cat Inns in the UK.
Want to find out more? Visit the hotel's website.
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