Midhurst

I got it all wrong.

Not dressed for what became a bitterly cold day. But that made an early breakfast at the Swan Inn in Midhurst all the more welcoming.

Home cooked pub food Midhurst

I understand that in this country breakfast is taken very seriously and I was fortunate to bump into the perfect breakfast sausage, quite by accident. Arriving in Midhurst a bit before time, I stopped outside the Swan Inn. It didn’t take long to decide to take them up on their offer of a full English breakfast and a bottomless pot of tea.

I didn’t have that many options. It was my only option.

Best breakfast in Midhust

The perfect sausage, the perfect breakfast in an English country hotel in the South Downs.

Accommodation in Midhurst

Rolls Royce

When the Rolls Royce factory at Goodwood first opened, it was building one car a day and employed a staff complement of  300.

Rolls Royce factory Chichester

Today there are more than 1800 designers, engineers and skilled craftspeople employed at the plant, working to produce five different models. They are one of the largest employers in the area, making a significant contribution to the welfare of the local community.

Local crafts

With a few exceptions most of the stalls at the local markets I have found have been dull and uninteresting.

Craft markets in Chichester

Which was why I stopped to talk to Jib Hagan. No ways he is going to earn any awards for the design and presentation of his stall.

Recycling waste plastic Chichester

But what he lacked in the way of shelter from the elements he made up for with enthusiasm and passion.

Hand woven bags using recycled plastic waste.

It’s a little ironical when you stop to think how recycled plastic waste ends up back on the street, in a stall being sold into the market and the journey taken to get here.

www.care4basket.com

Bread and butter pudding

This is what took me back to Winchester over the weekend.

The best bread and butter pudding Chichester

Only to discover that it is no longer on the menu. After a three hour bus ride, it was a bit of a disappointment. Despite which the Black Boy pub is still worth a visit.

Although I doubt it will involve a special outing by bus next time.

Pubs in the South of England

Best English pubs

Old wooden tables and a quirky collection of the oddest artefacts and bric-a-brac. Four squirrels playing pool in a glass case, a couple of squash rackets mounted on the wall and shelves of books. Not quite a library, nor a museum but definitely a pub worth exploring.

Pub bric-a-brac

Pity about the pudding.

Newsagents

If you are looking for a newsagent in Chichester, they are around the corner, down a small lane and they open promptly at five in the morning.

Early morning newspaper Chichester

Breakfast on a Saturday morning is incomplete without an early morning paper. Although I am not saying that eight o’clock counts as an early breakfast. It’s the earliest I can find.  But I was stuck without a newspaper.  That was until I found one in St Martins Street. Its a lane that runs off East Road next to M&S past the Hole in the Wall and St Martins Coffee Shop.

The newsagents are on the next corner on the left.

Newspaper in Chichester

Good News are also billed as Confectioners but I don’t think I saw any evidence of confectionery in the shop besides ice creams. If I did I would buy purely on principle.

Brazilian restaurants

I watched the Brazil vs Belgium game at the house of a friend. But it wasn’t just the football that made it a memorable evening.

Brazilian food Chichester

It was Gabriel’s piri-piri sauce that brought back memories of days in Beira and the Hut in Long St.

We started the game with crispy onion rings liberally drizzled with the piri-piri sauce. Then onto carne assada (roast beef) and crispy belly of pork accompanied by a fresh salad and once again lashings of peri-peri sauce.

Portuguese piri-piri sauce Chichester

An evening which took me off to both Portsmouth and Brighton in a search for the Brazilian restaurant which will serve as a fitting substitute for that authentic Thai meal, I well know, I will never find.

Google Maps

Google maps is very useful for  getting around in Chichester. But it is not infallible.

I use the 55 bus route to Tangmere and Google is fine for the outward journey. But for some reason Maps records the last stop on the return journey at a arbitrary stop halfway along the route.

This means I don’t get given the option of this route from where I am staying,  if I want to get to the bus station. For the outward trip, it also directs me to a pick up point that is a bit longer, than if I cut across the park to a local community centre. So if you are using the app on a regular basis, it is a good idea to double check the info you think is right.

Stagecoach also run a  Coastliner service between Brighton and Portsmouth which I am not given as an option when searching for services between Chichester and the stops along the coast. It rather defaults to the train schedules. Possibly because they are quicker. But then again if I paid a bit more attention to Options I suspect I could fix that one.

Burgers

When I stopped to see if there was a web site or opening times on The Pass food truck, a vehicle drew up, to advise me that there are no better burgers in Chichester.

Best burgers in Chichester

I suspect he was hoping I was there to open up. But no luck so far, I suspect that they only open for lunch.

Gourmet burgers in Chichester

Charlie Harpers

I used to do breakfast at Lakes Traditional English Cafe.

Best brunch in Chichester

But they have sold and the shop is being refurbished. Stuck for choice, I eventually ended up in the other end of town, at Charlie Harpers.

I didn’t feel like a traditional breakfast and decided on the Black Pudding Hash.  Something I will do again as it was that good. They also offer Rooibos.