Where to eat

Despite being famished, before stopping at The Pass for a burger, I wandered up to Charlie Harpers to see what they were offering on their specials board.

[Edit] 11/05/2020 There has been a change of Chef at Charlie Harpers and with it the menu. Lunch is more quiche, pasta and chicken with cream teas, a little later in the day. Still good but different. 

Crispy belly of pork served with black pudding mash, apple cider and thyme jus, green beans and bacon.

More than enough to get me to a table and take out the newspaper.

Charlie Harpers is one of the best casual day restaurants in Chichester. Their specials board always offers something of interest at very affordable prices.

But it’s the Mexican burger at the Pass Street Food Cafe that I do more often than not. It is a rare pleasure to be served something bursting with flavour that needs no seasoning.

Again value for money.

The only restaurant where I order a burger. They also do a monthly special which is always ‘different’.

Gourmet street food West Sussex

These two along with and De Levante in St Pancras are worth trying as is Crispins, St Martins Coffee and Common Grounds.


Breakfast – where to go

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.

More bread & butter pudding

I have found it.

The only restaurant in Chichester, if not the south of England, that offers bread and butter pudding on their menu.

Bread and Butter pudding south of England

I have also been assured that it is there to stay. Sweet, creamy and complemented perfectly by the sharp taste of the buttermilk sorbet. A fitting end to a meal that should be revisited……often.

Farm bread Chichester

Bread was served with beef dripping which was nice idea. Fluffy and light. But not much in the way of taste. I would have preferred some solid salty farm butter.

However the scallop starter was very different.

It was described as being baked with black pudding, cauliflower and seaweed butter. I am not sure what happened to the black pudding and cauliflower. But the scallop was lurking beneath a dressing of what I assume was foamy seaweed butter. It was also fluffy and light with crunchy bits which might well have been crispy cauliflower. Whatever it all was, it was most enjoyable.

Fine dinning in Chichester

My main course was ale glazed beef short rib which literally fell apart at touch. The meat served in the restaurant is sourced from the Home Farm and Dairy.

Farmer, Butcher, Chef is an exciting restaurant, the final stage of a unique process dedicated to showcasing the farms produce. One of the only self-sustaining organic farms in Europe.

The present Duchess of Richmond was one of the Soil Association’s earliest members. Her belief in organic food and for proper animal welfare were instrumental in the farm becoming the first 100% organically fed dairy in the country.

Organic farms in England

Fine dining

Cassons Restaurant is in a league of its very own when it comes to fine dining in Chichester.

Gourmet restaurants in Chichester West Sussex

I suspect nouvelle cuisine but I am way out of my depth when it comes to what is and what is not.

Eating out in Chichester West Sussex

But exceptional food in relaxed surroundings by people who care is not difficult to understand once you drop the formalities.

Best seafood restaurant Chichester

Cassons in Tangmere is a charming country restaurant specialising in exquisite gourmet food and it is one of the best fine dining restaurants in Chichester and West Sussex.

Good restaurants in Chichester

Chef-patronne Viv Casson previously ran a successful restaurant in France, which explains the French influence and the passion for good food.

Gourmet desserts Chichester West Sussex



The real thing

Chicken & winter vegetable soup at Charlie Harpers


Hot winter soup Chichester

Not your usual soup of the day. Nothing dull and boring about this one. Chunks of chicken and everything a good winter soup should be made of.

Followed by their brunch special. One of my regular stops.

Brazilian food

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.

Living in Chichester

Chichester is a cathedral city with a rich history and culture. The remains of the original Roman town have been carefully preserved as well as the listed buildings that grew up within the ancient city walls of this important market town.

The city is surrounded by beautiful countryside in the foothills of the South Downs to the North and in the South the Chichester Harbour Conservancy and Manhood peninsula.

Centrally situated in West, the city provides excellent road and public transport connections to London and the South Coast

There are a number of excellent state and private schools as well as the Chichester College. The University of Chichester offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and is one of the top universities in the UK.

The Chichester Harbour Conservancy is an area of outstanding natural beauty full of wildlife and activities to suit all ages and abilities. Boating and sailing are popular with a host of local yacht clubs and sailing courses available. Walking paths around the harbour, shoreline, saltmarsh and mudflats showcase the sea bird habitat. The coastal path at East Head adjoins the famous Blue Flag award winning West Wittering beach.

Only a short walk from the town centre, the canal is a pleasant place to spend time hiring a rowing boat, booking into an organised canal boat tour, canoeing, fishing or walking. Chichester also has plenty of sporting clubs covering everything from cricket, football and golf to martial arts, swimming and hockey.

Good food is easy to find in the city, with many pubs, restaurants, cafes , bars and takeaway shops. Whether its Indian cuisine at Masala City, Turkish delicacies at Reina Kitchen or tantalising tapas at Viento De Levante, there is no shortage of superb restaurants providing food from around the world. Venturing out of the town to eat presents the opportunity to visit a cosy country pub with traditional food and real ale.

North, South, East and West Streets around the city’s market cross is the main shopping areas. These streets host popular high street brands and independent stores where you can buy fashion, books and gifts. There is also the modern Portfield supermarket and retail shopping complex.

A farmer’s market is held twice a month offering produce that traders must grow, rear or bake themselves within a 30-mile radius of the city.

Dating back to early Roman times the city is steeped in history and has a rich in culture. With its Victorian spire, original Norman features and striking stain glass windows the Cathedral is over 900-year-old. There are free guided tours for anyone interested in the medieval carvings, tapestries, tombs and cloisters. Situated within the City Walls, next to the Cathedral is a peaceful retreat for all to enjoy. The Bishop’s Palace Garden is maintained by the Council, together with the Friends of Bishop’s Palace Garden who have worked closely with the council to develop the project. New planting, improved access, and the creation of a wildlife friendly area are all included within the project. Water features, seating and a pergola walk have also been introduced.

Large-scale musical and theatrical productions take place at the Chichester Festival Theatre which is recognised nationally. The Pallant House Gallery houses modern art inside a listed early 18th century building. A fine collection of Modern British Art by Lucien Freud, Henry Moore and Peter Blake is on show as well as temporary visiting exhibitions that showcase national, international and contemporary art.

The Goodwood Estate provides fantastic entertainment and events throughout the year. It has a race course, organic farm, four restaurants, two 18-hole golf courses, The Kennels private members’ club, an aerodrome, a health club and a hotel. The most prestigious events held at Goodwood are the famous Festival of Speed, held over 3 days to celebrate motor racing, and the Qatar Goodwood Festival, 5-days of thrilling horse racing action.