Food + Drink

Going French in the Heart of Sussex

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Chez Papa @ Montparnasse @ Paris” (CC BY 2.0) by *_*

It may be only a few short miles away across the English Channel but why worry about finding your passport, getting a poor exchange rate and going through all the hassle of buying a ferry ticket when there are so many great French restaurants in Sussex?

Here are just eight of the best French restaurants in Sussex – or “huit” if you prefer.


Sundial, Herstmonceaux

With stunning views over the East Downs, the location of Sundial is as impressive as the restaurant itself. With à la carte, fine dining and gourmet menus to choose from as well as regular special events like special seafood festivals it’s a real find.


Bistro Gourmand, Rottingdean

This independently-owned restaurant focuses on Mediterranean-style French food and has earned itself a dedicated following among Rottingdean locals. But be warned, it’s a small and intimate space so booking is essential if you want to be sure of a table in the evening.


La Fourchette, Hove

Founded and run by Brighton restaurateur extraordinaire Pascal Madjoudj, La Fourchette promises to bring the very best of what he likes to call “bistronomie” to food lovers in Hove. Open all through the day, it’s perfect for everything from brunch or a lunchtime snack to a full gastronomic experience in the “boulevard brasserie” tradition.

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Escargot à la Bourguignonne” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Rubber Slippers In Italy

Exquis French Bistrot. Eastbourne

It would be easy to walk past this unassuming French restaurant in the heart of Eastbourne just a little way in from the seafront – but you’d be missing a treat if you do. It’s family-run and features a small menu of French classics ranging from guinea fowl to desserts like crème brulée  – all at very reasonable prices. If you’re craving for that crème brulée but can’t make the trip, the internet is getting increasingly good at delivering gourmet desserts to your door through dedicated delivery services.


Restaurant Tristan, Horsham

Proud holder of a Michelin star and three AA rosettes, Restaurant Tristan promises contemporary British food with a distinctly French twist. The Michelin reviewers praised the restaurant’s “well-presented dishes delivered with a modern touch; ingredients are excellent & flavours well-matched”. They also noted the friendly service and relaxed atmosphere.


Chez Joel, Steyning

Not run by Joel at all but by Sarah and her team on the High Street in Steyning, the restaurant is small and unpretentious but offers a great, and authentic, menu featuring bistro classics. If you really want to get in the swing of things they even hold French conversation evenings each Thursday – and if you want to take a piece of Chez Joel home with you there’s also a deli section.


Chez Moi, Bognor Regis

A little gem just waiting to be discovered in Bognor Regis whose unassuming looks belie its pedigree. The chef/owner was trained in the exacting kitchens of the legendary Roux brothers and after 30 years of working in top kitchens has brought his experience and skill to the South Coast.


Jeremy’s at Borde Hill, Hayward’s Heath

Jeremy and Vera Ashpool run this superb restaurant in the impressive surroundings of Borde Hill Garden and grow many of the ingredients within yards of the kitchen including herbs, edible flowers, lavender and wild garlic. The menu changes with the seasons with a special six-course tasting menu on the first Tuesday of every month.

So, as you can see, the Francophiles amongst have a positive wealth of choice in Sussex. What’s more, there are options to suit every budget and occasion.

Bon appétit.

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