I’ve been meaning to go to the Half Moon pub for ages, and there’s something about the onset of winter which makes me hanker for snug olde worlde country pubs with unpretentious decor and open fires.
The Half Moon is just that, nestled into the foot of the South Downs. Inside, it’s everything you could want from a country pub – beautiful old exposed beams, lots of snug seating areas, and plentiful paintings and decorations that remind you that you’re in the middle of the Sussex countryside.
The first signs were very promising – arriving with greedy punctuality at 12 when the pub opened we were greeted by friendly staff and I noticed all the floors had been freshly mopped. (I worked in hospitality for long enough in my teens and twenties that I still mentally appraise a bar or restaurant for cleanliness when I walk in and feel slightly annoyed when people aren’t doing basic stuff like clearing tables.)
We chose one of the tables by a fire – and I could see this pub being all too easy to stay in for hours on a cold winter’s day, talking and working your way through their excellent wine list. They look like they do excellent beers and ales too – but I’m strictly a sauvignon blanc kinda girl.
The food was amazing. Mushroom and rosemary soup to start, with satisfyingly good quality bread. It was earthly, fragrant and comforting – like eating autumn in a bowl.
We both went for the pork belly for the main course, which was served with some of the best veggies I’ve had in a long time. The Half Moon lists all their suppliers on their menu, and they were so fresh and crunch and wholesome tasting that I might have gone and signed up for an organic veggie box from Ashurst Organics.
The pork was soooo tender and melt in the mouth, perfect with the sticky crackling, that I’m basically salivating thinking about it now. Ahem.
Obviously I was stuffed by the time I’d finished my main, yet strangely enough found I had room to contemplate the dessert menu. Mainly because their blackberry and ricotta millefeuille with blood orange syrup had caught my eye.
And OMG, it was so good I seriously considered ordered another one when I’d finished. Just look at it:
It was very, very tempting to stay in the snuggery for the whole afternoon, but we decided to be good and go for a little walk around the countryside near the pub. We were super glad we did, as it was such a lovely sunny day and we got to see some beautiful vistas and autumn colour:
If you want to find out more about the Half Moon their website is here (although their menu section isn’t loading properly). Our lunch for two, with three courses and one large glass of wine came to about £50. (A total bargain – we’ll definitely be back!).