The Hatch Inn
“Much-accoladed Ashdown Forest inn” - AA Inspector
HARTFIELD, EAST SUSSEX
The Hatch, built around 1430, is an eye-catching, clapboarded old inn on the site of one of the medieval gates into what was then dense woodland, that yielded valuable iron ore deposits and timber for charcoal. It was probably lived in by workers at a water-driven hammer mill at the foot of today's Kidd's Hill, named after the piratical Captain Kidd, who allegedly masterminded smuggling activities from here in the 18th century. With plenty of local suppliers to draw on, fresh seasonal produce is used in just about every dish on the daily-changing menus, complemented by an extensive wine list. So, lunchtime options could well be Shetland mussels with garlic cream and white wine sauce; beef and chilli meatballs with fettucine; Thai green chicken curry with fragrant jasmine rice; and goats’ cheese and red onion marmalade tarte Tatin. It's a quite different menu in the evening, when white wine-poached pear and Roquefort salad with toasted pine nuts might appear as a starter, with mains including chargrilled Angus fillet steak with triple-cooked fries; new season's lamb, dauphinoise potatoes and roast vegetables; and roast fillet of monkfish with pancetta, chorizo and red lentil stew. Large gardens areas look towards the forest.
- Children welcome
- Children's portions
- Free Wifi
- Parking available
- Coach parties accepted
- Open all year
Also in the area
About the area
Discover East Sussex
East Sussex, along with its western counterpart, is packed with interest. This is a land of stately homes and castles, miles of breezy chalk cliffs overlooking the English Channel, pretty rivers, picturesque villages and links to our glorious past. Mention Sussex to many people and images of the South Downs immediately spring to mind – ‘vast, smooth, shaven, serene,’ as the writer Virginia Woolf described them. She and her husband lived at Monk’s House in the village of Rodmell, near Lewes, and today, her modest home is managed by the National Trust and open to the public.
There are a great many historic landmarks within Sussex, but probably the most famous is the battlefield where William, Duke of Normandy defeated Harold and his Saxon army to become William the Conqueror of England. By visiting Battle, near Hastings, you can, with a little imagination, picture the bloody events that led to his defeat. East Sussex’s pretty towns such as Lewes, Rye and Uckfield have their charms, while the city of Brighton offers museums and fascinating landmarks, the best-known and grandest feature being the Royal Pavilion.
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