Secret places to eat in Kent & Sussex holiday cottages

Secret places to eat in Kent & Sussex

The glorious counties of Kent and Sussex are truly a food lover's dream. Packed with elegant Michelin starred restaurants and contemporary cafes, visitors to the area will have a whole host of dining experiences at their fingertips. Fruit, vegetables and meats from organic farms and fresh fish caught daily from little fishing towns dotted along the coast make their way to many of the area's restaurants, just waiting for you to come and sample them.

We believe the best thing about being on holiday is discovering new places to eat, and where better than those recommended by locals? From hearty breakfasts in undiscovered fishermen's cafes to contemporary vegan brunches, elegant lunches and fine dining at the most sophisticated venues, you will be sure to find the perfect place to eat out, just don't tell anyone!

St. Clement’s, Hastings

The secret fish restaurant gaining great reviews

This little restaurant may be tucked away in the back streets of St. Leonards but it is widely known as the place to go. Opened by chef patron Nick Hales in 2007, the seasonal menus of the restaurant are sourced locally with rare-breed farms and non-intensive dairies providing excellent produce.


About time too #englishasparagus #asparagus #seasonal #stclements #wyevalley

A post shared by St Clements (@stclementsrestaurant) on

Our tips

  • Try the freshly caught Dover Sole and Sea Bass
  • Be sure to visit if you are staying at our Hastings cottages

The Ivy, Tunbridge Wells

A taste of London in the countryside

The renowned London restaurant has branched out again, this time coming to the elegant spa town of Tunbridge Wells. The restaurant not only offers a wide selection of dining options but also a fantastic brunch menu which you can enjoy sitting around its brilliant retro-style long curved bar.


#brunch #theivy

A post shared by "Pimp My Cupcakes" (@pimpedcake) on

Our tips

  • The weekend brunch is just perfect after a long lie-in
  • Head there if you are staying in our Frant cottages

Rocksalt-on-Sea, Bexhill-on-Sea

The perfect place to catch up with friends

Arty with a laid-back vibe, the Rocksalt doesn’t accept table reservations – it's just the sort of place you pitch up at. The two-storey venue has a brasserie feel upstairs and cosy booth seating downstairs with a great young team. It’s also a live music venue welcoming lots of local talent so brilliant if you like a bit of something in the background as you eat.


This was also good.

A post shared by Matt Hards (@matthards) on

Our tips

  • The Original Portobello Mushroom and Halloumi Burger is a must-try
  • Be sure to visit if you are staying in our Bexhill-on-Sea accommodation

The Fig, Rye

The vegetarian and vegan's choice

This little delight nestled in the cobbled streets of Rye is fast becoming the place to go. Serving simple wholesome food, it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. Famous for its healthy brunches and lunches, everything is presented beautifully and tastes excellent to boot.


Capps n smoothies

A post shared by The Fig (@thefigrye) on

Our tips

  • Sample the Monmouth coffee, roasted in the UK and delivered to the café within 24 hours. Sourced directly from the farmers, it's true fair trade!
  • Head there if you are staying in our Rye cottages for a tasty treat.

The Gingerman, Brighton

Simple and friendly seaside restaurant

This understated, elegantly decorated seaside restaurant offers excellent service and a great ambience. Their aim is to deliver uncomplicated, full-flavour food made with the highest quality seasonal produce. Not only a favourite of locals, but also for those in the know who come from miles around to visit The Gingerman, but also their sister restaurants, the Ginger Fox, the Ginger Pig and the Ginger Dog.

Our tips

  • Try our favourite sweet treat on the menu: cinnamon crème brulee with banana sorbet and honeycomb
  • It's the perfect place to stop into on a day trip to Brighton from our Lewes cottages

Ockenden Manor, Cuckfield

Dining on a grand scale

This grandiose Elizabethan manor house is home to one of our much-loved Michelin starred restaurants. Surrounded by miles of countryside, its elegant drawing room with roaring open fire invites you in to dine on a cold winter's evening. In more clement weather, eat outside on the smart terrace where you can drink in the spectacular scenery of Cuckfield Park.

Our tips

  • Try the Caramelised Lemon Tart with Blackcurrant Sorbet
  • Head there if you are staying in our cottages in Uckfield

The Sportsman, Seasalter

Michelin starred without any pretension

The Sportsman is a welcome addition to the small seaside village of Seasalter with its great location, friendly staff and excellent relaxed atmosphere. Oysters and fish are caught from the Thames Estuary behind the pub that leads out to the North Sea, and the meat, game and vegetables are sourced from marshland in front. Amazing puddings and an impressive wine list make this the place to go, especially as it is not expensive considering the quality of the food. As well as the a la carte menu, they have a Tasting Menu which reflects the seasons as well as the local environment.


Our tips

  • Our pick from the menu is the Whitstable Native Oysters, Rock Oysters with Hot Chorizo and Poached Rock Oysters with Pickled Cucumber and Avruga Caviar.
  • Head there if you are staying in our Whitstable cottages - it's the perfect place to relax after enjoying a stroll along the coast to Seasalter

Bosun's Bite, Rye Harbour

When you just need a good hearty breakfast

It may not be a gourmet restaurant or the place for a half-shot toffee skinny latte but if you want the best all day breakfast in the area, then head to this little harbour café for a hearty fry-up. Used by their neighbours, the RNLI, after a particularly harsh night shift or to get an energy boost before heading back out to sea, it's the best place for old-style cafe culture. Right in the middle of the harbour, it is perfect before a brisk beach walk to Winchelsea Beach or a stroll with the pooch at the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve. As it's so busy, you may have to wait but it’s well worth it.

Our tips

  • Enjoy a hearty breakfast with their breakfast bap – sausages, bacon, tomatoes, hash brown and eggs all in a buttery white bap
  • it's the perfect place to start your day in if you are staying in our Rye Harbour holiday cottages

The West House, Biddenden

Michelin-starred restaurant in the prettiest village

When you arrive at this establishment, you feel as though you are popping around to a friend’s house who just happens to live in the High Street. Housed in a 16th century weaver’s cottage fronting onto the main street in the Kentish village of Biddenden, its brickwork and modern interior remind you that you have in fact come for a meal out! It has a reputation for simple but fantastic quality food with locally-sourced ingredients as well as buttery olive oils brought back from the groves of Italy.

Our tips

  • The venison comes highly recommended
  • You'll be just down the road in one of our cosy Biddenden cottages

Restaurant Tristan, Horsham

A great wine list with excellent taster menus

Beautifully presented dishes with a modern flavour, the ingredients used at Michelin-starred Restaurant Tristan are of the highest quality. Friendly service and a laid-back relaxed vibe make this 16th century building with high traditional oak beams and contemporary styling, well worth a visit. Try the excellent six or eight course taste menus if you are going with a group.

Our tips

  • Don't miss the home smoked salmon, beetroot and goat’s curd.
  • Enjoy a stay at our nearby cottages in West Sussex for the ultimate indulgent getaway

If we have inspired you to visit some of our secret eateries, even more culinary adventures await with our guide to the vineyards of Kent and Sussex.

Tastebuds already tempted? Take a look at our cottages in Sussex and places to stay in Kent to start planning your foodie getaway.

** Please remember that restaurant menus are seasonal and constantly changing so our recommendations may not be available. Please call the establishments beforehand to check availability.

Like it? Share it...

Read more like this

A tour of Sussex vineyards

Take a tour of the best Sussex vineyards and wineries on offer in the region.

Fun things to do in Sussex this Easter holiday

We’ve picked out some of the best things to do in Sussex this Easter, from family events to outdoor adventures, for big kids and little kids.

Romantic days out for couples in Kent

Escape to Kent with your favourite person and discover what we have to offer for romantic vacationers
The Travel Chapter Limited, trading as | The Travel Chapter Limited is registered in England and Wales. | Registered office Travel Chapter House Gammaton Road Bideford EX39 4DF Company No. 02431506 | VAT reg: 143053210