REVIEW: Sunday lunch beside the seaside is where I like to be
'˜I do like to be beside the seaside' was a music hall song that became famous more than a century ago.
But even in fast changing times, that sentiment has never been more true.
On the wonderful coast of West Sussex, the warm sea breeze and open expanse of blue could not be more uplifting, enticing or refreshing.
What better place to come for the perfect lunch or dinner?
The Best Western Beachcroft Hotel and Restaurant at Felpham is perched just beside the sea as its name suggests.
It’s a great place to stay or celebrate a special occasion.
But it is also a splendid retreat for a great meal out and we reviewed as a family on Sunday to make the most of its famous Sunday lunches.
The roast of the day is just £9.95 and you can add a starter or a dessert for just £4.25.
There’s even a ‘kids eat free’ offer for under 12s when accompanied by a main meal paying adult.
Value, of course, cannot be measured by price alone - despite the hugely competitive offers.
The meals themselves are feasts.
For starters we enjoyed the smoked salmon mousse, the garlic and lemon chicken fillets, and a special - a salad with bacon and feta.
The platefuls were huge and perfectly presented.
The choice of roasts were lamb and loin of pork. Two of the family tried the pork - and again it was a succulent selection with stuffing, apple sauce, crackling, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding and a great dish of vegetables.
From the a la carte, I was drawn to the trout fillets (£14.95) with caper and lemon butter and parsley crushed new potatoes.
My wife chose the rump of lamb (£17.95), served pink with port and red currant sauce and dauphinoise potatoes.
The food is so plentiful a decision on whether to test the desserts was a tough one.
But we succumbed.
And wow - each portion was king size. The lemon and stem ginger torte was a particular favourite.
The Beachcroft was as busy as ever when we visited. The guests ranged from those of more mature years enjoying the most civilized of Sunday lunches to a large family celebrating a birthday.
As ever, there was a real sense of unassuming warmth and welcome from the staff. We were looked after superbly by Chelsea, Lily and Jack.
The Beachcroft always has an imaginative programme of events ranging from Steak Fridays - two 8oz sirloin steaks and a bottle of wine for just £29.95 - and bi-monthly Jazz Sunday lunches.
If you are not so keen on steak on a Friday evening you can substitute for one of the main course fish dishes.
The Beachcroft has a timeless magic. That does not mean it is set in aspic.
It has now unveiled the most perfectly manicured garden which beautifully links the hotel to the promenade.
Seaside walkers can enjoy toasted tea cakes, cream teas and sandwiches there - it’s open all day Saturday and Sunday.
The garden is a wonderful addition and it brings the beach one step closer.
If you like to be beside the seaside, then head to the Beachcroft.
Best Western Beachcroft Hotel and Restaurant, Clyde Road, Felpham, Bognor Regis 01243 827142 www.beachcroft-hotel.co.uk