Beauty scale

Crabtree: The beautiful hamlet of Sussex spoiled by two Michelin guide restaurants

The Michelin Guide is an exclusive list of the best restaurants from around the world.

Most towns are fortunate to have only one restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide.

However, there is a small hamlet in West Sussex which is fortunate to have not one but two Michelin restaurants.

READ MORE: The small village with great walks which inspired the war of the worlds.

Crabtree, a tiny dot on the map near Horsham, can boast some of the best places to eat in the South East.

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Crabtree is home to only a handful of people, overshadowed by its close neighbor, Lower Beeding.

With 1,001 inhabitants, Lower Beeding is positively gargantuan compared to the small hamlet.

While it might not be crowded, it is home to some of Sussex’s best restaurants.

Crabtree is perhaps most famous for its eponymous pub, The Crabtree, which draws people from all over the county.

Nestled deep in the historic forest is another top restaurant – Interlude.

However, visitors to Crabtree don’t have all good food to expect.

The village sits at the foot of the High Weald Area of ​​Natural Beauty, nestled in one of Sussex’s most secluded countryside.

Leonardslee Gardens, the home of Interlude, is a fantastic destination in its own right.

Leonardslee Gardens in Lower Beeding, home to the Interlude Restaurant
Leonardslee Gardens in Lower Beeding, home to the Interlude Restaurant

The Grade I listed garden is an important site for its vibrant spring blooms of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias, magnolias and bluebells each year in May.

It is also home to tranquil lakes with calm waters, shrouded in shards of greenery by the many wild plants on their shores.

The gardens also host an annual light trail, Leonardslee Illuminated, which features impressive full-scale projections, lanterns in the gardens, and a silvery moon floating above the lake.

A short drive away is Plummer’s Plain, where you can find the source of the river Ouse.

The South Lodge Hotel in Lower Beeding is a premier destination for the rich and famous, even hosting the 2009 G20 Summitt.

The peaceful hamlet has the advantage of retaining its peaceful nature and calm lifestyle, yet being a short drive from the larger towns of Horsham and Crawley.

However, there is no doubt that great food and fine wines are Crabtree’s main draw.


The restaurant can boast of a Michelin star
The restaurant can boast of a Michelin star

Leonardlee Gardens, Lower Beeding

Set within the 240 acres of Grade 1 listed Leonardslee Gardens, it’s hard to think of a better location for a restaurant.

And the owners benefit from it with the extension of a vineyard and many activities throughout the year.

The Interlude is set in a large, Italian-style country house in Leonardslee Gardens with high ceilings, ornate fireplaces, oil paintings and chandeliers.

The kitchen grows food from its own garden in the village, as well as foraging and sourcing local Sussex produce.

Interlude says they offer “crisp, crisp flavors in an epic-length tasting format,” with dishes including “smoked beef tartare with gorse blossoms, poached plaice with mashed parsley and knotweed vinegar, and 28-day-old Middlewhite pork with wild garlic and capers. “

Interlude received its first Michelin star in 2020.

Michelin Guide

Interlude has a Michelin star

“The executive chef and chef are both from South Africa, but the surprise tasting menu remains firmly focused on the region, with produce from the garden or the surrounding area,” Michelin wrote in its guidebook.

“The expertly prepared dishes have a good balance in their textures and flavors and adopt a creative and original style.

“They produce their own gin for aperitifs and offer wines from their Benguela Cove Lagoon winery in Cape Town.”


Based on 81 reviews the overall rating of 4.5 / 5 is a solid foundation as this restaurant is growing in popularity.

One happy reviewer said, “Incredible procession of delicious food – each one coming with a beautiful presentation and explanatory card.

“A number of the dishes also contained smoke / incense so the scents were also great.

“The theft of the wines was well worth the investment – fine South African wines.”

The crab

Crabtree Restaurant is one of Sussex’s most renowned restaurants

Brighton Road, Lower Beeding

The Crabtree is a pub and restaurant named after the hamlet in which it was built.

It is one of the main attractions of the hamlet, and people come from far and wide to visit it.

Under the direction of Michelin-starred chef Dean Brackenridge, The Crabtree serves a variety of gourmet dishes and traditional roasts made with locally sourced Sussex ingredients.


The Crabtree is just one of the dining options in the Horsham countryside

The Crabtree received a solid 4/5 rating on Tripadvisor after a very impressive 960 reviews.

A restaurant has to do something right to inspire nearly 1,000 people to log on and leave a review.

A 5 star reviewer who visited in November wrote: “Perfectly deserving of its excellent reputation.

“Visited for late Sunday lunch. Good food, great wine and perfect service.

“Perfect roast beef drizzled with a very honorable Primativo.”