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With a white Christmas fully on the cards, we know of a place we’d like to be snowed in at: by the crackling fires and cosy sofas, and feasting on the hearty fare at The Royal Oak in West Sussex

Style Hearth-warming village pub
Setting Pretty East Lavant lane

Why this week? This is one of our new hotels, and we want to sing from the rooftops about this snug Sussex pub in time for a cosy Christmas under its rafters.

Our favourite bits The Royal Oak’s culinary offerings sparkle with plenty more sophistication than your average pub food: seasonal dishes include scallops with pork belly and sage, seafood risotto with hand-caught Selsey crab, and tarte tatin with elderflower sorbet. Even the breads are memorable (try the tomato-flavoured number). In keeping with the rest of the inn, the dining area is warm and cosy, with a wood-burning fireplace to one side of the bar. We’re also fans of the supply of Wellingtons, the chalkboard menus and the stash of board games for wet afternoons.

Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘The Danes have a word that covers cosiness, peace and hospitality: hygge. The Royal Oak is hygge to the core, with its hearty pub fare, crackling log fires, and sheltered nooks and crannies. This is a very British take on comfort though – exposed red brick walls, low ceilings spliced with wooden beams, and beds topped with soft Welsh wool throws. Thanks to friendly staff, the hotel is warm in more ways than one – expect to relax back, newspaper and glass in hand, ensconced in one of the nut-brown leather chairs. The only interruptions will be a gentle enquiry from the bartender as to whether it’s top-up time, and the enticing aromas (corn-fed chicken, Sussex sirloin, pan-roasted partridge, apple, almond and toffee) wafting from the kitchen…’

Read the rest of our review of the Royal Oak, West Sussex

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