A power kite in a sunset wind stretches the appetite. Last weekend we were lured by a warm evening and a low tide to the miles of empty sand at West Wittering, near Chichester. It was perfect. Fresh-aired and hungry we ended the night with a meal at the Beach House in West Wittering.
The Beach House feels Cape Cod and looks clean – lots of wood, pale colours, and a verandah. We found the restaurant by accident and we’ve been twice – the first time for tea with hot chocolate and scones. On Saturday for an evening meal for three.
We arrived late and the restaurant was busy but there was a table free and no fuss made. We were seated quickly beside an elderly couple and across from the sunburnt parents with their three young children.
To start we shared a plate of fresh bread, olives and oil. Our choices for the main course were steak and chips, vegetarian tart with rocket and parmesan, and moules.
It was a hungry wait – something to do with the power kiting, our own alcohol-free dining, and the satisfied munchings of those who had arrived earlier than us.
Time confirmed our choices had been excellent. The steak with a peppercorn sauce, a small basket of handmade chips and a large grilled mushroom was the most expensive dish at £19 but it clearly hit the spot. My tart, with freshly prepared layers of lightly- cooked Mediterranean vegetables was topped with rocket and parmesan. It had that ‘you-can-be-smug-about-this’ healthiness mixed with real food satisfaction. The moules, served in a white wine sauce with extra bread, were a time-consuming and satisfying treat. All the food was well-presented with careful hand-finished touches.
We indulged in one desert of vanilla ice cream served in a crisped, caramel basket with two corner slices of chocolate brownie. A small pot of chocolate sauce completed the dish . The irresistible plateful went to the youngest power kiter who did not suggest sharing.
We ended with a latte and a bill for £65. It hadn’t been a cheap evening but the experience had delivered all it promised.
The staff in their lightly striped t-shirts had pitched their attention at the right level for both the wind-swept and the tidy. The mood had been welcoming with an easy efficiency – happy – who wouldn’t be with a wide verandah and a roomful of satisfied customers?
A great evening … there are definite plans to return when budget, tide and the weather next combine.
The Beach House, (Bed and breakfast with licensed restaurant below)
Rookwood Road, West Wittering, West Sussex PO20 8LT
Tel: 01243 514800