Last week, to blow away the January blues, I was invited to the Half Moon Pub in Kirdford, near Billingshurst. January seems to just go on for ages (are we still not done with it??) so a date night was just perfect.
Although it was dark when we arrived, it was clear that the Half Moon is nestled amongst some beautiful West Sussex countryside amongst picture-perfect little villages. The pub itself is a typical old country pub from the outside but oozes cosiness and mixes old with modern decor inside. The staff mirrored the warm welcome and we felt instantly comfortable and in very capable hands.
We started the evening with a perfectly chilled, crisp glass of Malborough Sauvignon Blanc for me and my husband, being a real ale fan, opted for the locally brewed Half Moon Eclipse. When I say locally brewed, it’s brewed to order for the pub in the next village, Wisborough Green, by Micro Brewery Brolly Brewing. The verdict from the husband? The beer was “superb, clear, clean, looked after”.
We started our meal with some cute freshly baked rolls and an unusual, but rather tasty, butter, which was whipped making it super light to spread.
For Starters I had Atlantic Mackerel Tartare, yuzu gel, cucumber and the husband chose Bubble and Squeak Soup, with smoked ham hock and trumpet mushrooms. Both dishes were outstanding, full of flavour and don’t ask me to choose between them! If you fancied something light and fresh, the Mackerel Tartare is spot on. For a warming, slightly more filling starter, you have to go with the Bubble and Squeak Soup!
Our Mains were Roast Mallard, confit leg, pumpkin gnocchi, red cabbage and red currant sauce and Poached and Roasted Guinea Fowl, pressed leg, truffle pommes anna, spinach and chanterelle mushrooms. My Roast Mallard was perfectly cooked, pink in the middle, bursting with rich, intense flavours matching the sumptuous red currant sauce and cabbage. The Guinea Fowl was somewhat lighter, more creamy.
Desert was the quickest we have ever chosen a pudding. The chocolate addict I am, I chose the Valrhona chocolate tart with pistachio ice cream. My husband chose Forced rhubarb, whipped pannacotta and rhubarb sorbet, which would have been my second choice! Well, my tart was a feast of chocolate, with a super thin base, just how I like it! I didn’t get to try much of hubby’s dessert but it too looked delicious.
The food really was such a treat! But that was not all that really stood out from our evening, the attention from the staff was just right, not too much, not too little. The overall feel of the pub is super cosy and stylish.
About the Half Moon Pub, Kirdford
The pub was bought by model and Celebrity Masterchef finalist Jodie Kidd in July last year. We don’t know what it looked like before but she certainly has added some charming homely touches to the decor. Jodie is also really involved in choosing the right ingredients – she wants the food to not only taste good but be healthy, nutritious and locally sourced.
We didn’t get to see it as it was evening, but I enquired about their garden – we do love a good pub garden. In the warmer months, the garden increases the pub’s covers from 40 to 120. They have a herb and veggie garden which will produce a lot of their menu – sounds amazing! They also have a private area for family functions. We will definitely come back in the summer to check that garden out!
Verdict – You must visit!
Cost: around £70 for two, not including drinks
Being invited to write a review can be tricky if things don’t work out. Obviously, I want to be completely honest about my experience with my readers. Well, I needn’t have worried. We can wholeheartedly recommend this pub.
What struck us most, was the cosy and chilled-out atmosphere and that the staff really went out of their way to make not only us but all other guests comfortable. We felt truly spoilt.
For us, the price range means that coming here for dinner again would be a special occasion. But there’s certainly plenty of those! (yes, this is a nudge to my husband for that anniversary in the summer!)
*I was invited for a three-course meal to write this review. This does not influence my review and my findings are my own.