The Earl of March has been with the current owners since 2007 and is headed up by Giles Thompson the former Executive Head Chef of the Ritz Hotel London. The classic menu resembles elements of Thompson’s previous experience with some welcomed twists, they also use many locally sourced ingredients from, hand-picked local Selsey Crab to Sussex Beef.
We went for dinner on the evening of summer solstice, and with the evening sun burning hot there were many people still sitting out on the terrace overlooking the beautiful view of the Sussex downs. The setting is perfect for drinks with friends, a special occasion or even a private party or Wedding.
The staff was superb and swiftly brought over our delicious bottle of JL Quinson Côtes de Provence Rosé, water and bread. When asking if they had gluten-free bread the waitress kindly brought it over and it was much nicer than most gluten-free bread that restaurants serve. Many don’t even serve it in Sussex!
Only one of us had a starter as we wanted to savour our main courses (we’d already had some olives and pistachios in the garden with a bottle of prosecco beforehand).
The one with the larger appetite went for the Terrine Maison of Duck, Field Mushrooms & Pistachios, Fig Chutney, Cornichons and gluten-free toast (usually served with Toasted Soda Bread). The presentation was lovely, as were the flavours.
Moving onto the mains and being a fussy bunch of diners we had a couple of changes to make to some dishes, which the team were fantastic about. My parents being pescetarians decided on the turbot on the specials board which was meant to come with chorizo but the chefs removed this and added some delicious asparagus for them. It was served with an avocado cream and prawn bon bons. We all loved how they use delicate flowers to decorate the dishes.
The Sussex Fillet of Beef wasn’t to be missed and whilst the peppercorn sauce wasn’t gluten free my partner had some lovely garlic butter with it as well as the Rosti Potato, Buttered Kale and Sautéed Wild Mushrooms.
Personally I couldn’t keep my eyes off the seafood shack board and went for the Selsey half-dressed Lobster with salad. Marcin, The Manager recommended the lobster thermidore, however I really love the simplicity of fresh seafood served as it is. But I will definitely try this next time. The Lobster was so fresh and flavoursome that the lemon wedge just added enough citrus to compliment the taste.
As my dinner was carb free and gluten-free I decided that a dessert was in order. (Let’s face it, even if I’d have had chips then I would still order a dessert!) I had the Poached Rhubarb Pave with Olive Oil Ice Cream. The flavours were subtle and the tart poached rhubarb cut through the richness of the pave and ice cream and complimented one another beautifully.
The overall experience was one of the best I’ve had in a long while in Chichester and with it being a £5 taxi ride from the City centre you really can’t go wrong.
Phone: 01243 533993
The Earl of March, Lavant Road, Nr Chichester PO18 0BQ