Worthing winners

When we were forced to return to the UK in May 2005 but had nowhere to move into, we decided to spend the first couple of weeks in Worthing, for no other reason that one of our pals based in Thailand was also staying there for the UK “summer”. Neither of us had ever been there before. But we enjoyed it so much that, once we finally did get our house back, we went back down to Worthing for a couple of nights when we were fed up of redecorating.

Here’s a few reviews of the places we stayed, ate and drank in:

Places to stay

Egremont Hotel
Corner of Brighton Road and Warwick Road

If you’re looking for somewhere cheap and cheerful to stay that’s reasonably close to the centre of town, you could do a lot worse than the Eggie. OK, the room was a bit basic – we had the only en suite, with three single beds. But the staff are friendly and helpful. The bar has a great community spirit in the afternoons, and the beer is not bad – usually Spitfire, Adnam’s and Young’s. (On the one occasion when I got a dodgy pint, it was exchanged immediately and without argument.) Parking is a little tricky if you’re travelling by car, but you can buy a daily parking permit for £1 which entitles you to park in the surrounding streets on the same basis as permanent residents.

Flat B, 1 Warwick Road
(let through Promenade Holiday Homes)

For a weekly let, this was ideal for us. It’s not a big place by any means – more like a studio flat than anything else – but it was cosy, convenient (at the other end of the road from the Eggie, and right by the seafront if you like that sort of thing), and well enough equipped for a holiday let. Reasonably priced, too. If we’d been able, we’d have stayed longer while waiting to get into our own house.
Link to Promenade Holiday Homes

Places to eat

The Swan (White Swan)
Upper High Street

Lovely place for a lunch. They do things which you probably wouldn’t find on most pub menus, and do them well. We shared two starters and a main course: cauliflower cheese, deep-fried garlic mushrooms and a jacket potato with bacon and Stilton. All came with a generous and well-prepared salad; not just a few limp leaves with a slice or two of rubber cucumber and soggy tomato here! The jacket potato was a bit of a surprise when it arrived. We’d been expecting a bacon and melted cheese topping. Instead the potato came with an ample slice of Stilton (uncooked) and three or four rashers of bacon laid on top. Still very nice, though. The whole meal came to just shy of a tenner. Nice beer too (Harvey’s Best Sussex Bitter, Spitfire, Adnam’s). The staff are friendly. And there’s a little patio out the back which is good to sit in on a sunny day – even though the sea breezes still manage to blow over the wall! One word of warning: the pub closes in the afternoon – last orders are at half-past two. (4/5)

ASK Pizza and Pasta Restaurant
30/32 Warwick Street

Part of a chain of over 180 restaurants in England and Wales, although we didn’t realise it at the time – the founders of the company are particularly keen on restoring listed buildings or buildings of local interest, so each one’s unique. We pitched up at about seven o’clock on a Friday evening and took the last free table outside at the front. Unfortunately a woman at the next table was absolutely reeking of cheap perfume, so we asked to move. After a bit of a struggle (all the inside rooms were reserved) we managed to locate a table for two in a courtyard out the back. No views, then. But then again we weren’t sat in the middle of a pedestrianised street either.

We shared a tagliatelle al salmone and a pizza Genovese, plus a portion of garlic bread, washed down with a bottle of Chianti (not in a wicker flask, though). All lovely, including the artichoke hearts (one of Kay’s favourites) in the tagliatelle. The garlic bread was very different from what we’d expected – instead of the usual slices, it looked more like a pitta bread or a chapati. Unusual, but very nice indeed.

The whole thing came to about £32, half of which went on the wine. We thought it was priced about right for the quality of food and wine we got. Service was a bit slow at times – after all, it was a busy Friday evening in the summer – but always cheerful. Recommended. 4/5

Chipwick Fish ‘n’ Chip Restaurant
Brighton Road

If you’re after decent fish and chips, the award-winning Chipwick is the place to go, for sit-down or takeaway. Generous portions of fresh fish (we tried the cod and the haddock), encased in crispy, tasty batter, together with slices of decent white bread and washed down with good strong tea. The only disappointment was the quality of Kay’s baked beans – they came in a runny, anaemic sauce and were clearly a cheapo brand. It would have been better not to offer them on the menu – they let the rest of the meal down. (We pointed this out to the waitress, who took our comment on board – with any luck something might get done about it.) They close relatively early compared to some chippies (ten o’clock), so not a place to bank on if you’re staggering home from the pub. Recommended – if you stay off the baked beans. 4/5 (even with the beans it still rates 3/5)