Skip to content

Print this page Back to results

The Pass Restaurant at South Lodge Hotel

Brighton Road, LOWER BEEDING, RH13 6PS

4 rosettes

With cooking having become a spectator sport in modern times, the chef's table concept is an enduring fascination for many. At South Lodge, a sophisticated country-house retreat not far from Horsham, the sophistication extends to an entire restaurant taking up residence in the kitchen. Elevated swivel chairs permit discreet oscillation between your dining companion and the culinary activity, and banks of live video screens give the feeling of sitting at the heart of the command centre. The fact is that it can be genuinely enlightening to see dishes being put together, the panoply of technique ranging from jaw-dropping to 'I could do that' (not very often for the latter, admittedly). Matt Gillan and his team work in preternatural quiet, which gives a more obvious impression of intense focus than if everybody was shouting over a blaring radio. Dishes mobilise all the tricks of the contemporary gastronomic trade across a pair of fixed menus for lunch and dinner, with vegetarian alternatives and possible wine flights too. (The wines, incidentally, are stunning, worth the extra outlay if you're not counting.) Contrasting textures are a big theme, so an opening onion risotto is garnished with puffed rice and onion crisps, while the fish course sees pollock crusted in hazelnuts, its dressing of muscatel vinegar acknowledging another trending theme - the cutting edge of sourness. It works especially well with fish, as also seen in the accompaniment of pickled apple with charred cured trout and watermelon. The vogue for offering different cuts of meat brings on fillet and tongue of beef with relatively mainstream accoutrements of mushroom purée, shallots and parsley, but also a more unusual braised duck neck to go with the breast and leg, alongside chervil root and pomegranate. The selection of new-generation British cheeses may take in Somerset's Driftwood goats' cheese and the pungently distinguished Welsh blue, Perl Las, or a goats'-milk pannacotta with apple and sourdough bread may be the gentler alternative. Desserts then burst forth with further complexes of flavour, from pear parfait with smoked almonds and cinnamon, to rhubarb and liquorice tart with popcorn and fennel. The vegetarian menu may encompass, among other things, beetroot tartare and sorbet with blue cheese and orange; salted charred leek with watermelon, pickled apple and olive; caramelised swede with butternut squash, clementine and grain mustard; and a main course of vegetable Wellington. It all constitutes one of the most singular dining experiences in the Home Counties.

Further information

Tel: 01403 891711
Please quote 'The AA'.
Send an email
Write a review of this restaurant

View the website


Days closed: Mon-Tue
Dates closed: 1st 2 wks Jan
Sunday lunch available.

Restaurant information

Cooking type: Modern British
Chef: Matt Gillan
Number of seats: 26
Accessible for wheelchairs.
Disabled toilets.
Vegetarian meals available.
No children under 12 yrs.
Parking available.



View larger map
Javascript is required to view this map


Use the route planner for your trip

From A23 turn left onto B2110 & then right through Handcross to A281 junct. Turn left, hotel on right
Nearest station: Horsham

Local information for RH13 6PS

Find the following on: