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AA rating

About this rating

Restaurants are awarded from 1 to 5 Rosettes for culinary excellence. One Rosette restaurants are highly recommended in a local area and five Rosettes have reached the pinnacle of culinary excellence at a world class level.

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Memorable dishes in historic smugglers’ inn

AA Inspector

At a glance

Open all year
Private dining
Wines by the glass
Wheelchair access
Service charge
Credit cards accepted

With its black-and-white timbered smugglers’ inn ambience intact, the Mermaid will never lack for customers. There are ships’ timbers for beams, a hidden priest hole, huge open fireplaces built from French stone ballast dredged from Rye harbour, and a vast inglenook where the infamous Hawkshurst gang warmed themselves. These days, whether you park yourself in the bar, restaurant or under sunshades on the patio, British and French-style food is the deal. Veal sweetbreads with wild garlic mash, sprouting broccoli and sauce bordelaise is one way to start, followed by local salt marsh lamb with fennel risotto, tapenade, poached apricot, anchovy beignet and balsamic jus.

Also at this location

Opening hours

  • Open all year
  • Lunch served from: 12
  • Lunch served until: 2.30
  • Dinner served from: 7
  • Dinner served until: 9.30


  • Chef(s): Benjamin Fisher

Food and drink

  • Cuisine style: British, Traditional French
  • Vegetarian dishes available
  • Wines under £30: 22
  • Wines over £30: 15
  • Wines by the glass: 15

Price guide

  • 2-course lunch from: £23.50
  • 3-course lunch from: £27.50
  • 2-course dinner from: £29.50
  • 3-course dinner from: £39.50
  • Service charge
  • Credit cards accepted


  • Wheelchair accessible
  • Steps for wheelchair: 3
  • Assist dogs welcome

Additional information

  • Seats: 64
  • Private dining available
  • Private dining seats: 14
  • On-site parking available

Getting here

A259, follow signs to town centre, then into Mermaid Street.

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Nearest train station

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Three-course lunch from£27.50**Minimum price for a 3-course lunch *Minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Minimum price for a 3-course lunch
*Minimum price for a 3-course lunch
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