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Cat Inn, West Hoathly

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user reviews of the Cat Inn, West Hoathly

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

This is is an exceptional pub-not at all pretetious (as can be the case with many so called "gastropubs").
Welcoming landlord,well kept hand pulled beer and superb beer-what more could one want?
Prices reasonable and the steak,mushroom and ale pie is one of the best I've tasted in my quest to find the perfect pie.
Well worth a visit.
huntforbeer - 18 Mar 2013 11:10
Very much set up as a restaurant with all tables laid for diners, but it seems to take beer seriously as well and it's a comfortable enough place.
Floyd - 30 Sep 2012 16:58
Whilst it still has a well-used bar and patio area this is very much a dining pub. There was a good selection of local ales in good nick and although the food was pricey it still represented good value for the quality. Service was friendly and efficient. A well run pub/restaurant that deserves its success.
thewickingman - 27 May 2012 20:20
Stopped here for lunch while out walking. Pleasant location opposite church. Refurbished interior with a lot of space given over to formal dining, but a more traditional saloon bar has been kept, and there are a few seats outside at the front, with a larger patio at the rear, so the place still caters for drinkers as well as eaters. Welcoming bar staff. Harvey's bitter in good condition. Food very good - ploughman's had crusty bread, plenty of tasty local cheese and home-made pickles and was carefully presented. Plum and apple crumble delicious. Service efficient and reasonably speedy. As others have said, not cheap, but not extortionate either, and very good value for what you get. Only snag was an abundance of wasps on the patio. Overall, hard to fault.
ronpegram - 29 Aug 2011 12:57
Great atmosphere pub in a picturesque village.
tommo5 - 1 Aug 2011 23:42
Superb little pub in a tiny Sussex village. I've been there a few times now and never been disappointed. The staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful, which makes a pleasant change from many other pubs I've visited.

There is a decent variety of beer - properly kept - on the pumps, and a very good wine list. The food has been excellent each time, but not cheap. £40 per head for three courses at dinner (at a pub!) can reached without even trying hard. And that's without any wine.

It's definitely worth a visit; the food really is fantastic. Just bring lots of cash or a credit card.
Bibit_Albus - 11 Jul 2011 18:39
Popular, nice atmosphere, good Beer, well managed.
Food is also good but as with so many other places in West Sussex overpriced.
I would go again.
brucelambert - 17 Mar 2011 12:00
Dark Star and Harveys beers - all kept well.

Had a good meal here, not cheap but good value for money as it was all cooked to order. Very good service.
youngs_ter - 29 Aug 2010 07:22
Enjoyed a very nice meal here recently. Very nice atmosphere. Bit pricey but very good food/beer/wine.
sussexlass1 - 26 Mar 2010 16:04
Was introduced 2 this place a month ago and hav been back several times already.
The atmoshere was very friendly and welcoming, as were the staff who are very helpfull.
Good selection of beers, very happy with the hophead.
Lovely garden in which 2 relax and watch the village life pass you by. highly recommended
feathers_gal - 18 Jul 2009 14:52
Excellent pub. Maturing nicely. The beer range includes the local Dark Star range and the classic Hophead. In perfect condition this week. Bar staff really lovely too. Food is just a bit too pricey for value but good in taste and quality. Worth calling by - just be prepared to pay up!
GrahamH - 10 Jul 2009 21:11
Charming, civilised 16th century freehouse in quiet Sussex village serving Harveys plus Dark Star Best and Dark Star Hophead. The food is thoughtfully prepared but by no means cheap. Be sure to see the old WELL in one of the side rooms.

Note that the Cat is closed on Mondays, including Bank Holidays.

rentaquote - 10 May 2009 17:46
Beer selection Crap, Food Expensive, Lovely looking pub inside and out say no more...
superseagulls - 27 Mar 2009 20:28
Hard to find for a non local. the Cat has always had an undefinable great ambience, a restful pub completely gimmickless, great service and great beer. Very unlike the Sqare and compasses Worth Matravers which goes out of its way to impress upon customers an i don't need you hostility.
slerpy - 6 Mar 2009 14:02
Eat at The Cat on Sat 21st in the evening. Had such an awesome evening returning for lunch quickly before travelling back to Lonon on the Sunday.

Saturday night at The of the best evening out in a long time. Fantastic atmosphere....fantastic crowd of people and fantastic staff handling an incredibly busy evening with style and professionalism. Food brilliant....attractive and timely and a pleasure to be somewhere that ticked all the boxes. Great honest place....we had a laugh and it was full of good people.....staff and customers. Whoever you guys deserve to do well. You know what you're doing....and we will be back.

emmasy - 4 Mar 2009 18:05
Well its been a long time since we visited this pub ! & having been told by many people to give it a visit. Clearly there have been many changes over the last few years.
We visited on Sunday lunch, there were eight of us in the party.
The food and staff were exceptional, beer all to a very high standard, and extremely busy for it.
Overall we were highly impressed with the whole atmosphere, service and impeccable standards throughout. It is a pleasant suprise to find such a thriving village pub that has been altered but not spoilt. We will be making another visit very soon ! WELL DONE

thegoodpubguide - 4 Mar 2009 16:53
Well what can i say! I'm lost for words! And not in a bad way either.Visited the pub last night 28/02/09 and the pub was already busy as we arrived, true local pub with a few outsiders in it two. Believe it was busy due to the rugby but later found it to be with the restaurant being fully booked! Which is good in this day and age. As for drinks on arrival i chose for a pint of harveys old, which has been brilliantly kept and my partner had a glass of the rjoca. After this we where told where we were sitting and where the menus were and we where on are way. As well as a full evening menu there was a very good selection on there specials board! After a while we chose and i went to order, wonderfull reception of the landlord as i approached the bar a real jolly fellow. After around 15 minutes are starters came some lovely local scallops cooked to perfection and a magnificent tart tatin, for mains i had the 'chef speciality' the pork belly and my other half had the seabass steak off the specials board, its fair to say we where both speech less! for put we opted for a glass of port each and shared a cheese board of some of sussex finest cheeses. It's fair to say the head chef has it nailed and knows his way around a menu. This is a brilliant pub and i say the best in sussex, i go to a lot due to work and this is bar far the best, the owners should be very proud of the prouduct and the staff they have. I will be back again. My mark 10/10, keep up the good work
gastropublover - 1 Mar 2009 11:40
Great atmosphere and nice to see local game on the menu !
Venison fillet was superb, in all very good again.
Harveys Old Ale in good condition as well.
gastropubs.sussex - 29 Nov 2008 12:42
Sorry for you dissappointment. However with regards the previous comment , all the staff at the Cat work extremely hard to provide what we hope is a superb pub with very high standards in both beer and food service, six days and five nights a week. It is rare in todays society to find people to work to this level, day in and day out ! (evenings included 9am till 12.30am !)
For this reason we close on these two evenings which gives all the staff and the owners a well deserved break!
p.s the other pub in the village is open the nights we are not !
The Landlord

mcabanell - 18 Nov 2008 18:59
Went to meet someone here on a Monday, Closed on Mondays and sunday nights too. Pull your fingers out .
Henners - 17 Nov 2008 10:39
Go there for a birthday party on Friday night. Fabulous atmosphere.
The food is top quality, very tasty and lovely presentation (the scallops and the pork belly are both to die for). The staff make you feel welcome and are very professional and attentive. Highly recommended. I'd definitely go back.
mcabanell - 17 Nov 2008 09:58
Visited the Cat on Sunday the 16th November for lunch with my family. There was a great atmosphere all around the pub and the front of house staff were very pleasant and genuine. For my starter i had the goats cheese and onion tart which was beautifully presented and tasted excellent! For my main course i had the roast lamb with roasted vegetables. This really was fantastic and the dessert (treacle tart) was just as good. All in all it was a brilliant lunch and having been on holiday in West Sussex for the last 3 months, this was by far the best pub i have visited. 10/10.
lukebob - 16 Nov 2008 17:47
Visited the Cat on Sunday the 16th November for lunch with my family. There was a great atmosphere all around the pub and the front of house staff were very pleasant and genuine. For starters i had the goats cheese and onion tart which was beautifully presented and tasted excellent! For my main course i had the roast lamb with roasted vegetables. This really was fantastic and the dessert (treacle tart) was just as good. All in all it was a brilliant lunch and having been on holiday in West Sussex for the last 3 months, this was by far the best pub i have visited. 10/10.
lukebob - 16 Nov 2008 17:47
great night out, lovely atmosphere, good sussex beer in a great sussex pub !
nice to see a country pub that has not lost its drinkers.
nicholas1st - 15 Nov 2008 20:14
Absolutely first class meal yet again, the caramelised onion and goats cheese tart and the chicken and apricot terrine were both superb, the confit of duck and coq au vin again brilliant. Sadly a bit too full for pudding this time!!
That just means I will have to come back sooner !
Altogether another great evening !!
Thank you , Thank you and Thank you , you deserve all your success!!
gastropubs.sussex - 15 Nov 2008 17:22
The warmth and friendliness of the cat is almost tangible. The staff greet you with a smile and amicable conversation which really makes one feel welcome. The general ambience created in both the bar and restaurant areas is highly conducive to an enjoyable visit.

The food is of high quality (the scallops, black pudding and pea puree dish is a delight) and the service was as good as you will find in many top restaurants. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend dining at the Cat to all of my friends.

whilts - 15 Nov 2008 14:13
I recently visited the cat inn with my family and I genuinely could not have wished for a better evening. Obviously the company was wonderful, however the food was superb. 3 of our party had the slow roast belly pork which is a special of the new head Chef James Villiers and is certainly a dish I would strongly recommend, it was cooked to perfection. The steak was also thoroughly enjoyed by other members of our table. To compliment the delicious meal was the ambience of the pub, the manager was very attentive as were the front of house staff. The house wine was an excellent choice of the owner. I will be recommending this pub to all of my friends and family.
britghtonfoodie - 25 Aug 2008 00:28
Went with a group of friends last saturday, did a 3 mile walk, extremely picturesque village and great short walks! Amazing views opposite the pub at the rear of church over the south downs, well worth a look. Gem of a village followed by another superb meal, especially good fresh fish!
All in all another great day in a lovely village in a perfect country pub, with great company.......
r1chie - 30 Apr 2008 16:28
Wonderful pub to stop at for a couple of pints and a Sunday Roast whilst doing a long walk. It was snowing heavily outside and the open fire was as warm as the welcome from the staff and the locals. Four real ales were on including Harveys Best and Mild. Both were first class. The lunch portions are just a little small for £12 but that's a very very minor criticism.
BothamsAshes - 6 Apr 2008 19:35
second visit and as before great food, great atmosphere, & a fantastic time had by all of our group. Good selection of real ales, and all of them from SUSSEX, lovely log fires, not to forget unusual vintage racing car in the middle of the pub!!! Definately one for the boys!

will be back very soon. 10/10
gastropubs.sussex - 17 Mar 2008 13:22
My first visit to The Cat and not disappointed. Fantastic food. Fantastic service. After eating at La Fourchette, Hove the two weren't even comparable. An unpretentious, friendly atmosphere. Will visit again soon.
shellybell - 8 Mar 2008 00:46
yet again a fantastic meal, however a little busier than usual as it was mothers day, had to wait a little longer than last time, probably due to the large volume of people, but still perfectly acceptable.
it still has to be one of the best pubs in the area, and someone clearly has an eye for detail and a lot of talent! keep up the good work !!

nicholas1st - 5 Mar 2008 15:07
A gem of a pub. Small cosy bar but plenty of nooks and crannies to sit in (especially after the recent extension).
This pub specialises in quality food and I've never had a bad meal there. It's a little bit more expensive than other pubs nearby but you get what you pay for.
That said, it hasn't lost its soul to diners and you can get a good range of beers or wines and curl up in front of the fantastic large open fire. Recommended.
ahorobin - 26 Feb 2008 16:06
At last !! an actual English Country Pub !!
finally it makes a change to go into a gorgeous pub for the first time, get a smile and a welcome, proceeded by what I can only say was one of the best meals I have had in a pub for a very long time ! well done to who ever has taken over this pub, it really is first rate and offers something for everyone.
I will be going back next week with friends and will keep you posted. 10/10
nicholas1st - 23 Feb 2008 20:13
went to The Cat, due to lots of recommendations, had a wonderful meal, atmosphere was great, very very busy, and would certainly be recommend it to anyone.
lovely staff, and great toilets !
gastropubs.sussex - 23 Feb 2008 19:57
Brilliant pub. We went to the cat inn on a friday night on the recommendation of your site, probably the best country pub we have been to,(we usually go to the griffin @ fletching) the food and beer was fantastic along with log fires and a cracking atmosphere and extremely friendly and welcoming staff! We even went back for sunday lunch 10/10 !
Not only is it beatifully kept there is a new and old part to keep everyone happy, an amazing well room with a glass top on a well looking down about 50ft or so! To cap all of this my girlfriend said it had cleanest, and most flashy toilets she has ever seen outside a top hotel !!! all in all what a cracking little pub,definately our new local.
great web site, keep up the good work.
r1chie - 28 Jan 2008 11:13
Went there at lunchtime on Saturday 19th Jan. Lovely open fire, comfortable surroundings, very good food and beer, and a genuinely warm welcome from the staff. We could have happily stayed there all afternoon if we hadnt had to walk another six miles before dark.
SpeedyTuft - 23 Jan 2008 11:01
Recently extended, which looses some of the character but does provide a lot more space and some shiny new toilets with amazing hand dryers. Children as young as 10 now allowed too, not a great move in my view but no doubt good for many.

They also hold a classic car and bike show every year, which is well worth a visit if you are into such things.

With regard to the previous anonymous posting, I don't feel it is fair to judge a pub on one of it's customers, alone!

gareth1011 - 29 Dec 2007 19:15
This is clearly a pub for the local people. 1 villager made it perfectly clear it was his village and his pub. He then proceeded to be gratuitously rude and offensive to my mother in law, daughter and wife whilst they were waiting for it to open. There are plenty of alternative good pubs in this area who welcome visitors.I suggest you go to one of those.
anonymous - 25 Nov 2007 22:50
First visit and I am impressed. Upmarket bistro style without being pretentious or spoiled. Excellent quality food and very welcoming bar staff. This is clearly a food pub but it achieves that with distinction. And the beer is good also. Three good Sussex real ales - Horsham bitter (no longer brewed locally) in v good condition and Harveys and another. Very comfortable. We need more pubs like this.
GrahamH - 10 Oct 2007 23:11
I paid my first visit here today but it won’t be my last. Located in a sleepy village, this pub retains the character of a “proper” pub, with old boys propping up the bar this lunchtime. There were three local (Sussex) beers on – Hepworths, Kings and Harveys – and the Kings Horsham Best that I tried was in superb condition. The food side of things looked promising but I was in a hurry so I’ll have to try it on my next visit.
Ordinary - 21 Sep 2007 14:20
Excellent pub, have been going there for the past 2 years. all the staff are lovely and very welcoming. food is great too!
countrywise - 10 May 2007 17:52
Don't think the owners are new at all, I thought they'd been there for years.
Excellent food, a bit more expensive than standard pub fare, but better than standard pub fare too. Worth noting that food is served all day on Saturday and that they are shut on Monday.
Also, they don't allow under 14s in the pub. this might be a problem for families, but a huge bonus if you don't want screamig kids under your feet all the time.
Check out the well in what used to be the lady's loos. Stand on the glass top if you dare.

gareth1011 - 15 Apr 2007 10:37
Stopped by for Saturday lunch on the strength of Judith's review. It's a really lovely pub with fires in the bar area, a more formal dining area and tables outside overlooking the churchyard. Nice menu (with specials), good beer - what more do you need?
RAV - 18 Mar 2007 09:46
recently taken over and updated,
the new owners previously won best dining pub in sussex at the fountain at ashurst, albeit this is very much a local pub and not a restaurant!!
the most beautiful unspoilt and charming village, the pub has great fires,a good selection of real ales and food was excellent, staff were charming and i could recomend to anyone to try it.
judith - 24 Feb 2007 19:19

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