Two chefs have given a Sussex pub a new lease of life, and it has now been named one of the top places to eat in the country by The Good Food Guide 2016.

The Lickfold Inn, in Lickfold near Petworth, has been taken over by Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers, and his culinary and business partner Graham Squire.

Having been open only eight months, they are thrilled to have been named best new pub and ranked sixth out of all the pubs in the UK by the judges of The Good Food Guide.

“It’s a privilege and an honour to be sixth in the UK,” says Graham, head chef at The Lickfold Inn. “We have worked so hard to build this place back up again.”

The menu reflects what is produced in Sussex, with an emphasis on local ingredients and flavours, and the team are also keen on foraging, gathering such local delights as elderberries and wild garlic.

Upstairs at the pub is the restaurant dedicated to a la carte fine dining, which seats up to 36 people.

The menu is described as “progressive”, and features modern British food.

Starters include Salmon, cucumber, gin and seaweed; mains include Skate wing, brown butter, capers, and pickled salsify, and Spring lamb, wild garlic and jersey royals.

One desert, simply titled Honey and lemon, is a version of the popular lemon drizzle cake.

Downstairs is the bar, and the food served here is billed as British tapas, small plates of food, with plenty of flair in the presentation.

“A lot of people get the wrong impression with tapas,” says Graham, adding that people often associate it with small amounts and high prices. “But this is very good value food.”

There are traditional bar snacks but with a difference. Take for example the scotch egg for example, which is served on a bed of straw in an egg carton.

The vision of the chefs was to create a menu that was recognisable, while still being distinct enough from the competition, that people would be willing to make the journey into the countryside. So far it appears to be working.

Tom Sellers has experience at some of the capital’s top restaurants, and gained a Michelin Star for his first London restaurant, Restaurant Story, aged 26, five months after its opening.

Graham Squire previously worked in London at both Trinity and Bistro Union with Adam Byatt, and prior to that was at Claridge’s.

“Here I am not just head chef, I’m a director of the business. It’s a challenge, but it’s got so much potential,” he says.

The Grade II listed pub had previously been owned by broadcaster Chris Evans, and been closed since 2010.

It has been restored by Tom and the team, and state of the art equipment has been installed in the specially designed kitchen

In terms of future goals, Graham says they are keen to continue increasing the pub’s standing in the food world, with a Michelin Star on the ultimate wish-list. He is also keen to make The Good Food Guide’s top 50 restaurants, next year as well as to climb up the list of best pubs.

He is also keen to engage with the local community. On the last Sunday of each month, the new initiative Social Sundays sees food and drink stalls set up in the courtyard from 4pm to 8pm, to showcase local produce and suppliers.

Stalls include West Sussex charcuterie and cheeses, Faretti bakery, Ridgeview Sparkling wine, Bowman’s Brewery and Langham’s ale. The Lickfold Inn’s own stand will offer roasted suckling pig in a bun with applesauce and crackling, fresh bread, and seasonal grilled vegetables.

• The Lickfold Inn is in Highstead Lane, Lickfold, Petworth, West Sussex GU28 9EY. For reservations, phone 01789 532 535. For information and menu, visit