Last month we provided a guide to some of our favourite places to eat while you are on a walk at the Seven Sisters. We included The Cuckmere Inn, but as it had been so long since a visit we wanted to go and check on this popular food pub, to see if the food and service was as good as the view.

The Cuckmere Inn at Exceat, near Seaford, is a pub and restaurant that has, on previous experience, struggled with its location. It is such a popular spot that it gets lots of people on weekends. Walkers who have been to Friston Forest or along from the coastguard cottages and the beach at Cuckmere.

It has lots of seating outside to let people enjoy the amazing views of the river, coast and forest. And it is big inside too.


This clearly puts huge pressure on the bar and kitchen. So I decided to try it on a midweek night, when the footfall was lower. I was there just in time to see geese flying overhead, returning to the fields between the beach and Alfriston as the sun went down.

It looked quiet when we arrived but the place is so big that in fact there would have been up to 20 people either in one of the dining rooms or outside.

There is a fairly good choice of drinks, including Peroni lager which was refreshing and crisp.

There was a good house Merlot wine too.

There was quick service with a smile to our table near the fireplace and they were attentive too. Already clearly better than a busy weekend.

And the place still feels newly refurbished.

Last summer an extensive renovation changed both the interior and exterior of the country pub next to the Exceat Bridge.

They introduced a brunch menu from 9am until midday Monday to Saturday and 11.30am on Sundays.

While we decided on our food choices, as the menu aptly suggested, the mini chorizo sausages were a delight to tide us along. A great balsamic glaze with a lively garlic dip - that was gorgeous, like being in the gothic quarter in Barcelona.

And the stonebaked garlic flatbread with beetroot hummus was ideal for a pre-dinner snack with a drink too.

The new dinner menu launched last year included chargrilled skewers, stonebaked pizzas, steaks and roasts.

The chargrilled skewers are still on the menu so we put them to the test.

They had a lot to live up to though, as the skewers at their rival, the Harvesters, which are across Sussex, are big and tasty.

The Cuckmere chicken skewers were not quite as good, I would say. They were barbecued chicken thighs and they were good, just not up there with the Harvester’s, which I’m sure were chunky breasts skewered.

The Argus: The chicken skewers

My wild garlic lamb was ok but felt a little overdone and smaller. There were not quite enough chips and the slaw was a little dry and tasteless. It was supposed to have a spicy mayo and a pineapple and mango salsa in a lemongrass dressing but it tasted like they had forgotten it if I am honest.

We sent the garlic king prawns back as they were blue in places. My fellow diner has been fine today so they must have turned out ok. The feta salad and toasted tortilla was really good.

The Argus: The prawn skewers

All the signature skewers are more than £17 too, so in my view the skewers didn’t quite live up to the price.

The vanilla creme brulee was very good though, as was the crumble.

It all made for an evening of good food in a great setting. The staff were very good too. Excellent service and with a smile, always appreciated.