i'll be spending 2 days in eastbourne and am interested in some good non-touristy eats, despite being a canadian tourist! any good pubs or recommended British food in the low to mid price range is what i'm looking for- i am willing to go one hour in any direction to smaller towns for good chow. i am sort of forced to spend a few days there, and know nothing about that part of England (only been to London in the UK), so i'm hoping it's lovely and there are great food destinations. TIA!
You're probably going to end up driving to Brighton (about 40 minutes). Lots of choice there that meets your spec:
Ginger Pig/Dog/Man pubs
Terre a terre
Sam's at Sevendials (not been to this place since it was renamed - still same owner)
The Meadow was a star when I was in 2009 (lots of local produce on the menu) but I'm not sure if its still open.
Driving eastwards (55 minutes) to Rye, you'd have the very excellent Landgate Bistro.
No experience of it but you might also want to think about the Hungry Monk at Jevington, which is only 5 miles or so away from Eastbourne. Not often you'll come across a place that invented a famous dish but it's the home of banofee pie.
FWIW, East Sussex is one of my favourite counties to visit and if ever I wanted to move from where we live now (unlikely) then it'd probably be here or West Sussex. . Enjoy the area.
Unfortunately the Hungry Monk at Jeavington is now closed. Rumour has it that its being turned into housing. A sad loss to an area crying out for more 'finer dining' experiences instead of 'gastropubs' especially when you don't want to travel to Brighton and pay £60 for a taxi home!
The Curlew at Bodiam is the best around that area - good reviews in the national papers. It is out in the country were much of the best food is around Eastbourne. The money in West Sussex commutes to London and lives out in the countryside and only uses stations like Polegate and Eastbourne as station carparks. Thus the country pub dining scene is very strong and pretty good. As Harters says Brighton is good the Ginger pig pub chain is great, the Gengerman restaurant is good etc etc.
i just want to reiterate the curlew recommendation - it is one of my favourite restaurants and i was back there a couple of weeks ago. particularly good were the fish and seafood charcuterie to share (the coronation crab was particularly wonderful, not least because it was so unexpected) and the pistachio cake with lemon curd ice cream to finish. good cheese board too.
Thanks to all who replied! i just wanted to report back as you all graciously took the time to offer suggestions. Sadly, we didn't end up at any of them due to logistics and a lack of control over our schedule. We didn't even end up in Brighton! We ate at the Lamb Inn in Eastbourne, which was the best of the lot; the food was really quite good, and it was a prototypical example of a UK pub, complete with locals coming in for their pints with their dogs. We also ate at Marine pub in Eastbourne, which seems to get good reviews but really did nothing for us. Our other meals were at a Wetherspoon pub and the cafe at Battle of Hastings museum; absolutely nothing to report there, as I'm sure you're all aware. I really wanted to try many of your suggestions, but I think I was overambitious. We did end up at Middle Farm where we overdosed on unbelievable cheese and cider, so that was an unexpected delight. As a Canadian, I am wickedly jealous of your dairy industry
and breweries; our products in those areas are often quite tasteless, expensive, and underwhelming by comparison. Thanks to all again! And I agree, it is a lovely part of England (although we were quite smitten with the country everywhere we went, except for the driving bit)