History of the building
For more than 250 years the premises was called The Red Lion Inn and was a popular establishment for miles around.The oldest portion of the building is circa 17th century or earlier while the front of the building is 19th century red brick. The building has had a chequered history since, including a motor hire shop and an antiques shop with accommodation on the upper floors. Three years ago work began on turning the run down premises into a much needed restaurant for the town and surrounding villages. The team behind the transformation worked tirelessly to ensure the character, original features and beauty of the old building were kept alive while injecting a modern, relaxed yet luxurious feel. When you visit take time to look upstairs where the vaulted dining room has all the original beams and in the upper stairwell you can see the original wattle and daub construction materials.
At The Leconfield we aim to to cook the very best ingredients simply, to let the natural quality and flavours shine through.
Every effort has gone into creating an informal yet smart and inviting dining space that's flexible to your needs, whether simply as a spot for a coffee and to read the newspaper, a light lunch in the courtyard, early evening aperitifs and tasty nibbles, or a la carte dinner or party in the evening - something to suit everyone's needs.
In the renovation of this centuries old building every effort has been made to retain key features and all the charm. And that's very much the approach we take in terms of our offering. We serve the best of Sussex foods using the freshest fish from local boats, as well as local high quality meats bred in the beautiful lush surrounding countryside.
Our aim is to build a great reputation - based on excellent service, quality, innovation and value.
At The Leconfield our menus are the heart of what we do. Every effort is made to source seasonal local produce of the highest quality.
Our food showcases the best of great fish caught off the South coast and wonderful, tender, flavoursome meats reared in the surrounding countryside. Dishes are Modern British (though we call it Sussex) with a touch of the Continent and beyond.
We have a selection of menus including our renowned Sunday Roasts - ranked in the Top 30 places to go for a Sunday Roast in the UK by The Times.
We can cater for most dietary needs, so do let us know when you make your booking.
David Craig-Lewis began his hospitality career in 2004 at seafood restaurant The Crab at Chieveley, which holds two AA rosettes. There he worked his way up to junior sous chef before leaving in 2006 to develop his culinary abilities as senior chef de partie at Harts restaurant in Nottingham. From here, David went on to refine his skills as sous chef at The Bull Hotel in Dorset, where he worked closely with local suppliers to ensure the best produce was served to customers and create daily-changing seasonal menus and specials.
In 2009, David moved to another double rosette establishment, The Fish House restaurant, hotel and bar at Chilgrove. He worked there as sous chef for two years. David then joined The Leconfield just after the restaurant opened in April 2011 as senior sous chef and worked closely with the head chef to create seasonal foraging menus. In January 2012, he was appointed head chef, and introduced several changes to the menu of this acclaimed Petworth restaurant, such as introducing his signature dishes of Selsey hand-picked crab with sweet liquid wasabi and fennel wafers and roasted turbot with wild mushroom and white onion lasagne and tarragon velouté.