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Black Rabbit, Offham

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user reviews of the Black Rabbit, Offham

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

If you scored this pub purely on location then 10 from 10 easily!

Hall and Woodhouse beers are reasonably ok, but it's spring and the beers are turning paler, not my taste but they have Blandford Flyer and Poachers Choice in bottles, so somewhat rescued.

Two meals ordered, and delivered quite quickly even though we had been advised 30 to 40 min wait, the Salmon pie according to my friend was amazing, however my roasted veg pasta with chicken had NO chicken with it with soggy veg, hmmm!!

Hands up, I forgot the cutlery when ordering at the bar and apologised to the waitress who bought the food, she did go and get some for me but no napkins or salt and pepper provided.

It seems as other posters have said, hit and miss food, with rackem and stackem service. The Goffs Park Manor in Crawley of the same chain is way ahead of this one in terms of service.
Ade.The.Raider - 16 Mar 2016 22:53
Seems to have undergone recent refurbishment. Staff were efficient, place was clean and beer was ok. Lovely views. Sadly the food we had was awful - cheesy chilli chips. Portions were very different sizes - mine had hardly any chilli or cheese. Both were topped with so much squirty mustard, that was all you could taste - and who wants mustard on chips? I'd not want to eat there again, and yet is was very busy.
Sussexcrawler - 1 May 2013 21:02
Took a chance on Jubilee Saturday at 1pm, as car park was full thought we'd have to queue for drink & wait a long time for food. We were pleasantly surprised - service was excellent, staff cheerful, badger was really good, had full meal for four - came within 1/2 hour - good quality and portions. Sun was out - lovely views by river to Arundel Castle - perfect!
Johnny_G - 6 Jun 2012 10:32
The location is lovely and the service was very slick. It's a bit of a get-em-in, churn-em-out kind of place. The beer was reasonable but the food was a bit dodgy. The pie was too salty and the broccoli actually made me gag. Somehow, they undercooked the stems but turned the florets into a really unpleasant mush (it was the mush that made me gag).
Psi - 16 Aug 2011 12:16
Good place to come for decent ale. Had been recommended to me and I wasn't disappointed.
tommo5 - 9 Aug 2011 22:25
Huge pub in a picture-postcard location by the river. Tanglefoot, Fursty ferret and Badger on, all pretty OK. Food was reasonable priced, good and plenty of it. Lots of staff to look after you so and the grub came quickly. Unfortunately the place was also knee-deep in screaming kids.
alan_From_SAWW - 7 Aug 2011 17:54
Lovely, well kept Tanglefoot.
Service dire, food, school dinners. Fabulaous location but ruined by Hall
& Woodhouses corporate policy. This place should be "owner driver" serving locally sourced food cooked to order, not deep freeze - microwave cardboard!
barryq - 28 May 2011 14:24
Went here recently, love the location, esp on a sunny day as it was when we went, sat outside overlooking the river. Service was good and the food was lovely.
LMKI - 2 Sep 2010 22:18
Visited this for the first time last Sunday (25th April 2010) and was impressed with the location and beer on offer. The place was mobbed due to the fine weather. Despite this we secured a table outside and decided to eat.

Roast beef for £9.00 and a Black bean chile for £6.95. Both dishes were very small and clearly this is the profit margin. Shame that greed spoils the experience. Staff under pressure but coped well. Even changed the cloudy Badger for me without a fuss.

Great location but don't expect manly portions (Had just walked over the Downs that weekend and was 'ank Marvin')
ordinary_jopublic - 27 Apr 2010 23:29
Just enjoyed a lovely meal at the Black Rabbit Arundel where the food was served fast, nice and hot and very tasty. Had been going regularly for the past 2 years and then had a bad meal in June last year so went back to see if had improved and it was back to great again. Well done Black Rabbit for the service, food and general ambiance.
suzilud - 31 Jan 2010 15:42
What an amazing location this pub has, we took an afternoon river boat trip here and cannot really comment on inside the pub as lovely summers day so sat outside all afternoon, but it was great. Whenever we did go to the bar considering it was really busy we always got served rather quickly and staff seemed Ok enough, pint was good, will plan another sunny afternoon here again!
nicnocs1 - 18 Jun 2009 13:50
revisited on an early spring Saturday afternoon. Beer was better than last time and the food has improved. The impersonal gastro paint remains - pity - but the staff are far better than before. It's getting better.
plumbpudding - 21 Mar 2009 13:58
One of my favourites this, mainly because I enjoy sitting outside by the river people watching.Great in the Summer on a hot day but as to be expected gets very busy. Food fine, fairly good selection of beers. Nice views of Arundel Castle and the River Arun.Recommended.
Myskolive - 8 Nov 2008 20:45
Having been to more H and W pubs recently, I have to revisit my posting of 20th. August: the beer was definately odd, so I will regrade the score to 5/10.
wittenden - 14 Oct 2008 22:23
lunch on a warm september saturday was ok, the processed pie was ok, the student staff were attractive eye candy but the beer was clean, well kept and very good. pity about the general "bistro" feel an anonymous dťcor.
plumbpudding - 14 Sep 2008 06:42
We came here on a wet and cold August evening: I admit to having doubts about the place, having read some rather damning reviews on this site, but having been recommended it by a friend from the area, I kept my own counsel.
The bar staff were very friendly and professional, and the food was well presented and good value: mutterings about banks of microwaves were, I think, unfounded. My steak and Tanglefoot pie was moist, and accompanied by red cabbage-extra points here!

Iíve not really come across Hall and Woodhouseís beers before-Iíve still not forgiven them for the demise of King and Barnes- but I found both the Tanglefoot and the Badger floral to the extent of fulsome: perhaps it was me, perhaps the glasses/pipes, perhaps the beers themselves. Anyway as the only beer drinker in our party, I couldnít make comparison with any one else.
This pub is perfect for what it is-a tourist haunt in a beautiful location: it is nít a gastro pub; it isnít a locals pub; it does serve good value food and drink in an expensive area. If I lived in Arundel I probably would walk along the riverbank on a summerís evening, but I would hope for more of a community atmosphere.Our dogs were made welcome.

wittenden - 20 Aug 2008 22:34
They killed this pub when they re-vamp'd it back in 03-ish. Prior to that it was divine. A pint of tasty Black Rabbit ale on a clear autumn day by the river was one of my first memorable English ale experiences. Now it is just a tourist-y nightmare. Why?: make lots of coin by ripping off summer tourists. The castle is an awesome place to visit, and as an aussie I must admit to being an avid tourist myself, but after coming back to the BR after the refurb I was not impressed. Sorry to repeat myself, labour the point. It was an eight, now its half that.
cooperssparklingale - 19 Jul 2008 01:31
Why do H&W do this to pubs? Gift of a location, perfectly friendly staff (very friendly actually to be fair) and an enjoyable pint of Badger. BUT the menu is the same old ropey, tired hotch-potch of would be traditional pub favourites you get in so many of their pubs. My steak was served well done despite asking for it medium rare and my partner's salmon was over-grilled, tough and unappetising. What has been done to the interior too? A random selection of second hand books don't add anything, especially when the rest of the interior has been sanitised beyond recognition. Please don't go down the Greene King route of turning pubs with character and individuality into this bland, middle of the road nonsense. I want to like H&W. I have a century old family connection with the brewery and I like your beer - but stop ruining pubs!
pipsby - 27 May 2008 14:23
As an employee of the pub, just wanted to point out that on that we closed the pub for a refurbishment on the 3/3/08, so we didn't have much food left. The previous gentleman must have failed to see the big signs written everywhere...but anyhow we've reopened, redecorated, restaffed (the angry teenagers running ammok have all left to go full time ASBO hoodies, and currently stalk the streets of Arundel with bottles of super strength lager scaring Daily Mail readers), changed the menus and organised a bit better. We also have launced more puddings, rivaling McDoanlds, Burger King and even Wimpy; and now recruit those employees with only five stars or more above their name. I'm loving it.
docdaveybobtree - 22 Apr 2008 01:20
Had a terrible meal here yesterday (2.03.08), would never go there to eat again. The steak was poor quality (although to be fair we were not charged for it after complaining) and they had run out of all but one of the desserts on the menu. The teenagers they employ as waiters have a bad attitude and are the rudest I have ever encountered - avoid this pub unless you are desperate for cheap food - second thoughts - go to MacDonalds - the service is better.
Frances_J - 3 Mar 2008 21:28
Had an excellent meal here in the summer. I was impressed that they offer portions for the smaller appetite although it was still an ample serving. I've never seen this option back home in Scotland. Stunning views and the staff were very friendly. If you're in Arundel it's well worth taking a walk to. I think it's about two miles but there's plenty of wildlife along the way.
BlueBrazil - 10 Oct 2007 16:09
The food may not be up to it's old standard here but that aside it has one of the finest locations in the area with a beautiful view of the castle across the watermeadows. A good pint by the river on a sunny day with a view to die for, not too shabby really!
oxenhillshaw - 22 Aug 2007 09:48
What a beautiful setting - the river, the castle, the willows. Even my four year old kept commenting on it! We needed extra speedy service and the food was with us in 8 minutes. It was very good and reasonably priced. Thanks.
jen.willis - 13 Jul 2007 20:41
Having used to work in this pub as a wee lass, i am dissapointed in the grade of service and quality of food since the takeover.
I have been back a few times to the pub and have been quite dissapointed with the quality of food. The portions are small and the presentation is sloppy.
I remember serving behing the bar with the crowd waiting to be served being 6 people deep and running all along the bar - This is no longer the case.
People are put off by the quality of the food and tend not to eat there more than once.
It is a damn shame - it is a beatiful place.
knighty711 - 10 May 2007 10:26
We had a really nice meal here on Sunday (especially the crumble!). Service was friendly and very quick in the most part, however they required a good few prompts to deliver the last two main courses. Great location too, I definately recommend it.
Peterfine - 12 Mar 2007 14:59

The food is dire and over priced. i wouldnt eat here again. Ill give it a 2 for location
sazy123 - 28 Jan 2007 19:20
What a view - the castle across the water meadows. This is a great riverside pub. You can't really blame the pub if it gets so busy in the summer. I was there again for a January visit and the ambience is lovely - oak beams, flagstones, lit candles and fires - and the view's still terrific. My pie was about the best steak and ale pie I've ever had. Loos were clean and the beeras (pity it was only Badger) were in fine form. It's a good pub to visit in the off season
anonymous - 20 Jan 2007 14:49
I went to this pub while visiting family, having had one of the best sunday pub lunches in years I thought I would have a look at the reviews on here. What a shock that it was rated as low as 3.5 out of 10. The rest of our party have high standards for food and are not afraid to speak their mind and everyone was very impressed. We had a selection of main courses amongst our party - Roast Beef, Pork and Lamb and a couple of us went for the Steak and Ale ( Tanglefoot) pie. Pints of "Badger" went down very nicely indeed. Puddings were fantastic ( speaking as a chocoholic). I can only suggest that the place has been taken over in the last few months as the staff were all polite and helpful. I thought that the prices were very reasonable - 5 adults and 2 kids came in at about £85 for mains and puddings with a few beers ( most of the drinks were paid for by another member of the party). Personally I cannot wait to go back down that way again and will be stopping for lunch there. It was a fair detour for the local family to go there and they go there regularly. It was wet and windy outside on the day of our visit so we didnt get to appreciate the view of the castle from the riverbank tables.
scragm - 29 Oct 2006 23:37
What a lovely pub. Went there twice during a weekend away in Arundel. Two Badger ales on draught (Tanglefoot was delicious) and very nice HofBrau lager. The pub's setting couldn't be more idyllic, situated right next to the river Arun with a view of Arundel Castle. We visited the pub on a very busy Sunday afternoon and were dreading how slow we thought the service would be, but were very pleasantly surprised by efficient, quick bar service and food that arrived in 15 minutes when we were told it would take half an hour.

A definite recommendation if you're around these parts on a sunny day!
mtgriffin - 13 Sep 2006 10:30
Drive by for the veiw, maybe have a drink if you are thirsty but head for the George & Dragon in Burpham which is nearby if you want a nice pub in a quaint village with excellent food and service!!!
Megabyte - 24 Jul 2006 11:45
Its a tourist pub, in season filled to the brim with gun ho yanks believing that this is what a quaint English traditional pub should be like, they are informed of this through the coach couriers and drivers who dine for free on the proceeds.
It truly is a dire establishment, the staff as commented on already have bad attitude, the ale is OK and as for the food, the only thing missing when they bring it out is the packet liner from the Tesco value range that you are about to chew down just before you take your leave of absence to the john to barf it all back, one good point is that it keeps the more sociable establishments in the area yank free, and on that note alone i give this grotto a two...!
clapham - 18 Jul 2006 09:27
I'm informed that this pub was quite a classy dining outfit many years ago. What a change there has been since then. The only good thing about this Hall and Woodhouse pub is the location and view. There were a couple of real ales on, but they don't know how to keep them in tip top condition. Won't bother with this chain pub again.
david1972a - 15 Jul 2006 16:32
My partner and I went there on Sunday, having had some bad news, we thought it might cheer us up. How wrong we were, staff were miserable, manager rude and unhelpful. I asked for a spoon for my crumble and he moaned that it was the other end of the restaurant and I had to use a fork in the end. As for the main meals, they were unspeakably bad. The beef lasagne (£8.50) was worse than a budget supermarket microwave meal. Absolutely DISGUSTING.
The only thing in this pub's favour is the location, if I were you, have a drink, enjoy the view and bring a picnic. It is criminal of them to charge such prices.
Daisy_77 - 3 Apr 2006 12:24
One of the loveliest pub locations in Sussex, so it gets away with murder by trading on it's setting.

Go for a quick drink only, unless the food has miraculously improved recently.
Phmoo - 1 Sep 2005 16:59
Visited this pub one week ago.
The staff were offensively rude.
The bar manager in particular.
I am obviously gay and I wonder whether this may have been the reason. The food was overpriced and not very good. I will not be returning.
anonymous - 12 Jul 2005 09:08
My better half and I visited this establishment yesterday and had a fabulous time! We supped a few tasty pints of cider, served by jovial staff, enjoyed a spot-on roast, mine of which the staff kindly adjusted to accomodate my disliking of red meat(!), scoffed some scrummy desserts and had a few more pints to boot! The location is lovely, right on the river, where you can observe baby swans, with Arundel Castle visible in the distance. Even entertainment was provided, in the form of a seemingly never-ending parade of teenage chavs in their hilariously pimped-up motors, cruising past on their way up to the large car park at the rear, where I'd wager they were off for a burn or even to lose their virginity. It couldn't have been for a drink as I'm sure there's no way the pub would've served most of them. A cracking sunny Sunday all round.
ginprincess - 11 Jul 2005 16:44
The February 2005 review above has it almost spot on - even down to the horrible pickled onion that was served with strange black marks on it (but no sign of any hair!). Food absolutely awful, beer not too bad for Hall and Woodhouse, staff uninterested. Such a great location, such a disappointment.
chrisdarkens - 28 May 2005 22:47
Amazing pub in the middle of nowhere ...right on the River Arun. Well woth a visit !
W980501 - 15 Apr 2005 11:25
Went to this pub on Sunday 20th Feb. What can I say, the food and service was absolutely dreadful and I can't recommend this to anyone. The seating area was so cramped that the waitresses had to pass food over peoples heads and I thought they might even throw it at you a couple of times judging by the look on their faces!Our food arrive - and I honestly thought it was a joke. The salad can only be described as a garnish, so small they looked like leftovers. I had one quarter of tomato and one slice of dry cucumber that had obviously been hanging around. The pickled onion had stange black patches on it (and had a hair stuck to it - yuk)and I had about 1 tsp chutney and 1 pat of butter. The only decent bit was the baguette which I can't complain about. This cost over £5, which may be about right for most pubs, but I am sorry to say the Black Rabbit certainly took this piss with this meal. It spoilt what is a beautiful pub in a lovely location. Come on Black Rabbit - stop ripping people and perhaps people will return. I certainly won't.
emmaturner - 21 Feb 2005 10:19
Licensed for at least the past 200 years, it is an attractive building with a veranda, and outside seating is provided. Rodney Walkerley, in his (1966) book Sussex Pubs, remarks on its two bars, named The Lounge and The Bunny Bar (!). These days the interior is mostly one, large, long space, equipped with what the Hall and Woodhouse brewery web site boast to be ďprobably one of the longest bars in the countryĒ. The walls of the pub are decorated with old photos and prints and the atmosphere is mellow, an effect aided by the sound of easy listening and soft jazz coming from the CD player behind the bar. Even so, I find it difficult to relax. Although I arrive only a few minutes past noon, it is already busy with a number of families, some with young children, looking for Sunday lunch. The comfortable sofa I sat upon during my last visit a few years ago has been removed, and all seating is at numbered, dining tables. I canít rid myself of the feeling that, at any moment, I will be asked for my food order.

While I am generally unenthusiastic about the H&W range, I can have no complaints about the quality of the beer served here. King and Barnes (sic) Sussex Bitter, Tanglefoot and Badger Best Bitter are available, there is a Cask Marque sign displayed on each of the three hand pump clips, while a fourth advertises the forthcoming guest appearance of Gribble Fursty Ferret - distributed only to select(ed) H&W premises. My half of Badger (£1.18) is in excellent condition with a distinct hoppy aroma. But unless I had lunch or a scenic walk in mind, the beer would not be enough to entice me here (especially as the Bunny Bar is long gone). The Black Rabbit clearly specialises in food, and gives the appearance of a pub-restaurant that has the added bonus of serving a well-kept pint, rather than a place catering for the needs of drinkers.

thequaffer - 26 Jan 2005 16:59
food was very poor and overpriced when I visited 24th Oct 2004. Roast dinner was dry and overcooked. Meat tasteless. I won't be eating there again
Lee - 28 Oct 2004 12:40
Beautiful pub by the river.
Matt Le Ross - 23 Jul 2004 20:25

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