Advantages Good food, lovely location
Disadvantages A bit expensive
IN GENERALThe Royal Oak is a traditional country pub that in recent years has developed into a highly rated gastro pub in the Sussex area. The pub can be found in the small village of Poynings in the heart of the Sussex countryside not far from The Devil’s Dyke a well known local natural attraction. The Royal Oak has been on this site since 1880; the present owners Paul Day and Lewis Robinson acquired the pub in 1996 and have won some prestigious awards for their food and standards of service.
INTERIORS AND GENERAL AMBIANCEThe first impression from the exterior is not over-whelming, the building is rather large and imposing as it sits on the main road entering the village. I wouldn’t say the pub looks particularly charming but it is well maintained and inviting none the less. There are a number of entrances depending where you are coming from. Inside the area is divided into different bars with a central open plan type serving area. There is plenty of seating available but on busy days most of the tables are used for dining customers and you might be dissuaded from sitting down with simply a drink.
The interior is quite dark during the day but in the evening soft lighting gives the place a warm cosy feel. It has a smart partly paved part solid oak floor matching the blend of traditional decor with a modern twist, a mixture of earthy shades and exposed wood with the compulsory wooden beams in the ceiling. Oil paintings by local artists are on most of the walls, mostly depicting rural scenes of livestock or the nearby beauty of the South Downs. The pictures are for sale if you are tempted. In the winter real open fires in the bar areas keep the place warm and snug.
The beer selection is fair, on the pumps you get a choice of the local real ale Harvey’s Bitter and the Cornish Sharp's Doom Bar.
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