Sixty Tea Rooms on Two Wheels – West Sussex

The weekend prior to the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we decided to take a ride out in to West Sussex to visit some historical sites and a few tea rooms. The roads planned are excellent motorcycle routes with barely any traffic until you hit the last part of the A272 and A32. Any way, we head out east at around 8.45am, mainly because the expected rain was not due until about 4.00pm. The route was going to take us along the M27 to Havant, the turn off on to the A27 through Emsworth on to Chichester. There we joined the Chichester bypass up to the Stockbridge roundabout turning right on to the A286 towards Bracklesham Bay, our first stop.

Billy’s on the Beach:

Ok, I said historical, in a roundabout way with the D-Day anniversary, Bracklesham Bay was an area on the South Coast that the troops trained and embarked for the liberation of France and the free world. Many a soldier, sailor and airman were associated with the area, especially with RAF Tangmere just up the road. Billy’s on the Beach had been on the local news that weekend, helping celebrate the D-Day anniversary by laying footprints of the soldiers going towards the beach, in memory of the soldiers that fought and those that died leaving England behind from Bracklesham Bay.

The other reason for us going there was to partake in a full English Breakfast before we rode north to Petworth. It was 9.30 and was a nice day so we sat outside and watched the world go by. We had a few admirers of the Roadmaster, which is always good, people love talking about it, especially if they have never seen one or even heard of the name. I digress, so we ordered a large and a small English breakfast and a pot of tea for two. The menu for breakfast and other meals were good and some of the food coming past us look very appetising.

Billy’s Menu

Breakfast arrived, I had two of everything, but I forgot to order my favourite, Black Pudding, especially when its only an extra £1. The breakfast was tasty, and the Red Bush tea was good. Surprisingly, not many of the cafés we have visited to date have Red Bush, it may be an acquired taste, but its one of our favourites. If you want a day by the sea, there is paid parking, pebble beach (and sand when the water subsides) and Billy’s. Additionally, on site they also have a quick snack, drink and ice cream wagon on the edge of the car park with picknick benches.

Overall, a good stop off, will have to go back to try some of the other menu items next time we head towards the Wittering’s and Bracklesham its currently open 7 days a week from 9.00am thru to 9.00pm. Billy’s on the Beach, Bracklesham Lane, Bracklesham Bay, Chichester, West Sussex, PO20 8JH Tel: 01243 670373

From Billy’s we head back up the A286 toward Chichester on the A27 heading out towards Arundel Turning left on to the A285 towards Petworth. This road is fantastic for riding, barely any traffic and a smooth road with twists turns, hills and views. About 3 or four miles outside of Petworth there is a vantage point that looks out over the West susses countryside and it is lovely. Be warned there is some very nasty corners if you approach too fast, I am not talking sweeping corners I am talking 120 degree turns, there is also some choke points with small bridges and farmhouses close to the road. Farmhouses also means the occasional tractor!

As you approach Petworth, the village is surrounded by walls, when you ride and Indian and you have a Vanquish in front of you the sound of the walls is unbelievable as the throaty engine noise bounces of the walls and hits your ear drums… perfect……..

Petworth House:

Another of the National Trust treasures. A beautiful house in beautiful park lands and lake (Capability Brown). The house is a 17th century country house formerly of the Percy Family, Charles Seymour and others over the years. It was handed to the nation in 1947 by Edward Wyndham 5th Baron Leconfield. The grounds and house are now managed by the National Trust. The grounds are massive, an ideal place for a family picnic under a shaded tree. If you have a dog, they are allowed to (on a lead). More details can be found on the National Trust Website. The food hall is in the old servant quarters and is big and provides the usual NT fair, you can even order a picnic basket to take outside in the grounds. Having had breakfast earlier, we stopped for a wander around the grounds and some coffee and cake only.

From Petworth we went back through the village and on to the A272, which has unfortunately got a bit of a reputation now as a racetrack for the weekend bikers. Which is a shame as the road and scenery is fantastic and deserves a cruise ride rather than a race. As a rider myself, it kind of spoils it, as locals are up in arms about the noise, (baffles removed). Its now getting to the point that noise pollution is becoming a big problem along this route and before long it will be “policed” using new technology. (See BBC Article “Acoustic Cameras”)

Anyway, we continued along the A272, briefly on to the A3 then back on the A272 then turn left past Loomies on the A32 towards Wickham.

Chesapeake Mill:

There are several tearooms in Wickham, but we had not been to Chesapeake Mill for quite a while. The Mill has been around since the 18th Century an is associated with the US Navy and the Royal Navy. The mill woodwork came from the USS Chesapeake which was captured by the Royal Navy during a 12-minute fight in 1812. HMS Shannon disabled her, the Captain of Shannon then boarded her and took command, claiming her for the Royal Navy.

The Restaurant: Offbeat

The last time we visit, the restaurant sold a bit of everything. As we walked into the restaurant area the smell was a wonderful, the smell of spices and other ingredients cooking away in the small kitchen. So, there was I looking forward to a Bacon and Brie baguette and we find out that they are now a vegan and gluten free restaurant, that also serves fresh cakes and artisan tea and coffee.

Anyway, I didn’t really fancy anything on the main menu, but on looking at the cakes, my mouth was watering, so we had One Hot Chocolate made with Coconut milk, One regular Americano coffee and two pieces of raspberry and almond cake. Wow, it was wonderful. We will be going back to try the restaurant main menu, because it smelt beautiful.

We that was it, a round trip of 90 miles through the West Sussex and Hampshire countryside taking in three tea rooms. We were out from 8.45am getting back home at 4.00pm, the weather was really good, it started raining about 4.30pm, so we made around without getting wet.

Happy riding people, if there is a tea room out there that we can visit, let me know.

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Sixty tea rooms and two wheels – The Malet Arms

OK, I know what you are thinking! “The Malet Arms” yes its a hostelry of the alcoholic kind and not a tearoom. With such wonderful weather we decided to have a beer and some lunch as an alternative. How did this come about? Well friends of ours have just packed up the two life and decided to move out in to the country. So today we thought we would going an be nosey and have a peek at this county life thing…

I (we) have never really ridden around the Wiltshire country side, so we thought it would be a good idea to day.  The problem with country side and an American made motorcycle, the built in Satnav will not find the small villages. had to rely on visual and a finger in the wind to get there. Consequently, we saw a lot of Wiltshire, but what lovely roads to ride, and little traffic.

The Malet Arms is a small public house in Newton Toney, and I mean small.. its what a village pub should be like. good beer and home grown food.

 

 

 

 

 

The menu was just right, enough to chose a decent lunch and a good selection of beers.  We had traditional scampi and smoked haddock fishcakes.  We were only looking for a sandwich initially, but unfortunately they do not have them on the menu. Anyway, to food selected was hot and very tasty, so no doubt we will be going back.

Overall the day was good, we have now seen our friends new home and met some locals in the pub, tried the food and drank a decent beer (NB: within the legal limits of riding).

I think pubs may be added to our tour on two wheels… but we will still endeavour to get the tearooms in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow we are heading for Sussex to see what we can find, probably a tea room tomorrow and maybe a pub later. Safe riding peps 🙂

Sixty Tearooms and Two Wheels – Buckler’s Hard

So the journey continues, the weather was absolutely gorgeous, so out she came, the beast that is my Indian Roadmaster ready to ride the roads of Hampshire and in to the New Forest.

I cannot remember the last time I went to Buckler’s Hard, it was probably as a child when we used to sleep under canvas in Hollands Wood.. Even my two children have slept under canvas and in a caravan at the same spot.

Sundays road trip was to Buckler’s Hard, a key place in the History of the Royal Navy, ships of Oak were built here and fought in the Battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805. Although HMS Victory is the most famous for Trafalgar it was not built here (it was built in Chatham). However, it is understood that Nelsons favourite Warships was HMS Agamemnon. HMS Euryalus was also built here it was she who took the news of Nelsons Death back to London.

So first stop, The Captains Cabin Tearoom, the menu was OK, but i would say it was a typical tourist tearoom. So we opted for the Admirals Tea and the Captains Tea. One being savoury and the other being a cream tea. The aim as always to have one of each scone…

The savoury tea had two medium to small sized scones, a lump of cheddar and some pickle. The Cream Tea same size sweet scones, a small pot of jam, small pot of clotted cream. The both offered up butter to go with the scones, but I must say they were a bit frugal with the jam and clotted cream 😦 . A pot of tea for two was also served, enough for about two and a bit cups each. The overall price was reasonable at under £10.

From there we proceeded to the museum (£7.50 each) to gain entry to the small but reasonably packed out museum telling the story of Henry Adams (master ship builder) of Buckler’s hard. (The image below is just the shop part, it goes quite a way to the left)

From there we walked down to the river (Beaulieu River) and watched the world go by in their expensive gin palaces and / or sailing yachts. There is also a pub in the grounds and the menu looked good; this is one to go back to.

Overall for a couple of hours of history and a good ride out and back, well worth the visit.

A note for any vehicle, the Forest is limited to 40 mph for good reason, Horses, Donkeys and Cattle roam free and this time of the year is calf and foal session. There is plenty around and they own the roads, so be careful. If you are riding, beware, cow pat on the engine really cooks well and boy does it stink…..

If you have never been, look it up, even just for the drive, the forest is great for wildlife and the views.

Safe riding people 😉