New restaurant celebrates local produce, people and flavours

Launched just before lockdown in December, Sussex Pass showcases the finest produce in Sussex and Kent while supporting local makers, growers and communities. Situated in Wadhurst village, in the picturesque heart of the Weald,Sussex Pass is reopening on Wednesday 14th April with a brand new terrace and garden, a perfect location for locals, visitors and staycationers to taste the county’s incredible food and wine and celebrate the passion of the producers who reside there.

Founder Sam Maynard (Hotel Du Vin, Gallivant, The Beacon) and Head Chef Adam Sear, have created a food offering that not only draws from the seasonal bounty of this beautiful part of the country, but celebrates and elevates it. Having spent the past few months of closure focusing on beautiful meal boxes, the team have also used the time to create a beautiful outdoor space that lends itself to both fine dining and family get-togethers.

Comprising just 30 covers, the restaurant sits within the White Hart Pub, a well-loved hub of the village community. Capturing the intimate, exclusive feel of the indoor restaurant, the new back heated terrace is the perfect spot to enjoy a brunch with fizz and friends, or a special dinner in the late Spring Sussex sunshine.

For those looking for a new kind of eating and dining experience, Sussex Pass has created a garden space complete with a Big Green Egg barbeque. Priced at £20 per person, guests who book full size Egg for a two-hour slot, will be given a selection of beautiful locally sourced meat and fish, pre-prepared and ready to cook on the Barbeque, along with complementary sides and vegetables. Those looking to really impress, a whole lobster can be added for £40 or a 1kg ribeye for £42, and vegetarians are also catered for.  For any budding chefs, or for those who can’t host a barbeque at home, this is the perfect option for a summer of alfresco eating and drinking.

Adding to the new outdoor additions to the brand, a new farm, Sussex Patch, situated a couple of miles away, will become Head Chef Adam Sear’s main source of organic, seasonal fruit and vegetables, focusing especially on local varieties. Later in the summer, the team plans to create a family farm experience, where children can pick the produce before seeing the fruits (and vegetables) of their labour cooked in front of them.

Sussex Pass’s small and focused menu comprises succulent cuts of meat, beautifully cooked and large fresh seafood platters paired with seasonal vegetables and sides, all designed to be shared with friends and family. Alongside is an ever-changing à la carte menu that celebrates local game, fish, cheese and crops, accessible but refined pub dishes, and a beautifully paired selection of English wines.  Finishing off the meal is an experience in itself, as guests can choose from a bespoke Sussex cheese trolley, featuring all the finest cheeses from the surrounding area, all expertly matched with Sussex wines and Ports. Those looking for a pre-meal thirst quencher can choose from a gin list of over 30 gins from Sussex paired with Sussex tonics.

Examples from the Sussex Pass Spring menu include:

  • Curried lamb quails scotch egg, date chutney- £8.5
  • Paley farm pork cheek rillettes, crackling, honey mustard dressing, apple puree- £ 8
  • Pan roasted bass, clams, salsify, citrus foam, seaweed – £18
  • Squid ink tagliatelle, dikon puree, baby squid, mussels, parmesan-  £17.5
  • Asparagus, samphire, quinoa, toasted almond, red chicory, pickled cucumber-£16
  • Hibiscus Pannacotta, poached rhubarb, honey tuille – £7

Sussex Pass also boasts a new brunch menu that features dishes like boneless buttermilk chicken thighs with potato pancakes and a tomato salsa and baked gypsy eggs with homemade bread alongside refreshing cocktails and English Sparkling instead of Prosecco. As well as this, charcuterie and cheese boards serve as bar snacks to enjoy with Sussex and Kent beers and gins throughout the day.

A young but highly experienced foodie with a huge passion for forging personal relationships with small suppliers, Sam believes that in order to have the local community’s support as a business, you have to in turn support others. The Sussex Pass suppliers include Rathfinny Sparkling Wine, Ffrenchs fish and Paley Farm as well as coffee from Back Yard Coffee in Ditchling, and wine from The Secret Cellar.

Wednesday – Saturday: lunch: 12pm-2.30pm, dinner: 5.30pm -8.30pm, Sunday 10am-4pm


At The White Hart

High St, Wadhurst TN5 6AP

01892 782850