The Duke of Cumberland Arms in Henley.
The Duke of Cumberland Arms in Henley is a very picturesque 16th-century pub hidden away just north of Midhurst. Certainly, it is a sight to behold. That is if you manage to find it. When I said hidden away, I wasn’t kidding! At the bottom of this page, I will give detailed instructions on how to find it. And take it from me, it is worth finding!
As usual on these reviews, we were not paid to do it, we paid for our own food and drink out of our own pockets and the staff had no idea we were reviewing! Therefore, I feel our review is exactly as you would experience when visiting the pub.
As you can imagine, being the 16th century it retains a lot of character and is more charming than a weasel in a smoking jacket. There is everything you’d associate with a pub of this age from flagstones to slightly wonky walls and all sorts of nooks and crannies.
One outstanding feature of the pub is the gardens and the view. As can be seen above, the pub has a raised deck area with seating to soak in the amazing views. On a lovely sunny day, they are amazing. There is a lot of outside seating areas from picnic tables to comfy chairs and everything in between. There is a certain joy of being outside, the fantastic view and looking back at the sprawling pub.
The Gardens are well-tended full of flowers and plants and it shows how much love and care go into this pub and the gardens. The raised ponds add another dimension to the front garden. Fresh fish anyone?
That love and care are also apparent in the food. The owner is also the chef. When I was last there I just stop for a light bite. While perusing the menu I saw the words of award-winning pork pie, so I just had to go for it. Brilliantly, it was everything I hoped it would be. The food here is something special.
A lot of the ingredients are sourced locally and some as local as the pubs own vegetable patch. Of course, menus change regularly so check the pubs’ website for full details there is a link at the bottom. The food I would suggest is perhaps more expensive than average but the thing is, this is not average food, it is well worth the money, don’t let the prices put you off. For fine dining food it’s actually good value, just be aware before you go.
The wine list is a lot of thought put into it and you’ll have no trouble finding a suitable wine for your food. While on the subject of drinks it was especially nice to see such a well-stocked spirit shelf. I could even see some absinthe poking from the bottom shelf! Local real ales seem to feature quite heavily, though not being a real ale drinker I can’t really comment about how well they’re kept. But, I suspect, if the rest of the pub is anything to go by, they’ll be just fine.
The Duke of Cumberland Arms has won many awards over the years including the Good Food guide pub of the year 2012. Perhaps it could also win the award for the most hidden pub in West Sussex!
I would also recommend booking, whatever time you’re planning to visit. Its reputation precedes it and you’ll find you’ll probably need to book a Monday lunchtime. It does get busy so just bear in mind you may have to wait a bit longer for your food but it’s a chance to enjoy the surroundings as you wait.
My only minor gripe is with the service. Whether the staff behind the bar were new I cannot say. But, I was told they had run out of pork pies, but when another member of staff went to look they found them. Also, they seemed a little underprepared.
It scores an impressive 4 1/2 out of five on TripAdvisor
The address is;
The Duke of Cumberland Arms
Put the postcode into the satnav and trust it! I was using Google maps on my phone and at some points, I thought,’ this can’t be right’ but it was. Depending on the way you come, I found myself going along a single track lane and uphill wondering if the satnav was right. If you don’t have a satnav
Follow the directions on the pubs’ website on the following link.
If you get horrendously lost just call (01428) 652280 the pub will be happy to give you directions
To reiterate, I don’t do paid reviews and I only include pubs that have something notable about them. However, If you know a pub that you think would make a good addition to this list, for historical or quirky reasons, leave a comment below in the ‘Post a Comment‘ section right at the bottom of the page. If it looks interesting, I will do one of my stealth visits and the review will be posted here. Not every pub makes the cut – perhaps three quarters do for various reasons. And the various reasons for a pub not making the cut are; bad service, bad food, bad experience and just plain boring..!
For the rest of my Historic Pubs of Sussex list, see below
All prices correct at time of writing.
If you are looking for Historic Pubs in Surrey, click here.
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