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The gift of chocolate

Sussex chocolatiers are experts at melting hearts and, with the likes of Rowdy & Fancy’s in Forest Row and Wimblehurst Chocolates in Horsham, February is the perfect month to explore their decadent delights. Try Rowdy & Fancy’s Sweet Rose, which combines creamy milk chocolate and notes of floral rose, or Forbidden Fruit, where creamy white chocolate is turned gorgeously pink with all-natural beetroot, raspberry, blackcurrant and cranberry. Wimblehurst Chocolates, who are regulars at the Carfax Saturday market in Horsham, love to make chocolates that they enjoy eating – and we think that you’ll love them too. 

On the table

The wannabe MasterChef can put a taste of Sussex firmly on the table, while whisking their partner off on a tasty adventure, with just a few easy to pick up local ingredients. Why not try some of Sussex Gourmand’s Brighton bresaola with your canapés, fabulous fish from Pulborough-based Charlie’s Trout and Sussex x Wagyu beef and heritage grains from Trenchmore Farm near Horsham? If you’re on the south coast, then Fin and Farm is an excellent farm-to-door food and drink delivery service specialising in the best Sussex produce. Their area covers Hove, Brighton, Worthing and surrounding areas.

Dreams of cheese

Cheese and English sparkling wine add a little luxury to any occasion, and we’re blessed with some of the country’s leading cheesemakers and vineyards here in Sussex. For the cheese board, make sure to peruse the cheesy Sussex sensations of Horsted Keynes’ High Weald Dairy and Rudgwick’s Bookham Harrison. Alternatively, head to The Cheese Hut in Portslade, which is a one-stop shop for the perfect cheese board.  

Cocktail o’clock

Add a touch of class to proceedings by tweaking your favourite spirit with mixers from Local Food Britain members, such as Gran Stead’s Ginger Co and Fierce Botanics. Portslade’s Gran Stead’s recently teamed up with Brighton Gin to create the fiery Knock Down Ginger cocktail, which mixes gin and mellow ginger wine with a hint of lime, basil and mint. It’s a real treat. Lewes’ Fierce Botanics, meanwhile, create incredible tonic from the extract of plants they grow, pick, distil and wild craft. Their tonic is perfect mixed with vodka, gin and in cocktails or enjoyed on its own as a grown-up non-alcoholic drink.

Dining delights

What could be more romantic than wrapping up for a stroll along a sunset lit stretch of beach before a slap up meal overlooking the waves? That’s exactly what’s on offer at the popular Billy’s on the Beach at Bracklesham Bay, where their intimate beachside retreat is a warm welcome from chilly February nights. The food is great too! Alternatively, why not search out something a little different via WeFiFo. This national social eating movement is headquartered at Slinfold but their Airbnb style supper club network has all sorts of memorable locations in its database. You never know what you might find, and sharing a fantastic meal with a group of strangers is the perfect antidote for those who prefer avoiding candlelit tables for two...

Tags: Ginger fish beef chocolate cheese gin sparkling wine