Nothing seems to faze this laid-back country inn up on the South Downs 20 miles from Brighton. Sussex Dining Pub of the Year three times in a row? No hassle. Michelin and Good Food Guide accolades? It takes it all in its stride as the very model of a 21st century country dining pub. It certainly looks the part. Go down a no through road and you come upon its jade green clapboard exterior and note the sheltered garden. Inside it is filled with light and a contented buzz as the kitchen delivers dishes such as Ale Glazed Beef Cheek, Roast Marrow Bone, Shallot and Garlic (£7.50) and, more exotically Paneer TIkka Kebab, Potato and Chickpea Curry, Coconut Jasmine Rice, Flatbread (£13.85). Bread is baked on site. As you’d expect, they are big on local sourcing. The fish comes mainly from Newhaven and Hastings, beef and lamb from the South Downs and wild game from Kent and Sussex – in particular from Pidinghoe near Newhaven. So on the autumn a la carte there was Piddinghoe Partridge Breast, Choucroute, Braised Barley, Parsnip and Potato Mash (£17.50), while a pheasant from the same suppliers featured in a hot-pot on the good value fixed price lunches (two courses £14.50, three £18.50). A 150-strong wine list big on indie producers and some stellar Cognacs and Armaganacs push the Sportsman away from ‘pubbiness’, but that legacy fights its corner with the presence of Harvey’s Sussex Best and Dark Star Hophead tapped straight from the cask.