Buyers Guide

Emsworth was originally a busy fishing village, specialising in oysters. That was until The Dean of Winchester and two others died of food poisoning at a Mayoral Banquet. After which the industry collapsed overnight. It is now a quaint, sleepy harbour served by excellent rail and road links to Portsmouth, Chichester, Brighton and London.

There is a vibrant sailing community with two sailing clubs and a marina. The village has two tidal mill ponds, a picturesque harbour, characterful local pubs, good local primary schooling, and several excellent restaurants. It is served by both a local Coop, Tesco Express, two newsagents, two butchers, a hardware store and a greengrocer selling fresh produce. Emsworth has a thriving community, is well sought-after with half a dozen estate agents offices and a Travel Agency.

The south part of the town is particularly pretty, with a variety of period cottages and houses, and there are some beautiful walks along the harbour side.

Vin Wine Merchants

Interesting is always tucked around the corner, a little more difficult to find.

Wine shops in West Sussex and Hampshire

Vin Wine Merchants operate from a listed building dating back to the mid 1700’s offering a range of wines from all over the world which are racked using old fruit crates as shelving.

Wine merchants on the South Coast

They run courses and tasting events which are held in a tasting room.

Wine tasting events and courses

Woith a small wine bar in the upstairs lounge offering wine and fizz by the glass,  local and international beers or a tasty G&T as well as sharing platters with crusty bread, olives and dipping oils .

Wine tasting in Chichester

 

Sharing platters bread board

 

During the warmer months there is courtyard garden to enjoy some al fresco drinking. Quiet and relaxed its the perfect place to unwind and escape for a bit.

Wine bar in Emsworth

Darbar

I not really that familiar with Indian restaurants but I believe that Darbar is one of the better choices that one is going to find locally.

Darbar authentic Indian restaurant Emsworth

I am a lot more comfortable with Thai food and I find that Indian curries are not as robust and are a lot less spicy. Despite this I have thoroughly enjoyed the couple of meals I have had at Darbar. Together with its sister restaurant Thyme & Chilli on the way to West Wittering I have no doubt that they rank among the best Indian restaurants in West Sussex.

Authentic Indian restaurants South Coast Hampshire West Sussex

I was referred when I stopped at Thyme & Chillies on the way to Wittering. It is run by the same owners and I was assured by a particularly friendly and enthusiastic waitron that they only prepare authentic Indian cuisine and I had no reason to doubt his word at either restaurant.

Authentic Indian rice pudding South Coast

But it was the Indian rice pudding I found on the menu at Darbar that convinced me. Its something I used to order many years ago in a small Indian restaurant in Corlett Drive in Johannesburg. Not quite what I remember but it still brought back fond memories.

Cycle servicing & repairs

I keep a bicycle at the Chichester station which I use to cycle to work at the factory.

Cycle routes Emsworth Chichester Harbour

A routine which gets complicated when one finds that the tire that should have been replaced months ago, has finally burst and is not going anywhere. Except onto the train and back to Emsworth Cycles.

Emsworh Cycles - Bike repairs Emsworth Hampshire

Didn’t think twice about it.

The first time I used them was after buying a couple of bikes off the net,  for a colleague at work. One of them needed new brake pads as well as a service so I took it in and left it with them.

But collected it the next day as my friend had decided he would service it himself. I apologised profusely for messing them around. But the lad I was dealing with, assured me it wasn’t a problem and undertook to keep our card in the queue. Saying he would phone me when it was next in line, just to check if there had been a change in plan.

This he did.

And whilst we didn’t need it at the time, it was a gesture, the sort of customer service which is rare to find.

 

Carriages

Carriages Cupcake and Coffee Shop was my introduction to Emsworth.

Tea rooms Emsworth Chichester Harbour

It is different , very different.
Situated on the platform at the Emsworth station it is neat, organised and welcoming. They also do very good cup cakes.
But it was the book exchange which captured my interest.

Book exchange Emsworth Hampshire

That and a simple sign, inviting you to simply “take one”. No two for one, no fees, no obligation. Something that says all you need to know about a family run cafe which offers something special.

Coffee shops Emsworth Chichester Harbour

They offer a limited menu but have something for most and are open from around seven in the morning till lunch time.
“It started with the new waiting room when customers were asked what they wanted. It was a cafe. So a business plan was put together by the Emsworth Residents Association and Southern Rail.”
Everything has been recycled – from the shelves, which were a CD rack, to the suitcase trolley which now holds crisps and confectionery, to the counter – which Garry made from a door.
And the community pitched in, helping to start a small business in a village that has managed to retain it’s charm.

Cup cakes Emsworth Chichester Harbour

And if you are a visitor looking for information about Chichester Harbour or what to do in and around Emsworth this is a good place to start. Carriages serves as an unofficial Information Office and Visitor Centre for Emsworth and the Chichester Harbour Conservancy offering useful advice and tourist information about the area.

Thorney Island

After a few false starts and wrong turns I completed the walking trail around Thorney Island.

Thorney Island - Emsworth walking trails Chichester Harbour

Its a long hike. Took me three to four hours and towards the end, I was definitely counting the steps I had left to finally reach The Deck at the Yacht Harbour.

Coffee shops and tea rooms Emsworth

The cake which had something to do with apricot and pistachio, was a treat. This followed by fresh hake.

Its the first time I have have been presented with a minted pea salad which is a lot more interesting than the usual mushy peas that I find bland and unappetising. A meal I thoroughly enjoyed on the outside deck overlooking the boats moored at the marina.

Emsworth marina and yacht harbour