A Taste of West Sussex: Local Mussels in White Wine Sauce

family break by the sea

Experience the flavours of the ocean with this local West Sussex mussel recipe

Sitting directly on the dog-friendly beach, only 90 minutes from London, our luxury beach rentals in West Sussex are in prime location to savour the delights of the sea. For us, little compares to tucking into some locally caught seafood as the waves lap softly in the background. And with a variety of fishmongers all within a short car journey – including Riverside Fish, Aglaia Seafoods and F. Silverthorne Fishmongers – seafood is about as local as it gets when it comes to staying with us.

West Sussex musselsLocal fish and seafood always seems to taste better when you can see the ocean it was caught in. With stunning sea vistas both inside and out, our spacious interiors and exteriors lend themselves perfectly to dining, no matter the weather. Whilst there is an option to outsource your cooking, many of our guests like to take the chance to trial and refine their culinary skills. Fully kitted with all the modern equipment a budding chef could hope for, let the kitchen be your playground as you chop, sauté and whisk yourself up a storm.

Why not pick up some fresh crab, lobster and langoustines for a heavenly seafood platter? Or get the taste buds tingling with this simple West Sussex mussels in white wine recipe. We recommend picking up a bottle of Bacchus from Highdown Vineyard, just down the road our houses (or see here for local stockists), but any white wine will do. Local, sustainable and ready in 30 minutes, what’s not to love?

West Sussex Mussels in White Wine

Serves 2 as a meal, or 4 as an appetiser

1kg fresh mussels

Small glass of white wine

A knob of butter or oil

2 shallot, peeled and finely sliced (or 1 onion will do)

1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

2tbsp double cream (optional)

Chopped parsley, to serve

Loaf of bread, to serve (we recommend one from Rustington bakery)


Rinse the mussels in cold water to clean them. Scrub the outsides and pull of any ‘beards’ if they have them. Discard any mussels that were not closed before cooking. (Any mussels that do not open after cooking can also be discarded.)

Heat the butter or oil in a wide heavy-based pot over a medium heat. Add the shallot and the garlic, then cover and sweat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, but not too brown. Pour in the wine, then turn up the heat and bring to a boil.

Add the mussels all at once, give the pot a good shake and stir, then cover with a lid. Bring to the boil again and steam the mussels for 3-5 minutes, shaking the pan a couple of times, until the mussels are open and just-cooked. Discard any mussels that do not open.

Add the cream, if using, and heat through, then take off the heat.

Spoon the mussels into warmed bowls, scatter with chopped parsley, and serve with a good loaf of bread and a glass of white wine.

If you are dreaming of a steaming bowl of West Sussex mussels by the sea, or more delicious meals like this, there is nothing stopping you from planning. Enquire online, or get in touch with Sue, both in and out of office hours, on +44(0)7826720813, and start planning your long-awaited escape now! We take weekend, midweek and weeklong bookings.