Nick and Rebecca Illes are your hosts at the Greenman. Nick is a celebrated Sussex born and bred chef with many years experience of providing delicious freshly prepared meals at reasonable prices. Nick started his career under the watchful eye of his father, Othmar, who used to own the acclaimed 15th Century Restaurant in Billingshurst and then the Cisswood house Hotel in Lower Beeding.
Wanting to spread his wings Nick moved to Oakely Court Hotel in Windsor for his 3 year apprenticeship, where he met Rebecca or as most know her Becky. They both then moved to London for the next 6 years with Nick working in the Britannia InterContinental Hotel, Hyde Park Intercontinental and lastly the highly acclaimed Hyatt Carlton Tower Hotel.
Finally realizing that they both wanted to make the move of owning their own establishment, Nick and Becky returned home to Sussex in 1993 and bought The Gables Restaurant. In 1997 they moved to the Bolney Stage and then more recently sold up and moved back to Nick’s home village of Lower Beeding to run the Crab Tree. Now they have moved to the Greenman and have great long term plans for the pub including Cookery Club demos, summer barbeques, Gourmet Wine Evenings and eventually a small wine and deli shop.
Nick is passionate about fresh food, so much so that he leaves home at 1am in the morning to visit Billingsgate, Smithfield and Covent Garden London Markets returning home at 7.30am just to ensure the best quality for his customers and has been doing so since 1993. This in turn has allowed his London suppliers to introduce Nick direct to Sussex local farmers and producers.
Becky runs the front of house with the rest of her friendly team. Their team is mainly made up from staff who have worked for Nick and Becky for the past 6 years and come from the local area. Over the years at the Crab Tree, the front of house team won for 2 years running “Hall and Woodhouse Best Front of House Team”, although it must be said that Nick and his Chef David won “Hall and Woodhouse Best Dining Experience”" for 3 years running! Nothing like a bit of in house rivalry!
Together they make a welcoming, friendly bunch that will endeavour to make your visit as enjoyable as possible.