lists the pubs I like. It begins in the vicinity of Brighton station and
extends outwards from there in kind of widening gyre. The common
denominator is that they can be relied upon to serve good cask beer. So
far I've only done Brighton and (bits of) Sussex. More later!
As itís not
possible for me to be in every pub all the time (although itís an
intriguing thought) Iíd
be grateful for your corrections and updates.
updated April 2017
of Trafalgar, Guildford Road
freehouse with a garden.
Star, Surrey Street
Dark Star tied
house, but other interesting ales always available, plus Belgians.
Honeypot for real alers and tickers.
Central, Surrey Street
. Web site
The closest pub to Brighton Station is now part of the Fuller's estate,
but guest beers from local brewers are available. The best bit is the
splendid gin bar and theatre upstairs, and the roof terrace has been
done up, too.
Stars, Ship Street
Indigo has transformed this former Young's house into a craft beer pub
in the industrial chic style. Not a huge range, two or three local ales
on handpump, Camden and Beaverton on keg. Gins also featured. Food is
provided by the Little Blue Smokehouse.
House, Market Street
of Brighton's oldest pubs, the Pump House is now in the care of
M&B's Nicholson's Inns
chain which has installed an interesting, and constantly changing,
selection of cask beers, mostly from micros.
Mesmerist, Prince Albert Street - Web
Old Orleans is now a splendid and spacious proper pub over two floors with
frequent live music and general partying.
Quadrant, Queens Road
Opposite the Clock
Tower, a good place to meet Ė and wait for a bus. Upstairs room doubles as a venue for
comedy and such.
Tempest, Kings Road Arches
Not sure about the papier-mache pink cave effect, but there's no doubt
this expansive venue is a welcome boon for pub-goers wondering why they
can't get a decent pint on the seafront. Cask ales from the North Laine
Brewhouse feature, and the food's good, too.
Inn, The Lanes
service marks this pub out. They even took the sink apart to find my
Cricketers, Black Lion Street
establishment thatís buzzing at weekends, although the posh upstairs
bar is quieter. Flagship of legendary operator Dave Day.
Prince of Wales, Churchill Square
Tiny pub serving an excellent pint of Sheps.
Pull & Pump, Clarence Square
Handy for the shops. A Pleisure pub specialising in
Lion & Lobster, Sillwood Street
Gary Whelan out of Ballykissangel took over here it's developed into one
of the best pubs in Brighton, as you can tell by the crush at the bar.
Find yourself a nook or cranny in the maze of rooms, which include a
split-level roof terrace, and enjoy local ales, excellent food and Sky
Sports - even outdoor. City Pub
Company, the latest venture of Firkin entrepreneur David
Bruce took over this pub in the spring of 2014, to no obvious
Robin Hood, Norfolk Place
Owned by Martin Webb out of TV reality show Risking
it All this is a Peopleís Pub which means all profits go to charity.
So you canít ask for a top-up. Itís a good pub, though, with a nice
range of pizzas. Recently refurbished with a warmer feel.
Iron Duke, Waterloo Road
Friendly, close to sea, Sky
Sports, Thai kitchen, rooms to let.
room at the back has been converted into a theatre presenting a mix of
music, comedy and drama.
Temple Bar, Western Road . Web
Local ales and tank lager from Bill
King's new outfit Firebird served from an island bar, plus Indian food
and a rather pleasant upstairs bar cum function room. Run by Brighton
Beer Co, Upper North Street. Web
Coastal outpost of one of the country's craft beer bar pioneers. Expect
the usual great range of brews, gourmet burger menu and knowledgeable
service. The pleasant upstairs rooms are available for hire.
The Windmill, Upper North Street
Bustling pub, good place to eat, serving into the
Dispensary, Dean Street
Brighton Bier Company has joined forces with South London brewer Late
Knights to convert the former Prince Arthur into a kind of cask beer
boutique. Always a good range of cask beers, at
the same price per pint, plus craft keg from a beer wall, loads of
bottles and cans and three ciders served from handpumps. Dizzy Gull
provides an interesting snacky food menu.
North Laine Brewhouse, Gloucester Place
in the cavernous former Gloucester nightclub, this one really adds
something to the Brighton pub scene. There's a shiny microbrewery behind
the bar producing a range of beers plus good food, loads of big tables to sit at and the kind of
harsh acoustics the young folk don't seem to mind.
The North Laine.
Pond, Gloucester Road
simple freehouse just off the road leading down from the station to the
sea. Dark Star brews usually on tap and in good nick. Thai restaurant
upstairs. Thai snacks served in the bar.
Lord Nelson, Trafalgar Street
The Nelson has been knocked through two
next-door properties and has doubled in size after being taken into
management by Harvey's. It's all been well done, and there's the full
range of Harvey's ales on the pumps, but you can't help feeling Brighton
has gained a good pub and lost a great one.
Prince George, Trafalgar Street . Web
Brighton's famous all-vegetarian pub has been pulled out of decline by
Indigo and now serves local beers alongside an imaginative meat-free
Great Eastern, Trafalgar Street
Part of the local Pleisure chain. Reliable, always
busy, interesting beers, good service, live music and comedy.
Basketmakers, Gloucester Road
One of Brightonís most popular pubs. Fullerís
(ex Gales) tenancy. Good food, relaxed atmosphere.
Waggon & Horses, Church Street
Well run freehouse thatís taken full advantage of
pedestrianisation. Interesting whisky list.
Waggon and Horses
The Foundry, Foundry Road
Nice. Nice and comfortable. Cheap pizzas.
Heart in Hand, North Road
Brilliant old fashioned jukebox that pulls in the
Mods on their Brighton jaunts. For some inexplicable reason they've
swapped this brilliant pub sign for something more conventional, but I'm
keeping this one. It's history, you know.
Heart and Hand
Seven Dials/Preston Circus
Joker, Preston Road
Brakspear is finally making a success of this prime site on Preston
Circus, right opposite the Duke of Yorks cinema. There's a selection of
craft beers to wash down a menu of mostly different kinds of chicken
wings from the Orange Buffalo, and live music has returned to the venue
upstairs. A private booth for hire in the style of an old train
compartment adds a quirky touch.
& Hounds, London Road
This dodgy old dive on Preston Circus has been totally reinvented by
Indigo which has installed its signature island bar with a good
selection of cask and craft beers. La Choza, one of Brighton's most
popular eateries, provides Mexican street food from a kitchen in the
corner. Very much a young person's venue in the evenings. Not the place
for a quiet pint.
Cow, Dyke Road
The Indigo boys have converted the old Tin Drum into a not-too-crafty
craft beer house with an American saloon kind of feel to it. Without the
fighting. Superior pub grub and bar snacks provide the solids.
Companions, Dyke Road . Web
A revelation. Local operator Indigo has transformed a large, dodgy
boozer into a splendid, if slightly pricey, place to eat and drink.
The Mitre, Baker Street
Old boys pub. Occasional old girl sighted. Full
Harveys range and arguably the best beer pub in Brighton, once scoring
an 11 out of ten.
Pumps at the Mitre.
Open House, Springfield Road
Inn Brighton headquarters next door to London Road
station. Interesting spaces, expansive garden and very nice food.
The Signalman, Ditchling Rise
Formerly the Railway Tavern this is now The Signalman, and part of the
Inn Brighton chain. Fine range of local ales and ciders, quality food and a sheltered garden. Classy.
Geese Have Gone Over The Water, Southover Street
The Geese has been reopened by the people from the Shakespeare's Head,
and they've brought their menu with them - up to 1,000 permutations of
different sausages (including veggie and gluten-free), mash and gravy,
washed down with well-kept ales. Very tasty, and good value, too.
Southover, Southover Street
The Pub With No Name, as it used to be called, now has a name and a
much-needed refurb creating an island (or rather peninsula, since
it's attached to a wall) bar that makes a world of difference to the
atmosphere. It now also has customers and, as well as Sussex ales, craft
keg beers (served in two-thirds of a pint glasses). Upstairs you'll find a roof terrace and
a table-tennis table, donated by some generous regular (ahem).
Setting Sun, Windmill Street
High up on Muesli Mountain, from the Setting Sun's rear terrace you
really can watch the sun go down over the sea, the Brighton and Hove
city-scape spread out below. On a clear day you can even see Worthing.
But that's not all this pub has going for it. The beer is decent, a
couple of well-kept cask ales always on, and the food, while not quite
as ambitious as it once was, is good.
Druids Arms, Ditchling Road
Grungy freehouse that somehow manages to serve one
of the best pints of Harveys, and occasionally guest ales from Dark Star,
in Brighton. Friendly service, and a Southern (US) style menu with jerk
chicken, ribs, wings, burgers and the like. Snug new patio area, too,
between the pub and the revamped Open Market.
Constant Service, Islingword Street
at this Harvey's tied house provide perhaps the best service around
while 'Big Tom' the chef makes a mean pie. Sky Sports, a record deck spinning vinyl classics and
occasional live music.
Reservoir, Howard Road . Web
Hiding down a side street, the Reservoir is a bit of an odd one,
featuring a Thai kitchen on a sort of stage at the back. It's a very
popular Thai kitchen, though, and there's also a surprise downstairs bar
and garden. Local ales and exotic lagers served.
Formerly the Horse & Groom heavy metal venue (the old name is still
up in the tiles), the people behind Brighton's famous Blue Man
restaurant has rescued the pub from being turned into flats and
installed a quirky all-day cafe-bar that's especially busy at
brunchtimes and evenings when there's live music on. Usually has a cask
beer, served straight from the barrel. Worth supporting.
Charles Napier, Southover Street
Unspoilt Fuller's tenancy that's clearly back in favour with the locals.
Sport in the front bar, East African-inspired food from the Kitgum
Kitchen served in the back bar. Guest ale (usually). Beer garden.
Admiral, Elm Grove
At the bottom of Elm Grove, the Admiral used to be a student hangout
called the Cornerstone. Now it's been very tastefully reinvented as a
traditional pub with interesting bric-a-brac, local ales (featuring
Downlands Brewery), live music and a burger, wrap and nacho menu.
Independent, Queens Park Road
The former Walmer Castle is now in the hands of restaurateurs and
establishing a new identity as a food-led pub. The beer's still pretty
good but we're all waiting to see whether they can make it work on this
The Hartington, Whippingham Road
Punch tenancy and one of the best run pubs in
Brighton. Always plenty going on. Good food lunch and evening, plus pool
and a sheltered garden.
Round Georges, Sutherland Road
Pleasant pub with cheerful, helpful staff and a
fine Sunday lunch. One of the few pubs
round here to serve lunches midweek too, and it's great food at
reasonable prices. Plus satellite footy.
Black Dove, St James's Street. Web
The draught range is, frankly,
disappointing, but the bottled list is good and reasonably priced. Most
importantly you can drink amid a surreal Victorian-Americana decor in
the kind of fizzing atmosphere you get from a team of enthusiastic
cocktail bartenders. Oh, and don't forget to check out the kotch.
St James Tavern, St James Street
A Pleisure pub specialising in the unusual
combination of rum and Thai food. Donít sit in the bay window at the
back because thatís where Viv sits.
George's Inn, Upper Sudeley Street
in the backstreets a gall stone's throw from the Royal Sussex County
Hospital, the former Sudeley Tavern welcomes health workers and Defend
the NHS campaigners, refreshing them with remarkably well-kept ales,
typically Tim Taylor's Landlord, Adnams' Ghost Ship and Franklin's
English Garden. Comfortably the best community local in the area.
St George Inn
Sidewinder, Upper St James Street
A young personís place but thereís usually a
handpump working and thereís a lively evening atmosphere and two big
St James's Street
Arguably a bar rather than a pub, but it has a decent bottled beer range
and worth including here for its surprisingly extensive and
Tavern, Farm Road
Friendly little Greene King tenancy off the main drag. Upstairs function
Payne, Payne Road
Deserved winner of Best Turnaround Pub in the 2013 Great British Pub of
the Year Awards, proving you can still make a success of a back street
local. Has a huge buzz about it.
Ancient Mariner, Rutland Road. Web
Becalmed in the backstreets of Aldrington, west of Hove? In need of a
pint? Here's your man. A bright and breezy local from InnBrighton
featuring Sussex ales and all-day food.
Sussex Cricketer, Eaton Road
Part of M&Bís Ember Inns chain so the dťcor
is a bit Ikea but the ale is cheap and good and varied. Hove cricket
ground is out the back and itís a handy place to nip into during
lunch. Large sunny garden.
The Neptune, Kingsway
Best known for the Friday night live blues, and the
beerís good too. Can be a bit of squeeze getting to the bar though.
Arms, Wolseley Road
This is what pubs used to be like - except the beer's better, a fine
choice of mainly local ales that, one Monday a month, you can sample
straight from the casks down in the cellar. Friendly banter abounds.
Inn, Boundary Road
Bang opposite Portslade Station by the level crossing, this used to be a
dire pub called the Whistlestop, but now those talented people at the
George Payne have taken it on, installing a good range of ales and a
sound food menu, it's well worth stopping off at.
Watchmaker's Arms, Goldstone Villas - Web
Brighton & Hove's first micropub, and one of the larger of the new
species. Run by a bunch of teachers after class, it serves a good range
of well-kept local ales, including one or more from the pub's own
brewery out the back, plus gourmet bar snacks.
Queen Victoria, Rottingdean
This one's crept up to become arguably the best pub in this pretty
seaside village. Well-kept beer, good food and a choice of 30 gins. As
it says, 'A Proper Pub'.
Bull, Ditchling. Web
In the village where Dame Vera Lynn, gawblesser, resides, the Bull won
the Great British Pub of the Year title in 2016. As well as offering
fine food and letting rooms, it's also serves as the Bedlam Brewery's
tap, being owned by the same chap.
Moon, Plumpton Green
Great food pub, especially for fish. And they take their beer seriously,
Nowhere near Abergavenny. Nowhere near anywhere, really, but worth the
trip out for some well-kept ales, good food and excellent service.
The Juggs, Kingston by Lewes
Extensive gardens picturesque setting at the foot
of the Downs makes this Sheps managed house a summer destination.
Griffin Inn, Fletching
Top food freehouse (nearly a restaurant but not
quite) with a rambling garden sometimes featuring a jazz band.
Tiger Inn, East Dene
Beachy Head Brewery now operates this village inn,
in a great spot for a trip out.
of Man, High Street
Formerly the Rainbow, local brewer Harvey's has taken over and done a
remarkable job on an awkward site, creating two comfortable bars and a
Pelham Arms, High Street
Spacious Hall & Woodhouse hostelry with a nice
Brewers Arms, High Street
Freehouse right next door to Tom Paineís house.
Expect the old boy was always in and out of here.
Lewes Arms, Mount Place
One of the worldís great pubs. Since the Battle
of Lewes Arms when regulars boycotted it because Greene King had taken
out the Harveys, Fullerís has taken it over, Harveys is back on and
the bloke whoís got the Basketmakers in Brighton is tenant. Donít
forget the upstairs room.
John Harvey Tavern, Cliffe High Street
The Harveyís brewery tap does good, interesting
food, as well as the full Harveys range shipped in from just across the
Gardenerís Arms, Cliffe High Street
Freehouse with a variety of well-kept cask beers
always on offer. The place to get the local goss.
The Snowdrop, South Street
after the 1836 Lewes Avalanche, the Snowdrop is a gem of a freehouse in
the town's Cliffe district prettily decked out barge-style with great
food, a good selection of cask and bottled beers and regular live jazz
and folk. Nice garden in the lee of the inland cliff from whence the
Music in the Snowdrop
Buckingham Arms, Shoreham
Just opposite the station beside the level
crossing, a highly convenient spot for a good pub serving a range of
One of them there micropubs, close to the harbour and serving three to
five local ales, straight from the stillage. Free cheese and biscuits,
too, if you catch it right.
of Wellington, Shoreham
This Dark Star house has been bought by the brewery's founder, the
legendary Rob Jones. As well as Dark Star beers there's always
interesting alternatives from other brewers, on keg as well as cask.
Plenty going on, too, including frequent live music, and Rob is planning
a brewhouse on site. Exciting times.
Shepherd & Dog, Fulking
Ancient pub at the foot of the Downs with a pretty
beer garden and lots of old beams.
Maypole Inn, Yapton
Friendly village pub with a good range of
Angelsey Arms, Halnaker
While itís the restaurant quality food that keeps
this pubís tills full its appeal for the pub-goer is the warm buzz and
well-kept ales in the public bar. The large garden has a country house
feel to it.
Gribble Inn, Oving
Brewpub that gave birth to Hall & Woodhouseís
Fox Goes Free, Charlton
Classic country pub with a big sunny garden. When
the sunís out, obviously.
Ship Inn, Southwick Street, Southwick
A short stumble from Southwick train station, the Ship is an unspoilt
local boozer with good beer and a food menu.
Selden Arms, Lyndhurst Road
Next door to Worthing Hospital, the Selden is a splendid local that
takes its beer seriously. There's usually a few local ales on the pumps,
including something from Dark Star, and a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
in Worthing, West Buildings
last year in a disused shop close to the seafront, Anchored (geddit) is
one of the new wave of micropubs. Drinks choice is limited to three cask
beers, a cider and a couple of Sussex-made wines. Closing time is 8pm
Monday to Saturday and 3pm on Sunday, but while it's open the atmosphere
is extraordinarily convivial, helped along by Nigel, your whiskered
host, who'll serve you at your table, there not being any bar.
The Fountain, Southgate
Reliable watering hole just up from the station.
Hall & Woodhouse ales. Live music.
Bull Inn, Market Road
Evening Standard journo and butcher Bill 'Mister Sausage' O'Hagan has
taken over the Bull and installed a constantly-rotating half-dozen
locally-brewed cask beers - as well as an all-day sausage menu featuring
a range of flavours. There's also a sausage counter where you can buy
them for home consumption. Pool room out back.
Eastgate, the Hornet
Friendly local just outside the town centre.
Park Tavern, Priory Road
Former Gales house, Now Fullerís.