An Evening Out In Brighton
Published: Jul 16th, 2009 |
Most of my beer drinking takes place in London after work or occasionally in Woking where I live. But just now and again it’s worth getting away somewhere different for an evening.
With a slightly earler departure from work and a bit of time invested on a train you can be in many interesting places. Using the discount available with an annual gold card is useful too.
Late last week it was Brighton’s turn and I’d like to share with you my mini pub crawl of 3 real ale pubs in the seaside city. The crawl doesn’t take you far from the station, and in fact nowhere near the sea but the sound of the seagulls will reassure you that it’s over there somewhere.
So, leave Brighton station by the front entrance and head over to the right of the cab stand and turn left down the hill that emerges blinking from under the station frontage. This is the top of Trafalgar Street. As you go down the hill look out for the first pub on the itinerary – The Lord Nelson at 36 Trafalgar Street.
The Lord Nelson
The Lord Nelson is a traditional Harvey’s pub. It looks tiny from the outside but is actually bigger inside. The Gallery Room out the back features local art and becomes a family room at weekends.
The pub carries most of the Harvey’s range and the beers are kept very well.
Food is not available in the evenings so if you want something to eat it’s best to wait to the next pub – the Basketmakers Arms.
So when you’re ready to move on, carry on down Trafalgar Street and then take one of the roads on the right – Sydney Street is a good one for North Laine shops and then turn left onto Gloucester Place. The Basketmakers is down the hill on the right hand side.
The Basketmakers Arms
The Basketmakers Arms (12 Gloucester Rd) is a Fuller’s pub these days, but was formerly one of Brighton’s Gale’s pubs. This pub is consistently busy but that is due to it being one of the finest pubs in Brighton. It’s a friendly, lively place.
As well as the standard Fuller’s London beer selection, The Basketmakers offer one or two Gales beers and there is usually a guest beer of some sort. The Gales HSB is always excellent, and when available the Gales Festival Mild hits the spot too.
I always eat at the Basketmakers Arms when on pub visits to Brighton as the food is superb. Choose from a varied and reasonably priced menu.
As well as beer and food, the pub is worth a visit just for the collection of old photographs, signs and other memorabilia.
But come on now, it’s time to move on to the 3rd and final pub. So head straight back up Gloucester Road – right to the top, carefully cross over into the middle of the small one way system and turn right into Surrey Street and there you’ll find The Evening Star.
The Evening Star
The tiny Evening Star (55 Surrey St) is run by the Dark Star Brewery so you’ll not be surprised to hear that several beers from their range are available including Hophead permanently, as well as guests from other micros, real ciders, and a good selection of belgian bottled beers.
Now you’ll understand why there are only three pubs on this crawl and that this is the last one. Don’t forget to actually get your train home – fortunately the station is not too far away.
The pub is full of friendly people who love good beer – whether that’s what you’re looking for is up to you. For me the Evening Star is a must for any trip to Brighton.
That is the regular pattern of my evening trips to Brighton, but if you’re feeling adventurous and looking for an alternative then try the Shakespeare’s Head.
The Shakespeare’s Head
Situated about 10 mins walk north-west of the station The Shakespeare’s Head (1 Chatham Place) is Brighton’s Hall & Woodhouse pub.
It’s location means it’s away from the central circuit but it’s still worth a trip – don’t be put off by the dingy exterior. If you like Badger beers then 2 or 3 are available on draught and they carry many of the bottled range too. The Badger Best I had tasted very good.
Another significant reason to visit the Shakespeare’s Head is the famous selection of sausages. First choose your sausages then choose your mash (yes, more than one type) and then choose your gravy. End result is a plate full of heaven.
Next week, Winchester.
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