Saturday, 21 May 2011

The Good Pub Guide - Part 3

So, now to continue the great booze fuelled nostalgia trip where I recount my memories of each pub and bar that I have visited in Brighton and Hove in my adult life to date. So far I have taken in the Queens Park and Hanover areas which are rich in said establishments, I have paid a visit to North Laine, Seven Dials and the area surrounding Brighton Station, each being areas providing bountiful refuelling options. And I have also returned to old haunts along Lewes Road. Now in this third part of the story, I am going to head to one of Brighton's most popular drinking areas, The Lanes. This is an area which is choc full of some of Brighton's most renowned and iconic pubs, and indeed some of its oldest.

When I say The Lanes, I should qualify exactly what area I am covering. The major thoroughfare of North Street effectively marks the boundary between the areas the local press would call North Laine and The South Lanes (no-one in Brighton actually uses the word 'South' to describe this area). So, I am including in this instalment any pubs I have visited that are found on North Street or into the Lanes and am also including any pubs found on East Street, going through The Lanes and then up to and including Ship Street. I am not at this stage including pubs found in Middle Street and the Metropolis they call West Street. These will feature in the instalment of this journey that covers the Clock Tower and Western Road pubs, as West Street is, after all, immediately south of the aforementioned Brighton landmark. For the purposes of housekeeping, I will also include pubs and bars located on the South Lanes side of the Royal Pavilion.

There are quite a number of pubs in this area and I have visited the vast majority of them, so it may transpire that an entire blog is required to cover all of them. However, if I have time, I will move on to talk about the pubs situated in and around London Road and the St Peter's Church area. These will include any pubs I have visited that are situated on London Road and its satellite streets, extending as far as London Road station as the northern boundary, while also including pubs found around St Peter's Church. The natural boundaries here will be The Level as the most northerly and Grand Parade/The Royal Pavilion as the furthest south.

Now that we are hopefully clear on the housekeeping, let's get down to business. Is anyone going to the bar?


74. The Sussex
It is always useful to have a pub in immediate proximity to a taxi rank at the end of a productive evening in the refuelling stakes, and The Sussex's location certainly provides that option. A word of warning though, the English disease of queuing is always in evidence at this rank on a Saturday night. Back to the subject in hand though, and The Sussex is one of a cluster of largely unspoilt, classic Brightonian pubs found in that area. A small selection of ales are on offer, along with the usual branded lager monsters. Furniture wise, The Sussex offers a mixture of standard bar-stool fare, as well as the odd comfortable, if slightly tatty, sofa. There is also outdoor seating at the front of the pub which gives The Sussex more of a continental European ambience, especially as there is a chance to mingle with passers-by and customers at nearby restaurants. The Sussex has changed very little in the whole time I have visited it and although it does have a slightly disshevelled feel to the place, it does retain a certain charm which overrides this. It's not really a pub where you would plan to spend an entire evening, but given the selection of establishments in such a small area, many people would not be looking to settle in one place for the duration anyway. Perfectly adequate, if unspectacular. Rating 7/10

75. Pump House
Just a couple of kicks of a plastic glass up the alleyway from The Sussex is one of Brighton's oldest and most beautiful pubs, The Pump House. Like The Sussex and also its near neighbour The Druids Head (more of which shortly), the Pump is a place has changed very little in its appearance in the entire decade and a half in which I have attended it. This is despite some significant renovation work needing to take place to the front of the pub around four years ago after fights between rival football supporters resulted in several thousand pounds worth of damage, resulting in the pub's closure for a few months. Fortunately, the pub eventually re-opened and was restored to its former glory. The pub is compartmentalised into four main seated areas, all of which tend to be at full capacity on most Saturday nights of the year. Its clientele is mixed, ranging from 20-somethings heading in for a quick pint or two before going to a club, up to older couples and family gatherings. There are some comfortable sofas and snugs in the back room of the pub, while the seated area around the fireplace located at the front of the bar is a popular vantage point on a cold winter's night. The Pump House is a classic pub in Brighton because it does the simple things well and you will find very few born and bred Brightonians who have not visited it at some point. My only criticisms of the pub are that it could possibly have a more diverse range of drinks on tap and, even on a Saturday night, it closes relatively early (midnight at weekends) compared to some inferior establishments. These minor quibbles aside, a couple of drinks at the Pump House are essential if you find yourself in the area. Rating 9/10

76. The Druids Head
Two doors up from the Pump is another one of Brighton's oldest and most renowned pubs. The Druids was reputedly haunted according to someone I know who went on a ghost walk. I'm not sure about that, but it was famed for having a potman that worked there for over 30 years and who continued helping out well into his 80s. Although it is located so close to the Pump House, the Druids Head has a very different vibe to it. If you look upon the Pump as The Beatles, the Druids acts as the Rolling Stones of the piece. It is very much the Pump's rebellious brother and it attracts a curious mixture of eccentrics among its clientele. It possibly isn't the best location for a basketball team to spend a night out though, owing to its low ceilings, meaning that even a shorty like myself has to duck when walking through from the bar. If you like contrasts, the Druids is worth a visit after you have been to the Pump. Its drinks are on the pricey side, although that is becoming increasingly commonplace in Brighton and beyond. The Druids lacks the comfort that the Pump House provides, but it compensates for this in character. Rating 7/10

77. The Fishbowl
Those that have been absent from Brighton for a number of years will claim not to have heard of The Fishbowl. That is probably true, but they will remember the place by another name. On the corner of East Street and Pool Valley, the pub was called The Greyhound from its birth at the beginning of the seventeenth century right up until the 1990s when the pub refurbished and rebranded in order to attract a younger clientele. It is difficult to determine whether the present name was chosen because of the compact nature of the pub, which can be a tight squeeze on a busy night, or whether it is a reference to the pub's origins when it was frequented by fishermen. The Fishbowl is something of a Marmite phenomenon among Brightonian drinkers as it polarises opinion between those that like it as a vibrant venue that is open late, and those that feel it lacks the soul of its predecessor. Not being old enough to have drunk in the place when it was The Greyhound, it can only assess it as I find it now and on that basis, I think The Fishbowl is a decent boozer. Sure, it is a bit of a pig in lipstick, but it is far from the only establishment like that in Brighton. East Street has become a more mainstream area as a whole in recent years, but The Fishbowl is still accessible for people of all ages and backgrounds. Don't get there often these days, but it is a perfectly acceptable place to stop off for one on a night out. Rating 7/10

78. The Varsity (previously The Prodigal)
As East Street has become more mainstream, so its venues have tended to get swallowed up by chain pubs. In its guise as The Prodigal, the pub was owned by the same chain that runs the eyesore airport departure lounge that they call The Providence in Hove. The same soulless features that plague The Providence were equally evident at its Brighton sister bar. It was a popular venue though, owing to its proximity to the nightclub scene and also its drinks discounts during the week. New owners took over the place around 2-3 years ago and it is now under the Varsity umbrella of bars. The last time I visited, from memory, was on a weeknight a couple of years ago and it was noticeably deserted. That said, it is unlikely to be short of punters on a Saturday night when East Street is full of people traffic. Drinkers who flock to where the crowds are and where the 'action' is might like this venue at weekends, but it is of considerably limited appeal for everyone else. Rating 4/10

79. The Toad In The Picturehouse
So named due to it being situated on the site of the former ABC Cinema in East Street (although that doesn't explain 'The Toad' reference!), this venue first opened as a bar just over a decade ago under the aforementioned name. I only recall visiting on a couple of occasions and the second time was towards the end of a very heavy night. That pretty much summed up The Toad really, you would need to be in a fairly intoxicated state to consider going there! Not too long after my second visit, the bar made headlines locally for the wrong reasons due to a serious criminal incident that occurred on the premises. This effectively marked the end of the road for The Toad (I'm a poet and I didn't know it) and the venue was closed and boarded up for a couple of years at least, before last year a local leisure entrepreneur added the bar to their portfolio of going concerns, also adding a restaurant. Although no longer The Toad, it still appears to tap into the mainstream audience of its predecessor, even if it looks grandiose from the outside. Although it wasn't a frog, it certainly wasn't a prince either. Rating 3/10

80. Lola Lo (formerly Po Na Nas)
I think I have the name right, although the bar I am thinking of has had quite a number of name changes over the years. Located towards the bottom of East Street, the bar is something of a pre-club venue for revellers and a club alternative for those once hardened drinkers now beginning to reach for the Werthers Original. Not an easy place to hold a conversation, but I don't think this is a venue you would attend to put the world to rights. Those that like to go somewhere that plays some pumping dance tunes, interspersed with some mainstream pop might find some appeal here, but that said, when I last visited a few months ago, I thought the acoustics were terrible. This is a venue for 20-somethings rather than old flatulents though. Rating 4/10

81. The Pitcher & Piano
The name itself should be a giveaway. Everything in the name suggests pretention and visions of grandeur and guess what, that is exactly what the Pitcher & Piano is. A soulless, up-its-seated position trendy wine bar which sells all the usual periodic table on tap but at luxury prices. The venue does have DJs and a suitable area in which to have a dance, but there shouldn't be any danger of dancefloor collisions as it is rare to see the place packed out. Somewhere for the more discerning chav, if that is not an oxymoron. Rating 3/10

82. Doctor Brightons
Every now again it is good to be able to say that you have been proved wrong about somewhere, after having formed unfair perceptions based on what other people have said. One such occasion would be when I visited Doctor Brightons on a night out the year before last. Not exactly located ideally for where I normally venture on a night out, the group of friends I was with ended up stopping off for a couple of drinks here that evening. Famed as having one of the most prominent gay clienteles in Brighton, it was noticeable how people of disparate ages, gender and sexual orientation were all able to mix in sweet harmony on my one and only visit to date. I can think of other venues where the customers are drawn from a particular group or demographic where an 'us and them' culture can poison the atmosphere, but to Dr Brighton's testament, this did not seem to be the case there. There is some comfortable seating at the front of the bar and a pool table at the back, which proved popular. On the basis that others may also have formed an ill informed perception of Dr Brightons without having visited it, I think it is fair to regard it as one of Brighton's underrated establishments. Rating 7/10

83. The Pavilion Tavern
There was a phase during my twenties when the Pavilion Tavern, or 'Pav Tav' which it is inevitably abbreviated to, became the regular meeting place of choice for a Friday or Saturday night out on the town. Looking back, I am at a loss to think of why such loyalty was shown to such a dingy, uninspiring establishment. Located almost opposite the grounds to the Royal Pavilion and a few doors down from the junction with East Street, the Pav Tav has always been a favourite pre-club venue for the mainstream socialiser. During the day, when the pub is much quieter, it has tended to be a popular location for older people, especially visitors to Brighton where the pub's location is conducive to attracting this type of trade. Once the sun sets though, the Pav Tav becomes a no-go zone for the over-30s. Towards the back of the pub, there were two pool tables to be found. Unfortunately, these only seemed to be in service every so often, probably due to some of the less tolerant players taking their ineptitude at the table out on the equipment. The Pav Tav serves as a gateway en route to the clubs, but I always found it a rundown and somewhat unloved venue that attracted a few bad eggs. There was (and presume still is) a club upstairs that played a mix of old and new indie tunes and which became a popular haunt with clientele that previously attended 'The Gloucester' nightclub. Club nights there were generally decent fare at more affordable prices than the West Street joints. This is not a review of nightclubs, however, and as such I would advise giving the Pav Tav the swerve. Rating 4/10

84. Haha Bar
In the pedestrianised approach to the grounds of the Pavilion is a trendy brasserie, with a large analogue clock on the front of the building. Until recently this establishment went by the name of the Haha Bar, part of a national chain, but the last time I was in the area, I noted there had been a change of name. In a part of town where dining options are in plentiful supply, Haha Bar was essentially a restaurant within a bar. Its cuisine had slight leanings towards Americana, with the usual burger options, but also had included other world cuisines within its menu options. From recollection, the food on my few visits there was perfectly decent without quite reaching cordon bleu level. By now, you may have detected that Haha's gastronomic qualities were pretty much its unique selling point. And that is a pretty neat synopsis. Haha was a place where you could eat and drink in simultaneous motions before heading on to somewhere nearer the hub of the action. I expect that tradition remains true under its new identity. Rating 6/10

85. Casa (otherwise known as Saggara)
After spending some time as a derelict building, the site of a former bank on the corner of Bond Street and North Street was converted into a trendy bar aimed at the affluent, professional working drinker around about the turn of the millennium. Ever since, this site has continued to cater for the refuelling needs of this demographic without quite hitting the spot, despite several attempts and several name changes. I recall two visits to this site, quite a few years apart, and found the venue to have some comfortable upholstery, but a less comforting atmosphere. On my latter visit, the venue had more of a focus on being a sports bar, with a few televisions adorning the walls. Subsequently, the venue closed before re-opening towards the end of last year as a JD Wetherspoons pub, which will probably mean a departure from the sports bar phase but more of a focus on discounted drinks, which is likely to mean more of a student clientele. The building itself is impressive, but it is just a shame it has not been utilised correctly since it started being used by the leisure industry. Rating 4/10

86. Hot Shots
There will be Brightonian people of a certain age (by that I mean people in their early 30s) who will recall this long forgotten bar on North Street, just down from the Clock Tower. Back in the bleak midwinter of 1996, or possibly the beginning of 1997, a brand new bar opened in the centre of town which would cater for the late teens and early 20s group looking for a place where they could watch the big match on a large screen, while also having opportunity to participate in other activities. My memory might be playing tricks, but I think there was a ten pin bowling area at the venue. Then upstairs, was Jumpin' Jaks, a revolutionary venue back in the mid-1990s in as much as it was Brighton's premier line dancing hotspot. In hindsight, quite how this mish-mash of a business model could ever have been expected to be a success is a mystery and sure enough, Hot Shots' tenure was as brief as it was interesting, gone as it was within a year. The building which once housed this innovative project is now home to Sports Soccer. Memories of the night I went to Hot Shots are more about the company I kept, including someone who is no longer with us, than it is of the place itself. Rating 6/10

87. The Font
It is not often that you can honestly say that you have spent the evening having drinks in a Grade 2 listed building, but such a boast is possible every time you visit The Font, which originally carried the obligatory and in this case alliterative suffix that came with being a Firkin chain pub. As the name suggests, The Font is located on the site of a former church. Not just any church though, it is on the site of the former Union Chapel and has been used for drinking purposes for the past two decades, although it was awarded listed status 40 years ago. While the exterior makes it quite obvious what the building's former raison d'etre was, the layout and presentation inside more resembles that of a theatre, with curtains adorning the tops of the staircases on entry to the first floor and a long balcony which bears some similarity to an auditorium. Since its beginning, The Font has primarily targeted the mass market and is always one of the first bars in Brighton that people will associate with live football. There was a time when its television sets outnumbered its bar staff, although the balance has been redressed in recent years. Some of the best matches I have watched in terms of atmosphere have been at The Font, the best of which was the Euro 2000 final between France and Italy which was electric and was devoid of the unnecessary aggro and poison that often seems to punctuate watching an England match in the pub. My last visit was to watch the World Cup final last year, which again was a lively occasion with plenty of Spanish supporters in the house. Strangely, the tapas bar across the way stayed open quite late that night! Other than live sports, The Font is also renowned as a live music venue and there is usually some act or another performing live in what would have been the pulpit in the building's previous life, although the acts are invariably singers or bands covering songs used on Guitar Hero rather than performing their own material. Overall, The Font tries a bit too hard to be a bar for all seasons and tastes and given its populist appeal, it can a nightmare getting served on weekend nights. There are fewer watering holes in Brighton, however, that are more aesthetically pleasing. Rating 6/10

88. The Bath Arms
Opposite The Font and next door to Casa Don Carlos' tapas restaurant is The Bath Arms and here is an establishment that is the polar opposite to The Font in far more than just their respective locations. If The Font is largely catering for a younger audience and is serving as a pre-club venue for many of its typical weekend visitors, then The Bath Arms is a far more traditional, old-fashioned English boozer which is patronised by, well, traditional, old-fashioned English boozers. Most of this pub's seating arrangements cater for large groups and that makes it an ideal venue for after work drinks, especially as it does have an extensive food menu. It also has a piano in one corner of the pub, although I have never seen anyone tinkle its ivories, nor do I believe this to be encouraged. It makes for an odd choice of prop though. An unspoilt pub, I can recall seeing a customer once retrieving something he had put on the shelf on his previous visit a year earlier without anyone having noticed it or removed it in the intervening period. The Bath Arms has a good, friendly vibe and for those that like their pubs to be clean, unpretentious and welcoming, at the expense of being at the heart of the action, then The Bath Arms is likely to be to your poison of choice. It is about time I made a return visit after having avoided the place for a while after finding myself having a pointless argument with a doorman over a completely trivial misunderstanding. This is no reflection on the pub itself. Rating 8/10

89. The Lanes End (subsequently Leo's Lounge)
Having made one reference to a flashpoint I had with a member of door staff, this brings me neatly to our next destination, where I had another one. I should emphasise at this point that I am a peace loving guy at the heart of all this! I first visited this bar when it was called The Lanes End back in the winter of 2000 for a private party for someone's birthday on my university course. The party itself was enjoyable, although the venue was less so, and I seem to recall there was something of an alcohol shortage that evening. That was the only night that I actually provided any custom at these premises, but fast forward to a couple of years later and I recall having a disagreement with a doorman who wouldn't let me follow my friend in due to my 'bad attitude'. Quite how such an assessment was made when I had not said a word rankled with me and so I stood my ground, but it was all futile and pointless, especially as my friend had only gone in to have a look round and we had no intention of staying for a drink. Although I have passed this place hundreds of times since, I have not returned for a drink and am not in any hurry to buck that trend. Rating 2/10

90. Beiderbecks
Compiling this list was generally a straightforward exercise, but I had to consult my grey matter about certain establishments that I might have visited once on particularly long and arduous evenings for one drink and about which I remember little. Upon tapping into my recall more intensely, I built up a picture of a small bar in the middle of The Lanes that I could vaguely recollect was the last calling point before everyone dispersed in a drunken haze on a Christmas Eve night out late in the 1990s, back when people still bothered to go out on the night before Christmas. The only thing was trying to remember its name. After consulting the memory bank still further, I remembered it was called Beiderbecks. Alas, Beiderbecks is no more these days, although it appears to be home to a restaurant in its place. Other than these bald details, I cannot remember anything about my one and only visit there. Rating 5/10

91. The Cricketers
Some of Brighton's oldest and most popular city centre pubs have already been mentioned, but let's get on to one of the really big hitters. It is a point of conjecture, but it is widely believed that The Cricketers is Brighton's oldest public house of the lot, dating back to the sixteenth century. It is certainly one of its most universally popular and appears to hold an appeal with drinkers of all ages. As the name suggests, it pays homage to those white flannelled fools, although not to the degree that The Sussex Cricketer in Hove does which is decorated in cricketing pictures and memorabilia. That can be explained by its location next to Hove cricket ground though. The Cricketers is large by conventional pub standards and it has an upstairs seating area and a bar is sometimes available on that floor too. There is also a Function Room which tends to have a private party taking place in it more weekends than not. Many a wedding reception has been held here. There is also a small insulated beer garden at the rear of the pub, which is invariably at full capacity. From memory, I think The Cricketers is a Greene King pub these days and so the choice of ales tends to favour these brewing giants, which will be off-putting to those that regard them as the Devil Incarnate. Still, there is a lot right with The Cricketers that makes the place worth a visit and it is rooted in history. Reputedly Graham Greene's watering hole of favour, The Cricketers is indeed a Brighton Rock. Rating 7/10

92. The Black Lion
Not to be confused with The Black Lion in Patcham, which will feature in a later instalment of this series, The Black Lion is next door to The Cricketers on Black Lion Street, separated only by a footpath that serves as a shortcut for revellers trying to find their way to the nightclubs. Located just up the road from Jamie Oliver's Brighton restaurant, The Black Lion has generally been positioned as a more youthful oriented establishment than The Cricketers, but has never quite struck gold. That isn't to say that it is unpopular and its location means that it generally attracts plenty of passing trade. My point is that The Black Lion does not quite seem to know exactly what it wants to be as a pub and so it ends up not really satisfying anyone. The decor is warm and cosy and the place is quite clean, compared to some licenced premises in the city. Unlike The Cricketers though, it is really difficult to hold a conversation in when the pub is busy. The acoustics leave a lot to be desired, added to which there is often a DJ playing that is a prohibitive barrier to conversation. Compared to when I first attended The Black Lion, the pub is more welcoming now than it was back then and it has rooted out the trouble element. It just needs to rid itself of its identity crisis and decide whether it wants to be a traditional pub or a trendy bar in order to keep up with The Cricketers. Rating 6/10

93. The Mesmerist (previously Old Orleans)
If Derek Trotter ever found occasion to spend a night out in Brighton, the chances are he would have popped down to Old Orleans, arguably Brighton's most well known and popular cocktail bar. Unlike a lot of cocktail joints, however, regular alcoholic drinks have always been available on tap and by the bottle there too, which often leads to a curious mix of waifs, strays and eccentrics hanging out in what you suspect had originally been intended as a high class joint. While the downstairs has always been a glorious cocktail of hedonistic pleasure seekers dancing the night away and knocking back Tom Collins' like there's no tomorrow, the upstairs was home to a restaurant of predominantly Americana influences. While these were not the most nutritious meals you could sample, I found the portions generous and the service exemplary. After a hiatus of about five years, I recently returned with a friend on a night out over Easter to discover Old Orleans was no more, and now goes by the name of 'The Mesmerist'. The general vibe and layout of the joint remains the same and there are plenty of drinking options to keep the non-cocktail drinker interested. It now has more of a retro, jazz feel to the place, something like I assume a 1920s American 'Speak-easy' would have felt like. It is now a venue for regular live music, especially supporting local jazz and brass influenced musicians. It still remains an acquired taste, but it would appear to be the kind of establishment you can visit for a quick drink or two once in a blue moon, just to try something different. Rating 6/10

94. The Smugglers
For keen pool players, there is one pub in Brighton which stands out as the place to go to shoot a few games. Situated towards the bottom of Ship Street, The Smugglers is home to seven pool tables, as well as a bar billiards table and a table football surface. There are also fruit and gaming machines to be found adjacent to the bar. The Smugglers is very much a brash, noisy, flashing lights kind of bar on a Friday or Saturday night, with television screens and a resident DJ on the decks only adding to that 'playing to the mainstream' feel. Curiously, if you were to visit the place at any other time of the week, it resembles an unloved white elephant. As someone who does enjoy playing pool, I am a semi-regular visitor to the pub and for the most part, it serves this purpose well, although waiting for a game on a Saturday when the place is particularly busy can be a drawn out process, as there is no exact 'winner only stays on' rule in force here, added to which one of the tables at least will be out of service on any given week. After a spate of thefts, IDs need to be provided in order to be given a cue ball from behind the bar, which seems to be a heavy handed approach to addressing the issue. Take the pool tables out of the equation though and there is not much else to recommend about The Smugglers. Given the extortionate price of drinks, your pool session is unlikely to be a long one. It's a one trick pony and even then the one trick is only performed adequately, but due to the chance of getting a game because of the number of tables, it still gets repeat business. Rating 5/10

95. Seven Stars (formerly O'Neills)
If you hang around Brighton for long enough, theme pubs that changed their identity will eventually revert back to their original name. And so it has proved with Seven Stars, the original name for the long standing pub in a listed building at the upper end of Ship Street, opposite the entrance to The Lanes. For some years, the pub was an O'Neills chain pub and was the usual chain pub standard identikit fare that you come to expect. There was nothing inherently bad about this and some live music sets on a Friday night would get people actively taking to the dancefloor, but chain pubs rarely stir the soul or hold the level of atmosphere of more conventional pubs. What did give O'Neills a competitive advantage back in the day was that, before the licensing laws changed, it was one of the few bars in Brighton that held a late licence. This is something that is difficult to comprehend now, but back in the early part of the last decade, O'Neills did benefit in terms of custom because of this, especially at weekends. It is a few years now since the Seven Stars restoration occurred and I have only been back a handful of times since. The venue seems to remain a live music haunt and has positioned itself as a gastropub with a growing reputation. My only observation is that it still seems to be finding it difficult to pull in the punters at weekends, just as O'Neills failed to in its latter days. A perception possibly still lingers on that the venue is a soulless and sleepy, middle of the road establishment with overpriced drinks, such is the legacy left by O'Neills. Rating 5/10

96. The Sussex Arts Club Bar
I was not sure whether I should include this venue in the tally or not, seeing as how this is a definitive list of pubs and bars I have visited, and does not include nightclubs. These edges are blurred still further by my only visit to this venue being last thing at night, or more likely, first thing in the morning. The circumstances of my one visit were that I was on a works do numerous years ago. A conservative estimate says ten sounds about right. Anyway, our posse was trying to ponder where they could get in late at night and it so happened that one of our number was a member of the Sussex Arts Club Bar and as he had a pass with him, he could let the rest of us in free of charge. I remember the club bar being quite a small area, but the service was friendly and everyone seemed to have a good time. And a decade or so later, I have not set foot in the place since. Rating 6/10

97. Mitre Tavern
98. Druids Arms
99. Northern Tavern
100. Leek & Winkle
101. Bat & Ball
102. St Peters Bar
103. Hobgoblin
104. Branch Tavern
105. The World's End
106. Hare & Hounds
107. Stanford Arms
108. Cobblers Thumb
109. Open House
110. Pressure Point
111. Hectors House
112. King & Queen
113. The Harlequin

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