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Lewes Boozers

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On 19 Jan 2016 at 8:30am Dixie Normus wrote:
As there appears to be more political bull**** on here than Lewes specific conversations. I am going to list my favourite pub in Lewes and IMO the worst pub in Lewes. Feel free to join in....
Best - The Lansdown
Worst - The Elephant & Castle
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 8:42am Outintheestates wrote:
Best by a mile : tally Ho
Worst by a mile : volunteer
Best food : snowdrop
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 9:15am MrPointment wrote:
Just shows you how opinions differ - The Lansdown is a fine pub but the Elephant & Castle is the best IMO. Volunteer is the worst.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 9:30am Jeff wrote:
Best: The Swan
Worst: The Volunteer (JHT a close second)
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 9:35am Greaser wrote:
Best - Prince of Wales
Worst - Fruiterers
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 9:45am Ben wrote:
All the pubs are good. You guys don't know how lucky you are.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 10:15am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Best: Swan
I'm loth to name the worst, but suffice to say I've only been in the Volly once in the 25 years I've been here.
The Elly does seem to divide people. I like it, but we only go there if we know there's no big matches on. They do excellent food and the 2 meals for 12 is a great deal.
And I bet there's no other landlord who'd agree to put MotoGP on just for us. Huw would be my nomination for best landlord!
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 10:15am huw wrote:
Well, DN, for some reason you've always made it clear that you don't like us. I won't lose any sleep over it as everyone's entitled to their opinion but for some reason it looks like we've over taken the Brewers in your special list of pet hates.
Over 20K raised for St Peter and St James in 5 years (over 1000 donated from our own money), supporting of local groups (TTiP, Bridgeview Juniors Football club, NUT, GP group, CSBS, WBS and more), regular donator to charities, biggest selection of craft beers, lovely, reasonably priced food. Obviously we're the lowest of the low.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 10:59am Dixie Normus wrote:
@Hew, it isn't an attack at you personally. I think it's great that you have done so much for charity. However, I just don't like the atmosphere in the pub myself, that is my opinion. I used to really enjoy it in the Elly and may have to pop in for an Elly burger, but the atmosphere doesn't feel the same. Sorry it is my least favourite boozer in town.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 11:06am Disco wrote:
Best: the Dorset
Worst: king Henry
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 11:51am Slarty wrote:
I agree with Ben. So many good pubs to chose from, it depends what mood I'm in or what I want to do. And that is the beauty - there is a pub for every occasion in Lewes. Some have good food, some good music, some good beers, some are quiet and a good place for a chat, some show sports, some have beer gardens and some might be right next door to the restaurant I'm going to that night. I don't think that there is one that does all of it, and why should they?
I don't think that there is one pub that I would avoid in Lewes in general, depending on what's on there at that time I suppose.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 1:08pm Huw for PM wrote:
Don't let a single ignorant hater get you down, Huw. You and Alec Swinburn are my two favourite landlords in the whole solar system (apart from Pluto, no pubs there). You are generous and kind and serve wonderful food and beer. It's a great pub, don't change a thing!
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 1:44pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
One change I'd like to see in the Elly is for them to go back to having live music now and again.
I've had some cracking times in there when there's been a good band on.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 1:56pm huw wrote:
Thanks for the support (and for the considered response from DN; constructive criticism/comments are perfectly reasonable and, as I said, everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'd be happy to have you coming back again to give us another try).
The point that seems to be being made is that we are blessed with a plethora of pubs and you can pick and choose one to suit your needs or mood. I like the Lamb (and Alec) but wouldn't go there on a music night because I'm a grumpy old git who has never really done music in public. I like to pop into the Lansdown of an afternoon but would avoid at the weekend due to the crowds. I don't really get to go out and about that much nowadays but can always find somewhere to suit my mood (although if I fancy a bit of anonymity I tend to make the trek to Brighton).
Sorry Annette, we used to do a lot of bands many years ago but change of clientele about 12-15 years ago and in consideration of the neighbours meant we stopped. The Lamb, Con Club, Volly & Snowdrop have this side of things wrapped up and I see no need to try to compete with them.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 2:12pm Kettle wrote:
The Pelham has gone badly off. When it's open to the public, that is. Last summer there seemed to be a wedding on every weekend.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 2:26pm Ducatipete wrote:
Lewes is blessed with fine pubs and landlords. Don't knock it!!
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 2:39pm Brighton Publican wrote:
Agree with the OPs - Lewes has an enviable selection of pubs and I enjoy visiting almost all of them. Snowdrop, Gardeners, The Swan and The Pelham stand out as the best IMHO.
The JHT seems to have lost its sparkle over the last couple of years and needs to look at the service and offer, especially since their refurbishment.
I don't enjoy the Brewers as it tends to have a certain clique that verges on intimidating but can see why regulars may love it.
What is the real disgrace is the neglect of The Volunteer, The Crown and The Royal Oak - they smack of the pubco lease model that allows perfectly good public houses go to rack and ruin through poor maintenance, high rents and amateur tenants who lack the skills and knowledge to make a go of these businesses. Down with that sort of thing.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 3:21pm belladonna wrote:
my fave - the swan (when the kids have disappeared)
least fave - the volunteer
food - pelham arms/swan/lewes arms
bonfire - the elly !
music - the lamb
mid afternoon mooching - the landsdown
general bonhomie - lewes arms./ the elly
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 3:44pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Intriguing, there's not been a single mention, good or bad, for the King's Head, Rights of Man or the Black Horse.
I'm not a fan of the Rights of Man. To me it feels like it should near a station like East Croydon - somewhere for commuters to grab a quick pint on the way home, rather than to spend a few hours in.
The Black Horse is much improved since it changed hands and they do pretty good food. Although they don't serve Harveys (or didn't when I was last in there) they do a fair range of beers and keep them well.
The King's Head lost my custom when the food got overpriced and undersized, and they were incapable of serving a decent pint of Harveys. I think it's changed hands since then and I should maybe give it another try.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 3:53pm Pongy Whiff wrote:
Until the Kings head stops smelling of a public convenience it has no place selling beer or food
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 4:30pm Clifford wrote:
Never liked the Volunteer. Never felt comfortable in the Lansdown or the Lamb. Prefer the Snowdrop and Lewes Arms. But there's something for everyone in Lewes and we ought to appreciate how lucky we are.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 5:46pm Harold wrote:
No mention of The Gardener's either - a favourite for male middle-aged alcoholics and also lovers of real ale.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 6:43pm John Smith wrote:
The Swan: my glorious local. The food's good, the bar staff are great, the atmosphere is welcoming.

The Kings Head: has had its wings clipped by the advent of the Swan. The trouble is that it isn't quite a local and it isn't quite a restaurant.

The Ellie: always a treat to go to a meeting at the Ellie. Good nosh and friendly staff.

The Brewers: just looks really unwelcoming to me, but I know people who love it. The Royal Oak: same really. Nothing says "come on in".

In general we're amazingly lucky to have the range and quality that we do.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 7:46pm Local wrote:
I've been going to The Swan for many many years and it's certainly changed since John sadly left us.
At its best, it's almost the ideal pub for me. Nice layout, perfect low lighting, great staff and decent beer.
However....
Something which REALLY annoys me and a lot of other regulars is the fact that all the tables are bookable. I think the pub needs to decide if it's a pub that does food or a restaurant that does drinks, because it can't do both.
I have had to leave on numerous occasions in the past year because every table is oeither occupied with diners or booked. I just think it's really out of order for s pub to make every table bookable. If they can maybe make half the tables bookable it really would be the perfect pub.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 8:11pm Red wrote:
The Swan would be a perfect pub if it had more space and a pool table. I think it's becoming a victim of its own success but I guess in the end it's natural selection and it will become more and more food orientated as that will bring in more money.
No ones mentioned The Dorset either but I've always felt it was a little too straight laced for me
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 8:15pm nevillman wrote:
Very harsh and untrue comments on the volly, royal oak and probably crown. I am sure the landlords are doing their best and you should just accept that they are not pubs that meet your needs. I am afraid that it must be pretty much inevitable that over the next few years other pubs may go and others hugely change.The rights of man was designed to look like it was in east Croydon. It is a 'town' pub. From what I have seen there was a need for such a pub in Lewes and if I want a quite chat then it is great. Support your favourite pub. For me best pub is black horse. I don't expect to see you in there if you don't like. Please don't tell me about it on here though.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 8:18pm Sussex Jim wrote:
For the size of the town, Lewes is fortunate to have so many pubs- and almost all good ones.
The Brewers' is probably the best: a family-run traditional pub, wit quality food at very reasonable prices. There are cheaper pubs for drinkers, like the Elly at 3 for Camra members; or the Gardeners where Rooks' card holders can get a pie'n'pint for a fiver. Then there are the other old favourites of the Lewes Arms or the Snowdrop- sadly now the preserve of those on DFL salaries.
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On 19 Jan 2016 at 10:14pm Observer wrote:
Ah, something everyone can agree on - the quality of Lewes's pubs.
There are so many good ones to suit so many different needs. While I mostly frequent the Swan, the Lewes Arms and the Snowdrop I also like the Lansdown (when I want to feel old), the Brewers (when I want to feel young) and the Gardeners (when I want a quiet pint of an obscure ale). The Pelham does ok food and has a nice atmosphere, and while I can understand the charms of the Ellie it screams 'sports pub' to me, and that's just not my thing. Still, good ale and food though. The Kings Head, well, the beer garden has one of the best views in Lewes.
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On 20 Jan 2016 at 12:45am Ageing Savage wrote:
All the pubs in town have been gentrified since the DFL invasion
They used to be a playground of menace, mayhem, random violence, with a cast of various psychopathic rascals.
Who remembers Einkle, the German thug who lived in the Malling Street squats? Used to terrorise the Lamb until Len Harvey showed him what's what .
Great days
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On 20 Jan 2016 at 8:45am Gemma wrote:
Oh come on ageing savage, you can still find a scrap in the Volunteer or the crown if that's your thing! As previously discussed something for everyone, we are indeed blessed in our town.
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On 20 Jan 2016 at 10:40am Observer wrote:
"They used to be a playground of menace, mayhem, random violence, with a cast of various psychopathic rascals. "
Of course, pub violence (and violent crime generally) has declined massively over the last couple of decades. In my (quite working class) hometown in the darkest north the pubs used to be rough as f**k when I was a teenager, these days they are quite civilised.
But this is Lewes. So any change has to be blamed on "TEH DFLS"
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On 20 Jan 2016 at 11:10am John Smith wrote:
You're right, Observer. And it's a particularly interesting use of the DFL meme too, where their arrival has caused an end to violence and mayhem but is cast by the commentator as A Bad Thing.
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On 20 Jan 2016 at 11:29am Woody wrote:
The Lamb is the best pub in Lewes - if you travel back in time to the days of John Saunders being Landlord.
The only man who had any influence over the actions of the fore-mentioned psychos. And there were lots of them.
He also looked after Jimmy, the chap that collected scrap metal in a wheelbarrow. The one landlord that would serve him in Lewes.
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On 20 Jan 2016 at 12:03pm Horseman7 wrote:
I am a non-drinker who is perfectly happy to go in pubs.
When I lived in Landport the Tally-Ho, with Pete and Sheila as mine hosts, was excellent. I could even buy Sunday dinner on a tray, complete with proper crockery, to take home.
When I moved to Malling I liked the Prince of Wales in its own grumpy way but it promptly shut down.
I have big ups for the Elly and Huw's attitude on here. He's always helpful with information and happy to recommend his competitors when appropriate. He doesn't slag them off either.
During the evening these day I would happily go wherever my drinking companions are happy, e.g. somewhere that serves the right type of ale for their palate.
And in the daytime, for refreshment before the long trek back to Malling, the Dorset suits me well. It's on the way home, quiet, has a friendly cat and happily serves an excellent tray of tea.
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On 20 Jan 2016 at 1:38pm to Ageing Savage wrote:
I remember the squats but not the Germanic manic person - are you talking the 70's?
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On 20 Jan 2016 at 1:56pm Ageing Savage wrote:
Would have been late seventies to early eighties they were around. Einkle was a big farker, six feet plus you'd have certainly remembered him
The Lamb was quite tame by the time Jonny Saunders had it
Now, when John & Lena ran the place, those were the days.
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On 20 Jan 2016 at 1:58pm Ageing Savage wrote:
If you can remember when the Lamb had two pool tables, then you're getting close


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