I needed one more night to finish off West Sussex’s GBG entries for the first time. Not sure why it’s taken quite so long to crack the half-county (why is it split ?), probably a lack of gig venues and football grounds compared to East Sussex and Hampshire.
What a great half-county it is though, with some of the best walking (and well-spaced out pubs) anywhere. An appreciation of Bognor’s charms is helpful, and I’m your man for that.
Chichester hasn’t really stood out, and on my most recent trip (free Sunday in the Premier Inn) it seemed dead on Sunday evening. Arriving earlier this time, it was buzzing, even if most of the custom was in the dull higher-end chain places with names like Cote, Brasserie, Caffe and La Fish. Rather like Cambridge’s Bridge Street then.
The approach down East Street took in the more interesting architecture, particularly around St Pancras, all leading to the same point though.
It reminds me of Greene King’s take on craft in Cambridge, mixed with Carluccios styling. With all-day family dining, it wasn’t very pubby, but was cheery and bright. If the beer had been any good I’d have taken to it. Unfortunately the strong Franklins house beer was the sort of dull ale (NBSS 2.5) that sends folk to Punk, Peroni or Prosecco.
You can see the “craft” cans in the fridge; Beavertown and Brewdog is the sort of “offer” you get in the most basic Greene King pub nowadays.
Much, much better was to come a stiff walk away in East Ashling (3 miles Simon, use your Uber friend). The Horse & Groom is the least foody place I’ve been to in Sunday lunch land, despite the 6pm closing time which normally signifies “open until the last roast beef eaten“.
There’s a touch of Newton’s Queen’s Head about it, with the sort of up-market boozing you rarely see but enjoy when you see it. The banter would have made Simon blush, and I urge him to skip “C” to “R” in the alphabet and start ticking Sussex next. If nothing ese, they have cheese and onions on the bar, and he loves a freebie.
“You live in a fantasy world Michael “, said his mates as Michael outlined his adventures with mail order brides. Note the Michael, not Mick. This is proper Sussex.
But I forgot, we go to pubs to drink craft beer, not to get marriage advice from neighbours. So, the Dark Star was superb; cool, frothy and tasty, and served in it’s own glass for £1.50 a half (NBSS 3).
And yes, they were all sitting in proper bench seats around solid tables, just like you’re supposed to in pubs. That’s not always the case of course;
QUIZ TIME – What’s wrong here ? (multiple answers). For an extra point, name the “pub”.