At last a post about a place I haven’t been to for a few years.  I’d be lying to say my postbag is bursting with requests for photos of Horsham Shopping Centre, though weirdly there is a Horsham thread on the Beer & Pubs Forum, which tells you a lot about those weirdy beardies*


For the benefit of BRAPA,  who is due in Sussex in 2031, I should explain that Horsham is the Bedford of the county, dull and stolid but cocking a snoop at its larger scummy neighbour down the road with its roundabouts and noisy airport **.

My memory rests on some average Hall & Woodhouse pubs, an excellent Spoons, and a shopping centre Mansfield Woodhouse would turn down.


Perhaps I was wrong though, as a little digging (not literally) near the charming town museum reveals a lovely quarter to the south along the Causeway.


Horsham sponsored by AGA, of course
Not overpubbed

In contrast, the redeveloped medieval centre is a testament to 60s brutalism.


The Epsom-like central square is full of office workers, who as you’ll know by now all get their lunches from Pret A Manger in order to kill pubs. Even gorgeous ones.


That’s nice

So it was that I had the Anchor Tap all to myself.


It’s very pleasant, in a Café Rouge meets Fuggles sort of way.


The suits missed the chance to get blotto before a meeting on security upgrades on pints of 6.4% Abyss Deguello, a perfect lunchtime tipple.


I’d have had that, or the Magic Rock, but it would have denied me that crucial GBG tick.

Oh look, it’s me !

A cheerful barmaid woke from her stupor*** to serve me a half of Hophead and realise I wasn’t going to detain her with banter about beer, Brexit, or Belgium.


I wish I could tell you the beer was great, but it was as OK as I knew it would be (NBSS 3).  Hophead is often great, as good as Citra, but no-one tasting this unfinished half would have been convinced.

In Brighton’s Evening Star it has the advantage of customers who don’t need to go back to the office. Here it clearly doesn’t, at least on Wednesday lunchtime.

If I’d bought Mrs RM this instead of that cool, lightly carbonated keg she’d have hit me.  Simon has met her, he’ll confirm that.

A lot of beers for a tiny pub which doesn’t even boast inside urinals, let alone outside ones.

I cheered myself up with a falafel wrap.  From Pret A Manger.


*Sorry,getting confused with another Beer forum there.

**Luton/Crawley – do I have to explain EVERYTHING ?

*** Actually she was putting Sam Smith on the record player thingy which is the same thing


  1. Shall be in Anchor Tap this Saturday, ahead of a Loyal Supporters annual pre-season barbeque meet up, where we discuss the forthcoming inevitable disasters for our team. As the host’s kids have got older, and have increasing numbers of their friends in attendance, spend longer and longer there before arriving.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. As Anchor Tap wasn’t showing the France vs Argentina game (we’re a football free pub they uninvitingly said in midst of a World Cup) we went to King’s Arms instead… a potential pre-emptive GBG tick for those interested in such things. Many of the credentials for Modern CAMRA: a couple too many beers amongst a sea of diners and keg drinkers ;-).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t jump to the conclusion that Fullers have changed it, just that it’s now sold in more places where it’s not the best-seller and takes twice as long to empty a barrel as it used to. Same as London Pride, Wherry, Landlord etc.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Had first post-Fullers Hophead pint in Counting House (pub with a lot of throughput, and tends to keep its beer pretty well IMO) week before last. On that example, criticism is predictable auto ‘not the same as it was in my day’ . Didn’t perceive any difference at all – and was looking, given events.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. In the Harp on Sunday I didn’t have the Dark Star as Harveys was one of the other beers on.
        Later that day though I had a lovely pint of 8½% Fullers Vintage Ale in the Doric Arch.


  2. In Russ’ absence, I will point out that it’s cocking a snook, not a snoop.

    As you have included a photo of the Stout House, I will have to retell the following anecdote:

    In the early 80s, when I was much younger and fresher-faced than I am now, I was living in Surrey and often went out on the train on Saturdays to visit pubs in towns around the South-East. One day I went to Horsham to sample its King & Barnes pubs. One of these was the Stout House on Carfax in the town centre, which in those days had two separate bars. It was very busy, so I was standing at the bar on one side. I have quite small hands, and tend to cut my nails neatly and not bite them, and a guy on the other side saw my hand holding a pint glass and touched it in the mistaken belief it belonged to a woman!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Are you Russ ?”

        Oh I never spurn sex, regardless of how life(less) it might be. 😉


      2. Better not get on to the occasion when I wandered in to the Golden Cross in Cardiff to admire its magnificent National Inventory-listed tiled bar front 😮

        Liked by 1 person

      3. During April last year I wandered in to the Golden Cross in Cardiff to admire its magnificent National Inventory-listed tiled bar front, honest, but cask beer therein is only ‘something for the weekend’ so I moved on.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. You “wandered in to the Golden Cross in Cardiff to admire its magnificent National Inventory-listed tiled bar front” and half way down your pint of SA realised that the mysterious hand had followed you 160 miles from Horsham ?


  3. “C*r*f*”

    What’s the * after the C for?

    “Oh look, it’s me !”

    A head to match the head on your beer. 😎

    “Simon has met her, he’ll confirm that.”

    I think many of us, through your blog alone, could confirm that. 😋


    And that will be all from me for at least a day. Taking the wife to Victoria for lunch with one of her (many) sisters-in-law before she flies off to the Yukon for two weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think Hophead has been as good as it once was for going on three years, I’m convinced the recipe was tweaked not for the better,also the massive increase in production never tends to improve a beer.


      1. Do you still have traditional ice cream parlours near you, Mark ? And do any of them look like old English pubs ?

        NB There’s been a bit of a boom in English cities (e.g. Swanea, Swindon, Reading) of large ice cream/desert places with shiny plastic, often hugely poplar with Asian families (and my sons).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, we do have one or two slightly upscale ice cream places that could easily have flooring like the one in your photos; but none of them get into pub territory in terms of the rest of the decor though, that’s for sure!


      3. I remember what it couldn’t be a Proper Banks’s Pub if it didn’t have a quarry tile floor in the Bar.
        I’m not familiar with Swanea but was in a welsh town of a similar name in April last year.


  5. I was in Horsham a few years back. It struck me as a very wealty area. For some reason I was at a house party one night. Good looking men and women arrived in expensive cars (some with chauffeurs). That’s how the other half lives, I suppose.


    1. A House Party ? What, like Noel Edmonds and Mr Blobby ? Good grief.

      The villages around are wealthy, Horsham has some well-paying office jobs, but if you walked the shops you could be anywhere in England.


    2. “Good looking men and women arrived in expensive cars” – pony tails and Rolls Royces by any chance ?


  6. The mirror states
    “The Anchor Tap
    Dark Star Brewing Co
    Established 1898”
    No, neither was.
    And did you have a chance to count the beers on in the Lynd crèche ?


      1. Hi,

        regarding Pret A Manger, everyone gets distracted by Pret A Manger, especially their great PR and facade, but most customers don’t know how it is behind the scenes. I survived to tell my story.

        I ask people to please look deeper and ask some questions if Pret staff can really be so smily and “happy” for 8 hours in an extremely intense and stressful work environment.

        I hope I’m not intruding, but I survived the worst job in my life. Others aren’t so lucky.



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