Yes, a rash of grumpy posts till I catch up.  Quite how I’ll do that on the Sleeper from Euston to Aberdeen tomorrow (mostly Scottish lagers on board), I’ve no idea.

Next up is a delightful looking country pub in the heart of classic car land somewhere north of Lewes.  Loads of dining places here over the years.


Yes, blue skies bring out the pubgoers, clogging up the garden with their pashminas and complaining about outdoor smokers.


There’s a great pub sign, unfortunately affixed to the wall inside the pub.

How to do it

There are 27 glasses on the bar, and they’re still there when I leave.  It appears 25 of them held Pravha, the newish Staropramen lager.  I guess you can confuse it for Peroni.

I’ve said it before, cask is practically dead in the home counties due to the appeal of posh lager.

My half of Gun Milk Stout (I know, I should have had the Old) is the only cask I see poured while I’m there. But the handpumps look nice, don’t they ?

Nice line-up

And the Stout looks decent on the bar.


As is the way now, posh southern gastropubs give drinkers the opportunity to drink their wholly adequate Harvey’s from posing tables near the bar,

High table hell

or search for the comfort of an entirely inappropriate sofa.

Cushion calamity

Attracted by neither of these, I joined the folk enjoying our “Summer in Wintertime” on the garden benches, where trainee barristers with loud voices cooed about their “cooking lagers“.  I presume they don’t mean our Stockport hero.

Summer shot

The Gun was OK, but I couldn’t drink it, far too sweet. Luckily there were plenty of appreciative flowers.

Not THESE flowers, they’re lager drinkers

Eight pubs over 3 days in Sussex, and I didn’t finish the beer in half of them.

NB Why is it that the most upmarket pubs persist in this antique soft porn in the Gents (looking at you, Brunning & Price). And what do women get in the Ladies ?






  1. You should definitely have had the Harvey’s Old, Martin. Gun Brewery brew some excellent bitters and pale ales, but Milk Stout does sound as though it would be on the sweet side.

    Their beers are also un-fined, which I believe makes them “vegan friendly “, although I’m no expert. Probably a plus point in a pub like the Five Bells; a pub I’ve heard of but never been to.

    I wouldn’t call an industrial lager like Staropramen “posh “, although I might if I was starting out in the legal profession!

    Some interesting toilet “art” in the gents at the Beer Seller in Tonbridge, which I shall post when I get five minutes.

    Enjoy your trip north of the border.


      1. It has been said on here that “cask is practically dead in the home counties due to the appeal of posh lager” and that must be why free houses that are essentially restaurants selling “dull” Harveys get into a book purporting to lead us to good beer.


  2. Have you suddenly morphed into Victor Meldew young Martin ?
    Week in week out you visit below average pubs at opening time to drink a half of vinegar.
    The Five Bells looks perfectly pleasant with a cask range that falls below the usual number you complain about.
    And if your half of milk stout was the only cask you saw being drunk how do you know the Harvey’s was wholly adequate ?
    I fear regular contact with a clutch of Curmudgeons is dulling your joie de vivre,if you’ll excuse my use of French.


    1. P P-T,
      “regular contact with a clutch of Curmudgeons is dulling your joie de vivre” – so is that the real reason Martin has excused himself from a Proper Day Out in Huddersfield with two Mudgies ?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is nothing more joyous than a Proper Day Out with the Mudgie and Co. But someone needs to protect Mrs RM from the temptations of 3 Brew Dogs in Aberdeen. I can’t have her getting plastered on Jackhammer and getting kicked off the gig 🙄


  3. “I’ve said it before, cask is practically dead in the home counties due to the appeal of posh lager.”

    A very interesting observation and the most pertinent part of a very enjoyable post.


    1. If I had an intern I could get them to plough through my Sussex/Surrey/Bucks posts and get the average NBSS scores.

      NB There are exceptions; you’ll still find good cask in Lewes and Brighton and Tunbridge, and Jeff Bell’s new pub in Rye is peerless.


  4. I was in a pub the other day and a load of Pashmina clad ladies were bemoaning the look of middle aged blokes in unloved, unpolished Doc Martens … each to their own I suppose?

    I have enjoyed most of the Gun beers I have tried, Zamzama (think that’s how it’s spelled) is particularly good. Not tried, or seen, the Stout.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s