“WARNING: This is a Proper Pub”


Well, we’ll be the judge of that, won’t we ?

First stop in Sussex (West) is that intriguing breed, the community-owned pub.


Balcombe’s Half Moon could be one of those all-out gastros that guarantee gentkefolk a supply of £7.95 sandwiches, or one of the drinking clubs where middle-class pashmina wearers block the bar and the front door to keep strangers out on Sunday afternoon (somewhere near Cheltenham springs to mind).

Solid looking

Pleasingly, it covers both camps, showing the poshos to the restaurant at the door and keeping some sense of a boozer in the main bar.

Mind, it’s not Staines. Here boozing means those goldfish bowls, not pints. And you’ll know from the furniture you’ve left Bootle behind.

A mix of seating
A civilised boozer

The Guvnor was welcoming and chatty, arguing about the pronunciation of Carabao.

Trustworthy selection

An enjoyable Harvey’s (NBSS 3), albeit a bit sweet and chilled, and better than I find it in the many GBG gastropubs round the M23.

It soon warmed up as temperatures pushed towards 20 degrees outside, where all the action was. My table wobbled a bit, though not as badly as in the Scottish Stores.

Harvey’s improves by a 0.25 by leaving pub

Children ran around with giant twigs, Helly Hansen ladies compared house extensions, and the banter improved as a gigantic bee landed in the artisan gin, prompting a rush indoors.

“OMG a gigantic bee”

If you think I hated it, you’d be wrong. It felt an entirely suitable pub for the residents of Balcombe, and a group of pretend walkers with their pre-creased OS maps in plastic pouches.

They’d come to admire the views to the Weald, and some half-timbered loveliness.

Future micro

And to get their Ugg boots cleaned.



18 thoughts on ““WARNING: This is a Proper Pub”

  1. I think this is a point all too often forgotten: “It felt an entirely suitable pub for the residents of…” Just because it isn’t our type of pub doesn’t mean it doesn’t serve the purpose. Great line.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Always seems to be a danger with community owned pubs that they are run for the benefit of the locals only. Often seem far from my definition of a community pub. I can think of a community owned pub on my old stamping grounds where locals blocked ‘their’ bar and where they were always served first.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. What, even when you’re nowhere near one of the pubs?

        Are they doing a doorstep campaign?

        How much do they get paid?


      2. Etu,
        Yes, Tim did a doorstep campaign with a 48 page version of his ‘Wetherspoon News’ delivered to every house five weeks ago.


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