Four nights in Brighton this month and I’m just starting to get to grips with one of our great cities, and can now tell you which street to head for to get your patchouli, pashmina and Prefab Sprout LPs.
I particularly like the pubs and coffee shops I get to visit while Mrs RM does her job, which seems to involve answering questions about hiding from earthquakes, but I won’t spoil her blog surprises.
I’m also starting to mentally fill in the gaps (not literally, it’s a continuous stretch of flat whites and corner shops) between Brighton and Littlehampton.
I’d timed my trip to the Schooner to perfection.
Jump off at Southwick Station, five minutes walk to the pub, twenty minutes of beer and bants, and a four minute dash back after an inadvisable stop for street art to catch the next train into Brighton and tea with Mrs RM.
Then I noticed Google maps was telling me something.
It was exactly 5.30pm on a Sunday. GBG and WhatPub said all-day opener, and it certainly sounded like one.
As the train pulled into Southwick I was frantically trying to find the pub’s website for the truth.
Have you ever tried looking for pub opening times on their website, hidden in a mystery dropdown under Contact Us. If you’re lucky.
Too late, I’d missed my stop.
I wasn’t taking it lying down. Or standing up in the case of Southern Trains. The next stop at Fishersgate was only two minutes away, and I determined to investigate this nonsense.
Well, Fishershgate is as dull as Maidenhead, but Southwick has a power station and serious sunsets.
The last few steps to a pub that might or might not be closed are always filled with tension.
Is the bloke outside with a fag drinking up before he’s kicked out ? Is this really a gastropub that closes when the last artichoke soup and amuse bouche has been eaten ?
No, it’s a proper harbour pub, which looks like it’ll close when the last drinker leaves. Phew.
So where’s the 17:30 closure come from ? Can only be last order for Sunday lunch I reckon. I hope no-one relies on Google to plan pub visits.
With a longer trip to get here I was down to 12 minutes to order and drink and beer and get back. Just my luck to get there after the complex Sunday drinks order.
But, lovely and efficient staff, again, and a very tasty half of Franklin’s. Quite how the locals survive without Doom Bar or Harvey’s I’ll never know.
Once again, a real community boozer with noise and children and proper food. Liberation from the rules based tyranny of micros continues apace.
This is the view from the curved windows in the lounge area.
And this, in the Gents, is the closest I got to street art.
By now Google maps was telling me my ETA back at Southwick Station was a minute after the train departed, so I’m ashamed to say I necked a third in about 12 seconds. Do that at IndyMan and you’d pass out.
Once again, Google Maps lied, and I was waiting at the station for a whole five minutes.
Time to admire the lovely mash-up on the station wall.