If you’ve been reading this blog in despair at the lack of genuine micropubs, fear not, your wait is nearly over.
And the Hornet is a corker, joining Anchored in Worthing among my favoured real micros.
Being a micro, it opens at 4pm, giving me 3 hours to kill in Chichester.
I could have watched Joker at the Cineworld next to the station, but with 80 minutes of adverts there was a risk the Hornet would be closed when I got out.
So I ambled aimlessly in the rain, taking in the famous architecture.
“I found this pub by mistake when I got lost walking around Chichester…. Whether I could find it again is the problem.”
writes Paul G of Southend (probably Eastwood) despite it being about as difficult to find as a lady with a pashmina in Costa.
Owned by Greene King, run by Big Smoke, looking a bit like the Southampton Arms in NW5.
It was 1.45pm when I got there, and unexpectedly packed with diners of all ages.
Some of them were even drinking beer !
A chap my age studied those exciting local ales we CAMRAs love;
and ordered a pint and a half of Harvey’s.
“Is that the one to go for, then ?” I asked, searching for a local view on the microbrews.
“Harvey’s ? Have you heard of them ? Local, I think. Nice beer”
“What about the ones the pub brew ?”
(looking at other pumps) “Never had them, sorry”
Always remember that to 90% of cask drinkers Doom Bar IS exotic.
Well, with an endorsement like that I went for Harvey’s too, and their smoked brisket sandwich and butternut soup offer (£7.50).
It was astonishingly good, better value than Spoons, and the beer was solidly NBSS 3+, cool and foamy.
Proper seating, good service, and music at sensible volume from a real turntable.
Sadly, that music was the (scratchy) two sides of Lionel Richie’s Can’t Slow Down. I guess they know their customers.
The strain of Dancing on the Ceiling was too much, I had a half of the Big Smoke Stout, which was frankly superb (NBSS 3.5). Kudos to the barmaid who sold it to an Old Boy as a substitute for Guinness too.
Still two hours to kill, so half an hour in Spoons to recharge my phone and observe the strange abandonment of Catherine Tate DVDs outside the Gents.
Then half an hour in the Novium Museum, where BRAPA’s new outfit for future trips to Newark is on display,
and a tiny social history section touches on brewing.
Then to the cathedral, which scores highly for its windows, but didn’t seem to have a tower I could climb.
It was still only 3.50, but I headed to the Hornet anyway, and of course there regulars in there already. I’d only allowed myself 20 minutes for a half and a hop back to the station for the 16:22 so I can’t pretend I wasn’t pleased about early opening.
The Landlady indicated a sheepish looking Gent who then took responsibility for getting her to open up. Quite how, I never found out.
Quite a chatty place, and I failed to take either photos or notes.
A bit beery for some, but the beer (Papa Jangles Stout from Totally Brewed, NBSS 4) was astonishing, which I guess is why they’ve won awards, rather than because of the quality of the bants.
A little gem to restore your faith in cask, anyway.
I have no idea what this sign means, but it did signify a dead end on my way back to the station.