On the Friday we collected the campervan, which had been cold and lonely overnight in Horsham, and were given long, immediately forgotten instructions about straps.
To celebrate, we popped into East Grinstead on the way back to Newhaven, allowing me to complete West Sussex GBG entries for another year at the Engine Room.
I’d been considering saving the Engine Room for a trip out with the in-laws from T’Wells, but it’s horrible having a lone pub to tick in a county. Look at the loners on my big spreadsheet, marked in yellow.
And, as Charlene (not Kylie) sang in 1982, I’d never been to East Grinstead, the Wilmslow of the South.
Well, I clearly had, I’d been to the Old Mill, must be centuries ago. But that’s outside the centre and I’d never seen the lovely half-timbered High Street, which is quite a contrast to the workaday chain shops on London Road. But at least London Road houses my tick;
Oddly, the Engine Room is also located at Old Mill, and like my previous tick has a basement bar. Perhaps it really is the same pub ?
After visiting numerous identikit square box craft bar tasting rooms this one came as a shock. At least seven (7) distinct drinking rooms, false turns and dead ends, electronic beer boards and Lennon posters, and Suggs singing “It Must Be Love“.
Not quite love for the Engine Room, and some will find it a bit cluttered and cosy.
But I admired it, and the cheery service (“Lovely !”), and a cool, clean, crisp Bristol Beer Factory Low Rider that completed a county with a NBSS 3+, par for the West Sussex course.
If East Grinstead asked me to design their big tourism campaign I’d offer “Better than Hayward’s Heath“, and I can’t say fairer than that.