Thursday 30th June 2016
Many pubs display a countenance to the outside world that can be severe, yet on entering one can find a homely interior. Conversely, good looking wooden-framed old country pubs can disappointingly turn out to be modernist inside, completely belying their exterior. Basically, you don’t know what you are going to get until you cross the threshold. No such problems with this pub however, as it looks delightfully chaotic from the outside and this theme is continued within.
It is very small. It might be the second smallest I have visited with the original Butcher’s Arms at Herne in pole position. I was immediately served by Nigel Watson, the owner. We then had a chat about the world of micropubs, and he asked my opinion of several that I had visited, including some earlier that day. His wife Debbie then arrived and he explained he had a hospital appointment and his dinner had been cooked early. I bid him goodbye and Debbie took over the service in the pub.
Earlier, whilst Nigel was serving customers I took a look around, I only had to move a few feet to see all of the pub. I was standing at a tall table opposite the entrance door. There were a few stools around it. Looking down the room I could see that there were four more similar tables, turned longwise. Customers seated on bench-type seats faced inwards from the walls with these tables in front of them. There were no seats or stools in the centre aisle as there was simply no room for them!
At the end there were bookcases with magazines, books and much more. This is one of those pubs that when you look around you discover more and more items of interest. In front of this area was another table that was sideways with drip mats draped over it. This is the nearest Nigel gets to a bar. Here the full glasses are placed whilst the customer pays and receives change.
There are shelves on the walls that hold ornaments including many nautical items. Blackboards display the current beers at either end of the room.
Returning to the front of the pub, I notice a map of the country with all of the micropubs shown by dots. It must be very difficult to keep this up to date! The front window is garlanded with some hop bines and its shelf has a number of model lighthouses.
The beer comes from a cool room built on the right side behind the bookcases. These continually change and when I visited they were: Gun Brewery (Gun Hill, Heathfield, East Sussex) Smoked Rye (4.7%); Black Cat (Palehouse Common, East Sussex) Hopsmack (4.0%) and Longman Brewery (Litlington, East Sussex) APA (4.8%).
For aficionados of cider and perry they had: South Downs (Wilmington, East Sussex) Dry (4.5%) and two from Black Pig (Dane Hill, East Sussex): Orchard Cider (7.0%) and Orchard Perry (6.0%).
Apart from Sussex cheeses there is no food served. However, it is permitted to bring in food from Bosun’s Café next door, lunchtimes only. I hope it doesn’t impart a smell of cooking in the pub. Of course, they sell pre-packed pub snacks. They serve Sussex wines only, which is very commendable, and also Mead. Soft drinks are available.
There are Dominoes and Cribbage equipment available and this pub is a good environment to bring a dog, if you can find a place to put it!
This is friendly and welcoming pub and it’s well worth visiting if you are around here.
Anchored in Worthing, 27 West Buildings, Worthing, West Sussex. BN11 3BS
Tel: 01903 529100
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12.00-21.30; Sunday 12.00-17.30. Monday: Closed.
It is around 15-20 minutes to walk from Worthing railway station.
From the main entrance turn right and go down the curved Railway Approach. Cross Teville Road to Victoria Road. Continue down here to the end. Turn right and immediately left at the roundabout into Crescent Road. Continue the full length and this road morphs into West Buildings. The pub is to be found on the right.
There are several bus routes from the station towards Marine Parade that can be used.
Bus 700 runs from Brighton all the way along the coast and runs along Marine Parade in Worthing. This route ends in Portsmouth via Chichester.
Worthing railway station is served by trains operated by Southern from London (Victoria), Brighton, Shoreham, Littlehampton and Portsmouth.
There is an infrequent service provided by Great Western Railway to Southampton, Salisbury, Bath, Bristol, Newport and Cardiff.