Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex:
Old Star Ale & Cider House
Thursday 30th June 2016
The name of this micropub sounds like an old name from times past.
Well, that is exactly what it is. In its previous incarnation it closed around a hundred years ago. It was located at 16 High Street, Shoreham and overlooked the estuary of the River Adur.
Apparently, there is recorded evidence of a hostelry on this site as far back as 1350. It has also been noted as an inn in the middle 1600s.
Although today’s pub is located in Church Street the Star Inn encompassed this and the corner with the High Street, so this present-day pub was part of it. The Star was shown in directories from the 1830s onwards, until the last entry in 1918.
It must have closed shortly after. It was converted into retail premises and it is two of these were altered to form the basis of the present-day pub.
It was opened in August 2014 by Hugh Robinson along with Marc Kent. It is believed some of that its previous uses were as an Employment Agency, also a Kitchen and Bathroom shop and a Greengrocers. New ownership arrived in June 2015 with its acquisition by Richard (and Jenny) Hasler.
I entered through the right hand door, the left one is not in use. Even by micropub standards this is a small pub.
Directly in front of me was the bar counter and behind it was an array of jacketed casks on a black metal stillage frame.
On the wall above is a repro British Railways sign for the local station. In front of the bar there were four stools, three of which were occupied by regular customers.
Opposite the counter were two tall tables with a few high seats. There were a couple more stools below a shelf on the front wall. To the left of the bar is the unisex toilet and a small utility cupboard for cleaning materials. Between this and the window is a low wooden table with a bench seat either side that accommodates three drinkers apiece.
Hanging on the wall at the far end of the room there was a shove ha’penny board awaiting use. On the wall there is an old street sign for Star Lane, which I believe was the former name of Church Street. Next to the facilities there is a large mounted photograph of the original Star Inn.
There were three cask beers to be had and they were Black Cat (Palehouse Common, Uckfield, East Sussex) Original Bitter (4.2%) and also their Nine Tails Old Ale (4.9%). There was also Franklins (Bexhill, East Sussex) North Shore IPA (5.9%).
And a fine range of ciders, no wonder this pub was awarded CAMRA Brighton & South Downs Cider Pub of the Year 2016. They were: Thistly Cross (South Belton, Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland) Original (6.2%) and their Whisky Cask (6.9%); South Downs (Wilmington, East Sussex) Dry (4.5%); Hallett’s (Hafodyrynys, Crumlin, Gwent, South Wales) Blindfold Medium (6.0%) and Dudda’s Tun (Doddington, Kent) Dudda’s Disco (5.3%), made from Discovery apples.
There is no food available but they serve snacks in packs. Wine, including Prosecco is on the menu as are a few bottled beers. Fentiman’s posh soft drinks are offered.
This is a great little pub in the conservation area of Old Shoreham.
The Old Star Ale & Cider House, Church Street, Shoreham-by-Sea BN43 5DA
Tel: 07982 842057
Hours: Monday-Sunday 12.00-21.00 (last orders: 20.20)
A Licence condition states that the last customer must be out by 21.00
Shoreham railway station is served by trains operated by Southern from London (Victoria), Brighton, Worthing, Littlehampton and Portsmouth. There is an infrequent service provided by Great Western Railway to Southampton, Salisbury, Bath, Bristol, Newport and Cardiff.
From the station, exit from the South (Ticket Office) side. Turn right into the station approach. Turn left into Brunswick Road. When this curves to the left, turn right into St Mary’s Road. You will see the graveyard of St Mary’s church on the left. Enter and walk along the path, passing the church on your left. Continue to Church Street.
You will find the pub on the left just before the junction with High Street.
It should take no more the ten minutes, probably less.