Monday, 2 May 2011

Review: The Pump House Brighton

A slightly different post, as suggested by His Lordship. I do like a good pub, and I do hate a bad one - thus, my beloved husband suggested, I should add more diverse pub reviews to my blog. Most useful for those of us who cannot afford cocktail bars and swanky restaurants every day, and full of vintage, rock, kooky or mainstream charm, natch.

I'll start us off with two Brighton faves, simply because I spent this weekend in the rigorous and lofty pursuit of treats and shopping in said city. The first, a new favourite. I must admit that in the many, many years I have been spending time in Brighton I have always avoided this one as I assumed it would be tourist hell. I was wrong. I admit it. Such a snob.Just as there is no Englishman like an ex-pat spending his days in Spain, there is no gosh-aren't-the-tourists-making-it-rowdy than a friends-and-family return visitor.

We went in on 'Wedding Friday' at lunchtime: surely an unwisely busy time! But that's the way we roll, my friends, that's the way we roll. I had imbibed tea and dress bitching (Kate: thumbs up, SamCam: must do better) at my sister's and was in dire need of more sturdy liquid fare. It was rather crowded so I immediately deployed my husband to find me a table and headed for the bar. There were three or four others waiting to be served, who all seemed to be served in the 'right' order (most important), swiftly but with friendly banter. I waited about 2 minutes. Service was very friendly and helpful, lots of lovely chat but speedy with it.

The Pump House has an excellent range of drinks; they had several ales on tap, I chose the Harveys', omnomnom beery joy. A chalk board advertises guest ales: 3 more were 'coming soon' when we visited. It was very well kept. There are also lagers, spirits, ciders and wines, plus a good range of soft drinks for adults.

Our table was clean, it had the usual 'menu holster' with a drinks, food and specials menu in it. No wobbling or uncomfortable seats- we were pleasantly cool but there is a real fire on chilly days! The music was audible but unobtrusive- it seemed mainly 'retro' 60s hits, which were cheerful and added to the 'English Charm' vibe of the place.

Not a real invitation...but all the sauces are by Royal Appointment!

We has a few nibbly bits with our beer. Like most Nicholson's pubs, food was based around a classic pub menu, and cooked well to order. We had a halloumi salad (tasty, crispy, generous on the cheese and mushroom- a few woody stalks in the lettuce but who gorges on the lettuce in a pub salad?), breaded mushrooms and dip (crispy, irregular-sized-enough-to-denote-real-mushroom and not too oily) and cheesy chips (nice- what else can you say about cheesy chips?).

So if you are out and about in old Brighton town, and fancy a quick refresher, you could do a lot worse than The Pump House. It's a nice, decent pub (how much like a nanna do I sound?) with a good menu, clean and it deals with busy days well. It has seating outside for those of you who like a sneaky ciggy and a dining room (which can be rented for functions) upstairs. I will pop in next time I'm drooling over Lanes jewels I cannot possibly afford...

Soon to come... shopping report from my madly thrifty-shopping-tastic weekend, another pub review and some truly vintage (think Ministry Of Food Cut-Outs as bookmarks!) recipe booklets...


  1. OOh !! I've never been to Brighton and it's one of those places I've always wanted to visit. I shall have to put the Pump House on my list to visit - when I eventually get around to visiting Brighton!!

  2. I love a good old pub, I must visit Brighton and the pubs!

  3. I've not been in there for the same reason but I shall definitely give it a try next time I'm there. Looking forward to the shopping report xx

  4. I have to admit that when I've been to Brighton I tend to stick to the back street boozers for the same reason.
    Cheesy chips and real ale are my idea of heaven. xxx

  5. Hi there-a good review my dear, I've been to Brighton but not this pub, it sounds a really great place to eat! xx

  6. I've never been to this pub, I tend to give the big pub co.s a swerve and head for more independent breweries but I loved your review of this one.

    My favourite pub in Brighton is the Evening Star, I have missed the train home many times because of that one!

  7. I have never been to Brighton but I would like to. I hear such good things about it.

    Great review by the way xx

  8. I love going to Brighton,never been in a pub when I'm there though..great shops.


Let me know what you think!