Sometimes it’s so hard to find a pub that serves decent ales AND food. But happily we stumbled upon the gem that is The Lewes Arms, a stone’s throw from the castle and tucked away behind the law courts in the historic town of Lewes in East Sussex.
We arrived, bedraggled and a tad depressed from having driven around the surrounding countryside, having walked out of a gloomy country pub where we could smell kitchen bleach upon walking into the bar, and where the locals peered at us (not in a good way) when we ordered a drink. So when we arrived in Lewes in the middle of a rain storm and found this little pub with its roaring log fire, cosy little rooms and the smell of wonderful food, our hearts were lifted.
This is Fuller’s pub, so you’ll find Fuller’s ales alongside a good range of guest beers from around the UK – they seem to be passionate about serving really decent brews. The food is hearty simple fare, and done extremely well. We sat at a little corner table and a lovely black dog came and made itself comfortable at our feet. (It’s always a good sign when a pub allows dogs inside, I think.) I had a very tasty smoked salmon salad that came with lovely crisp selection of salad, including watercress and radiccio (posh!), nice dressing (rare for so many pubs) and tender slices of smoky salmon with great wedges of buttered brown bread. N had the most stupendously juicy gammon steak with caramelised criss-crossed chargrilled marks, a rich parsley sauce and new potatoes. We both licked our plates clean, and when the handsome young goth barman came to clear our plates, he winked and said ‘I see you didn’t enjoy your food’, to which we replied ‘yes, it was rubbish and we won’t be returning’. The Lewes Arms is about as perfect as pubs get, to be honest.
Address: The Lewes Arms, Mount Place, Lewes, East Susses, BN7 1YH. Tel: 01273 473 512
*Sigh*We (the lady-wife and I) sooo miss a good ol' English boozer; the pubs here in Aussie are about as soulful as your average high street McDonalds and although the beer is no longer restricted to the hideous sweat-infused VB or palid lifeless XXXX or similar, there's literally no sense of belonging, warmth or welcome. The food does open a family-sized can of whoop ass tho', oh yes.