The carpet is swirly, the walls half-timbered. The ceiling has a honeycomb-coloured patina that dates the interior as pre-smoking-ban; pre-the relentless tide of gastrofication that has swept through pretty much every pub in Brighton. You have to come deep into the sticks for this. There is a plate rail, horse brasses. An outside gents with a leaky roof. It is the pub that time forgot, and penetrating its portals our exposed middle-class knees go weak.
I’m out for a spin with some MAMiL friends (Middle-Aged Men in Lycra), one of whom pulls out his phone and asks the landlady if it’s OK to take a photograph of the hallowed interior.
“All right, but I’ll have to keep me mouth shut,” she says, assuming he’ll want her in it; “me plate is off at the dentist being fixed—I’ll never eat a Double Decker straight out of the fridge again…”
Priceless. We order drinks and huddle in the back bar, admiring the wall display, an inexplicable juxtaposition of antique guns and Dinky cars.
A local couple come in, nod to us and strike up conversation. We mentally brace. Will the talk turn to Brexit? Please God don’t let the talk turn to Brexit.... [read more]
Illustration by Chris Riddell