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Gardeners Arms, Lewes

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user reviews of the Gardeners Arms, Lewes

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Nice, laid back atmosphere. Perfect for relaxing after walking on the downs ... but beer seems a bit inconsistent on my visits. Yesterday, one great pint, followed by an ale that really needed to settle for some time before being served.
alebarry - 20 Jul 2018 13:55
Rather cramped and scruffy pub but in a nice part of Lewes, near the river, and with a very interesting selection of ales.
Trev - 6 Apr 2018 22:18
This remains a quality pub serving very good beer.

Terenced seal of approval.
terenced - 13 Feb 2018 08:51
Thoroughly enjoyed my last visit,the only pub in Lewes that seems to stock ales from further afield,Bristol Beer Factory, Liverpool Organic etc.
slerpy - 12 Feb 2018 17:57
Concur with the last post. There was a female barperson here who was abrupt and mannerless; happy to serve regulars, she had an apparent hatred for occasional drinkers. Thankfully she's gone (or fired) and the place now has a friendly atmosphere, full of all types.
tradervic - 8 Feb 2018 11:32
6 pumps, all on. 5 gold/pale beers and only Harveys Sussex offering a traditional alternative.
Gold Mark Liquid Gold 4.0% was well kept and ok.
TonyMitch - 7 Feb 2018 20:24
I had high hopes for the Gardeners Arms. But it somehow failed to live up to expectations. It's a fairly small, single room bar that had a fairly sullen barmaid on my visit. Whilst she was smiling and laughing with locals, she adopted a fairly miserable attitude with me. When asked if they offered a CAMRA discount (as stated by their website), she said she didn't think so. So I've no idea if I got one. The ale range was impressive though - Oakham Bishop's Farewell, Burning Sky Aurora, Devil's Dyke Porter, Harveys Sussex Best Bitter, Crouch Vale Amarillo & Thornbridge 6 Weeks. Cider was Gwynt y Ddraig Black Dragon. This seems a lovely little pub and it's just the kind of pub I normally love. But on this occasion, service appeared to be lacking. A good pub, but not the best in Lewes.
blue_scrumpy - 13 Jun 2016 19:33
A dedicated real ale house, a sort of early micro-pub, it is at the end of a row of shops.Cheekily near Harvey's Brewery An oldies pub,many different beers flow through not just locales,quite tight for space you have to climb over people to get to the toilet, toilet strategy helps, especially if there is a darts match.The side door helps if your claustrophobic. Probably the fourth best pub in Lewes ,very marginally behind the Elly,Brewers and Snowdrop but the standard overall is so high.8/10.
slerpy - 3 Dec 2015 21:36
After an unscheduled pit stop at The Dorset it was time to move onto our 3rd pub in Lewes and back to my list.

The Gardeners in Cliffe High Street is very small (and I mean small) but it’s an absolute gem.

There are 6 pumps offering 6 cask ales and another pump with a real cider. I went for a pint of Raw Raspberry Blast @ 4.6%. A strange taste but a thoroughly decent pint.

Small inside with the front bar barely having enough room for a couple of bar stools. The back area is larger but not that big, several round tables and chairs.
Rugby on the television in the back bar. The pub was pretty busy, the clientele are sort of friendly & we were the only punters that were not locals.

This is a good tick for me and was easily my favourite pub of the day.
lezford - 5 Jan 2015 12:27
What it lacks in width it makes up for in atmosphere, genial service and good beer. There may be bearded men with CAMRA t-shirts on passing through so beware Fosters drinkers! I opted for a Harveys (unimaginatively given its proximity to the brewery) and it was very good.

A fine hostelry to be cherished. I once spotted tattoed hooligan Jonathan Dimbleby walking his dogs outside. This was back around 2008 ish. A true story.
terenced - 1 Jul 2014 13:26
This is a proper pub serving a really good range of ales including the superb Dark Star Hophead. This establishment is faultless! - 31 Mar 2014 16:17
Pub 5 on our Lewes pub crawl, and another great pub for the real ale drinker I can't remember what I drank but it wasn't Harveys, and it made a nice change. The pub is very sparsely furnished, which brought back some happy memories of drinking in basic working men's pubs in the 70's. An interesting mixture of punters, some of whom were decidedly eccentric. A most enjoyable visit, and a pub I would definitely visit again if I was in Lewes.
Number11 - 11 Feb 2014 20:36
After you cross the river from ther main town of Lewes (and around 10 minutes from the station) you come to Cliffe High Street and the Gardeners Arms which is a small shop-like pub in the "alehouse" style of decor (very simple and straightforward with the emphasis on the beer). Good range of ales and we tried a couple - they change regularly. My second pint was a bit warm and was probably first one out however it tasted fine so I didn't complain. Our other beers were good and we managed a couple of beers in this cheery little boozer. They do serve Harveys but it was nice to get a different beer for a change (not that we were complaing about Harveys!!) This pub can be built into a little pub crawl in the Cliffe area of town - The John Harvey/Gardeners and a walk to the Snowdrop).
mcroyal - 11 Jan 2014 11:27
The Gardeners is a very small narrow pub located at the end of a row of shops, it is a bit like the broom cupboard of a large shop.On my latest visit not one of the beers I tried "hit the spot" , the list comprised of six beers all dark between 4.5% and .5%. So the choice of beer styles was limited, if a pub has six handpumps surely it is not too much to ask for a little variety, I decamped to the Snowdrop Inn and had a pint of Crouch Vale Summit.My high mark has therefore dropped a bit.
slerpy - 28 Aug 2013 21:05
A gem of pub, small, atmospheric, great selection of ales, the locals are very friendly and welcoming. We will definitely go back when we next visit this beautiful town.
scarr - 21 Jul 2013 22:02
This isn't a 'dump', it's a proper pub, how pubs are meant to be. Let's hope nobody modernises it i.e. ruins it. The beer selection is superb.
happy_wanderer - 10 Jun 2013 16:38
To be honest, a bit of a dump. Typical long town-centre pub that seems to rely on a few regulars. Beer ok though.
Richardhuddleston - 4 Jun 2013 15:50
Nice little pub, beer good, locals friendly - staff polite. would definitely return if in the area.
thestonedhero - 26 May 2013 20:41
Proper old school pub with a decent range of beers.
loveleedshatebates - 24 Mar 2013 20:30
Great quirky pub with very good selection of small brewery ales. The barmaid referred to below couldn't have been more pleasant or efficient when we popped in yesterday.
Alfnoax - 21 Oct 2012 09:08
Good pub - if it wasn't for the Basilda Fawlty barmaid, who, some years ago now, had a highly successful personality bypass. She is getting her money's worth!
wealdman - 7 Oct 2012 15:21
Well, the lady must be reading BITE! She was working yesterday wearing a CAT rugby shirt - and very nearly smiled at me; it won't last though; it never does........
oaktreedog - 23 Sep 2012 10:49
I just could not agree more with the last poster: I do not understand why customers put up with this sad and rude barperson. We, Lewes locals, have voted with our feet a long tine ago and now use the nearby John Harvey Tavern where good/prompt sevice is given with a smile. It there was a competition for 'East Sussex Barperson of the Year' - the GA lady would come last!
blackgander - 16 Sep 2012 13:10
me240's March 2012 comment is apt! Grumpy woman - no, an awful one. Clearly, in the wrong job, she ruins a decent boozer and should retire; she's old enough!

As a result, the 7+ rating is inaccurate; 5- with this dreary person on board, who also was mentioned in Biggles' March 2012 post. We go to Lewes for a pleasant pub crawl; until this witch vacates, this pub is off the route.
tradervic - 16 Sep 2012 11:21
very friendly staff, a real local with a very interesting choice of ales. good location in cliff high street.
lawrencesmith - 27 Jun 2012 12:03
Lovely pub on the high street.
Small,but makes up for it in atmosphere.
Nice selection of beers,good service.
Me and friend enjoyed our hour in here.
rainbowian - 16 May 2012 14:13
Nice down to earth regulars pub with excellent range of well kept beers. Only criticism was grumpy woman serving. She appeared very irritated that I took approx 1 minute to decide what I wanted and was virtually drumming her fingers on the bar by the time I decided! If she learned to smile this would be an excellent boozer (and the regulars wouldn't be so clearly terrified of her!). As it is its merely adequate. Pity.
me240 - 25 Mar 2012 13:14
Good range of beers, and that is where the positive side ends.
Glared at by customers when you enter.
Two females behind the bar, the one that seems to know the business always away somewhere, and the other, "Oh, I suppose I'll have to serve you then" I'm sure I've seen her in a sit-com somewhere, maybe Julie Walters in that antique shop.
I wondered why people started leaving about 10 to 11, I soon found out.
At 11PM on the dot, the shouting started, they both became very rude and obnoxious, the pub was empty by 5 past 11, including us.
As a member of Camra, I've enjoyed going to this place in the past, but will not again until there is a change of management.
Bigglesworth - 3 Mar 2012 00:26
Traditional pub, with a mixed clientele. 6 hand pumps and a constantly changing selection of beers served in good condition.
halfabitterman - 5 Feb 2012 08:43
Great pub, & so much choice, but getting a seat is not always possible as it's quite small. Advancing years make this more important these days...
c_and_j - 3 Feb 2012 21:36
stunning little pub, good range of ales, always something dark, worth the wander from the town centre
littlecon - 24 Jan 2012 11:02
Very strange place that doesn't allow heavily pregnant women to use their toilets, unless they are part of a club. Hope you are happy with this policy on bonfire night, and that common sense doesn't apply here.
enjoy_a_pint - 6 Nov 2011 22:32
A fantastic boozer with real people and great ale, one of the highlights of my real ale tour of east sussex
ratfan - 30 Oct 2011 19:30
Long, narrow, pretty basic (not a criticism by the way) and aimed squarely at the serious beer drinker. Can't remember how many real beers were on during my visit. Four? Five? And I don't recall having heard of any of any of them. Probably does food but if so, is very much a sideline to its main purpose.

Why does Lewes have so many great pubs?
Campanologist - 18 Oct 2011 23:37
Visited this fantastic on Tuesday for a few pre match drinks.

Very friendly bar staff and regulars, who made my group very welcome.

Excellent selectionof cask beers and goodconversation. What more you want from a proper pub?
gife - 29 Sep 2011 14:09
Another enjoyable visit to this cosy pub. I'd like to know what persist artist's favourite is, to top this one?
uriahheep - 28 Apr 2011 19:41
Our 2nd favourite pub in Lewes. Very friendly place. Real ales in abundance and constantly changing. Always seem to have a beer to suit all palates. Never had a duff beer here or had cause to complain. It seems they know their trade very well. It can get very crowded at times and being a bit small it might take a time to get to the bar. Persevere ! Its worth it.
persist_artist - 17 Apr 2011 09:03
What a great, down to earth pub. Last time I visited Lewes I made the mistake of visiting the John Harvey Tavern when this gem was a stones throw away. I'd had too much beer to pop in and try the fantastic selection that the Gardeners Arms had to offer, not a mistake I made this time! spoilt for choice with a varied range of ales but finishing off with BrewDog's Hardcore IPA (9%). Can't wait to return.
uriahheep - 4 Mar 2011 00:07
I was here last Friday evening and a great pub it is too, full of locals, John Harvey bitter and Hophead were excelent, plus great music Muddy Waters wow.
CrazyBigKid - 3 Dec 2010 13:12
Great little local. Good choice of beers and ciders and friendly staff. Shame we don't have a place like this in Eastbourne!
skippybn21 - 19 Nov 2010 13:03
Best pub on the ale trail, in fact with real pubs like this, who needs an ale trail.
Bigglesworth - 17 Sep 2010 19:22
After vsiting the Brewery I popped in here to see which beers were on and decided to try the Beachy Head Original ( it has long been a test of mine to go to a pub very early and see if they pour off a beer) which was perfect,a lovely malty ale that improved as it went down.the Guvnor here is a sociable type who was very entertaining about breweries and beers and it must be said refreshingly honest.Ales from stroud Brewery and local micro brewery Ales made up the remainder on offer.A no frills beer shop,straight forward and fairly priced.
slerpy - 3 Sep 2010 15:06
I think its the best pub in the UK ! very well run, freindly staff and the beer is second to none. If your on your way to Lewes, pop in.
I cannot think of anything bad to say about the place, evan there local painter is freindly putting wet paint signs up so you dont get wet. keith I think his name is. O just thought of one very small down piont the Twiglets are two expensive 80p .all other food stuff is a good price and hand made in lewes.
ling666 - 9 Aug 2010 14:47
Wandered through on a pub crawl last weekend. This pub duly went on to be declared our favourite Lewes hostelry, largely due to the friendly welcome by staff and customers alike, and of course some curiously enticing ales. A beacon even amidst this town of excellent pubs.
LondonWolf - 5 Aug 2010 16:54
I really like it here and often visit from Eastbourne. Always good range of beers and ciders. A good friendly local which attracts a loyal following.
skippybn21 - 15 May 2010 12:04
The Gardeners has improved lately (see comments below), I visit two or three times a week and have never found any of the staff to be anything other than very friendly. Plus at last, they have turned the music down to a sensible level. The beer though remains as varied and well kept as ever, a truly delighful, drinkers pub - no pretensions, food or screaming kids - bliss!
The_Man_From_Soil - 22 Feb 2010 13:48
This place can be fantastic (ads per my previous review), or just about okay.

Though the beer is always excellent, as this is such a small place the staff have a real impact on the atmosphere. Unfortunately on more than one occassion I have been in to be met with two barmaids who see customers as a distraction and find it difficult to take your order, let alone smile. The chap that sometimes works there, however is fantastic; cheerful, knowledgeable about the different beers and seems keen that customers have a good time.

It is such a shame as this place can be fab.
gelksy - 2 Feb 2010 21:23
Aside from the lack of smoke, and a slightly updated attire of the patrons this is a classic 1970's pub, though and through. Mainly locals, friendly enough. The only place in Lewes with people in on New Year's Day!

Six pumps on, Harvey's Best of course and then a selection of (unknown to me) mico's, plus Thatchers, the ubiquitous Guinness and Kroenbourg for the larger types. Staff were young, but eager enough.

Not sure Harvey's was at it's best though, which is a shame given it's the local keg.
dwl715 - 2 Jan 2010 19:03
My favourite pub in Lewes, the only real criticism being that it soon feels cramped with something of a bottleneck along the bar, but there's not much that can be done about that. Five or six well kept real ales, mostly from smaller brewers, classic rock music playing at a sensible volume, laid back slightly bohemian feel to the whole place.
Delirious_Nomad - 24 Nov 2009 13:17
I've experienced the Jekyll & Hyde of this pub.

3 weeks ago I went there on market day at lunchtime and it was superb. Great atmosphere, superb Harvey's beer and great service. There was even a low profile celebrity present, Mark Williams from The Fast Show.

Yesterday it was the dustcart after the Lord Mayor's show. No atmosphere, smelly with two scruffy sloppy slovenly barmaids in attendance. Beer still good quality though.
lyeemoon - 22 Nov 2009 20:21
This is a very small and basic pub in which I spotted seven hand pumps and apart from the Harveys Best the rest were all unseen by me before. I’m into my Guinness at the moment and I have to report that I was glad to see it in the very limited selection of draught products and it was spot on.

The music was a bit random, but it fitted the pub well and was played at a decent volume. The barmaid was a little off at the beginning of my visit, but she seemed to cheer up the longer I stayed. There were plenty of locals in that had managed to conjure up a bit of a whiff which I put down to the beer and meat pies.

I was wondering if this was the unluckiest pub in the south of England due to the pictures on the wall of a flood and a fire. There were no hints as to the origins of the photos so maybe it would be nice to put a little note on them so that non locals could be informed of the history.

I liked it in here as it is all about having a beer and a chat, but it’s not the sort of place I’d go for a lad’s night out – which I think is the whole point of the place.
Strongers - 4 Nov 2009 16:24
If Carlspewk made pubs they would probably balls it up. The Gardeners however is a drinkers paradise, the Dark Star spot on. Great company & atmosphere, wish I lived nearer Lewes.
barryq - 24 Oct 2009 15:44
Narrow pub with bare wood floor. Five micro guest casks plus, of course, Harveys Best. Archers pump clips all over the bar. A pleasant, characterful place.
SilkTork - 16 Jul 2009 15:51
The Gardeners seems to be suffering from the same problem which is afflicting the Evening Star in Brighton. Unless Peter is on then the music is so loud you can't have a conversation - why ruin a decent pub with music so loud your customers have to shout?

The_Man_From_Soil - 6 Jul 2009 15:07
Imagine you could realise that dream and own your own ‘lifestyle’ pub that you could do whatever you wanted with. Well you’d probably come up with something like the Gardeners Arms. Small, intimate and friendly with character and characters built up over the years. There’s not much I’d change about it. The beer is the star of course, a free house with a diverse range of beers and cider, mainly from the South. I had the White’s Dark Mild and then an excellent Iceni Men of Norfolk, supplemented by the, often difficult to find these days, perfect gastronomic accompaniment, a pork pie. This was the seventh pub on a solo Lewes crawl, next time I’ll make it earlier and be a bit more selective.

Millay - 14 Jun 2009 09:53
In reply to Maidenman, the previous owner was the Swindon and Berwick Rangers fan (and Lewes FC too). The new owner was so keen not to make discernable changes to the pub that he asked that the football memorabilia was left in place, along with the many Archer's pumpclips, now alas only a reminder of this once excellent little brewery.
southdown12jack - 8 May 2009 11:29
A cracking pub, full of well-mannered beer lovers having a good time. They had an extensive range of real ales, including several from the Harveys brewery just across Cliffe High Street and other, also mostly local, smaller brewers and draught Black Rat cider from further afield. Top of the range.
rpadam - 19 Apr 2009 19:33
Decent old-fashioned pub with a good range of beers. Friendly enough
nickjstamp - 16 Apr 2009 16:48
Pub of the day on yesterday's Lewes jaunt. A compact pub with a central bar, fairly limited seating and easily full, as it certainly deserves to be! Mainly wooden floors, small carpetted area to the rear, various pictures, breweriana etc, including some fascinating old 60's beer mats from a time forgotten. One picture of "The Burning of Richard Woodman" is very macabre and relates to the 16th century executions of protestant martyrs, 10 of which occurred in Lewes.
On a much lighter note, the pub has an ongoing garlic growing competition, where cloves were planted on the shortest day, to be harvested on the longest.
The local Toad in the Hole game is also played here if space allows.
Very well run and friendly with it, yesterday we had Harveys Sussex, Kiss,and Porter, Welton's Schneider Gold, not a lager type as I expected but a full flavoured ale, Dark Star Espresso Stout, Hammerpot White Wing and Black Rat cider. Top marks to the landlady as my pint of Kiss looked a little tired, she immediately spotted it, poured herself a small taster and offered an alternative without any words being spoken. That's got you a 9 instead of an 8!
Not sure who supports Swindon Town and who Berwick Rangers but both teams are well represented around the pub.
If you only do one pub in Lewes (which would be silly) make sure its this one. They did us carry outs too!
Maldenman - 5 Apr 2009 17:06
In response to the previous comment he pies and sausage rolls come from "Bens" a local award winning organic butcher and are fresh each day. Best pint o fHarveys in Lewes!
GlennO - 1 Mar 2009 20:41
Not changed much in here but not as good as the Brewers... 4 real ales on yesterday when i popped in, wasnt as busy as normal but still took ages to get served after the Barman had finished writting out his Betting slips for the day.
The pub food looked rather iffy sat behind the bar not covered, i was wondering how long the Pork Pies and Sausage rolls had been sat there as they didnt look the freshest peices of food ive ever seen but i am no Chief.
Worth the visit but will not be rushing back.
superseagulls - 8 Feb 2009 15:56
My kinda pub. A basic local with a good collection of local and guest real ales. The eclectic mix of background music adds to a fine atmosphere.
GazzaTheBeerMan - 5 Jan 2009 13:52
Quite a basic pub but you can't argue with its range of beers. I enjoyed some Sharp's Eden there and my mate had some Hepworth's Old - both excellent. It was a shame they shut at 11 or we might have had some more.
arnoldlaine - 6 Dec 2008 13:32
I love the Gardeners Arms and always try and pop in for a pint when I'm in Lewes. Interesting clientele, no frills, friendly bar staff. Perfect. Hope the Harveys Old is on next time I'm in.
Will_Fly - 30 Oct 2008 11:47
Basic boozer with an eclectic selection of ale. Barstaff pleasant, knowledgeable, and anxious to please (even though it was busy). Unless, you really love Harveys (small + local doesn't always add up to great), this is the best one in Lewes.
Hopsucker - 17 Jul 2008 10:34
Sorry Trainman - I forgot to mention that 6 or 7 beers IS "a vast array" as far as I'm concerned!

Still well worth a visit - we went after a brewery tour and continued to drink Harvey's at The Gardner's Arms! (I recall it was a brew they didn't have available in the sampling room at the brewery, but names & details escape me. We'd had a few by that time...)
Alph_river - 7 Jul 2008 01:24
Certainly the Lewes pub with proper alternatives to Harveys, although I wouldn't quite go along with Alph's 'vast array' unless a)he visited during a beerfest or b)I missed a separate bank of beer offerings. Another Lewes crawl, another failure to make notes, sorry, but I recall 6or7 handpumps including Harveys Best, Darkstar Hophead, Sharp's Special Ale, Milestone Rich Ruby, & Moles Black Rat cider. Easily one of the pubs in town to 'play a joker' (have a 2nd pint) during a crawl.
trainman - 1 Jul 2008 11:44
A very fine pub serving a vast array of beers from micros. It can be very crowded, but that's half the fun; rubbing elbows with other people who think proper beer is worth seeking out.

The beer is this pub's strength: it's all tip-top, and after a couple you'll want more, and the whole place develops a rosy glow...

Alph_river - 15 Jun 2008 15:21
Simply the best in Lewes, always an intersting mix of people, fantastic guest ales, almost impossible to walk past (which I have to do most days!)
The_Man_From_Soil - 22 May 2008 12:16
An absolute favourite. Slightly bohemian, and all the better for that. Have never been in there without getting engaged in friendly conversation with either staff or other customers.

Always have an interesting selection of beers and a draught scrumpy.
Jack_Spraggon - 17 May 2008 21:54
A great pub - friendly staff, excellent beers, unspoilt. A haven for a good pint in a proper local. Love it every time I drink here.
Will_Fly - 14 Feb 2008 11:50
As a Swindon-supporting former Lewes resident, I really could not ask for anything more from a pub. Superb selection of beers, warm atmosphere, surprisingly easy to get a seat given its small size... and a landlord with a healthy obsession with Swindon Town. One of the very best.
GreenwichRed - 29 Jan 2008 14:19
I visit this pub regularly and can see why some may feel it a bit intimidating at first because it can be full of some rough and ready characters. However, it is worth persevering because it is actually quite a friendly place. There is always a selection of about 6 interesting real ales which are ever changing (often including a dark beer.... yummy!). The beers are well kept and the staff are happy to let you sample before you buy. Basic and no frills but none the worse for that. If in Lewes you really should make the effort to visit.
Brewshed - 14 Dec 2007 13:48
Called in here last Saturday with two mates ( one of whom is an exiled northerner ) and partook of some excellent dark beers and porters. A real boozer, with friendly and efficient staff, and the locals seem a friendly bunch. Heres another northerner who will be paying it a visit next time Im in this part of Sussex.
Beerybloke - 10 Dec 2007 18:37
Spent a great Saturday afternoon in here (200 miles from home)A proper pub friendly locals and staff.Best Porter i have ever had
Rammie - 12 Aug 2007 18:10
What all pubs dream of becoming. There are new beers every day and they all taste incredible. Everyone in there is friendly enough and best of all its just a 12 second(*) dash from my buddy's place.

(*) Unconfirmed
londinieres - 11 Jul 2007 21:30
This used to be my local when I lived in Foundry Lane, and my flat mate at the time used to pop down for last orders in her dressing gown and slippers. Does everything a good pub should - serves great real ale and cider and provides a welcoming haven.
pipsby - 28 Jun 2007 12:43
It was. Indeed it was brilliant.
southdown12jack - 21 Jun 2007 15:35
Could be Grand Union Honey Porter from Hayes in Middlesex.
anonymous - 12 Jun 2007 17:09
Superb pub. That honey porter I had on Friday night was surely one of the finest taste sensations I have ever experienced. I can't remember who brews it though?
giantelf - 12 Jun 2007 16:13
This is a charming pub, and I enjoyed the real ales on offer. We got seats by a game called toad in the hole that I have never seen before. Judging by the CAMRA mags in the stand, it is well visited from all over the country and rightly so. Went back the following day and found 3 different beers on. Brilliant.
gillhalfpint - 5 Jun 2007 10:47
Smallish traditional busy pub quite close to Harveys Brewery. Note the extensive collection of Archers pump clips - the landlord supports Swindon Town, so I was told. Well worth popping in - although you might well not get a seat. Beer was on good form when I visited
JohnBonser - 24 May 2007 16:46
Enjoyable visit, welcoming atmosphere

Good range of ales on tap. Small so would be lucky to find a seat when packed...

More of a 'pop in, pop out' than a long stop-over sort of place...
the_original_rawnsleys - 14 May 2007 11:16
Charming little hostelry with extensive selection of excellent ales.

Well worth a visit. Small on the inside so gets busy but friendly.

In charming part of Lewes right near to the Harveys Brewery. A real gem.
terenced - 14 May 2007 08:29
Always visit here on my rare visits to Lewes. The welcome is always friendly and the beers excellent.
Terryadinfinitum - 3 Jan 2007 19:26
Wonderful session in the Gardeners this afternoon,Grand Union Honey Porter 4.9%,Harveys Best,Old&Christmas Ale,something from Swindon and live jazz clarinet and guitar impromtu,please come back again lads,it was great.
richsilane - 17 Dec 2006 18:25
great choice of beers across the range from 3.8 to 10.5+ always in excellent condition and reasonably priced.can be very smokey though,cannot wait for the ban. A Regular.
richsilane - 11 Oct 2006 21:35
Probably the best pub in Lewes - quite a claim for the twon that not only boasts Harvey's brilliant brewery but alos punches well above it's weight pubs-wise. An ever changing beer selection (though you are guaranteed Harveys Best) and a top landlord. A very friendly, welcoming pub. Free bar nibbles on a Sunday make it the perfect hair of the dog venue after a heavy Saturday night.
CJG - 9 Oct 2006 09:15
I can sort of appreciate the assertion that this place can come across as a touch cliquey, but isn't that often the way strangers interpret the response when they tentatively visit what is very much a local's favourite? The locals mightn't make the first move, but if you do I daresay their response will be friendly. Anywya, one can't blame the folk of Lewes for being so protective about it and wanting it for themselves, because objectively, it is an excellent little place. No pretence, no frills, just good honest and varied ales with down-to-earth conversation. If you're a real ale buff much of the "localism" issues of any pub can be ignored - especially if it's so busy that you have to take your beer outdoors anyway, which is often the case at the Gardener's. Many might disagree, but I believe that we really need more places like this, and to treasure those that are still existing.
TWG - 4 Oct 2006 17:58
a cracking pub, with a great & ever changing range of guest beers. sometimes as strong as 10.5% abv (ouch!)
baggers29 - 21 Sep 2006 16:40
Great beer, excellent landlord always on hand to discuss the merits of Swindon Town. Quite small and can be dominated by the in-crowd.
hrse12 - 31 Jul 2006 23:08
A great pub. As I walked in I was greeted with a smile and Hello long before it was my turn at the bar. A great selection of real ales; the Grand Union English Wheat Beer was in superb condition. And the locals were friendly. Obviously a genuine, unspoiled pub. A must, given the beer range and quality. Very small though so may be difficult to get a seat or table later in the evening
GrahamH - 7 Jun 2006 23:23
I was working on a site in Hove and used this pub once, agree with the last comments, but they forgot to mention the rudeness of the bar staff.
anonymous - 7 Jun 2006 12:52
After a recent visit to Brighton, we popped into this pub, found the place to be very, very ordinary also felt very unwelcome in the, very clicky place.

2 10 from me sorry.
anonymous - 7 Jun 2006 09:34
Easily the best pub in Lewes - and there's some very good competition! Always an excellent choice of ales and very friendly staff and atmosphere.
Highbury - 6 Jun 2006 08:49
What a lovely pub this is. Excellent ales and a lovely atmosphere. I spent one very long and very happy evening in this great pub. The Harveys (being Lewes, one must drink the local brew) was superb. However, such pleasant experiences must have a downside. The hangover the next day was not particularly good for walking the South Downs way with. Memories of the excellent evening before were some consolation for the suffering.
norgor - 2 May 2006 20:07
excellent quiet haven for a never ending variety of well kept ales, - not to be missed when visiting Lewes - cant get a little crowded.
moclips2002 - 16 Apr 2006 10:33
A Real pub..lots of real ale which is great..but lots of people who drink it....worth a visit if your in Lewes
rogerph - 19 Mar 2006 17:39
Harvey's Old is excellent so if they sell that you are on to a winner.
anonymous - 1 Mar 2006 14:58
This place is a small sometimes busy gem. A true free house with excellent beer(couple of Harveys and 4 or so guests from independents)

The landlord(Andy)is a beer and football nut and is a genuinely nice bloke.

I am yet to have a bad pint in this pub and feel genuinely honoured to live within staggering distance.
anonymous - 20 Feb 2006 12:43
On a par with the Lansdown as best pub in Lewes - everything you want in a pub really. Can be a bit cramped but this reflects its popularity
cuttysark - 26 Jan 2006 15:15
A simple pub that wants to be nothing more. That's a compliment. For real ale, you'll find nowhere better in Lewes. The music's good and not too loud for a conversation. Get in early to ensure a table (it's quite small), and enjoy. The best pub in Lewes (just beats the Lansdown, which you must also see).
anonymous - 24 Jan 2006 05:44
Just across the road from Harvey's brewery, you will always find Harvey's Best (and quite often Old too) along with three or four guest beers from all over the country. You never know what to expect. A down-to-earth drinkers' pub with a friendly landlord who knows all there is to know about beer. Don't visit Lewes without popping in for a pint or four!
southdown12jack - 16 Dec 2005 13:36
A good range of guest ales and well worth the short diversion from Lewes town centre across the river into Cliffe High Street.
Rich66 - 30 May 2005 12:41
This is one of the best real pubs I know of. The range changes daily and they have hosted over a thousand different real ales since it re-opened after the floods in 2000. Andy (Fitz), the landlord is a very keen (and I mean VERY) football supporter and lived for some time in Berwick-upon-Tweed; hence the Berwick Rangers posters. He was born in Swindon. A nicer man you will not meet. A smashing pub, I highly recommend you sup an ale or five whenever you get the chance.
D3clan - 27 May 2005 15:26
Small 2 roomed pub had Harveys and 3 guests. I had tasters of 2 of them before settling down to the local brew. For final pint I had a taster of the 3rd Dark Star(?) at 6.2% was delightfully refreshing and pale in colour.
I now understand the relevance of the Swindon posters, but those for Berwick Rangers?
lout_from_the_lane - 13 Apr 2005 11:11
Good selection of beers, friendly pub. Shame the landlord supports Swindon.
aph - 8 Mar 2005 13:17
The comments below are spot-on. This is a well-run, friendly, unflashy pub that's well worth a visit.
anonymous - 12 Dec 2004 10:13
The Best pub in Lewes for real ale. Go there and try it out
Jason - 10 Nov 2004 09:31
Great place lovely people.
Marvelous ale/cider selection.
Good music!!! (not too loud).
Very worth wile to visit!!
Andrew - 3 Sep 2004 15:34
Fantastic pub. Wicked selection of ales and cider, wonderful atmosphere and a very nice, small, rounded interior. Just feels "right". Check it out.
Guy - 6 Aug 2004 13:25
Closed for many long months after the Lewes flood, this small but very friendly pub in the old High Street is back in business! You'll find an excellent choice of three or four real ales, and can tuck into good honest pub grub (seating is at a premium), while looking at interesting photos and posters on the walls. If you're in Lewes, this is one not to miss!
Robin - 8 Jul 2004 07:50
A top pub. Four ales and a real cider to drink, interesting music that is at just-the-right-volumn and a friendly crowd. Go there.
Scott - 10 Feb 2004 13:06

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