The Crown, Horsham

Two disappointing pub experiences in Horsham this afternoon. The Black Jug – an occasional venue for me after meetings in the office complex nearby – turns out to be one of those sour-faced pubs that doesn’t let in children under 10, even into the beer garden. They also make some snotty remark about “well-behaved” children, which makes me want to have a tantrum in their saloon bar.

So we headed on to the Crown, a nicely done up pub on Carfax, where we got super-friendly service and very average food.

Impressions from the Tour

The caravan has come through now, and there’s a big crowd waiting for the riders. It’s odd to see UKIP stronghold Tunbridge Wells with gendarmes roaring through the streets (the French police are in control of the race route). There’ll be a few people sulking in their houses today.

The locals, including the MP, are really milking the tourism angle. The compere has just been exhorting people to spend money in the town, and saying how much better Tunbridge Wells is than Brighton. Yeah, ok.

One other odd thing: both CGT and Force Ouvrière, big trade unions, one of them aligned with the communists, have big advertising presence in the caravan publicitaire.

Blackboys Inn

The Blackboys inn, in the village of the same name near Uckfield, has spruced itself up. As well as a very gastropub menu, there are new tables and chairs outside, palm trees and assorted greenery. Most strikingly, a double garage has been converted into a rather louche-looking boudoir in a faintly arabian style. Still has well-kept Harveys, though.

Sussex food and drink

Off to the Taste of Sussex food fair at the Weald and Downland museum at Singleton. Among lots of lovely stuff to try, particular stars were O’Hagans Sausages (which are also stocked by Archer’s on Islingword Road); Forest of Bere ice cream from Petersfield; jam from Deerview Products; and tarts from the Picnic and Hamper Company. Also worth a mention was Hepworth breweries’ Blonde lager, an organic lager that was really tasty and refreshing.

Red Lion, Handcross

Off to Nymans Garden near Crawley for a look at their Christmas trail.
The cafe was full, so we stepped across the road to the Red Lion. It’s been too long since my last country pub lunch, and it was a real pleasure. Hop branches on the walls and friendly service. Good unpretentious roast beef, yorkshire pudding and a pint of Harveys. Real Old England stuff, and a great treat on a winter’s day.


It’s that time of year again, when papers run stories about conkers being banned by town hall bureaucrats. The tale in Worthing, reported in today’s Argus, is a bit more unusual, however. Worthing BC are taking the conkers off the trees because they are having to pay thousands to people who have their windows broken by children trying to knock conkers off the trees.

What? Are Worthing so flush with cash that they can run a free repair service for their residents? Are the children employed by them? Why not say ‘tough luck, guys’?

Argus story here.