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The Great Eastern, Brighton

103 Trafalgar Street
Phone: 01273685681

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 7 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Great Eastern

This is a cosy traditional pub at the top end of the Laines, a five or so minute walk down the hill from the station. inside, you find a remarkably narrow but deep interior with lots of dark tongue and groove panelling on the ceiling and a long servery down the right hand wall. the bar has a smart counter and attractive mirrored bar back with a promising collection of pump clips lining the dark wood beams around the whole bar area. Some fixed benches and low stools have been squeezed in along the left hand wall opposite the bar, but during busy times, such as on this particular visit, things can get very cramped quickly and I found it very tricky to navigate my way around the bar area. Thankfully, the room opens out a little to the rear once you've passed the end of the bar, and some more benches and chairs can be found back here in a cosy space dominated by impressive dark wood wall panels, dusty bookcases and a quality old grandfather clock. Despite visiting during daylight hours, the small windows, dark wood and muted lighting (including plenty of fairy lights) combines to make this a pretty dark pub which adds to the cosy feel and reminded me a bit of a rural pub rather than a popular city centre venue. there are a few interesting decorative features to look out for, the most impressive of which is arguably the fine etched glass panes in the entrance doors, which are well worth looking out for.
I timed my visit here pretty poorly, as I arrived alongside during the post-work exodus and accordingly found the place packed which meant I had to endure an uncomfortably long wait for service, which would normally have seen me walk out, but with other PuG crawlers waiting for me, I persevered and finally got served by one of the remarkably unobservant, inattentive bar staff. I think there were four ales on the go, in the shape of Franklins Mama Knows Best and North Shore, Adnams Lighthouse and Downlands New Zealand Session IPA. I spent so long queuing that I think I changed my mind about which drink to order about a dozen times, before eventually coming away with a decent drop of the Session IPA.
This struck me as a nice pub that probably works best during quieter periods when it's easier for everyone to move around and you're able to appreciate the pleasant traditional decor in a more relaxed frame of mind. As it was, I found this a pretty stressful experience that I wouldn't really want to repeat and feel I need a return visit to give the place a second chance.

On 24th July 2018 - rating: 6
[User has posted 2545 recommendations about 2545 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

john gray left this review about The Great Eastern

This is a smashing pub with low ceiling.Friendly staff and customers.Three cask beers Franklins north shore ipa and mama knows best.My Downlands -nz session was very good

On 13th April 2018 - rating: 8
[User has posted 940 recommendations about 927 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Malden man left this review about The Great Eastern

Don't be fooled by the rather tatty looking exterior, inside lurks a decent pub. Enter through a pair of curved doors marked Public Bar to a slightly L-shaped boarded room with the bar along one side towards the front. Walls have wood panelling to over half their height, seating is traditional with mismatched chairs, benches and small stools at various sized tables with candles in wax encrusted bottles, ceiling beams are festooned with beer mats indicating a good rotating policy. The back wall features a bookcase and there is an old factory clocking-in machine adjacent, a side door leads to a tiny scruffy courtyard that would only be of use to a die-hard smoker.
Four handpumps offered Woodforde's Wherry, Sharp's Cornish Coaster, Doom bar and Brighton Bier No Name Stout. The pub also stocks an impressive list of whiskies, specialising in American varieties. Whisky cocktails also offered. Wines and an extensive bottled beer range are listed by the bar on chalkboards. Food served, there are five varieties of "Brighton Burger" for £8.95, I assume but cannot confirm that there are other options.
Live music is advertised and a jazz soundtrack was playing giving a nice relaxed atmosphere, I didn't see a TV.
This was the penultimate pub of a good tour around the North Laine area, certainly worthy of a visit.

On 1st April 2014 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1687 recommendations about 1663 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Clive Thompson left this review about The Great Eastern

A good pub experience, 4 handpumps including Summer Lightning and Old Peculiar. Try the special Jack Daniels Single Barrel that they usually have in, smoother than a baby's backside! Jazzy bluesy background music completes the experience. Look out for the 'passing station' halfway up to the toilets, can be useful.

On 20th September 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 742 recommendations about 678 pubs]

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Moby Duck left this review about The Great Eastern

This is a pub I really enjoyed,slightly unexpectedly on a recent trip to Brighton.A bit dark and threadbare as previously mentioned but feels like a "real" pub as soon as you walk in,The beer selection doesn't live up to the likes of the Evening Star, then not much does, but my pint of Otter Ale was perfectly decent.I would be more than happy to make a return visit.

On 21st July 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1356 recommendations about 1342 pubs]

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hondo . left this review about The Great Eastern

4 real ales. Live music advertised.

On 18th June 2012 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2745 recommendations about 2688 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

paulof horsham left this review about The Great Eastern

A bit dark and tatty inside, the Great Eastern seems to have avoided the attentions of the decorators for a while. Beer selection seemed to veer towards Scotland, with Moorhouse's Blond Witch on offer as well, but the pints we had failed to really inspire.

Food availability seems a bit patchy, too, as they'd run out of pretty much everything by early evening, although the menus were still around. Some sort of trendy jazzy music was playing at background volume.

This was an 'optional' on our recent pub crawl. This time we opted in; next time I'll probably opt out - it's not that it's a bad pub, just that there are far better options nearby.

On 21st May 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 282 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve C left this review about The Great Eastern

The Great Eastern is not much to look at from the outside and the bare worn long thin wooden interior is pretty basic, but it is a proper boozer where one can enjoy a well kept beer in peace. The music was a little depressing for my liking, but I hope that I just caught the morose CD. The back wall has three book cases along it that are lined with books and the only other customer in attendance during my visit on Monday afternoon was taking advantage of the numerous volumes. There are also a few board games on one of the tables that are available for playing. The guy behind the bar was very friendly and he poured a great pint of Doom Bar. The other ale options were a couple from Ballards and 1648 Ginger No 1 and there is also a limited premium draught selection. There are loads of old ale clips along the beams of the pub so there is obviously a rotating ale selection and there is also an extensive list of whiskeys and bourbons chalked up on a board by the entrance. Pub food is served and like any other self respecting pub there is a roast menu on Sundays.

There are a couple of picnic tables on the path outside and at the rear of the pub there is a small area set up for smokers. There is a step down into the pub through the old curved door and the toilets are up a flight of stairs.

I didn’t think this place to be anything special and I’m looking forward to finding better pubs in the Brighton area.

On 13th January 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3587 recommendations about 3566 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Clive Thompson left this review about The Great Eastern

Quite liked this place, a proper pub in an area with so many bars. Nice laid back atmosphere, a bit of jazz playing and a large bookcase running along the back wall. Four ales on and service was attentive.

On 12th June 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 742 recommendations about 678 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Great Eastern

Quieter than I expected, with just two of Brighton's more 'exotic' residents flirting (rather unconvincingly) with the barmaid. Four real ales on, including the Nelson Brewery Shiver M' Timbers (at 4.7% ) which, whilst not exceptional, made a pleasant change.

On 21st February 2009 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6199 recommendations about 6199 pubs]

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