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Beer of the Week (w/e 7th August 2022) with Bucking Fastard on the Pub Forum

The Gardener's Arms, Lewes

46 Cliffe High Street
Phone: 01273474808

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 8 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Cask Fan left this review about The Gardener's Arms

Certainly a proper traditional boozer and a haven away from the bustle of Cliffe High Street. But a bit smelly and I don't think cleaning is their top priority (see photo). Interesting choice of ales.

On 2nd July 2022 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 18 recommendations about 17 pubs]

Blue Scrumpy left this review about The Gardener's Arms

The Gardener's Arms is the closest any Lewes pubs get to being a proper town alehouse. Whilst being very close to Harvey's brewery and stocking their Sussex Best Bitter, it is a free house and has a few guest beers.

The pub has 2 rooms, with the rear one being larger than the front one. Conversation reigns and you will soon find yourself getting into a chat with some random locals. As the previous reviewer states, there are also some metal table and chairs in the passageway to the side of the pub. With the sun peaking through, this is where the majority of customers were on our Saturday lunchtime visit. It also seems to be a place where children are now allowed, as they're certainly not allowed inside.

Guest ales were Rother Valley Northiam, Errant Claw of the New Sun, Only With Love Let's Go IPA & Tring Toto. A further handpull in the rear bar had Gwynt y Ddraig Ancient Warrior.

CAMRA discounts are now offered, but not widely advertised. We overheard somebody else asking when ordering our second round.

5 years on since my last visit, I think this is still just about the best pub in Lewes. We actually returned later in the evening to find Pitchfork having replaced the Tring beer.

On 30th August 2021 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1374 recommendations about 1374 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Steve of N21 left this review about The Gardener's Arms

This two bar compact ale house sounds unchanged from previous reviews, except for the fact that in these covid social distancing times, aluminium tables and chairs have been added to the front and the sideway of the pub to increase the number of seated punters it can accommodate. Fortunately for my visit it was a fine weather day and most of the afternoon punters were utilising these, so I managed to grab a table in the back bar and listen to a few of the locals bemoaning the fact that the famous Lewes Bonfire celebrations for 2020 had been cancelled due to the current pandemic.
It was good to find bar service in operation rather than table service and also good to find all six handpumps in operation with five ales and one cider available. Alongside the ubiquitous Harvey’s Sussex Best was Dark Star Hop Head, Godmark Black Lion Porter, Gun Brewery Pale Ale and Oakham Attila. I initially went for a half of the 7.5% Oakham Attila, but actually preferred the Godmark porter, with both beers in good condition.
I saw enough of this pub to know I would like it here when it can function properly with vertical drinkers filling the gaps between the limited available seating. Oh for those days...

On 16th November 2020 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1836 recommendations about 1773 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

BRUMMIE STEVE left this review about The Gardener's Arms

Love this pub and would certainly be a regular if I lived in Lewes. Great choice of ales and very reasonably priced to, they even offer a Camra discount. Always very busy and a good friendly crowd which is'nt always the case with pubs in Lewes. This is a proper pub a little rough around the edges but that makes it what it is, much better pub then the nearby John Harvey Tavern and The Snowdrop.

On 20th November 2017 - rating: 10
[User has posted 39 recommendations about 39 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Aqualung . left this review about The Gardeners Arms

This is a former Whitbread pub that has been a free house for around 25 years now. The biggest problem with it is that it is so small. Happily it wasn't rammed on my Saturday afternoon visit but I still chose to sit on one of the seats in the alleyway outside as the carpeted area at the rear had a television on and the more basic front bar was busy. The whole building is quite long but fairly narrow.
The bar has six hand pumps which had one unused, Cottage Dogfight, Harvey's Best, Bath Special Pale, Dark Star Carafa Jade and Brass Castle Black Forest Stout. I went for the Carafa Jade (£3.60) which was in excellent nick. Overall this is a good pub but due to the small size of it can be uncomfortable.

On 1st October 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2143 recommendations about 2143 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Mark Davey left this review about The Gardeners Arms

Second visit to the Gardeners and quite dissappointing. Of the 5 brews served up to our party, 3 were cloudy, one of which had to go back and the guvnor was less than impressed, trying to convince us that it was "how it should be" Sorry, no british Ale should be intentionally cloudy, unless it specifically says so on the clip. Original score 8, now a 6

Original review 04/09/12

Excellent beer pub, not much else going for it, but if beer is your thing, a must do in Lewes. Nice staff, good cold pies and pasties, friendly locals. Actually a much better choice than the Harveys Tap round the corner that was full of tourists when we visited.

On 27th May 2014 - rating: 6
[User has posted 292 recommendations about 276 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Pub SignMan left this review about The Gardeners Arms

This is a small, compact two room pub at the eastern end of the High Street. You enter into a small front bar with bare floorboards and textured wallpaper walls. There is enough room for just the one table under the front window with bench and low stool seating and on the left hand wall there is a nice tiled fireplace. The servery has been decorated with an incredible number of pump clips from the Archer’s Brewery and there are a number of CAMRA certificates on display as well. A doorway leads through to a lower second room which is a slightly larger space and accordingly has a few more seating options, mainly in the form of broad benches, all of which were taken up on my visit as the pub was packed out, partly due to a large group of morris dancers who were enjoying a few pints before heading off to perform somewhere. Music was playing fairly quietly in the background and the overall ambiance was warm and welcoming.
The ale line-up is detailed on some large blackboards above the servery. The options on my visit were Harvey’s Best and Old Ale, Titanic Engine Room, Rother Valley NIPA and Arkwright’s Local Hero, plus Crazy Goat cider. The boards also detailed four bottled ciders, a decent wine list and the ales that were waiting to come on next. My pint of the Titanic poured quite cloudy, but it tasted very good so I didn’t complain.
This is a nice, cosy drinker’s pub with a good range of ale which lends itself to repeat visits. The compact layout and lively atmosphere put me in mind of the Harp in Covent Garden, which is certainly no bad thing. An enjoyable visit and another pub I would say is an essential port of call when visiting Lewes.

On 1st December 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2813 recommendations about 2813 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Graham Coombs left this review about The Gardeners Arms

Very small beerhouse in the conservation area of Cliffe High Street with an excellent and changing range of ales. Recommended for serious drinking - actually not much choice as food is restricted to the occasional pie.

On 14th July 2011 - rating: 9
[User has posted 2659 recommendations about 2602 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Ron Neesam left this review about The Gardeners Arms

Visited July 2010. Situated on a picturesque thoroughfare near the river, this fine pub is a must. Several guest beers, Dark Star Festival was excellent. Ample seating outside to front and side.

On 11th March 2011 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 5 recommendations about 5 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Quinno _ left this review about The Gardeners Arms

A compact two-bar corner freehouse on the old High Street. Eight handpumps offer Harveys plus guest ales from various micros (Hammerpot, Windsor&Eton, Beachy Head, Weltons and Ennerdale on my visit). Black Rat cider is also available as well as a good wine list. I sampled two of the ales and they were both in good nick even if the Beachy Head was, to put it politely, ‘not to my taste’. Friendly, attentive staff in attendance who were happy to engage in chat with us beer tourists. That extended to the welcoming punters who were clearly proud of their pub. Eggs, pickled onions and olives available as bar snacks, with sausages, pork pies and pasties (which come from ‘Bens’ a local organic butcher, fresh in each day) for the more hungry. An eclectic mix of background music too. Severely affected by the Lewes floods and some pictures on the walls commemorate the event. Berwick Rangers and Swindon Town memorabilia stems from the (former, I believe) landlord. Due its compactness, there’s not a huge amount of space or seats so you may end up out in the street. Local game Toad in the Hole available if there’s space.

This is a cracking little beer house which is top of my list next time I visit Lewes.

On 4th September 2010 - rating: 9
[User has posted 4422 recommendations about 4408 pubs]

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